Sue White, who was Professor of Integrated Catchment Management at the University, sadly passed away due to cancer aged just 56 in March 2014.
Following a degree in Civil Engineering and an MSc in Water Resources Technology, she started her working life in 1979 and completed her PhD in the 1990s. She joined Cranfield in 2002 from the University of Durham to further her career and to be closer to her family.
In 2005, she gained professorial status in recognition of her contribution to forwarding our understanding of integrated catchment management and its fundamental importance in securing ecosystem-related resources. Shortly afterwards, she became Associate Dean of the then Faculty of Environment, Science and Manufacturing and Head of the Integrated Environmental Systems Institute.
Throughout her career, Sue worked with a range of organisations across the world and was particularly passionate about making a contribution to human welfare in Africa. She became the lead hydrologist on the Valuing the Arc project where she worked with other internationally-acclaimed scientists with the aim of better understanding how the fragile ecosystem in Tanzania could be managed for the benefit of the ecology and the local communities. In 2009, Sue was awarded a distinguished Fulbright Scholarship to Stanford and Texas A&M Universities where she was able to immerse herself in investigating approaches to valuing water.
Sue was devoted to her teaching, in which she remained ever patient and coached each individual as needed. She resolutely supported and inspired her students, encouraging them to embrace their research topics, resulting in many of them continuing their careers within the environmental sector and making significant contributions themselves.
Her personality shone through in both her professional and private life, always offering support when needed and often putting others before herself.
Sue’s passion for life saw her sing in her local choir in Woburn Sands and she also loved music in general, salsa dancing, her garden, long country walks and cooking. With the encouragement of her partner Pete, she also ran in a number of fun runs in aid of charities she supported – WaterAid, Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research.
In appreciation of her career, funds are being raised for the Cranfield student charity SAFAD which sends graduates to work on aid projects in developing countries.
Sue remains sorely missed by her friends, colleagues, family and partner, as well as the entire hydrological community.