Winston Mellowes, 1941-2023

Article by Renisha Hercules AMIChemE

Professor Emeritus Winston Mellowes

WINSTON MELLOWES, who contributed extensively to engineering education in Trinidad and Tobago and was a dedicated volunteer for IChemE’s Member Group in the country, has died aged 82.

Mellowes leaves an enduring legacy for chemical engineers and IChemE members in the region, with Christine Kangaloo, president of Trinidad and Tobago, among those paying tribute.

Mellowes started out among the first batch of engineering students to enter the University of the West Indies (UWl) in 1962. He went on to serve pivotal roles at the university, including head of department, and deputy dean for postgraduate students and research. He retired from UWI in 2007 and was conferred with the title of Professor Emeritus. A  Caribbean icon, at the 75th anniversary of the UWI he was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Blessed with an infectious sense of humour, he was also a passionate teacher, lecturing on courses in transport phenomena, biochemical engineering, environmental engineering, and food engineering.

He was awarded the Trinidad and Tobago Chaconia Medal Gold in 2021 for his extensive contributions to education

Chairman of the National Institute of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (NIHERST) from 2017 to 2020, he held a joint US patent in xanthan gum production from sugar cane juices and made significant contributions to publications on the sugar industry, its byproducts and their impact on the environment, and biomass utilisation.

In addition to taking on various roles within the Trinidad and Tobago Member Group, Mellowes chaired the Board of Engineering of Trinidad and Tobago (BOETT), sat on the Board of the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago, and contributed to the Trinidad and Tobago Group of Professional Organizations (TTGPA). He received the Career of Excellence Award from the Association of Professional Engineers (APETT) and held the distinction of being a Fellow and foreign secretary with this organisation. He is the immediate past foreign secretary of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences (CAS) and was awarded the Trinidad and Tobago Chaconia Medal Gold in 2021 for his extensive contributions to education.

An inspirational figure to generations of chemical engineering graduates, he leaves behind a wife, Barbara, and children Sean, Michelle, and Anne-Marie White.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Winston Mellowes was “immediate past president" of CAS. This has now been corrected to read "immediate past foreign secretary”.

Article by Renisha Hercules AMIChemE

Networking, social, fundraising and recognition committee lead for IChemE’s Trinidad and Tobago Member Group

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