Tribute to Jonathan Bacon


Jonathan Bacon (wearing pink shorts) with the 2019 Formula Student teams

The news of Professor Jonathan Bacon’s passing has been felt hard at the University of Sussex. As the ex-Head of The School of Engineering and Informatics and a big supporter as well as advisor to Formula Student, his legacy will be remembered in the garage.


We spoke with Dr. Chris Long (academic advisor to the team, friend and colleague of Jonathan’s):


Chris described Jonathan without a moment’s hesitation as “a most remarkable guy”. He says that in his 40 - 50-year career so far, he has only met a handful of people he considers “truly inspirational” and that “Jonathan was most definitely one of those people”. Jonathan had absolute passion for the students. While he was also a keen researcher himself, there is no doubt that the priority laid with the success of the students lucky enough to be around in his time. Jonathan described his own style on campus as “peripatetic”, never standing still and always moving from one building to the next, inspiring as he went.


Despite Jonathan having a wide-ranging role as Head of School, he always found time for Formula Student, regularly attending team meetings and working closely with everyone on the project. Jonathan was an enthusiastic “petrol-head”, but he was also one of the biggest supporters of the first attempted electric powered Formula Student car at Sussex. Jonathan helped establish a collaboration with Ain Shams University in Cairo for the 2018/19 season, which helped achieve the very difficult task of getting an electric car built and through scrutineering at the 2019 Formula Student event. That electric project laid the foundations for this year’s car and the team aims to do Jonathan proud with an electric vehicle that will turn heads in 2022.


Our best wishes go out to Jonathan’s friends and family. He was a great man and an inspiration to his students and colleagues, he will be remembered as a dedicated and valued Sussex Racing Team Member, Rest in Peace Jonathan.



*Please find a link to the University of Sussex’s official obituary: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/broadcast/read/56789

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