UCL News


Obituary: Martin Skidmore

5 August 2011

Tim Purkiss, Training & Support Officer in Management Systems (UCL Information Services Division), pays tribute to his colleague Martin Skidmore.


"Martin Skidmore, who has died aged 52 after an all-too-brief fight with cancer, worked in the Information Systems Division (ISD) for 12 years as an analyst programmer, actively involved in developing some of the IT systems that have underpinned administrative functions at UCL. Professionally, he was noted for clarity of his analysis and the enthusiasm with which he embraced new ideas.

Before changing careers and joining UCL, Martin had been a major figure in British comic book scene, leaving a lasting impression that can be attested by the number of tributes found by a search of Google or Twitter. Colleagues will remember him for his encyclopaedic knowledge of a broad range of topics, from sport, through music, film
and TV, to the intricacies of Japanese art and culture. These were all subjects about which he could converse with authority and humour.

Martin was a keen online reviewer and blogger and continued to post honest and moving updates on his state of health - as well as what he'd being reading or listening to - up until a few days before his death. Even though many of his colleagues were aware of the nature of his condition, the speed and aggression with which it spread was nonetheless a shock. Once a familiar figure to be found in his headphones, smoking a cigarette outside Torrington Place, his presence in ISD, and at UCL, will be much missed."