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John Harper

We were very saddened to hear that John Harper – formerly Head of the Institute of Polymer Technology and Materials Engineering (IPTME), later renamed the Department of Materials – had passed away peacefully at home on 2nd January.

During his long career at Loughborough, John taught on many undergraduate and postgraduate modules, and carried our extensive research on polymers. He received his University long service award in 2000 and retired in 2010.

When he stepped down from his role as Head of IPTME, John was instrumental in establishing the University Graduate School and became its first Director in 2006. He organised new training for PhD students to help them develop their transferable skills, including the three-day Loughborough Grad School courses at Beaumanor Hall.

Many staff and former students at the University will also remember John fondly for the bluebell walks around campus and the surrounding area that he used to organise.

Alongside his academic career, John was a long-time champion of sport and athletics in Loughborough. He was one of the founders and managers of Charnwood Athletic Club, based at the University, and spent more than 20 years as secretary and then chairman of the Club’s management committee.

In the early 1980s, he was instrumental in the negotiations to fund the first all-weather track at the University and in the building of the current club house.

John will be much missed by the many friends and colleagues who knew him at the University.

John’s funeral is on 19th January at 1.30pm. Those who wish to attend (via Zoom) should email Zoe Crowson, who can provide the link.

Donations in memory of John can be made to Pancreatic Cancer UK or St John the Baptist Church, Old Dalby, or sent to Richard Barnes Funeral Director, Wilton Road, Melton Mowbray, LE13 OUJ.