Dr J M (Mike) Arrowsmith

The Scottish Association for Metals (SAM) is saddened to announce the death of its long serving Treasurer and Investments Manager, Dr J M Arrowsmith, known to all as Mike. 

Mike took on the role of Treasurer of SAM upon its formation in 1974 from the merger of the independent West of Scotland Iron and Steel Institute with the Scottish Local Section of the Institute of Metals, mirroring an equivalent merger in London.  He served continuously as Treasurer until 1998 and remained involved managing SAM’s investment portfolio until 2018, a period of service covering 44 years. That period was characterised by a steady growth in the Association’s finances. As a result, the presentation of the financial statement by Mike at the Annual General Meeting each year was always eagerly awaited.

Mike was educated at the University of Cambridge where he obtained a doctorate. He moved to Scotland to work in the Central Research Laboratories of the General Steels Division of the British Steel Corporation in Motherwell in the early 1970s.  This was a period of exceptional developments in carbon steels in a number of centres within the UK.  Mike contributed significantly to that with his expertise in electron microscopy and overall metallography in an area that could be termed as being ‘true physical metallurgy’. Later he developed a significant interest in steel cleanness, supporting the very dynamic development of the continuous casting process at the Ravenscraig steelworks in Motherwell. This was a highly challenging situation where the linkage between Mike and the plant based metallurgists pushed on improvements in steel quality to a wide range of steel products. 

He led a team of metallurgists and metallurgical technicians engaged in the microscopic examination of steel in all its various product forms – ingot, slab, plate, strip and tube.

Dr J M (Mike) Arrowsmith

Mike’s service to SAM was recognised in 1992 when he was awarded the Riley Medal by the Association.  He also received an outstanding service award from the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining in 2011 at a dinner held in Glasgow attended by a large gathering of past-Presidents of SAM.

Mike was a keen walker, but in recent years a lung condition restricted his activity, much to his frustration. 

Mike was sadly widowed in the 1970s and in addition to his work commitments he had the task of bringing up his young family. However, there was never a complaining word heard but he got on with it and has left a lovely legacy in his children and a fine metallurgical legacy in all his work. He passed away on 6th March 2021 after a short period of illness and will be sadly missed.