Alan Stevens (1925-2008)
Senior Lecturer at the then University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology
Alan was born in Wolverhampton in 1925, and at 8 years old contracted polio which affected his spine and resulted in his severe disability. Nevertheless, at Nottingham University he achieved his degree in electrical engineering at the age of 19. He was unable to join the armed forces during the war, but went to work in communications at Biggin Hill, where he was involved with capturing German signals that were decoded by the Enigma project.
With a post-war MSc he came in 1957 with his wife Adel to a Lectureship in the then Welsh College of Advanced Technology in Cardiff (later UWIST), and will be remembered by many generations of students in electrical power engineering.
Alan wrote a text book and numerous papers on Electrical Engineering, but was also active in geology, industrial archaeology, canals, railways, caving and other areas. He was a member of numerous organisations including the Geological Association, the South East Wales Industrial Archaeology Society and the Cave Registry Group and regularly lectured on these topics. As a champion of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, he was in turn Secretary and Chairperson of the South Wales Group.
His enthusiasm for all this spilled over into his family life. He was keen to encourage his children Jill and John and his grandchildren to share his interests and bring historical subjects alive. Alan wrote a Towpath Guide on the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal, an interest shared with his son who helped him with the research for the book. Alan retired in 1980 due to increasing physical problems, but continued to pursue his interests along with his great love of classical music, and continued to stretch his inquisitive mind by reading extensively until his death in November 2008.