Farewell and thank you Tony Macken

In 2020 we farewelled Senior Technical Officer and major School stalwart Tony Macken. Tony had worked quietly and assiduously for the School for 42 years. 

The School’s infrastructure laboratories, where Tony worked, provide essential support to the teaching and research of the geotechnical, heavy structures, materials, transport and construction management disciplines within the School.  

The School believes that it is essential that our students leave this university with practical ‘hands-on’ experience to complement their academic achievements. Amongst their many research support duties, Technical Officers service undergraduate classes using the laboratories, as well as assisting postgraduate and honours students with thesis experiments.  

Tony’s farewell with friends

Since joining the school in 1978, Tony has served under eleven Heads of School, eight Deans of Engineering, and seven Vice-Chancellors. More importantly, Tony has assisted dozens of School academics and possibly thousands of students in their laboratory activities. Over the course of his working life, he witnessed the quadrupling of student numbers in the School, and the reduction of technical staff – sometimes it wasn’t just the concrete being stressed.

Infrastructure Lab Manager Paul Gwynne noted that “Tony always paid great attention to detail and you could guarantee that any test results he produced would be accurate.” It’s only been a few months but, he says, “Tony’s colleagues are already missing his wonderful dry sense of humour and sharp wit.”

A man of few words, usually standing at the back of staff groups in photos, but forced to take front place at his own farewell (see pic) Tony’s message to us all was classically short and very sweet. “My retirement date has arrived. I would like to thank you all for being part of my life over the past 42 years. You have been more than just work colleagues, but good friends. I wish you and your families all the best for the future. Best wishes, Tony”

Our best wishes to you Tony.  We hope you enjoy your so well-earned retirement after all your dedication and hard work for the School!


See below in the Photogallery for a few pictures from our archives featuring Tony!







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  • Angie Spano, Tony Macken and Trinh Cao with testing equipment, and 1970s trousers
  • Vallentine Annex , 1980s - Tony can be seen working near the roller door at back.
  •  Farewell and thank you Tony Macken