Peter Campbell, a founding partner of Campbell Reith & Partners, the firm which has grown into CampbellReith today, has died after a long illness.
Campbell, an academic and inspirational engineer, was also a former chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers from 1991-92 and played a key and instrumental role in establishing RedR UK, which provides training and technical support to NGOs, aid workers and communities responding to natural and man-made disasters all over the world to this day.
As one of the greats of structural engineering, Campbell leaves a lasting legacy of CampbellReith as a practice and a significant impact on the engineering industry as a whole – one of education, ambition, innovation, and exploration and making a difference in the world.
Educated at Purley Grammar School in the early days and then on to Brixton School of Building and the Imperial College of Science and Technology, Campbell’s career began with Ove Arup & Partners in 1951. In 1960, he formed Campbell Reith & Partners together with Ian Reith. An active senior partner of CampbellReith until his retirement in 1992, Campbell achieved many accolades both internationally and in the UK during his working life.
Campbell also had strong professional links to the island of Mauritius. In the mid-1960s he was responsible for delivering a new council chamber which had to be completed by 1968 in time for their independence celebrations. This achievement was followed by a new 546-bed district general hospital and a new government centre in the late 1960s. In the early 1970s he secured a commission from the World Bank for the design of 22, 1,000-pupil comprehensive schools in Trinidad and the Teacher Training College on the island of Tobago.
Closer to home, Campbell was closely involved with the major refurbishment of the Japanese Embassy on London’s Piccadilly in the early 1980s and with the redevelopment of The Oval’s west stand in the mid-1980s. Ahead of his time, in 1981, Peter invented an innovative new cladding system and established the museum of concrete at the Chalk Pits Museum at Amberley, West Sussex.
As a key thought leader for the industry, Campbell taught the theory of structures at Regent Street Polytechnic in London from 1962-1968. He also had a close association with the Institution of Structural Engineers throughout his working life and developed the close links between the institution and CampbellReith which continue to this day. He was elected a member of the council in 1979 and was president from 1988-1989.
Peter Campbell FREng, FIStructE, FICE, FIMarE, FIHT, FIDE, MASCE
January, 1932 – 1 May 2021.