Lewis Elton

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Lewis Elton
Born Ludwig Richard Benjamin Ehrenberg
(1923-03-25) 25 March 1923 (age 94)
Alma mater Christ's College, Cambridge
Regent Street Polytechnic
University College London
Occupation Physicist, researcher
Children Ben Elton
Parent(s) Victor Ehrenberg
Eva Dorothea Sommer
Relatives Geoffrey Elton

Ludwig Richard Benjamin Elton (born 25 March 1923) is a German-born British physicist and researcher into education, specialising in higher education.


Born Ludwig Ehrenberg in Tübingen to the scholars Victor Ehrenberg and Eva Dorothea Sommer, his (Jewish) family moved to Prague in 1929, and from there to England in February 1939, to escape the threat of Nazism. He changed his name to Lewis Elton during the Second World War, after which he obtained British citizenship. He was educated at Rydal School in Colwyn Bay, and thereafter at Christ's College, Cambridge, the Regent Street Polytechnic, London, and University College London. It was from the latter institution that he was awarded his PhD, in 1950.

He was Professor of Physics at Battersea College of Technology from 1964 until 1970. As the College completed its transformation into the University of Surrey (and its relocation from Battersea to Guildford) in 1970 he became Professor of Higher Education, a post he held until 1988. In 1994 he was appointed Professor of Higher Education at University College London, where he founded the Higher Education Research and Development Unit (now the Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching). He became an honorary professor there in 2003. He was appointed Visiting Professor of Higher Education at Manchester University in August 2005.

He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Physics and a Fellow of the Society for Research into Higher Education. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the 2005 Times Higher Awards,[1] at which Baroness Kennedy said "there is a polymath quality to this man that points to someone interested in educating the whole person"[2]

His brother was the historian Geoffrey Elton; he is the father of Ben Elton, a comedian and author.

Lewis Elton Gallery, University of Surrey[edit]

In 1963 at the Surrey University Battersea campus, Elton started a project to show original artworks in the Physics Department.[3] When the University Gallery at Guildford was relocated in 1997, the gallery was dedicated to Elton and was named the Lewis Elton Gallery. The gallery hosts regular exhibitions of paintings, photographs and sculpture.

Lewis and Mary Elton Art Collection[edit]

The donation of a collection of paintings and objets d'art was made to University of Surrey including works by Picasso, Chagall, Klee and Cocteau. The gift is marked by an exhibition at The Lightbox gallery, Woking, in January 2012.[4]

See also[edit]

Ehrenberg (surname)


External links[edit]