Dennis Martin, BTECH Mechanical Engineering 1971
Student Union President, 1971, and Lifelong University Patron
In December 2015 the University lost a dear graduate, friend and associate. Dennis Martin sadly lost his battle with mantle cell lymphoma. At his funeral, Dennis’ wife, Margaret, gave the eulogy and reminded us, “Den wanted a party not a wake!” and I was reminded of what an exciting and amazing life he had and the times he had shared with the University when I caught up with past friends of his who he studied with.
Born in London, Dennis was always his own man, right from his teenage days. Dennis joined the University of Bradford in 1968 where he studied a BTech in Mechanical Engineering course in the School of Engineering, Design and Technology. During his studies, he lived a parallel life as President of the University’s Students’ Union in 1971. It was during this time that Dennis’ strong connections with the university and his commitment to it began. Both were to continue for the rest of his life. He always fought for the underdog and in his early student days he found plenty of causes to support. While he was studying the University Vice-Chancellor was “Red Ted” [Dr Edwards] and together Dennis and Red Ted did plenty to put the world to rights, focussing for example on Nelson Mandela or the Vietnam War. Society was changing and students were changing the world.
After graduating Dennis' career started as an Innovation & Technology Manager with Barnsley Business & Innovation Centre. He never ended his relationship with Bradford and continued his active involvement with the University as a Chairman of the Alumni Association, a member of the Governing Council of the University and as a member of the Professional Advisory Board of the School of Engineering and Informatics. We're proud and honoured that until recently Dennis was still a member of the Alumni Association Executive Committee and a representative on the University Court.
Dennis’ active involvement as both student and graduate speaks volumes for his enthusiasm and passion for the University of Bradford. His ability to crush complacency was masterly and unmatched. It was always done with the belief that people can change for the better. Most of all Dennis was a loving and sensitive husband and father and his family was always the main focus of his life – followed closely with his passion for his alma mater, the University of Bradford.
Dennis was, simply, a good bloke. He had “no side” and always looked out for his “fellow man”. He was tirelessly devoted to any cause he espoused.
We shall miss him.
Submitted by Dr Jim Brooks DSc, Chair of the Alumni Association - February 2016