Distinguished Research Professor - Kenneth Walters
Born and bred in Swansea, Kenneth was a pupil at a local (Dynevor) Grammar School. At Swansea University, he obtained a 1st class degree in Applied Mathematics in 1956, an M.Sc. degree in 1957 for research into Atmospheric Diffusion, and a Ph.D. degree in 1959 for research into Rheology. In 1993, Kenneth was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Swansea University.
“Following my postgraduate research work, I spent a year researching and lecturing in the USA. I returned to Wales with an appointment at Aberystwyth University. There I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1965, Reader in 1970 and Professor in 1973. I am currently a ‘Distinguished Research Professor’.”
I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1991, and, in 1995, I was elected a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering. I was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France, in 1998, by Strathclyde University, Glasgow, in 2011, and by Aberystwyth University in 2016.
During his six years at Swansea University, Kenneth was a regular member of the college Cricket team and captained the side in 1957. In 1961, Kenneth began dating an Aberystwyth student (Mary Eccles) who had been Student ‘Rag Queen’ before they met. They were married in 1963, later having three children and seven grandchildren.
Since leaving University, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1991, and, in 1995, was elected a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering.
“I was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France, in 1998, by Strathclyde University, Glasgow, in 2011, and by Aberystwyth University in 2016. In 2009, I accepted an invitation to become a Founding Member of the Learned Society of Wales and, between 2000 and 2004, I was a Member of the Science Advisory Council for Wales (SACW).”
“Between 1974 and 1975, I was President of the British Society of Rheology and received a Gold Medal from the Society in 1984. From 1996 to 2000, I was Chairman of the International Committee on Rheology. In 2002, I received the Weissenberg Award from the European Society of Rheology.”
The defining moment of studying at Swansea?
“Having the benefit of a world-renowned Ph.D. Research Supervisor (Professor J.G.Oldroyd)”
Continuing contact with Swansea University.
“In 1991, a group of scientists, mainly from Welsh Universities, formed a very successful international research group called the Institute of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics (INNFM). Subsequent years have seen a series of meetings and conferences and these have involved many meetings in Swansea, where I often re-live my former days!"