It is with great sadness that we share the news that our colleague, Simon Clark passed away suddenly last week.
Simon was a Senior Lecturer in Astronomy within the School of Physical Sciences, having originally joined the OU in 2005. He had previously worked as a researcher at University College London and the University of Sussex having obtained his PhD from Southampton University.
Simon’s research concerned the lifecycles of massive stars, in which he was a world leader. He had a prodigious publication record and brought in significant research funding to the OU over recent years. In addition, he also made many important contributions to OU teaching material, most recently authoring the “Why does the Sun shine?” topic for S111 (Questions in Science) and co-authoring two topics on stellar birth & life, evolution & death for S284 (Astronomy). He was about to start work writing for the new module S384 (Astrophysics of stars and exoplanets) which will replace S382 (Astrophysics) for which Simon has been the presentation chair for several years.
His colleagues in the Astronomy discipline and the wider School of Physical Sciences will sorely miss Simon's warm personality, helpfulness, vast expertise in astronomy and his dedication to the research and teaching of astrophysics. Sally Jordan, Head of School, has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of grief within the School and the wider Faculty and Astrophysics community. Many have spoken of Simon’s kindness to them through the difficult times of the past year.
Simon leaves behind a wife, Laura, and two young children. We pass on our heartfelt sympathy to Simon’s family at this difficult time and would also like to extend support and well wishes to those of you who worked closely with him and will no doubt be greatly affected by his sudden passing.