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David Crichton obituary: Dundee professor who was an expert on climate change, insurance and natural disasters

Professor David Crichton.
Professor David Crichton.

Professor David Crichton of Dundee, an expert on climate change, insurance and natural disasters, has died aged 74.

He wrote nearly 60 text books and supervised numerous projects, funded by the insurance industry, at universities across the United Kingdom.

David began his career in insurance and, in later years, was appointed an honorary visiting professor at University College, London, and the University of Middlesex, and was made an honorary research fellow at Dundee University.

Education

He was born in Dundee in 1948 and educated at Dundee High School.

David studied politics and economics at Dundee University and, in 1971, began work as a graduate trainee with Legal & General insurance in Glasgow.

Two years later, he was promoted to a senior underwriting position in London and it was there he met his future wife, Haf.

They married in her native Wales in 1976 before moving to Scotland where David began working for General Accident in its head office in Perth.

Later he became an assistant manager in the UK liabilities department, then UK commercial motor manager, and finally global environmental issues manager.

In this role, he became an expert on climate change and disaster recovery issues and became involved in working with the United Nations, NATO and other international bodies.

Professor David Crichton.
Professor David Crichton.

He also worked with the global scientific community, especially in the field of earth observation satellites with the Natural Environment Research Council.

David became an independent consultant in 2000 working for UK and foreign governments all over the world.

He was an accomplished public speaker at conferences in four continents and in every major city in the British Isles.

Broadcasts

David also produced and appeared in training videos and made regular appearances on television and radio

He wrote nearly 60 text books which were published globally on the subject of climate change, insurance, and natural disasters, and many peer-reviewed academic and other papers and articles, including papers published by the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society.

David continued to write books and papers despite deteriorating health. He latterly became the vice-chair of the Carse of Gowrie Sustainability Group, working for environmental improvements in the Carse of Gowrie.

David is survived by his wife Haf, sons Gareth and Gwyn, daughters in law Barbara and Frankie and granddaughters Jade and Ariana.

You can read the family’s announcement here.

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