Professor Graham J Bailey obituary

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Graham J Bailey, Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics, based at the Hicks Building, has passed away on the 24th October 2023, aged 82.

Professor Graham J Bailey smiling at the camera

Dad graduated from Sheffield University in 1963, he then began his career as a Lecturer at Sheffield Polytechnic.

Dad was then rewarded with a lectureship in Numerical Analysis, Dad also harboured a deep passion for Physics and so combined the two disciplines to continue his research alongside his lecturing. His first published paper was ‘Bailey, Moffet and Rishbeth, Journal of Atmospheric Physics, 253 (1969), this was the first of 120 published papers.

The work for which Dad is perhaps best known is his contribution to what became known as “SUPIM’, an acronym for Sheffield University Plasmasphere - Ionosphere Model.  It was a model that was ahead of its time and that is still highly regarded and used today.

His research brought the opportunity to travel and work in the USA, India, Puerto Rico, China, Brazil, Poland & Finland, and many others, sometimes accompanied by Mum and ourselves as a family, Dad always loved to travel, experience and explore places and cultures. He then maintained and developed friendships with his many global work colleagues.

After Dad’s retirement and the sad loss of his beloved wife Dorothy, our mum, in February 2009, Dad took pride in and enjoyed his garden, his holidays, time spent with family, becoming active within the Alzheimers Society and as a Governor at R-Dash (Rotherham, Doncaster & South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, actively promoting the needs of Alzheimers patients. He then found a new new lease of life thanks to Rambling in the friendship of like minded people, a pastime that exposed him to the wilds of the British countryside.

Professor Graham J Bailey at this Doctorate graduation ceremony

Dad is survived by his children, Andrew, Karen, Elizabeth and his sister, Anita.

We have included some tributes from former Students and Colleagues:

Graham will always be remembered for his legacy in Science”

Pedrina Terra Dos Santos Ph.D

Research Professor, Florida Space Institute

Graham’s model - The Sheffield University Plasmaphere - Ionosphere Model (SUPIM), The model is still being used today. As was his way, Graham was incredibly modest and never really talked about his own work.  I think this led to him being much more respected in the USA, (where his work was, and still is viewed as ground breaking). Everyone I know in the US, who’s worked with Graham, speaks of him as a very smart Scientist, and a good guy. The fact he worked with Scientists in India, Japan, Brazil, Puerto Rico, USA, etc etc, goes some way to showing how much respect he had all over the world.”

Mick Denton

Senior Research Scientist - Space Science Institute