Anthony J. M. Spencer, known to all as Tony, was one of the most outstanding British applied mathematicians of his generation. His main field of research was in understanding and predicting the mechanical behaviour of advanced materials. His insight and skill in formulating constitutive equations enabled him to develop new models of materials and then solve physically significant problems in the fields of composites, granular materials and laminates. He studied at Cambridge, Birmingham and Keele and, after postdoctoral research in the acclaimed Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University in the USA and a short period of employment in government service, moved to Nottingham University and spent the rest of his career there. He soon became Head of the Department of Theoretical Mechanics, which had been formed in 1960 and given responsibility for teaching mathematics to students in the Faculty of Applied Science. Under Tony's guidance and inspirational leadership it gained an unrivalled reputation, by virtue of its productivity in research, the quality of its staff and its innovative approach to undergraduate teaching and graduate training. Although firmly rooted in Nottingham, Tony travelled widely and was very well known. He was an astute and highly proficient research worker whose views were prized by his many collaborators and friends in the solid mechanics community. It is a measure of his intellectual strength and dedication that he published 40 research papers in his 13 years of retirement.
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