A DISTINGUISHED academic at the University of Bolton has died at the age of 87.

Professor James Calderwood, who held the position of chief scientist at the university and its professor of engineering physics, died on December 31.

Only a few months ago, Professor Calderwood received the title of Distinguished Professor of Emeritus in recognition of his career. He and previously had a university building named after him.

The scientist was born in Liverpool and his first job was at the University of Glasgow, where he was awarded a prestigious scholarship which enabled him to spend four years at Princeton University in the United States, where he met Albert Einstein, the eminent German theoretical physicist.

He continued to teach at other universities while carrying out research with scientists across the world.

He also continued his work at the University of Bolton, which gave him an honorary doctorate in 2008 for his outstanding contribution to engineering science.

Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Rob Campbell said: “The University of Bolton is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Professor James Calderwood.

“Professor Calderwood was a hugely celebrated and respected academic in the area of engineering and physics and a long serving member of the university’s academic community.

“He had an illustrious academic career that spanned nearly 60 years, starting in the 1950s when he was a Fulbright Scholar at the world-renowned Princeton University.

“He was a dedicated member of the University, serving as its Chief Scientist and Professor of Engineering Physics.

"The university celebrated his outstanding contribution to Bolton and Engineering Science in 2008, awarding him with an Honorary Doctorate.

"Professor Calderwood will be sorely missed by the university and wider academic community.”

A service will take place at St Edmund and St Patrick Church in Bolton at 12.15pm today, followed by committal at Overdale East at 1.15pm.