Development & Alumni Relations Office 

David George Walmsley (died 30 September 2017, aged 79)

David George Walmsley was born on February 3, 1938 in Newtownstewart, County Tyrone, the son of Robert Gwynne and Elizabeth (née Johnston) Walmsley. One of four children, George was brother to Norman, Betty (Doonan) and Lorna (Farley).

A BSc Physics graduate of Queen’s University (1960), he also earned a Doctor of Science (DSc) from Queen's in 1980. He also attended McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada where he earned an MSc in 1962, a PhD in 1965 and where he was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow in 1966. He served as President of McMaster University Graduate Students Association in 1962-63.

Married to Margaret Heather Edmonstone on December 3, 1965, the couple went on to have two sons – John Gwynne (married to Tracy) and David James Walmsley (married to Jennifer) and four grandchildren – Sam and Ben (who live in Victoria, Canada) and Jack and Luke (in Toronto).

George Walmsley had a distinguished academic career during which he published over 130 publications. He was Science Officer at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell, England from 1966-67 and Senior Science Officer England from 1967-70.

Returning to Northern Ireland, George worked at the New University Ulster (now Ulster University) in Coleraine for eighteen years, first as a physics lecturer (1970-74), then as Senior Lecturer, (1974-79), Reader, (1979-84) and Professor (1984-88).

Moving to Queen’s University, he held a Chair in Physics and was Director of the School of Mathematics and Physics from 1998-2003. He went on to serve as Dean of Science and Agriculture at Queen’s and became an Emeritus Professor in 2003.

A visiting professor at Iowa State University, at the University of Paris (1983) and the Autonomous University of Madrid (1986), his research interests were in the physics of solids, superconductivity and the electron tunnel effect.

A member of the Surfaces and Interfaces committee of the Science and Engineering Research Council, London (1985-88), George Walmsley was a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society, a member of the Canada Association of Physics and was elected a member of The Royal Irish Academy in 1988.

A regular donor to Queen’s University, George was a member of the Queen’s Graduates’ Association (QGA) and attended many events (including the Charter Day Dinner) over the years. When he wasn’t pursuing academic or family interests, George loved cricket, track and field athletics and tennis.

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