John Henry Leck

Liverpool University, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom 
"John Leck"

John Henry Leck, widely known as Harry Leck, was born in Backbarrow in the Lake District of England in 1925. His tertiary studies were undertaken at Liverpool University where he was awarded a degree in Electric Power Engineering in 1946. However, because of the war, these were difficult times in which to be studying: the three-year course was delivered in just over two years and students were obliged to spend two afternoons a week with a local military training corps. Nevertheless Harry obtained an excellent degree and, based on his results, was awarded the William Rathbone Medal. The next two years were spent as an apprentice at the Metropolitan Vickers Company after which he joined their full-time staff and worked in the Vacuum Physics Laboratory under Jack Blears. In 1950 he returned to Liverpool University as an Assistant Lecturer and progressed over the years through the positions of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor. Later he was the David Jardine Professor of Electrical Engineering and served three years as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. After retirement from full time work, he was made an Emeritus Professor. At a meeting in 1980, on the occasion of his retirement, the University Senate expressed its warm appreciation for his long and fruitful service. Harry will be remembered in the scientific community for his work in the field of vacuum physics, and particularly in pressure measurement. He wrote the well-known monograph “Pressure Measurement in Vacuum Systems” which ran to three editions. He served a term as Chair of the British Vacuum Council and continued to represent this organisation as Councillor and Alternate Councillor at meetings of the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications (IUVSTA) over many years. He was also Chair of the Vacuum Physics Group of the Institute of Physics. From 1989 to 1998 Harry was the Recording Secretary for the IUVSTA, which involved preparing the Minutes of meetings of the Executive Council and many other committees. He also took an active interest in IUVSTA affairs and was first Secretary then Chair of its Vacuum Science Division over the period 1986 to 1992. Later he served as Editor-in-Chief of their Visual Aids education programme from 1996 to 2001.
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