George Batchelor and David Crighton: A Celebration of their Lives and Work

Monday 19 April 2010 from 2.15 pm (CMS)

The tenth anniversaries of the deaths of George Batchelor FRS and David Crighton FRS will soon be upon us, and we will hold an anniversary meeting at DAMTP on Monday 19th April from 2.15pm onwards to commemorate the life and work of these towering figures in the history of the Department.

A programme for this commemorative meeting is available here. We cordially invite you to come to the talks and to the reception that will follow. We request a reply by e-mail to Doris Allen (, by 1st April if at all possible, so that we can make suitable preparations for the number attending.

As part of our commemoration, we plan to launch an Appeal to strengthen further the two Memorial Funds for George and David. These support the annual G.K.Batchelor Lectureship and David Crighton Fellowship scheme, and have already been very successful at promoting Fluid Mechanics in DAMTP. An ambitious new possibility would be to extend these activities to provide for summer studentships to enable undergraduates to get a foretaste of research activity in Fluid Mechanics in the Department. Please feel free to contact any one of us to learn more about these plans.

In any case, we hope that you will be able to come to DAMTP on 19th April, and we very much look forward to welcoming you on this commemorative occasion.

Peter Haynes, Herbert Huppert, Keith Moffatt, Nigel Peake, and Grae Worster (Organising Committee)

Photograph of George K Batchelor

George Batchelor (8 March 1920 – 30 March 2000) was the Head of DAMTP from its foundation in 1959 until 1983. He was also founding Editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics from 1956 until his death at the age of 80 in the millennium year 2000. He was deeply committed to research in fluid mechanics, and made seminal contributions to the fields of turbulence and microhydrodynamics. His Introduction to Fluid Mechanics (CUP 1967) is still the leading introductory text on the subject. George was the driving force behind the foundation of EUROMECH and an outstanding figure on the international stage of mathematical science. He was a Fellow of Trinity College from 1947 – 2000.

Photograph of David G Crighton

David Crighton (15 November 1942 – 12 April 2000) was a charismatic Head of Department from 1991 until his untimely death from cancer in 2000. David came to the Chair of Applied Mathematics at Cambridge in 1986, having held a similar Chair in Leeds. His scientific interests were in nonlinear acoustics and related problems of fluid-structure interaction, in which he was a world authority. He became co-Editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics in 1997, having been an Associate Editor since 1979, and gradually took over the heavy responsibilities that this entailed. David succeeded George as President of EUROMECH, effecting its transformation to the European Society for Mechanics in 1992. David was held in deep affection both in DAMTP and in his role as Master of Jesus College (1997 – 2000). His love of fluid mechanics was coupled with a love of music, particularly the world of Wagner, in which he was a considerable authority.