Belfast Telegraph

Top professor with Queen's remembered after passing

 

By Alf McCreary

A Queen's University lecturer in high-frequency electronics has paid tribute to his former mentor and head of department, Professor Carson Stewart, who died on December 30 in Belfast City Hospital.

Professor Stewart was a former head of the School of Electronic Engineering at Queen's, and his international status was confirmed by being made a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE)

He headed up a research group at Queen's whose work helped to pave the way for components which were later used for mobile phones, vehicle anti-collision radar, airport passenger security, and other devices.

Dr Neil Buchanan, a lecturer in high frequency electronics, was the last student supervised for a PhD by Professor Stewart before his retirement.

Dr Buchanan told the Belfast Telegraph last night: "Professor Stewart was a brilliant teacher who inspired and motivated all his students.

"He was very approachable, which was somewhat unusual in the academic atmosphere of the early Nineties. I began my career at Queen's as a undergraduate in 1990, and after a couple of week's lectures, I approached Professor Stewart and told him that I could not understand the theory of Complex Numbers. He spent half-an-hour talking to me, and as a result, I have fully understood that subject ever since."

Dr Buchanan worked for a year in industry after he graduated from Queen's, but he decided to study for a PhD.

"I saw Professor Stewart again, and although he had no funding at that time, he took me on as a PhD student. However, within three months, he had sorted out the funding for me," he said.

"He was a great PhD supervisor, he left me alone to get on with it, but if I had any problems, he was always there for me, and I knew I would be able to contact him without any trouble. He was most distinguished in his field, and well-known to his fellow experts, nationally and internationally and also a great 'people person' and I owe him a great deal.

"I am in my job today at Queen's because he gave me such a good head start."

Professor Stewart is survived by his wife, Carole, his children, Nial, Melanie and Tara, his grandchildren, Peter, Cathy, Niamh, Robyn, Rory and Finn, and the wider family, and friends.

There will be a Thanksgiving Service for the life of Professor Stewart tomorrow at Knockbreda Parish Church, Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph

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