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Geographer's career one of distinguished service

Retirement of Dr Alan Strachan

On Tuesday 15 September 2003, two events ó a reception followed by a dinner ó were held to mark the retirement of Alan Strachan, after more than 30 years distinguished service in the University.

After gaining a first degree and subsequently a PhD from the University of Edinburgh as well as a Masters from the University of Wisconsin, Alan became an Assistant Lecturer successively at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada and the University of Leeds before joining the Department of Geography as Lecturer in 1969. He was promoted to a Senior Lectureship in 1987.  

[Photo: Dr Alan Strachan]

Alanís contribution to both the Department and the University has been immense.  His innovative, intellectually stimulating and student-friendly teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level has been widely recognised with his classes on North America and Urban Planning being regularly among the largest options in the Department.  

While the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee the Departmentís procedures were advanced significantly under his innovative and enthusiastic leadership. But it must not be overlooked that Alan had a meritorious research record in the fields of Urban Geography, North America and Geographical Information Systems.

During the past decade it was the latter that was the focus of his interest, in particular, his role in establishing the Midland Regional Research Laboratory, funded by the ESRC for over five years, which produced significant research on the representation of geographical data digitally and on the development of computer-based learning.

Alan served on a number of University committees and played a leading role in the Faculty of Social Sciences. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Stanhope House Creche and served as chair of the organising committee for a number of years. 

Alan was also a leading light in the inter-departmental cricket tournament, the Gilmore Lee Knockout Trophy, and it was one of his proudest moments when Geography and associates eventually won the trophy.

Alan has been a real mainstay of the Department and he will be very much missed by students and colleagues all around the University. 

In his retirement, Alan will continue his sporting interests, particularly golf, and it was therefore appropriate that he chose a motorised golf trolley as part of his retirement gift. It was fitting that so many colleagues and friends were present to extend to Alan, and his wife Joan, their best wishes on the occasion of his retirement. 

Professor Gareth Lewis

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Last updated: 23 October 2003 14:26
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