Norman Eason - IAM Founding President - Obituary

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02 Mar 2022

Norman Eason - IAM Founding President - Obituary

It is with the greatest regret that we announce, with sadness, the death of our founding President, Norman Eason, Life Fellow of the IAM, on 24th February 2022, aged 81. 

After a year or two of discussions with interested people, the IAM was formed officially at a meeting in the UK Government’s Department of Trade and Industry on 30th June 1994.  The Founding Members unanimously appointed Norman as our first President (1994-98) in recognition of his leadership, a role of which he was very proud.  He was keen that we should develop the knowledge base and theory of asset management as well as support members with a membership body.

The idea of a new institute grew from discussions in the Computer Aided Maintenance Management Committee.  CMMS are now a well understood concept, the forerunner of modern Enterprise Asset Management Systems, and now Digital Twins, with vastly improved capabilities.  Norman’s vision made him impatient with the rather staid pace of developments at the Electrical Research Association (ERA) and he left his safe job as a Divisional Manager to have more freedom.  His innovation was central to the RAPIER software system, based on Oracle and demonstrating leading thinking.  Norman, personally, also wrote some seminal papers, an example of which “Data as an Asset” would be topical even today.  He was a great supporter of understanding the asset lifecycle and value of ‘Asset Care’ far beyond the limitations of a simple maintenance perspective.

After his retirement, Norman retained throughout his life an enthusiastic interest in the IAM and its development.  He filmed a video, with a message to members, for our 20th Anniversary in 2014; and it was only at the last moment that he was obliged to withdraw from the 25th Anniversary Dinner for reasons of ill health.

Norman bore his infirmities and occasional hospitalisations with good humour and fortitude, never complaining and always more interested in the IAM, Asset Management and our volunteers.  He is survived by his wife, Lizbeth, and his sons Graham and Martin.  He was a jovial and quick-witted companion and demonstrated curiosity in the world, and how to improve it, right to the end of his life.

The IAM wishes to compile a fuller obituary and fitting tribute to Norman in due course and Council will consider what form is most appropriate. 

Therefore, we invite thoughts about what form this might take and welcome any material and information we might collate.  Please send this to David.McKeown@theIAM.org

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