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Brunel memorial buildings

Many of our buildings are named after members of staff and benefactors. If you want to find out some more information, click on the links below:

Bannerman Centre

Affectionately known as 'Mother Brunel', Sheila Bannerman was born in 1937. Shelia has been associated with the University since 1956 when she enrolled at Acton Technical College. She was one of the first entrants to the new Brunel College of Technology in 1957 and became the first woman Vice-President of the NUS in 1960. 

She joined Brunel's staff as Senior Technician in Biology in 1959 while continuing her studies part-time. She was made Lab Superintendent in Biology by the mid 1970s and subsequently became University Safety Officer, Deputy Bursar and, between 1986 and 2003, Director of Services. During this time, her responsibilities covered every aspect of student and staff life.

Elliott Jaques

Elliott Jaques (1917-2003), psychologist and psychoanalyst, was born in Canada and graduated from the University of Toronto. He went on to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where he studied for an MD. He gained a PhD in Social Relations from Harvard University. Serving in the Canadian Army Medical Corps during World War II, he acted as liaison to the British Army War Office Psychiatry Division. After the war, he remained in England where he became a founding member of the Tavistock Institute and in 1964 created the School of Social Sciences at Brunel University London.

Professor Jaques authored over 20 books and was the originator of concepts such as corporate culture', 'mid-life crisis', 'fair pay', 'maturation curves' and 'time span of discretion'.

A collaborator with Wilfred Brown in The Glacier Project, he called his work Social Analysis, a starting condition being 'a willingness to go deeply into organisational questions, to get behind the facade, to give up organisational and management clichés and to seek reality based solutions'.

Gardiner

John Gardiner was born in 1936. Educated at Brighton Technical College and at the LSE, he served as an economist with the Prudential Assurance Company, wrote the Lex column for the Financial Times and became Chief Executive and, later, Chairman of the Laird Group.

He was Chair of Brunel Council between 1980 and 1984 and was instrumental in the establishment of the Brunel Science Park. In 1988 he became a non-executive Director of Tesco and was Chairman between 1997 and 2004, a period of spectacular growth and success for the UK’s leading retail company.

Russell

Peter Russell was born in 1937. He read Mathematics at Reading University and later achieved an MTech from Brunel University. He subsequently became a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

He was appointed as a lecturer in Mathematics in 1966 and in the late 1970s was responsible for setting up the merger with Shoreditch College (later renamed the Runnymede Campus). In 1986 he was appointed Director of Brunel's Science Park, the first campus-based example at a UK university, and held the post until his retirement in 2002.

Peter was a founding Director of the UK Science Park Association and was its Chairman for two years. He was also a local councillor and member of the GLC for a number of years.

Brunel Science Park

Elliott Jaques

Elliott Jaques (1917-2003), psychologist and psychoanalyst, was born in Canada and graduated from the University of Toronto. He gained a PhD in Social Relations from Harvard University. He served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps during World War II, acting as liaison to the British Army War Office Psychiatry Division. He remained in England where he became a founding member of the Tavistock Institute and in 1964 created the School of Social Sciences at Brunel University.

Professor Jacques authored over 20 books and was the originator of concepts such as corporate culture', 'mid-life crisis', 'fair pay', 'maturation curves' and 'time span of discretion'.

A collaborator with Wilfred Brown in The Glacier Project, he called his work Social Analysis, a starting condition being 'a willingness to go deeply into organisational questions, to get behind the facade, to give up organisational and management clichés and to seek reality based solutions'.

Gardiner

John Gardiner was born in 1936. Educated at Brighton Technical College and at the LSE, he served as an economist with the Prudential Assurance Company, wrote the Lex column for the Financial Times and became Chief Executive and, later, Chairman of the Laird Group.

He was Chair of Brunel Council between 1980 and 1984 and was instrumental in the establishment of the Brunel Science Park. In 1988 he became a non-executive Director of Tesco and was Chairman between 1997 and 2004, a period of spectacular growth and success for the UK's leading retail company.

Russell

Peter Russell was born in 1937. He read Mathematics at Reading University and later achieved an MTech from Brunel University. He subsequently became a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

He was appointed lecturer in Mathematics in 1966 and in the late 1970s was responsible for setting up the merger with Shoreditch College (later renamed the Runnymede Campus). In 1986 he was appointed Director of Brunel's Science Park, the first campus-based example at a UK university, and held the post until his retirement in 2002.

Peter was a founding Director of the UK Science Park Association and was its Chairman for two years. He was also a local councillor and member of the GLC for a number of years.

Chadwick

James Chadwick (1891-1974) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1935 for his discovery of the particle in the nucleus of an atom known as the neutron. 

Born in Cheshire, he graduated from Manchester University and won a scholarship in 1913 to work under Professor Geiger in Germany. He became a prisoner of war in Germany for the duration of World War 1, but was then able to return to England to rejoin the mentor of his undergraduate days, Ernest Rutherford, in Cambridge University's nuclear physics lab. He was Professor of Physics at Liverpool University from 1935 to 1948 (with three years on the Manhattan Project in the USA) and was then elected Master of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge until 1959. In retirement, he was a part-time member of the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

James Chadwick became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1927 and was knighted in 1945.

Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) married Unitarian Minister William Gaskell and settled in Manchester where she lived for the rest of her life. The death of her only son intensified both her sense of identity with the poor and her desire to express their hardship through her writing.

Her first novel, Mary Barton, told the story of a working class family, and its timely appearance in 1848 brought the novel immediate success, winning the praise of Charles Dickens and Thomas Carlyle. Dickens invited her to contribute to his magazine, Household Words, where her next major work, Cranford, appeared in 1853. When Charlotte Bronte died in 1855, her family asked her friend Gaskell to write her biography, The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857).

Among Elizabeth Gaskell's latest works, Sylvia's Lovers (1863) is notable. She died before finishing what was widely considered to be her finest work, Wives and Daughters (1864-66).

Halsbury

The 3rd Earl of Halsbury (1908-2000) became Brunel's first Chancellor in 1967 and remained in office for 31 years.

He began his working life with Deloitte Plender and studied at night school. He eventually gained a 1st in Chemistry and Mathematics from London University. He was an accomplished linguist, spoke French and Spanish and studied Russian, Sanskrit, Hungarian, Finnish, Mongolian, Hebrew and Arabic.

During World War II, he researched into jet propulsion with Brown Firth Research Laboratories. Then, as Managing Director of the National Research Development Corporation, he encouraged the growth of Britain's computer industry arguing that automation would not result in higher unemployment.

He chaired many public committees and scientific bodies, was a Governor of the BBC from 1960 to 1962 and in 1969 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Hamilton Centre

Eric Hamilton (1893-1967) was born in Clapham, and attended Clapham High School. He gained his BSc at University College at the age of 19, and went on to gain his MA at Trinity College Cambridge. 

During World War I, he was an Instructor Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, serving four years at sea and at naval college. In 1920 he became Senior Maths Master at Silcoates School, Yorkshire and was then appointed Assistant Lecturer in Education at the University of North Wales in Bangor in 1922. 

He was Principal of Borough Road College from 1932 until his retirement in 1961. During World War II, he was asked by the Air Ministry to accept the rank of Squadron Leader and set up the training of instructors in the RAF. After the War, he went to Germany to assist in the rehabilitation of training colleges and later went to Nigeria to advise on teacher training in that country. 

He was awarded the CBE in 1954 for his work in education.

Heinz Wolff

Heinz Siegfried Wolff was born in 1928 and qualified in Physiology and Physics in 1954. Subsequently, whilst with the Medical Research Council, he chose to work on the interface between Engineering and the Biological Sciences, calling himself a Bioengineer, thus giving a name to the new discipline. He became head of the Divisions of Bioengineering at the National Institute for Medical Research and subsequently at the Clinical Research Centre.

Moving to Brunel University in 1983, he founded the Brunel Institute for Bioengineering, affectionately known as BIB, and served as its Director until 1995. Heinz Wolff is well known to a whole generation as a television personality, presenting scientific and engineering “entertainment". Programme series such as The Great Egg Race, are known to have started many young people on careers in science and technology.

Howell

Robin Howell (1923-1973) gained a 1st in Electrical Engineering from Queen Mary College, London in 1950 and a PhD in 1953 for a study of reactance modulation and the associated oscillators.

After war-time service in the Fleet Air Arm and a period with Decca Radar Limited, Professor Howell joined the staff of Brunel College in 1958 as Head of Electronics. When Brunel College was designated a University in 1964, he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics.

Howell was also a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers. Through the Engineering Industry Training Board he played an important part in helping to develop a policy for the training of technologists in industry. He was also associated with the Science Research Council and a member of the Academic Board of the Regional Advisory Council.

John Crank

Professor John Crank was born in 1916 in Hindley, Lancashire. He was a student of Bragg and Hartree at Manchester University from 1934 to 1938 where he was awarded a DSc in 1953. In 1957 he was appointed to Brunel College in Acton as the first Head of Department of Mathematics and subsequently became Head of School. He served two terms of office as Vice-Principal of Brunel University before his retirement in 1981 when he was granted the title of Professor Emeritus. He subsequently started the Royal Institution Mathematics Master Classes.

His main work was on the numerical solution of partial differential equations and, in particular, the solution of heat-conduction problems. He is best known for his work with Phyllis Nicolson on the heat equation.

He was a keen gardener and established the John Crank Garden as a retirement gift to the University. The garden has given much pleasure to many people and is a lasting reminder of John Crank's considerable contribution to Brunel University.

John Crank died in 2006.

Marie Jahoda

Marie Jahoda (1907-2001) was born in Vienna, and trained as a teacher and psychologist in her home city. Forced into exile to the UK between 1937 and 1945 because of her beliefs and activities, she established her new career in New York after the Second World war before joining Brunel College in 1958.

She played a founding role in the establishment of social science education at Brunel until 1965 and also established the placement system in Social Sciences.

From 1965, she was a professor at Sussex University where she founded the first University Department of Social Psychology.

Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole (1805 - 1881) was a pioneering nurse and heroine of the Crimean War. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she overcame prejudice associated with her class ethnicity, sex and lack of formal qualifications to establish herself as a pioneer of the nursing profession.

Known as 'Mother Seacole', she nursed the wounded on the battlefields of the Crimea and established a 'hostel' for sick and convalescent officers. She was awarded the Crimean Medal, the Legion of Honour and a Turkish medal for her actions during the war.

Wilfred Brown

Wilfred Banks Duncan Brown (1908-1985) joined the Glacier Metal Company as a costing clerk in 1931 and within just eight years he became its Managing Director and Chairman until 1965. He was Director of Associated Engineering 1964-1965. 

Wilfred Brown was awarded the MBE in 1944 and was created a Life Peer, as Baron Brown of Machrihanish, in 1964. From 1965-1979 he was Minister of State at the Board of Trade and in 1970 was appointed to the Privy Council. As Lord Brown, he was active in the House of Lords and sat on both the Select Committee on the European Communities and the Select Committee on Science and Technology. Throughout his distinguished career, he wrote many books, articles and lectures on management techniques.

He was associated with both Acton Technical College and Brunel College for a number of years and in 1966, the year Brunel received its Royal Charter, Lord Brown was appointed as the University's first Pro-Chancellor. He was Chair of Council from January 1979 until December 1980. The central administration building was named after him in the following May.