Tom Cottrell

Last updated

Prof Tom Leadbetter Cottrell DSc FRSE (8 June 1923 – 2 June 1973) was an influential Scottish chemist. He is best remembered as a co-founder and first Principal of the University of Stirling, and founder of the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling. He wrote several popular academic textbooks on the subject of chemistry.

Contents

Life

He was born in Edinburgh on 8 June 1923, the son of Lily and Allin Cottrell, [1] a lecturer in chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. He attended George Watson’s College and then studied chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a B.Sc. in 1943. [2]

From 1943 he worked at the Nobel Division of ICI, based at Ardeer working on the manufacture of explosives. He worked here until 1959. In 1952 he was awarded the Meldola Medal by the Institute of Chemistry. [3]

From 1959 until 1965 he was Professor of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. Following the award of a D.Sc. from the University in 1958, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1960, his proposers including James Kendall and Mowbray Ritchie. [4] [2] From 1965 he became involved in the creation of the University of Stirling both physically and in terms of creating its administrative structure. The University was sited in open countryside, just north of Stirling, and was one of the wave of purpose-built modern universities being created across Britain in the late 20th century. It centred on Airthrey Castle but this was too small to serve as much more than simply a focal point within the University. Cottrell’s office in these years was in the Garden Cottage of the castle’s estate. [5] He was also an enthusiastic sailor, racing a Dragon Class yacht (Vodka) on the Firth of Forth at Granton at the Royal Forth Yacht Club, and later (Cressid) on the Clyde. In 1967, on completion of the essential core buildings of the university, he became the first Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling and immediately began promoting the arts at the University. [6] This included the creation of the highly forward-looking Macrobert Arts Centre, on the east side of the University campus.

Outside his academic interests, Cottrell was a appreciator of fine art and established a substantial collection of Scottish art for the University, beginning with the acquisition of 14 paintings by John Duncan Fergusson from his widow, Margaret Morris. The collection expanded to include works by John Bellany, Anne Redpath, Joan Eardley, Elizabeth Blackadder, Eduardo Paolozzi.

He died of a heart attack, at home in Stirling on 2 June 1973, aged 49. [7]

Publications

Family

He married Marie Findlay (1924–2014) in 1950 and had two sons, Allin and John.

Related Research Articles

Stirling City and administrative centre in Scotland

Stirling is a city in central Scotland, 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Glasgow and 37 miles (60 km) north-west of Edinburgh. The market town, surrounded by rich farmland, grew up connecting the royal citadel, the medieval old town with its merchants and tradesmen, the Old Bridge and the port. Located on the River Forth, Stirling is the administrative centre for the Stirling council area, and is traditionally the county town of Stirlingshire. Proverbially it is the strategically important "Gateway to the Highlands".

University of Stirling University in Stirling, Scotland

The University of Stirling (Scots: University o Stirlin, Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh Shruighlea is a public university in Stirling, Scotland, founded by royal charter in 1967. It is located in the Central Belt of Scotland, built within the walled Airthrey Castle estate.

Macrobert Arts Centre Arts venue in Stirling, Scotland

Macrobert Arts Centre is a multi-arts venue located on the main campus of the University of Stirling, Scotland. The Arts Centre offers a varied programme of events and experiences – cinema, comedy, dance, exhibitions, family, get involved, music, opera and theatre – catering for audiences from across Stirling, the Forth Valley and beyond. It was originally opened in 1971 as Scotland's first purpose-built arts centre, the brainchild of the university's first principal, Tom Cottrell FRSE, who wanted appreciation of the arts to be at the heart of the university's cultural ethos.

University of Leicester Public university in Leicestershire, England

The University of Leicester is a public research university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park. The university's predecessor, University College, Leicester, gained university status in 1957.

Royal Society of Edinburgh Scottish academy of sciences

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's national academy of science and letters. It is a registered charity that operates on a wholly independent and nonpartisan basis and provides public benefit throughout Scotland. It was established in 1783. As of 2021, there are around 1,800 Fellows.

Frederick Dainton, Baron Dainton British chemist and university administrator

Frederick Sydney Dainton, Baron Dainton, Kt, FRS, FRSE was a British academic chemist and university administrator.

James Reid, Baron Reid Scottish Unionist politician and judge (1890–1975)

James Scott Cumberland Reid, Baron Reid, was a Scottish Unionist politician and judge. His reputation is as one of the most outstanding judges of the 20th century.

University of the Highlands and Islands University in northern Scotland

The University of the Highlands and Islands is a tertiary university composed of Academic Partners which are the 13 colleges and research institutions in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland delivering higher education. Its executive office is in the former Royal Northern Infirmary building in Inverness.

Michael Swann British biologist (1920–1990)

Michael Meredith Swann, Baron Swann, FRS, FRSE was a British molecular and cell biologist. He was appointed chairman of the BBC, awarded a knighthood and subsequently a life peerage.

Edge Hill University English public university

Edge Hill University is a campus-based public university in Ormskirk, Lancashire, England, which opened in 1885 as Edge Hill College, the first non-denominational teacher training college for women in England, before admitting its first male students in 1959. In 2005, Edge Hill was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council and became Edge Hill University on 18 May 2006.

Edward Boyle, Baron Boyle of Handsworth

Edward Charles Gurney Boyle, Baron Boyle of Handsworth, was a British Conservative Party politician and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds.

Hugh Christopher Longuet-Higgins was a British scholar and teacher. He was the Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge for 13 years until 1967 when he moved to the University of Edinburgh to work in the developing field of cognitive science. He made many significant contributions to our understanding of molecular science. He was also a gifted amateur musician, both as performer and composer, and was keen to advance the scientific understanding of this art. He was the founding editor of the journal Molecular Physics.

Alan Cottrell British metallurgist and physicist

Sir Alan Howard Cottrell, FRS was an English metallurgist and physicist. He was also former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government and vice-chancellor of Cambridge University 1977–1979.

Airthrey Castle

Airthrey Castle is a historic building and estate which now forms part of the buildings and grounds of the University of Stirling in central Scotland. The 18th-century building with 19th-century additions occupies a beautiful setting in landscaped grounds in the southern edge of the Ochil Hills, above the Forth valley. It is located close to Bridge of Allan, 2 miles from the historic city of Stirling.

Bangor University Public university in Bangor, Wales

Bangor University is a public university in Bangor, Wales. It received its Royal Charter in 1885 and was one of the founding institutions of the federal University of Wales. Officially known as University College of North Wales (UCNW), and later University of Wales, Bangor, in 2007 it became Bangor University, independent from the University of Wales.

John Herkless Scottish biographer and educator

Sir John Herkless was a Scottish biographer and educator who was Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews and Principal of United College of St Salvator and St Leonard from 1915 to 1920. He was knighted in 1917 and was the author of several books mainly of an ecclesiastical nature.

Alistair Murray Moffat is a Scottish writer and journalist, former director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and former Rector of the University of St Andrews.

Charles Kemball CBE PRSE FRS FRSC FRIC was a Scottish chemist who served as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1988–91) and as President of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (1974-6). He pioneered the use of mass spectrometry. and was a leading expert in heterogeneous catalysis.

Francis Albert Eley Crew English animal geneticist

Francis Albert Eley Crew FRS FRSE LLD was an English animal geneticist. He was a pioneer in his field leading to the University of Edinburgh’s place as a world leader in the science of animal genetics. He was the first Director of the Institute of Animal Breeding and the first Professor of Animal Genetics. He is said to have laid the foundations of medical genetics.

Fanny Lam Christie is a Hong Kong-born artist who specializes in sculpture and works in Scotland. She currently works from her studio in Perthshire, Scotland.

References

  1. "Cottrell, Tom Leadbetter, (8 June 1923–2 June 1973), first Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Stirling University since 1965", Who Was Who, Oxford University Press, 1 December 2007, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u153483, ISBN   978-0-19-954089-1 , retrieved 26 May 2019
  2. 1 2 "Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh : 1783 – 2002" (PDF). Royalsoced.org.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  3. "Recent History | School of Chemistry". Chem.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  4. Cottrell, Tom Leadbetter (1958). "Studies in the physical chemistry of detonation and related topics".{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. "40th Anniversary – The University of Stirling". Anniversary.stir.ac.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  6. "Art at Stirling: The Story – University of Stirling". Stir.ac.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  7. The Times : obituaries, 4 June 1973