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Professor Les W. Barclay (OBE, BSc, FREng, FIET) (1933-2019)

prof-les-barclay.pngIt is with great regret that we announce the sad loss of Professor Les W. Barclay of the United Kingdom on 31 July 2019 at the age of 85. 

Professor Barclay had a very long and distinguished career in radio science and made significant contributions to the ITU especially in its studies on radio wave propagation. Since 1973, he was chairman of numerous committees and conferences at the ITU or served as a representative of the United Kingdom. He was elected Chairman of CCIR Study Group 6 (ionospheric propagation) from 1978 to 1993, Chairman of the first Radiocommunication Assembly in 1993 and Chairman of ITU-R Study Group 3 (radio wave propagation) from 1993 to 1997. Afterwards, he remained active in ITU-R Study Group 3 activities and was elected Chairman of Working Party 3L (ionospheric radio wave propagation and radio noise) from 2012 to 2016, and continued to contribute to the meetings of ITU-R Study Group 3 and its working parties until May 2019. In addition, he contributed significantly to the activities of the ITU-R Coordination Committee for Vocabulary (CCV) to which he was elected Vice-Chairman from 2007 to 2012. 

In 1993, Professor Barclay received the ITU Silver Medal for his chairmanship of the first Radiocommunication Assembly. In 2016, he received an ITU certificate in recognition for his extraordinary and longstanding contribution to the work of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector. It is not an understatement to say that the current status and success of ITU-R Study Group 3 is very much due to Professor Barclay's leadership over the past four decades. As a result, ITU-R Study Group 3 unanimously elected him as Honorary Chairman on 24 May 2019 in recognition of his significant contributions to the ITU. 

Professor Barclay started as an apprentice in the Radio Development Laboratories of E K Cole Ltd and his career included two years in Antarctica at Halley Bay when he joined the Royal Society International Geophysical Year (IGY) Antarctic Expedition in 1957 and 1958, undertaking ionospheric research. He later joined Marconi Research Laboratories from 1960, working in the propagation group. In 1977 he joined the UK government service and became Deputy Director for Research and Radio Technology in the body that became the Radiocommunications Agency, now Ofcom, of the United Kingdom. From 1990 to 1996 he was chairman of the Scientific Committee for Telecommunications of the International Union of Radio Science. In 2005 he was appointed chairman of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Measurement Advisory Committee, which oversaw the programme at the National Physical Laboratory and other standards laboratories. 

Other awards included an Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in radio wave propagation, the OBE in 1994 for services to radiocommunication, the Polar Medal for his propagation research in the Antarctic, the IGY Gold Award in 2007 and he was a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the IET. 

Professor Barclay was the author of more than 50 internationally recognised technical publications in the field of radiocommunications and delivered many lectures at UK universities, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, and as part of the series of IEE residential courses on radio wave propagation. 

Professor Barclay shall be sorely missed.​