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In Fond Memory of A Highly-Respected Colleague

Professor Christopher J Todd, Ph.D, MA, FIET (1941-2009)
In Fond Memory of A Highly-Respected Colleague

Prof. Chris Todd

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Professor Chris Todd, Emeritus Professor of Network Science in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at UCL on Friday 5th June 2009.

Chris earned an MA from the University of Cambridge, UK in Natural Sciences and a PhD from Cornell University, USA in Applied Physics. He spent the first 25 years of his career in UK industry, first in the semiconductor industry and then the larger part in British Telecom. In BT, Chris rose to be Division Manager of the Optical Research Division (1985-1991) and, during this period of path finding optical communications research in the 1980’s, his Division produced 600 research papers and several hundred patents. While in BT, Chris was responsible for the technical strategy of a ‘green field’ joint venture in optoelectronics between BT and the Dupont Co. in Ipswich.

In 1991 Chris was appointed to the BT Chair of Network Science established in the UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. He founded a research group in Networks and Services to exploit the advances in technologies to meet customers’ communication needs and was responsible for more than £3m in research funds in the group from the EU and from industry. For 15 years he was Director of the BTMSc, a unique programme in the UK, focusing on professional development to meet the challenges of the 21st Century in the area of ICT and Services. The programme progressed and graduated more than 500 MSc students, including a number at centres in India and Malaysia, an initiative which Chris spearheaded. From 2001 until 2006 he was head of what is now the Communications and Information Systems Group.

Between 1991 and his formal retirement in 2006, Chris served as External Examiner in a number of universities in the UK and overseas, Chaired EU and Conference Committees, served on Editorial Boards and on several UCL managing committees. Although gaining Emeritus status in 2006, Chris was still highly active, serving as deputy director of the BTMSc and as a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Management Science and Innovation. He was working on exam marking and other UCL duties until just before his admission to hospital a week before his death.

He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by friends, colleagues and students.

We are planning to hold an informal memorial service for Professor Chris Todd to celebrate his life and raise a glass to a dear friend and colleague. This will be held on Friday 26th June 2009 from 4pm. Details regarding venue etc. are yet to be confirmed, but if you would like to attend, please email Vicky Coombes on