Professor Anthony Kelly sitting in the Senior Common Room reading a paper

Churchill College is saddened to learn of the death, peacefully in his sleep, of Professor Anthony Kelly.  

Anthony was a founding Fellow of Churchill College, being elected to a Title A (Official) Fellowship in October 1959 where he was a Director of Studies in Natural Sciences until 1967. He subsequently worked for the government at the National Physical Laboratory and then at Imperial Chemical Industries before becoming Vice-Chancellor of Surrey University. He returned to Churchill in 1985 when he was elected to a Title E (Extraordinary) Fellowship until his retirement in 1996.  

His book ‘Strong Solids’ (1965) was seminal in the field and as a result of it and his subsequent work, and editing activity, he has been referred to as ‘The father of composite materials’. His group at Cambridge and later at the National Physical Laboratory established many of the principles of behaviour of fibre composites – particularly the toughness of those with carbon fibre, which materials now displace aluminium as the preferred structural material for advanced aircraft. He calculated the ideal strength of crystals and used this to quantify the difference between brittleness and ductility.

The College elected Anthony to a Title D (Pensioner) Fellowship in 1996. In his retirement he devoted his time to the College, taking on the role of Editor of the Churchill Review for many years. He will be greatly missed.

Symposium in memory of Professor Kelly