Peter Campbell Obituary

5 May 2021


Peter Campbell FREng, FIStructE, FICE, FIMarE, FIHT, FIDE, MASCE


It is with great regret that we report that following a long illness, Peter Campbell sadly passed away on 1st May 2021.

A founding partner of Campbell Reith & Partners (the firm which has grown into CampbellReith today), Peter was known as an academic and inspirational engineer. In celebration of his life as one of the greats in structural engineering, our tribute to Peter is the legacy he has created for our practice – one of education, ambition, innovation, and exploration to make a difference in the world.

Educated at Purley Grammar School in the early days and then on to Brixton School of Building and the Imperial College of Science and Technology, Peter’s career began with Ove Arup & Partners in 1951. In 1960, he formed Campbell Reith & Partners together with Ian Reith. An active senior partner until his retirement in 1992, Peter achieved many accolades both internationally and here in the UK during his working life. Peter had strong professional links to the island of Mauritius. In the mid-1960s he was responsible for delivering a new council chamber which had to be completed by 1968 in time for their Independence celebrations. This achievement was followed by a new 546 bed district general hospital and a new Government Centre in the late 1960’s. In the early 1970s Peter secured a commission from The World Bank for the design of 22, 1000 pupil comprehensive schools in Trinidad and the Teacher Training College on the island of Tobago.

Closer to home, Peter was closely involved with the major refurbishment of the Japanese Embassy on London’s Piccadilly in the early 1980s and with the redevelopment of The Oval’s west stand in the mid-80s. Ahead of his time, in 1981, Peter invented an innovative new cladding system and established the museum of concrete at the Chalk Pits Museum at Amberley, West Sussex.

As a true scholar and thought leader for our industry, he taught the theory of structures at Regent Street Polytechnic in London from 1962-1968. Peter had close association with the Institution of Structural Engineers throughout his working life and developed the close links between the Institution and CampbellReith which continue to this day. He was elected a member of the council in 1979 and was President from 1988-1989. He was Chairman of the Education and Examinations Committee for 1982-1984 and Secretary of the Institution’s history study group. Peter was Chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers 1991-92 and was instrumental in establishing RedR UK, which provides training and technical support to NGOs, aid workers and communities responding to natural and man-made disasters all over the world to this day.

The thoughts of us all, here at CampbellReith, are with his family and friends during this very difficult time.