UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Tribute to Sam King

22 February 2023

UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) is sad to announce the death of Sam King on 11 February 2023.

Sam King

Sam had been an integral part of the STEaPP community since the Department’s inception in 2013 and became an equally vital part of the PETRAS family when she was appointed to the role of Research Programme Co-ordinator a few years ago. 

To her colleagues and her friends, Sam was everything you could wish for; perpetually supportive and encouraging, and fiercely loyal. Whatever the issue or the problem, or whether to just make some time for someone who needed it, Sam was there; always ready to listen, to support, and to go for a quiet (or, occasionally, a not-so-quiet) chat. 

It was never quite certain where a conversation with Sam would eventually end up, but as a friend she was always prepared to respond to a problem or situation with a constructive comment or a practical solution. Such moments with Sam would involve a genuinely sympathetic and supportive chat but could also result in being the unexpected recipient of her very direct, but always caringly given, words of advice. Being on the receiving end of one of Sam’s well-placed verbal shoves in the right direction was a rite of passage for most of her friends and colleagues, however senior, at some time or another. 

Regardless of how it was delivered, such moments with Sam always included her wry and self-deprecating wit, her acute (and occasionally quite vicious) sense of humour and an extremely well-developed sense of fun, which was infectious. Ultimately, time with Sam was always very interesting, but also meant being with someone who was always tremendously kind, who truly and deeply cared for her friends, colleagues, and the people in the communities around her. 

This commitment to those around her was also expressed in other ways. Following a period of jury duty, Sam was inspired to apply to train as a Magistrate, and her friends and her colleagues were all immensely proud of her when she successfully completed the training and began working in that capacity in earnest. Sam also spoke often of her family at work, and of how proud she was of them and their achievements. 

In these things, Sam showed just how dedicated and determined she was, and how much she believed in the people around her, and her family. In this way, she was truly inspirational. Sam dearly loved those around her, and we loved her in turn.  

Walking into the office and seeing Sam was always the sign of a good day ahead; she shaped STEaPP and will be sorely missed.  

Some of Sam's colleagues shared their thoughts and tributes to Sam, to be shared with Sam's family.