Geoff Yeomans, a Fellow of IHEEM, Chartered Engineer, and member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology – who began his career as an electrical apprentice with Rowntree, and went on to serve as both a Head of Estates and Director of Estates in the healthcare sector – has died, aged 72.
Eta Projects – which he joined in 2011 as Director of Authorising Engineering services –writes: “Geoff Yeomans was born in July 1949 in post-war Britain, where most men and women at that time would have experienced unimaginable austerity, with limited opportunities in education. He had obviously shone as school, as he gained a place at Grammar School, where he mastered the art of maths.
His engineering career began in his hometown of York, where he served his initial electrical apprenticeship with Rowntree. He then expanded his engineering experience by moving to Johnson Printers, followed by Redfern National Glass, where he spent several years. His passion for teaching came early, when in 1984 he was accepted for a position as a Lecturer at York Technical College. The travel bug presented itself with a job offer from the Bermuda Electric Light company; he then lived in Bermuda for several years. This overseas travel continued with two years in New Zealand as an Electrical Maintenance Supervisor for BHP New Zealand Steel. He then returned to Bermuda, but on his return to the UK he started his new life in Inverness, spending three years as an Estates Officer with NHS Highlands, bringing his advanced skill level and knowledge to bear.
“He then dedicated his life to the NHS and its core values, centred around patient care, firstly responding to a call from London’s Royal Free Hospital for a Senior Electrical Engineer. He spent five years at the Royal Free, guiding its electrical team to the highest level of expertise within an acute hospital. He led from the front, exhausting his knowledge on the young aspiring Estates team, who have now excelled in their own professional careers, no doubt underpinned by his knowledge, freely shared.
“He spent his next two years as Head of Estates at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, before his overseas career peaked with a final overseas appointment as Director of Estates with the Bermuda Hospital Board. On returning to the UK in 2011, he accepted a position as Director of Authorising Engineering services with Eta Projects. He was immensely proud of his coveted title of C. Eng., seeing it as badge of honour.
His life centred around the four guiding fundamental and ethical principles of the Engineering Council:
• Honesty and integrity.
• Respect for life, law, the environment, and public good.
• Accuracy and rigour.
• Leadership and commitment
Geoff was renowned for his sayings, with one statement ringing in the ears of those who shrank from their responsibilities: ‘You can run, but you can’t hide.’ He spent his final weeks in The Highland Hospice, Inverness – a fitting place for his final days, where he experienced, at first hand, the commitment, dedication, and affection of both the medical staff, and the many volunteers who brought comfort, and, more importantly, company to him and his every hour awake. The same level of hospitality was given to his wife, Cynthia, and those who were able to see him in his final days, when he passed away peacefully in December 2021. The Highland Hospice exemplified the standards the NHS strives to deliver against all odds.”
Eta Projects MD, Eugene Conroy, said: “Geoff has left a legacy, and will be in our minds for years to come, with the constant reminder to live life to the full. We as a company are growing on the strength of his professional and personal outlook on life. I told him we were all behind him, and in recognition of his performance in his personal battle, that we were proposing to start ‘The Geoff Yeomans’ award for young engineering students, asking if he had any thoughts of what he would contribute He said: ‘Give them a copy of Shepherd, Morton, & Spence Higher Electrical Engineering, and KA Stroud’s Engineering mathematics. Forever the tutor.’
He was thrilled to tell us that his grandson, Harry, had started his electrical apprenticeship course, so hopefully, Geoff, your legacy can live on. As a strong supporter of women in engineering, meanwhile, we are waiting for his grand-daughter, Erin, to follow the same footpath. Therefore, in his memory and commitment to the engineering community, the Geoff Yeomans first annual award is on its way to Harry. May these books provide the foundation for future knowledge.
On behalf of your wife, Cynthia, your children, John and Joanne, grandchildren Harry and Erin, and all your colleagues and friends at Eta Projects, thank you, Geoff, for sharing your life with us, and a legacy which has just begun.”