Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Alexander (Lex) Gilmour, BSc, MSc, PhD (died 13 March 2006)

(Obituary - Henley Standard)

A resident of Henley with his family since 1980, Alexander Gilmour was born in County Antrim in 1930.  Encouraged by his parents to pursue his flair for learning, he attended Queen's University, and this resulted in the award of degrees of BSc, MSc and PhD in Chemistry.  After leaving Queen's in 1956, an initial posting at Short Bros. provided him with an opportunity to develop technology that is now ubiquitous in black box flight recorders.

During this employment Lex met his much loved future wife Miriam.  A move to  the British Oxygen Corporation in 1961 led to a subsequent transfer to the Perival offices in Middlesex in 1962.  This was the same year that Lex and Miriam married and set up their first family home in Kew Gardens, Surrey.

In 1966, his appointment to European engineering manager at the rapidly expanding manufacturers of Duracell batteries, Mallory Batteries Incorporated, enabled Lex to maximise his highly creative capacity for inventive work.  During his 15 years at this group, his pre-eminent work on heart pacemaker cells, Concorde flight deck systems and electrical power equipment for Apollo space-craft modules were amongst some of his achievements.  His most easily recognised invention was developed in the early 1970s with his design of the rectangular shaped 9 Volt 'PP3' battery which is still widely used.

In 1980 he moved to British Ever Ready Electric Company (BEREC).  When Hanson Trust bought BEREC, Lex was part of a consortium of four individuals who led a management byout of the Oxfordshire operation that was subsequently re-named Venture Technology Ltd.  When this was bought by Dowty Aerospace in 1987, Lex set up his own battery consultancy called Lexcel Technology Ltd, which he ran successfully for 19 years.

Lex's interest outside work were gardening, DIY and overseas travelling.  Above all, he was immensely devoted to his much loved family.  He is greatly missed by Miriam and his three children Susan, Debbie and Robin.



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