Professor Peter Excell
Professor Emeritus, Wrexham Glyndŵr University
The following obituary has been written by Professor Nigel John:
Emeritus Professor Peter Excell has passed away following his battle with cancer. Peter had only recently been elected as a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and was looking forward to making a significant contribution to the Society. His Fellowship followed the award of a Higher Doctorate from the University of Chester in March 2020 and in his own words: “Election as a Fellow is an immense honour, but, as with my recent award of a higher doctorate, I have to thank the wonderful teams that I have worked with over the years.”
Peter graduated from Reading University with a degree in Engineering Science before going on to complete a PhD at the University of Bradford in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1980. He became a Lecturer followed by Senior Lecturer and Reader at Bradford, and was promoted to Professor of Applied Electromagnetics in 1999. In 2007 he moved to Glyndŵr University as Head of the School of Computing and Communications, and subsequently Dean and Deputy Vice Chancellor.
His main area of research has been the computer simulation of parts of telecommunications systems and lies at the interface between engineering and computing. He was very successful in achieving external funding to support this research and was able to provide training for a significant number of Post-doctoral Research Assistants and research students. A significant achievement was his development of a hybrid method, linking integral and differential equation models, that enabled the accurate modelling of a phone and the human head. His work benefitted from international collaboration and he had strong research links with groups in the USA, Russia, Hong Kong, Bahrain and Iran.
He acted as consultant to a number of major oil companies, providing assessments of radio frequency hazards to flammable mixtures and explosive devices. For IBM (UK) Ltd, he provided advice in the general area of electromagnetic compatibility. More recently, his advice was sought on the safety of mobile telephone systems.
He became an Emeritus Professor at Glyndŵr in 2015 but remained active in his research interests and a great ambassador for the University. He was also an Honorary Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics at the University of Bradford.
Peter was raised in England but came from Welsh lineage. He was a regular participant in Welsh cultural activities including Plygeiniau in Mid-Wales, and was the chairman of Cymdeithas Dewi Sant in Yorkshire. He is survived by his wife, Dianne, and children Matthew and Charlotte.