Greg Doughty made several major contributions to many areas of materials technology, not only in the UK but elsewhere in the world and, possibly in the future, even in outer space.
Greg was born in London in 1963, but his family moved to Truro, in Cornwall that same year. After completing his schooling at Truro School, he went to the University of Leeds in Yorkshire, where he graduated in Materials Science and Engineering, followed by Ph.D in the same discipline.
His first job was in Nova Scotia, where he worked on ceramic sensors combining interesting science with practical applications. In 1991 he returned to the University of Leeds where he worked in the Wolfson advanced Ceramics Unit solving industrial problems before moving 100 yards to undertake research on methods of adding sodium to molten metals, in particular, molten aluminium in the Department of Mining and Mineral Engineering. This was a project which involved interacting with scientists and engineers from all over Europe at which Greg excelled. The research group transferred to the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge in 1996 where the work was successfully concluded.
In 1997, he joined Welding Alloys Ltd where he was in charge of product development which entailed creating a cored wire feeder in Baotou in the autonomous Chinese region of Inner Mongolia.
Returning to the UK, he joined British Titanium plc, a start- up company from the University of Cambridge, developing the FFC Cambridge Process for the extraction of titanium which entailed building furnaces that worked at the 10kg scale. At this time, NASA was very interested in extracting oxygen from rocks on the moon and British Titanium plc won a contract to apply the FFC Cambridge Process to develop concepts for extra-terrestrial operation. As well as the scientific problems, the administration was a nightmare as NASA was not used to dealing with companies with only three staff. Greg dealt with this situation admirably as well as developing reactors that could function on the moon with engineers from NASA, University of Florida, Kennedy Space Center, Timet Inc., the US titanium company. At the end of the first year, NASA's view was that the project had exceeded expectations and had performed outstanding well, all due to the efforts of Greg. Even today, the European Space Agency is still interested in the technology and it is featured in science fiction book, Artemis by Andy Weir which is about to be turned into a film by Twentieth Century Fox so soon you will be able to see Greg's work at your local cinema!! He also worked with Norsk Hydro developing the FFC Cambridge technology.
Greg was then employed for two small companies, Transition International Ltd, a ferrotitanium producer and Inertius Ltd developing inert anodes with the Light Metals Research Centre, Auckland University, New Zealand.
His last position was at Metalysis Ltd which he joined in 2010 and where he had a very major impact on the development of the FFC Cambridge Process for titanium and tantalum powders and alloys that are not readily made by any other process. He played a very significant part in the success of the company and rose to the position of Principal Scientist before retiring.
As well as contributing his considerable skills in science and technology, he was a great pleasure to work with as he was always calm, patient, honest, and extremely polite with an amazing ability to engage with people, irrespective of their position in life or nationality. He is considerable loss to the scientific community but his exceptional legacy will continue to endure into the future.
With thanks to Professor Derek Fray for the above words.
From his family, Greg leaves a brother and 2 sisters, as well as 7 nephews and nieces. He made the most of his spare time, diving around the world, visiting his sister in the Falkland Islands, travelling to visit friends in other far flung locations, and more recently spending time in Oman, where he had hoped to take up a position at the University of Niswa.
Unfortunately Greg became ill and was diagnosed with a tumour on the kidney earlier in the year. The kidney was successfully removed, but sadly he suffered a heart attack 2 days later and despite the best efforts of the ICU staff in Sheffield, he didn't recover.