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Professor Ansel Dunham

from Humberside Geologist no. 12

Professor Ansel Dunham died on January 18th 1998, aged 59. He was the son of Sir Kingsley Dunham, a famous geologist and former director of the Geological Survey. Ansel's early research interests were in igneous geology. He came to Hull to found an Industrial Mineralogy unit, with Peter Scott (now a Professor at the Cambourne School of Mines). As well as teaching a Masters degree course, this unit carried out consultancy work for the local quarrying and brickmaking industries. At that time it was unusual for academics to work so closely with industry.

He had been Head of the Department of Geology at the University of Hull and moved to Leicester University when the Hull Department closed. He was elected as an honorary member of the Hull Geological Society in 1988.

Professor Dunham wished the Society to have some of his journals and so we are arranging for these to be donated to Hull Museums, where members will be able to consult them. Mick Stanley hopes to have a 'hands on' geology display area in the future at the Hull and East Riding Museum, and perhaps these 'journals "I be included alongside specimens, enabling members of the public to study geology in the museum. This would be a fitting memorial to such a lively, friendly and helpful scientist.

Jim Darmody (former President of our Society) writes:

As an undergraduate, 1 was taken by Ansel's calm methodical approach to a problem. There always seemed time to ponder and consider an issue. When replying to his questions there was a humorous glint at the back of his eye of which 1 was never certain what it meant, sorry you're way off the mark or I'm just as puzzled as you. Whichever it may have been, Ansel always had time for young people with his encouragement and a consideration of the scenery around you.

Mike Home writes:

Ansel arrived in the Geology Department in 1978 to head the new Industrial Mineralogy Masters course, a couple of years after my graduation, so 1 never had the pleasure of his teaching as a student. He soon became a good friend of the Society and opened our eyes to a whole new aspect of geology - man made metamorphism and in particular bricks.

I shall remember Ansel for his modesty about his considerable knowledge, his helpfulness and encouragement and most of all his infectious cheerfulness.


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