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Professor John Anderson

10 April 2012

Professor John Anderson

The death has been announced of distinguished biomedical engineer Professor John Anderson, former Head of the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University.

Professor Anderson, 69, was a pivotal figure in the growth of bioengineering at the University’s Jordanstown campus.

A native of Belfast, Professor Andersonwas also co-founder, a director and the chief technology officer of HeartSine Technologies Inc. and Intelesens Ltd.

He formed the Northern Ireland Bio-Engineering Centre (NIBEC) and was its first director. and was also the Head of the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ulster. He served as Head of Bioengineering at the Royal Victoria Hospital, when the world’s first mobile coronary care unit was launched in 1967.

Later, Professor Anderson was responsible for the development of the world’s first portable defibrillator designed for use outside of the hospital, and which was subsequently manufactured and sold throughout the world. He was also responsible for developing the technology used in many defibrillators, including semi-automatic and telephone-controlled devices, being marketed today.

His publication record reflects his intense interest in sudden cardiac death, with particular reference to the early and rapid treatment of cardiac arrest.

In 2002 Professor Anderson was awarded a UK Business Fellowship, one of only twelve in the UK. During his working career. He was responsible for ten start-up companies in the field of medical engineering.

Professor Anderson held an M. Phil. and D. Phil. in Bioengineering and was granted a Personal Chair in Medical Electronics in 1990. In 1994 he was made a founding Fellow of the Biological Engineering Society.

John was a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He published over 300 papers in the field of bioengineering research and holds 40 patents in the field.

Professor Jim McLaughlin, a close colleague and friend, said: “We are all saddened by this tragic news.John was admired and respected by all who knew him, whether professionally or personally, and the University, Intelesens and Heartsine have been privileged to have worked with a true pioneer in the area of medical devices.

“His strong leadership and boundless energy in the service of the University, the local economy and entrepreneurship in general were an example to us all”.

“Professor John Anderson was an inspiring man, full of good humour and a great inspiration to young staff, as well as students and his charisma will be greatly missed.”

Professor Hugh McKenna, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, said: "The University is very saddened by the news of Professor Anderson's death.

"As the founder and Chief Technology Officer of HeartSine Technologies and Intelesens, a manufacturer of world leading body-worn vital signs monitoring devices, John exemplified all that was good about the ability of universities to transfer the scientific knowledge they amass for the benefit of society.

"He also made a huge contribution to NIBEC's high standing in the international research community. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. He will be sorely missed by all of us in the University."

The funeral service for Professor Anderson will be held in Roselawn Crematorium on Thursday 12th of April at 9.30am.

NOTE: House strictly private, no flowers and donations if desired to Diabetes UK (Youth Section)