3 September 2019

Professor Neville Drasdo: 1932-2019

We regret to announce the death of Professor Neville Drasdo, a prominent educator who served for many years as a College Examiner and was appointed as a Life Fellow of the College in 2010.

Professor Neville Drasdo trained at Bradford University, during which time he and his older brother Harold were pioneering climbers in the region, part of an informal grouping known as the ‘Bradford Lads’. He qualified as a Fellow of the British Optical Association in 1957 and began his academic career in 1961, when he was appointed as lecturer in ophthalmic optics in the Physics Department of the Birmingham College of Advanced Technology. Through his enthusiasm to promote and extend vision science knowledge, he set up the Master's course in Methods of Ophthalmic Investigation, which eventually achieved the distinction of Medical Research Council (MRC) recognition. His research interests at that time were on a wide range of subjects, varying from corneal physiology to infant visual development and his collaborations with neurophysiology were instrumental in the formation of the Aston University, Department of Vision Sciences. During his time as clinical tutor and PhD supervisor, Professor Drasdo successfully turned out 42 MSc and 11 PhD graduates, many of whom have since become successful researchers and academics.

Professor Drasdo delivered the 4th Foundation Lecture of the College of Optometrists in 1987 on ‘Patterns and Contrast in Ophthalmic Investigation’. Together with Bruce Evans, in 1991, he wrote a useful pamphlet ‘Review of the use of tinted lenses and related therapies for the learning disabled’. He authored over 80 research articles and his works have been cited over 2000 times. In 1993, Professor Drasdo received the academic degree of Doctor of Science and, shortly afterwards, became Dean of Life Sciences at Aston, as well as participating in the Research Assessment exercise. During more recent years Professor Drasdo moved to the Cardiff School of Optometry and Vision Sciences where his research expertise, particularly in the field of electrophysiology, was an invaluable asset to the department. As a distinguished Research Fellow, he specialised in non-invasive electrophysiology and quantitative neurobiology of the parallel pathways of the retina.