Frederick Malloch Bruce, Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering Strathclyde University; born July 13, 1912, died July 23, 1997

PROFESSOR Frederick Bruce, who has died peacefully at his home in Surrey at the age of 85, had spent his latter years slowly recovering from the illness which had forced him to retire early from Headship of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, in 1972.

Fred Bruce was born and schooled in Aberdeen and freely acknowledged the

value of his upbringing in a family dedicated to educa-tion. He studied Electrical Engineering at King's College, Newcastle, graduating in 1933

with a first-class honours

BSc degree. His extra-mural research at the university, on discharges in gases and the precision measurement of high voltages, led to the award of

a PhD.

He continued this research at Queen Mary College, and published two seminal papers dealing with precision high voltage measurements and instruments. ''Bruce profile'' electrodes are still used in high-voltage research.

In 1939 he was enlisted from Queen Mary College to the Ministry of Supply Armaments Research Department, where he was the leader of a group studying the kinematics of small-arm and aircraft automatic weapons. He was no stranger to weaponry, being a prize-winning rifle marksman, a pastime that vied with the climbing of Munros.

In 1946 Dr Bruce was appointed to the position of Head of the Nelson High Power Laboratories of the English Electric Company at Stafford with responsibility for research, development, and testing of all manner of electrical power equipment; and in 1948 he was invited to take the Chair of Electrical Engineering at the then Royal Technical College in Glasgow, with the specific enjoinder and support to establish a major research interest in his Department. In Glasgow he worked under Sir David Anderson and Sir Samuel Curran, and was one of the architects and founding professors of the successor University of Strathclyde. He established firm contacts with industry and a wide range of research organisations, and acquired facilities and personnel which laid the foundations of Strathclyde's Centre for Electrical Power Engineering. He was very proud to learn it had recently been awarded a Queen's

Anniversary Prize for Achievement in Higher Education. He knew about Technology Transfer long before it became fashionable, using his industry connections wisely and effectively and participating to the full in the activities of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), and the Institute of Physics. He was chairman of the Scottish Centre of the IEE in 1956-57.

Thus Professor Bruce steered his department through stirring times of achievement and change - and sometimes difficulty - and I and other colleagues consider ourselves fortunate in having had someone so steadfast to work with and guide us in our formative days. His advice to colleagues was sparing, crystal clear, and always fair. He was a great supporter of innovation.

He had an unswerving regard for the truth and had no room for bureaucracy.

It was a blow to the department and the University when Fred Bruce had to retire due to ill-health. That he survived for so long afterwards owes much to the loving care and attention afforded by his late wife Frances.