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Brian Norman Francis Hunt, 1933-2005

Brian Hunt graduated from UCSW Exeter in 1956 and his career saw the progressive transformation of our science from one in which the geologist was a generalist who occasionally sought specialist help, to one in which a relevant Master's degree is an essential pre-requisite for employment. His professional career began with two years of petroleum exploration as a seismologist in Libya, four years as a District Geologist with the Ghana Geological Survey and nine years as an engineering geologist working in Malaysia, Jamaica, Greece and the UK. In 1969 he was awarded a MSc in Engineering Geology from Imperial College.

His record reveals a young man building a solid portfolio of professional experience and 1972 saw him back at London University reading for a PGCE and looking for a significant change in direction. On graduation he was appointed lecturer in geology at Brooklands Technical College in Weybridge, but in 1976 he moved to South London College and remained there as a senior lecturer for 15 years, finally relocating to Luton with the department in 1991. For most of this time Brian was Course Leader for HND courses in Geological Technology, whose diplomates have a significant presence in university departments, museums and surveys across the world. Extensive field and international experience gave Brian an empathy with students from overseas and, as these were generally on secondment, the exchange of ideas was often a two-way process.

Many home students arrived with modest expectations, but it was often their first step to a degree, a master's and in several cases a doctorate. Brian encouraged these aspirations and was a prime mover in developing a network of former students that made substantial contributions to the courses, particularly the work experience programme. He had a considerable involvement in two socially and commercially successful Geotechniques conferences (London in 1985 and Luton in 1998). The second was timed to mark Brian's "official" retirement although he continued to work at Luton for another five years.

A Fellow since 1959, he represented the Society on a number of committees and was author or joint author of 10 papers and articles on aspects of technician training, an Open University tutor, and a staff governor of South London College. A member of the Institution of Geologists since its inception he served on Council from 1983-87 and
as Honorary Secretary from 1984-87. He also served two terms as a scrutineer on the Membership and Validation Committee from 1981-84 and from 1987-90. A further distinction was to be appointed as the IG representative to the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee from 1984-91. In 1990 he was one of the first to gain the new designation "Chartered Geologist".

To colleagues Brian was supportive and unselfish and to students he was a mentor with patience and humanity. He died suddenly on January 5. His wife Jean and daughters Louise and Rebecca will draw comfort from the fact that friends and former students on four continents will share their sense of loss.

Colin Morey