Born: November 10, 1940; Died: October 6, 2012.

Eleanor Taylor, who has died aged 71, was a chemist who became operations manager of dairy research centre the Hannah Research Institute, near Ayr, at a time when the organisation was undergoing great change.

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She was born in Sedgefield, County Durham, the middle child of five, and grew up in a family where hard work was expected. This experience, and the support of a close family, was to shape her working life and the commitment she made to her own family.

Her training was in chemistry, firstly in the Billingham laboratories of ICI, where she met her husband-to-be, Alan. However, the majority of her professional life was spent at the Hannah, an international centre for study of the production and utilisation of milk.

She worked first as a laboratory scientist, contributing to studies into the biochemistry of lipid metabolism and later as the institute's operations manager.

During a period of constant readjustment of priorities and resources, she took responsibility for project management of key institute activities, reshaping them to meet these changing circumstances and outside pressures.

She turned her hand to a range of tasks including the production of the Institute Yearbook, which became a showcase for the organisation's science, and a redevelopment to create, among other things, a conference facility which hosted successful events and, just as importantly, attracted local business clients to the site. The Kevoca Conference Centre was the first step in a wider development of the site, to create the Hannah Research Park, the catalyst intended to attract commercial tenants and spark entrepreneurial activity.

Mrs Taylor was again instrumental in this initiative, driving the project with great management skill and determination.

Her contribution to the life of the Hannah was recognised with an MBE following her retirement in 2000.

The family home built in Troon is testament to her attention to detail, and she continued to bring these project-management skills to bear even in declining health during the late stages of her illness.

Mrs Taylor's zest for life was also reflected in the enthusiasm she brought to her golf, a passion that was spelled out in her car registration plate – ONO3PUT.

She was ever supportive of playing partners and generous with advice.

She was the 2004 champion at the Ladies Golf Club Troon, captain of the Ayrshire Ladies Golf Association in 2005/2006 and was about to take over as the new county president at the time her illness was diagnosed.

Mrs Taylor is survived by her husband Alan and their four children Iain, Susan, Sally and Shona, and seven grandchildren.