Following a spell working at ICI Tees-side Jeff studied Chemistry at Aberdeen University, graduating from there with a degree in Chemistry in 1967. He completed a year of uncertificated teaching with Aberdeenshire before teacher training at Aberdeen College of Education. He graduated in 1969 and took up a post at Aberdeen Grammar School in the chemistry department. In 1971 he was appointed Head of Science at Saint Aelred's School in Paisley, making him one of the youngest Principal teachers in the country. Two years later he was appointed as Head of Chemistry at Buckie High School. He was to remain here for the next 36 years.
During this time his proudest achievement was that six of his 6th year students discovered new compounds. Their success was recorded on a special awards board supplied by Jeff. Several pupils were encouraged in their studies by the ambition to have their names added to the board. His colleagues acknowledge that it was Jeff's enthusiasm for chemistry and his motivational skills that encouraged his pupils to take on challenging project work. Among the successes achieved by his pupils were :
*the discovery of a new dye
*an investigation into varying the ligands in a platinum complex which produced two original platinum amine complexes similar to compounds used in chemotherapy
*original synthesis of nickel cadmium thiocyanate and zinc cadmium thiocyanate complexes
*an investigation into varying the terminal function of liquid crystal molecules led to two previously unknown liquid crystals
*the first reported synthesis of stannane (p-nitrophenoxy)tricycohexyl a compound closely related to known fungicides
*the first reported synthesis of lead (IV) thiocyanate.
He used his networking skills at the various conferences he attended run by The British Association for the Advancement of Science and RSC Subject Group Conferences and university contacts to help him come up with the ideas for his pupils projects. His teaching colleagues have memories of brainstorming ideas both in advance of projects starting or when reactions did not work as hoped to help pupils to be able to be successful.
On secondments from his teaching role he prepared Quality Assurance packages _ accepted by SCOTVEC _ for all former Grampian schools.
He devised and was responsible for the implementation of a "Transfer Grade" concept to advise pupils on the most appropriate course of study following Standard Grade presentation.
For many years he was a marker for Standard Grade Chemistry exam papers and was an examiner for Sixth Year Study assignments in the Grampian area.
Jeff was also an Honorary Representative of the Royal Society of Chemistry as a Parliamentary adviser to Margaret Ewing M.P. and Alec Salmond M.P.. He was also a committee member of the Aberdeen and North of Scotland of the R.S.C. with special responsibility for press and communication.
Although not scientific in nature Jeff was very proud to have served as a Justice of the pace in Moray over a long period and was Chairperson of his local Community Association for 25 years.
He was also well known in the Buckie area as being the founder of Buckie Radio, which was staffed by pupils, a presenter on Moray Firth Radio, the local station for the Highlands and North-East. Both of these interests came from his time as a presenter on the pirate ship Radio 270.
Jeff retired in the summer of 2009 and enjoyed several years of world travel with his wife before his death in February 2019.
His family wish to thank Jeff's long standing teaching colleague Lindsay Knight for providing the details of project successes.