Emeritus Professor George Eason, MSc, PhD, FIMA, FRSE, mathematician; born March 19 1930, died May 15 1999

GEORGE Eason was born in Chesterfield and from Clay Cross Tupton Grammar School he won a scholarship to Birmingham University. There, his studies culminated in a doctorate obtained at what is now Keele University for a distinguished thesis on Stress Waves in Solids, based on work done under the supervision of Professor I N Sneddon (later professor in Glasgow University).

The propagation of elastic waves, the mechanics of composite materials and, in later years, in collaboration with bio-engineers, the mechanics of human tissue, continued his research life-long. He published about 40 papers in learned journals, and was joint author of a book on mathematics and statistics for the bio-sciences. The lectures he gave on elastic wave propagation at the International Centre for Mathematical Studies in Udine, Italy, in the summer school of 1974 were published by Springer and translated into Polish, after he repeated the lectures in Warsaw in the autumn.

After Keele he had short spells at Fort Halstead, a defence research establishment in Kent, and at Newcastle-upon-Tyne University, before moving to the Royal College of Science and Technology, Glasgow, now Strathclyde University, in 1961. He already had a good reputation for teaching and research, a reputation greatly enhanced by his subsequent career in the university.

He was successively senior lecturer, reader in solid mechanics, and - after a year as an invited visiting professor at Wisconsin University - professor of mathematics for applied scientists. This post involved responsibility for courses to a large number of students from a wide variety of disciplines other than mathematics, and he brought a great deal of understanding to their needs in a period of considerable change. He was dedicated to the idea of bringing mathematics and engineering closer together, so it was not surprising that, after his early retirement in 1983, he played an important part in the work of the Vocational Education Council.

George was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1975. He held office in the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications at both local and national levels.

In 1958 he married Olive Holdstock, by whom he had two daughters, Ann and Jill. After Olive's untimely death he married Esme Burgess and, a little later, following his retirement, they moved from Balfron first to Tarland and then to Aboyne. George entered with enthusiasm into the life of the community, concerning himself with the local theatre group, adult education in the area, and the bowling clubs. In all these and other activities he held office. He was a very keen Rotarian; at one time he was president of the Rotary Club of Strathendrick, and he held the same and other offices in the Aboyne and District Rotary Club. Rotary International awarded him a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his service to the community.

Throughout his life he was fond of sport, and he particularly loved hill-walking, alone or in company. After his retirement he found he had time to train for the London marathon and, having taken part in it, went on to run in nine other major races in a year.

George was a gentle man with a lively sense of humour, held in great affection by his many friends and colleagues. He will be very much missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife, Esme, his two daughters, and two grandchildren.