Peter Edward Beaman (1957-2019)

Social Psychology Technician.

Peter E. Beaman, Social Psychologist Technician at Loughborough University and Past President of the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology, died in hospital on 7 August after tragic accident at the age of 62. A Leicestershire man through and through, he spent most of his personal and professional life in his beloved county.

The younger of two brothers, as a child he was very lively and encountered a number of mishaps, including breaking a leg and falling into the Leicester canal, all before the age of four! Not surprisingly he learnt to swim at an early age and enjoyed outdoor pursuits such as the Boy Scouts. Before starting his degree in Human Psychology at Loughborough University (LU), he worked as a trainee apprentice at Marconi Radar Systems Ltd gaining the City and Guilds qualification in electrical engineering, while at the same time pursuing his O and A levels. At that time he already knew he wanted 'to be involved with people'.

Once his degree was awarded, he began his professional career at the Department of Social Sciences at LU in 1988. LU became his love and passion; he would spend long hours there from early in the morning, as he wanted to be available to help anyone with any matter big or small. Loughborough was not only his place of work, but a second home where Peter’s soul was at his best.

Over the years, he rejected all offers to pursue an academic career, even a PhD; nevertheless, he actively participated in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students, and he published several papers in academic peer reviewed and non-academic journals.  Also within the LU he became an assistant chaplain and an equalities champion for students and staff. He became a mentor to postgraduate students, and also the most available caring person to support students and staff in need. Because of his availability to always help, he was honoured with the Unsung Hero Award given by the Postgraduate Community at their Annual Awards night in 2018.

Over the years he developed and championed the role of psychology technicians in universities both locally and nationally through the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology. Peter became actively involved in the Association from 1988 onwards, eventually becoming President in 2012. As the current President of the BPS put it, 'Peter worked tirelessly for many years to raise the profile of Psychology technicians and integrate them with the British Psychological Society'. He received the first national Technician/Demonstrator Award by HEA (Higher Education Academy) in 2007 and a year later was accepted as a Fellow of the HEA. In 2019 he was one of the four shortlisted to receive the Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Lifetime Achievement Award for Technical Excellence at the Papin Prizes. He did not win, and modestly reported that the winner had really done the work. For all of us, he had done it as well.

Outside work he used to run with several different clubs and ran in a number of marathons, including the London marathon in 1983 and 1989; in each case raising money for charity. He volunteered for befriending people for Coping with Cancer, and the local church. He created, organised and managed a club for around 20-30 widows and widowers in the local community for almost six years. A family man, who would not hesitate to go a million miles away from his path to help anyone, he loved spending time with his wife Sandra, daughter Cinthya, and two grandchildren Samuel and Joseph, and visiting or talking to his brother Mike. He is dearly loved and missed by all who he touched in this life.  

Dr Sandra Reyes-Beaman and Michael Beaman

A special service celebrating Peter's life is being held on Wednesday 20 November. Find further infomation and register for the event.

There will be also a memorial walk on 5 October 2019 at Bradgate Park, meeting at the Newtown Linford entrance at 10:45. Please contact Sandra for further infomation: [email protected]

Read Peter's views on his role in our archive.

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