Obituary for Dr. Rob Berry
(1971 - 2020)
It is with great sadness that we report the death of our much loved
and respected colleague and friend Dr Rob Berry after suffering a long
battle with cancer. He will be remembered by the bulk materials handling
industry for his great expertise in powder flowability and by his
friends and colleagues for his kindness, patience and humour.
Rob worked as a Consultant and Researcher at the University of
Greenwich, in the Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology,
since graduating from the Wolfson Centre as a Doctor of Philosophy in
2001. His studies centred around his passion of Powder Flowability and
he was involved in numerous cutting edge research projects which
culminated in his taking a leading role in three milestone research
projects undertaken at the Centre:
2003–06: Development of the
Brookfield Powder Flowability Tester (PFT) now in use by over 400
companies around the world.
2010–13: Development of the Virtual Powder Blending Laboratory
Toolkit, used by manufacturers of powder formulations to ensure their
products flow efficiently without hold up or stoppage.
current: Virtual Formulation Laboratory for Prediction and Optimisation
of the Manufacturability of Advanced Solids Based Formulations, which
will extend the capability of powder formulators to make sure new
formulations process efficiently through blending, handling and
During his time at the Wolfson Centre Rob successfully supervised
15 PhD students through to graduation, presented at hundreds of
conferences and seminars world-wide, taught on the series of Wolfson
Centre short courses and within the University Engineering programmes.
He won an array of awards for his work, most notably the IMechE prize
for Innovation in Bulk Materials Handling, in 2012.
He also made
major contributions to large numbers of plant development projects. His
work was embodied in the Drax Ecostore £200m project for coal-to-biomass
conversion, and he made a major contribution to the Lynemouth coal-to
biomass conversion as well as a myriad of less visible projects.
Rob first came to our attention when as an undergraduate project
student in our labs, he managed to initiate a pipeline blow-out covering
the whole facility in plastic pellets! From this inauspicious start, we
saw Rob grow over 3 decades with us, to be a dominant member of our
profession. His legacy of technological advancement will live on long
after his passing, in many plant design and troubleshooting projects
that are yet to be conceived, and also in the skills of his ex-PhD
students now working in the field.
In his private life, his passion for vintage cars and making
working models took up his time, when he wasn’t spending it with his
wife and children.
Rob was a much loved, as well as highly respected,
member of the Wolfson ‘family’ and will be greatly missed by us all.
Prepared by Prof. Mike Bradley,
The Wolfson Centre for Bulk
Solids Handling Technology,
The University of Greenwich.
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