Obituary Dr David Ryan
Posted by: louise on Dec 01, 2004 – 03:33 PM
From Ripon Gazette 16/07/04

David Ryan died in Albany, USA, on Tuesday, June 29 2004. His death was a result of a tragic road accident while he was out cycling – a sport he had enjoyed since childhood.

David was 32 years old – a young man of powerful intellect with enormous potential, at the beginning of a promising career. He was the elder son of Anne and Tom Ryan of Bishop Monkton and brother to Antony.

David was a pupil at Ripon Grammar School from 1983 until 1990 and his former teacher Mr John Saul recalls: “His academic record was faultless. It was in the sixth form that it became clear just what an outstanding scholar he was. He was a ‘straight-A’ student at A-level , winning the school prize for Physics and going on to study the subject at Oxford University.

“David was unfailingly gentle and kind with everyone. He was modest, even a little shy, and always sensitive to the needs of others. He had an active sense of fun, but never at the expense of others. Integrity such as his is encountered only rarely. It is a privilege to have known him.”

David’s Oxford College was St Edmund Hall where he rowed for the first VIII. In his final examinations he not only gained a first class honours degree, but was awarded the highest marks in his year and the Scott Prize. His tutor, Prof Nick Stone, wrote to him with his results, saying: “Words fail me. Fantastically well done.”

David continued at St Edmund Hall until he had completed his D Phil and then went into employment with Oxford Instruments before he was offered a position with General Electric which took him to America to work on MRI scanners. There he was project leader working on the development of next generation magnet technology. He was the primary author of a proposal to the US National Institute for Health for the development of a very novel M R System, which was awarded to the company just a week before his death. Matthew Scagnelli at GE Research centre wrote: “David was a brilliant scientist and a pleasure to work with. He will be missed very much by his team.

David loved to speed-hike, distance run and travel, but his passion was cycling. His ultimate goal was to join the British 300,000 mile club. He had already covered over 100,000 miles.

Tributes to David are coming from his many friends and colleagues. Walter Cicha from America wrote: “Life is full of incomprehensible twists and turns, but there must be some good scheme behind the confusion of it all. Dave and I used to discuss this topic too.”

From Mark Zotto came the words: ”I feel cheated that he can no longer be my bike buddy and friend but more so, I feel that all his friends and family have lost someone who was, quite simply put, a very nice person and a wonderful human being.”