Product has been added to the basket

Julian Francis Pagella, 1939-2004

Julian was born in Somerset on September 12 1939, and died in Exeter on May 1 2004 after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. He graduated with a BA in geology from Trinity College Dublin in 1965. Julian had a huge sense of fun but was always meticulous and professional in what he did ' he followed his interests with great enthusiasm and dedication. There was no better man to be with in a tight spot.

Julian joined the British Antarctic Survey after graduating from TCD, and mapped in the then-unexplored Southern Palmer land; working with the dog teams was a joy to him (the December 2005 BAS Club newsletter contains some affectionate memories). Julian joined the Geological Survey of Zambia in 1965, where he was responsible for the initial discovery and evaluation of coal deposits in the Zambezi Valley. The transition from ice fields to the valley in the rainy season under canvas was handled with typical good humour, with swollen rivers and mud adding to the problems of drilling and shaft sinking. His work led to the opening of the strategically important Maamba colliery in 1968.

After qualifying as an engineering geologist in 1969 (DIC, Imperial College) and marrying Hetta, Julian embarked on a career building dams around the world. This involved settling in remote areas where he managed to combine work with family life, and made enduring friendships along the way. His first major job was a three-year assignment in northern Greece selecting dam sites on five major river systems. Then from 1973 to 1975 he supervised the construction of penstocks, tunnels and the underground powerhouse for the Mica Dam in British Columbia, completed in 1975. After joining the SNC Group in 1975, Julian supervised the building of 22 dams and 12 miles of tunnels at Wreck Cove on Cape Breton Island, where he was able to enjoy some sailing. Julian then spent five years in Nepal as adviser to the Ministry of Water Resources (1977-1982).

Returning to the UK, the family settled in Devon while Julian led a team that designed the Mae Chaem dam in Thailand. He then spent two years in India on the 160m-high gravity arch Chamera Hydro-Electric power station, which included the excavation of an underground powerhouse complex. Julian subsequently moved with the family to Tunisia in 1987 for two years, working on the design of the Barbara River diversion project, and also was on-site consultant for the El Hourab Dam.

From 1990 to 1997 Julian was Senior Resident Engineer for the construction of a network of large diameter water mains in Devon, with Babtie Shaw and Morton, latterly seconded to South West Water plc. In 1998 Julian was seconded to work as construction manager at Plymouth Dockyard (DML) where he oversaw seismic upgrading work on two dry docks and one berth for nuclear submarines, which involved some pioneering work with rock anchors. On this job as before, Julian's infectious convivial personality was the key to success, bridging the gap between designers and construction crew ' 'he was everybody's friend'. He is survived by his wife Hetta, sons Timothy and James, and three grandchildren (Laney, Ned and Amelie).

Brian Marten