Dr Anthony M Evans

Posted by crm28 at Jul 18, 2017 04:45 PM |
The University has learnt, with regret, of the passing of Dr Anthony (Tony) Evans.

Anthony Meredith Evans was born on February 17 1929 in Chester and went to Ruthin School in North Wales.  He obtained his higher School Certificate in 1947 and did his military service in the RAF where he qualified as a wireless mechanic.  He then went to Liverpool University where he read geology and physics obtaining an honours degree in Geology in 1953.  He followed this with study at Queen’s University, Ontario from where he did 4 summers of field work with the Ontario Department of Mines in the Haliburton-Bancroft mining area. Whilst in Ontario he gained experience in surface and underground mapping and in the evaluation of mineral deposits. Tony's PhD considered the mineralogy of  the copper-nickel ores of Sudbury after which he was appointed as Senior Lecturer at the University of Leicester where he stayed and worked for the rest of his career.

The funeral for Dr Anthony Evans will take place on Wednesday 2 August:
12:15     Service at St Andrews Church, Prestwold. LE12 5SH
13:15     Farewell at Loughborough Crematorium followed by refreshments at the adjacent Cedars hostelry.
It would be appreciated if you would inform Nick Evans at nickevans59@virginmedia.com if you intend to attend
Family flowers only.  If you wish, donations in lieu can be sent to Christian Aid via the undertakers - Swanns of Loughborough, 4 Bridge Street, Loughborough LE11 1NQ.

Tony Evans, a versatile economic geologist and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geology until he retired in 1990, died on July 11th at the age of 88 after a long illness.  He was appointed in 1957 to an Assistant Lectureship to join Mac Whitaker and Trevor Ford in teaching all branches of Geology up to the standard required by London University External Honours Regulations.  Tony’s duties included teaching mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, geophysics, economic geology, map interpretation, geochemistry, Precambrian stratigraphy and structural geology.  The new university was keen to build up its Science faculty and by 1961 a Department of Geology had been established, Professor Peter Sylvester-Bradley having been appointed in 1959, the number of staff had trebled and Tony was able to concentrate on teaching mineralogy, economic and structural geology.

As the youngest geology department in the country at the time it aimed to put on new and imaginative courses.  Tony foresaw a growing global demand for base metals at the same time as there was a shortage of exploration geologists, applied geology being largely ignored in British Universities.  He boldly proposed a one year Masters Course in Mineral Exploration and Mining Geology which was welcomed by the university which took his advice by providing space, and appointing additional staff in applied geochemistry (Cliff James) and geophysics (Aftab Khan).  He set about masterminding its implementation by acquiring ore suites from mining companies and building up a polished section collection for studying the mineralogy of opaque ore minerals for teaching.  The course started in 1965 and was an instant success.  The only comparable University courses elsewhere in the world were at Imperial College and the Colorado School of Mines.  It became well known internationally and attracted students from the UK who were sponsored by the NERC.  However, the great  majority were sponsored by mining companies and government departments all over the world.  The ratio of annual applications to places rose to over 15, the highest for any MSc course in the UK.  Eventually, in 1975 separate Masters courses in both Mineral Exploration and Mining Geology and a BSc  degree in Mining Geology including some existing geology modules, emerged.

Tony took his teaching seriously and unusually for the time, took great care in the preparation of lecture summaries which were greatly appreciated by students.  He was enthusiastic about the courses but not about the books available to teach the subject, so in 1980 he wrote his own Ore Geology and Industrial Minerals: An Introduction,  which has become a classic. It provides an excellent introduction to the morphology, textures, structures, geothermobarometry, and metallogenesis of mineralisation, and will long stand as one of the most successful textbooks produced by the Department.  It  went into a 3rd edition in 1993. In 1995 he edited the equally successful complementary Introduction to Mineral Exploration which went into 2 editions.

He was a great leader of field courses which he took to well known mining areas in Europe with help from colleagues from nearby Universities. This led to exchange visits and international collaboration in both teaching and research, with EU funding in later years.  He supervised research students and published over 50 papers on topics including radiometric dating, fluid inclusions, ore mineralogy, sulphide mineralisation, ore genesis, the structural control of mineralization, and education in Applied Geology.

Anthony Meredith Evans was born on February 17th 1929 in Chester where he grew up and went to Ruthin School in N Wales.  He obtained his higher School Certificate in 1947 and did his military service in the RAF where he qualified as a wireless mechanic.  He then went to Liverpool University where he read geology and physics obtaining an honours degree in Geology in 1953.  He followed this with study at Queen’s University, Ontario from where he did 4 summers of field work with the Ontario Department of Mines in the Haliburton-Bancroft mining area.  There he gained experience in surface and underground mapping and in the evaluation of mineral deposits.  He did his PhD on the mineralogy of  the copper-nickel ores of Sudbury. He was then appointed by the University of Leicester where he stayed and worked for the rest of his career.

Tony participated in University affairs and was an active member of the local AUT.  He spent a good deal of his spare time obtaining concessions for members.  He was instrumental in holding regular minuted departmental staff meetings long before they were adopted by the rest of the University and became the norm.  He also initiated departmental reviews by an external Geological Advisory Panel (GAP) of experts from industry and research establishments.  Their reports were most useful in the refining of the teaching programme and informing the University of the performance of the department.  It is notable that in the first national departmental review carried out by the UGC in 1989, which was in the Earth Sciences, Leicester was one of only 3 departments rated as outstanding, Leeds and Cambridge being the others.

Tony was an elegant and cultured gentleman with interests ranging from classical music and theatre to Test cricket.  He has been known to umpire in inter-departmental games. He was kind and considerate not only to his students but also to his younger colleagues to whom he was most welcoming and helpful.  They all remember him with great affection.  He was a devout Christian and a dedicated family man.  He was active in the Church where he lived in Burton-on-the-Wolds. In recent years he was rarely seen in the University due to ill health.  His students from many parts of the world always ask about him.

He is survived by his devoted wife Jo and children Nick and Caroline. He will be sadly missed by his many friends and colleagues.

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