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David (Dai) Llewellyn, 1956-2000

David Llewellyn, only son of Ken and Joyce Llewellyn, was born in Cardiff on 4 March 1956. He died on 3 August 2000 at the Marie Curie Hospice, Penarth, Cardiff after a short illness.

Dai attended Whitchurch High School, Cardiff (where he was Captain of the Rugby team) and Portsmouth Polytechnic, where he was highly popular with students and staff. He graduated BSc (Hons) in Engineering Geology and Geotechnics in 1978.

His first job in 1978 was with the Special Field Testing Division of Cementation Ground Engineering in the UK. Following closure of this operation, Dai was employed as an engineering geologist by Foundation Engineering (1978–82) in the UK, Middle East and Hong Kong, gaining experience in both onshore/offshore site investigation and ground improvement processes.

Dai returned to Wales in 1982 to complete his higher education at the University of Wales (Bangor) where he was awarded an MSc in Marine Geotechnics (1984). He joined International Associates Consulting Engineers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1983) where he was Senior Geotechnical Engineer/ Deputy Resident Engineer responsible for resolution of geotechnical construction problems for a number of schemes across Saudi Arabia.

He then returned to Hong Kong (1986) joining P & T Civil Engineers as a Senior Geotechnical Engineer. He completed numerous geotechnical studies for Hong Kong’s rapidly developing infrastructure and commenced his involvement with most of Hong Kong’s quarry sites and a number in China. Dai worked for P & T Wallace Evans, Wallace Evans Asia and Acer Wallace Evans from 1986-1993 as a result of mergers and takeovers, becoming geotechnical Director at Acer Consultants (1993-1994). Dai left Acer to join Snowy Mountain Engineering Corporation (SMEC Asia Ltd.) where he co-directed the Hong Kong regional office of one of Australia’s largest consulting engineering firms.

Dai spent most of his working life in Hong Kong, where he was a well known and respected member of the geotechnical engineering profession. He returned to his native Wales, semi-retired, in 1997 and settled near Narberth in Pembrokeshire allowing him to spend more time with his family, grow vegetables, brew beer and see the countryside. He particularly enjoyed hill walking, driving his vintage sports car and the satisfaction of renovating a number of properties. He “kept his hands on” professionally as a Consultant to Williams Thomas Consulting in (1999-2000) where he was involved with colliery spoil tip stability at Tower Colliery - the last deep coal mine in Wales.

Dai’s sound judgement, honesty, his down-to-earth values, sense of humour and ability as an innovative engineer will be sadly missed by his friends, his parents, Ken and Joyce, his loyal sister Sian, and his colleagues. He leaves behind his dear wife Mei Ling, daughter Delwyn (aged 15) and son Gwynfor (aged 11).

Dai’s life, which ended at 44 years of age, is best encapsulated in the words of his son Gwynfor who said at Dai’s funeral: “I wish I’d known him longer – he could have taught me so much”.

Bryn Thomas