Prof David Williams Wynn (1947)
Communiqué from the Office of the Executive Director Corporate Relations
OBITUARY: PROFESSOR DAVID WILLIAMS-WYNN
Emeritus Professor David Ernest Arthur Williams-Wynn, born 25 June 1930, joined the University of Natal in the then Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology as Professor of Applied Chemistry in January 1975. He retired in 1991, having served as Dean of the Faculty in 1980-1981 and Dean of the Faculty in Durban from 1989 to 1991. He died at his home in Westville on 9 May.
He obtained his PhD from Rhodes University and had a lengthy career in the paint industry and in leather research before joining the University of Natal. His appointment to the Department was the result of a decision to include Applied Chemistry as part of the undergraduate degree in Chemistry. He had been the Director of the South African Paint Research Institute, which had formal ties with the University, and when the Institute closed at the end of 1974, he was appointed as the first, and so far only, Professor of Applied Chemistry at the University. Applied Chemistry moved into the Institute's premises, which are still standing on the Howard College campus. Analytical Chemistry later moved in as well, and Professor Williams-Wynn was instrumental in getting the buildings improved and considerably enlarged.
He was extremely concerned with the excellence and relevance of teaching of Chemistry and worked hard to see that graduates were well equipped to deal with the real-world problems they would encounter in industry. During his time at the University, graduates in Pure and Applied Chemistry were very much in demand as employees.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Professor Williams-Wynn maintained active links with the chemical industry, serving for two terms as chairman of the Durban section of the SA Chemical Institute, and as a member of the Oil and Colour Chemists Association.
Our condolences go to his wife, Brenda, and their daughter Bridget and sons Christopher and Timothy.
Professor Williams-Wynn's funeral took place at 12:00 on Wednesday 12 May at St Agnes Church, 53 Abelia Road, Kloof.