UCL News


Craig Patterson: Tribute

16 September 2008

Craig Patterson, who had recently been appointed UCL Director of Grand Challenges, died in Australia on 15 September 2008.

Craig Patterson


The many members of the UCL community who had met him will have been struck by his energy, enthusiasm and pragmatic idealism.

Working with Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), Craig was set to lead the development and roll-out of the UCL Grand Challenges, those areas in which UCL will apply its cross-disciplinary expertise to address the major problems facing the world: initially global health, sustainable cities, intercultural interaction and human wellbeing.

Craig did not underestimate the challenge of encouraging and enabling genuinely interdisciplinary research, education and outreach. He was conscious of the many structural impediments to such work, and was committed to overcoming them.

Yet he was not one to waste his time on aspirational pipe dreams: in the relatively short period he was at UCL, he became convinced of our university's potential, describing it as one of the few places equipped with the intellectual capital to make a profound difference to the world.

He believed the UCL community could be drawn together, that our expertise could be focused, that together we could improve the world; that only by working together could we improve the world.

He was passionate, curious, self-deprecating, ambitious, impatient and inspiring, and will be sorely missed by colleagues and friends.