• Roy Payne, Obituary

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Roy Payne joined the International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF) in the Netherlands in 1975, just after Sigfrid Michelfelder had taken over the position as Head of Station. Roy joined the Station as a delegate from the British Flame Research Committee. He easily integrated into the international Team of investigators with a serious professional attitude combined with a remarkable capability for establishing social contacts to both the international team of investigators originating from Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan and the Netherlands as well as to the local team of administrators and furnace operators. With his excellent background education from the University of Sheffield, he soon developed into an internationally well regarded expert in many topics  related to industrial flames and consequently selected flame research and result application as central activity in his later professional life. He left the IFRF in 1981 to join EERC in United States.

As Scientific Director, he led the research program of IFRF and guided the many new young investigators that joined the team. He also personally conducted several major combustion trials such as those devoted to burner scaling, multi-fuel combustion and combustion modelling, sometimes requiring to direct three shifts round the clock during several weeks.

Roy was a very pleasant colleague, serious in his professional work, always loyal and helpful whenever required. He has been an excellent representative of the Engineering competence in industrial combustion  which the IFRF was able to generate throughout its existence.

With Roy`s departure IFRF loses a honoured member of the team of “old” investigators and even more so, a friend for life to many of us.

Sigfrid Michelfelder and Jean-Bernard Michel, former colleagues at IFRF


Roy’s son Jeremy adds:

My father’s time at Hoogovens was one the most formative periods of his career, and he often talked about the people he worked with and the projects he worked on. His colleagues from that period, and those after his move to EER, were cherished. 

His living room is as he left it, with his IFRF book (The Spirit of IJmuiden – Roman Weber) on the coffee table, and a couple of pieces of slag within eyesight. He felt very strongly connected to all of you, and when possible after his retirement, spent time trying to look up old contacts and reminisce.

Roy was a person who never wanted a spotlight, who would rather shoulder responsibility than complain, who deeply valued relationships, who was trusted, honourable and quietly generous and had a tremendous impact on the people around him without realizing it. He retired around 2007 from then GE-EER in Irvine, CA.  In 2013 he moved to Santa Barbara, to be closer to family, and his boat.  He is survived by his 3 children Jeremy, Jonathan and Kirsty, former wife Christine and his 6 grandchildren.