UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2009  /  March 2009  /  Recent deaths of old friends

Recent deaths of old friends

Sad losses of three past members of the department

Recent deaths of old friends

Professor James (Jim) Johnson, who died on 11 March, joined the Department in 1954 as an Assistant Lecturer. He then became Lecturer, and Reader in Geography, leaving UCL in 1974 for the Foundation Chair of Geography at the University of Lancaster. Jim is remembered fondly for his infectious humour and inspirational teaching. He specialised in the historical geography of Ireland early in his career, but became better known for his work on urban geography, suburban development, and migration. Books were published on each of these themes, including two based on joint research with John Salt and Peter Wood.

John Sienckiewicz, who graduated in 1969, died on 14 March aged 61. John trained as a planner and his career took him through the Countryside Commission to the Department of the Environment.  Latterly he was director of the London Development Unit in the Government Office for London, and subsequently director of the Thames Gateway Strategic Office in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. He was awarded an OBE in 2003. His wife, Teresa (née Thomas), was a student of the Department in the same year as John.

Long-serving members of the Department will also remember Professor Bill Packard, who lectured at UCL from 1951 to 1954, before going to Canberra where he taught Geography at the Australian National University for the rest of his career. He was an accomplished mountaineer and member of the Alpine Club. He revisited the Department UCL for Bill Mead's 90th birthday celebration in 2005, sharing his recollections of life in the Department well over 50 years ago.