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Harper Adams Engineering Lecturer Retires After 23 Years

Posted 19 July 2004

Harper Adams University College has bid a fond farewell to one of its long-serving members of staff.

Geoffrey Wakeham, principal engineering lecturer, retired on July 16 after 23 years teaching at the Shropshire university college.

Geoffrey, 65, from Edgmond, was appointed as a lecturer in electronics and agricultural engineering in April 1981. He became a course manager eight years later, taking on responsibility for further courses until he was promoted to principal lecturer in February 2000.

(L-R) Principal Wynne Jones, Ann Wakeham, Geoff Wakeham,   Jim Loynes
(L-R) Principal Wynne Jones, Ann Wakeham, Geoff Wakeham, Jim Loynes .
Geoffrey thanked more than 100 colleagues, former students, industrial contacts and friends who gathered at Harper Adams on July 16 to give him a resounding send-off.

He said: “Thank you for the last 23 years. I’ve had an enormous amount of excitement, enjoyment, zest and glee. It is fantastic to have been part of this. I have a great sense of achievement when I drive down the motorway and feel proud to see the machines helping to build the nation, to feed it, and even in a small part defend it through the graduates I have helped mould into first class engineers.”

Geoffrey also paid tribute to his colleagues. “I would also like to thank the people who have been so helpful in making engineering so successful at Harper Adams University College. They are aspirational for their students and this is what Harper Adams is about, and why companies such as Caterpillar and JCB want to work with us, because they think our students are really something special.”

Jim Loynes, head of the Engineering Department, added: “I would like to thank Geoff for all he has done for the department and his single-minded approach to the education and welfare of our students. His determination to get the best out of students and to do the best for them and their future careers is admirable. He has done an excellent job and will be a very tough act to follow.”

Jim also read out a letter from former students, one of the many marking the lecturer’s retirement, which read: “Mr Wakeham is one of the strongest characters at Harper Adams and a brilliant ambassador for the college.”

Geoffrey will be enjoying his retirement with wife, Ann, and plans to visit one of their two daughters, Susan, in New Zealand. The couple also have a son.

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