Reginald C. G. Killean (1934-1995)

J. Appl. Cryst. (1996). 29, 509-510

Dr R. C. G. Killean, Senior Lecturer in Physics at the University of St Andrews, died in Edinburgh on 26 September 1995 after a short illness. Apart from one year in school teaching, Reg spent his entire post-school life at the University of St Andrews, as an undergraduate, an assistant lecturer at Queens College, Dundee (then a college of St Andrews, now Dundee University) and, from 1963, as ICI research fellow, lecturer and senior lecturer.

His first work on X-ray diffraction was with small organic molecules. In the late sixties, he was responsible for setting up in St Andrews one of the first computer-controlled diffractometers and the accuracy obtained from this instrument enabled him to develop accuracy studies and useful weighting schemes for diffractometer data. These studies were based on his formidable mathematical abilities. Further interests were developed in polarization studies, anharmonic studies in metals and instrumentation.

Latterly, his interests moved to digital electronics and he built up at St Andrews a small but active unit engaged in the design of digital communication devices. He also worked with advanced electronics companies in Glenrothes and set up his own small company. At the same time, he was more than willing to share his electronic and computing expertise with his colleagues at St Andrews.

Reg was a man of independent thought and action. He committed himself completely to the task at hand, whether at work or in his varied pastimes, of which climbing Munros was the one that gave him most pleasure. Many students have reason to be grateful for the high standards he set himself as a teacher and the staff and students, past and present, have been much saddened by his untimely death.

J. L. Lawrence