Emeritus Professor E Howel Francis, BSc, DSc, FRSE, FGS

We are very sorry to let members know of the death, on 22 May 2014, of Emeritus Professor Howel Francis, former Professor of Earth Sciences.

Professor Francis effectively had two careers.  He worked from 1949 until 1977 for the Geological Survey of Great Britain, of which he went on to become Assistant Director for Northern England and Wales.  In 1977, he was appointed to the Chair of Earth Sciences at Leeds, remaining in that post until his retirement in 1989.

Professor Francis undertook important research on a number of aspects of geology, notably on palaeovolcanics and coalfields.  He was the recipient of several major distinctions for his wide-ranging contributions to the geological community and was elected as President of the Geological Society for 1980-82.  Within the University, he served as Chairman of the Department of Earth Sciences from 1979 to 1982 and again from 1985 to 1989.  During the latter period he successfully guided the Department through the University Grants Committee’s major restructuring of earth sciences in UK universities.  

With his cheerful personality and gifts as lecturer and raconteur, Professor Francis was a warmly-regarded teacher and colleague throughout his time at Leeds.

The funeral service will be held on Wednesday 11 June 2014 at 2.30pm at Margam Crematorium, Longlands Lane, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2NR.  In memory of Professor Francis, the flag will be flown at half-mast on the Parkinson Building on that day.

A full obituary is being prepared.

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