Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy


Dr David Brown, an influential figure in the design of postwar astronomical telescopes, died on July 17, 1987, after a short illness. He was 59. David Scatchered Brown was born on August 25 1927, and educated at Oldbury County High School and at Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences.

From 1950 until 1985 he worked with the firm of Sir Howard Grubb Parsons, at Newcastle. He was appointed optical manager in 1961 and technical director in 1975. This period was one of great note in British telescope construction. British astronomers - and, indeed, astronomers in general - are now reaping the rewards of the efforts of those years. Brown's team at Grubb Parsons was responsible for a whole succession of telescopes, many of which were for foreign astronomers.

Brown's contributions to astronomy earned him an honourary doctorate from Durham University in 1981. When Grubb Parsons closed in 1985, he was made the Science and Engineering Research Council Grubb Parsons Fellow at Durham where a flourishing astronomical group has emerged during the last decade.There he was involved in feasibility studies for new wide-field telescopes and in active optics systems for combatting the limiting effects of the earth's atmosphere on imaging by large telescopes.