Death Notices & Obituaries

Dr. Margaret May Curtis

CURTIS Dr. Margaret May Born an only child in Norwich in 1942, a voracious reader from an early age, her brilliant mind and photographic memory took her to Queen Mary College, London to study theoretical physics. At a time when women were seldom seriously considered for positions in scientific academia, she defied convention and expectation by attaining one of the best, first class honours, degrees in the University of London. In 1963, her groundbreaking work in early computer modelling brought her to the attention of many and after attaining her PhD she was invited by Professor Sir Rudolf Peierls, Britain's most eminent Physicist and grandfather of the atom bomb, to join his group at Oxford University. Despite a bright future in solid state physics, her true love lay in the new frontier of computer science. This led her to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory where she continued her trailblazing work as a woman in science. From working with the first Cray super computers, through the early days of the internet, to the Diamond Light Source synchrotron, her career at RAL spanned more than 30 years and a quantum leap in computer science. She will be remembered by those who worked with her as an insightful and caring manager as well as a brilliant computer analyst. The world of women in Science was substantially nourished by her example. If you were to meet her you might never have known that she was always the smartest person in the room, the only thing that exceeded her intelligence was her kind, humble and loving heart. With never a bad word for anyone and always quick to laugh, she will live in the hearts of those who knew her as a shining example of how to be a brilliant scientist, a loving and devoted wife, a patient and inspiring mother and good and kind human being. She will be greatly missed but proudly remembered forever. A private family service will take place followed by a Memorial Service in mid-2022. All enquiries c/o J Godfrey & Son Funeral Services, tel: 01367 718998.

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