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Tony Batchelor, the founder, owner and Chairman of GeoScience Ltd died in September 2022 after a short illness. His sudden passing was a shock to everyone who knew him and worked with him, but most of all to his family. Our thoughts are with them.

Tony started his career in 1965 working for the National Coal Board, before completing his degree and a PhD at Nottingham University, where he met his wife Linda. His early work focused on the stability of underground structures at great depth; something that would become a theme throughout his career.

Following his PhD, Tony took a job teaching rock mechanics at the Camborne School of Mines and moved to Cornwall. In 1973 he had a “light bulb” moment when visiting the deepest mine in the world, Western Deep Levels (as it was at the time) in South Africa. The purpose of the visit was to design underground cooling towers to reject hundreds of MW of heat to keep the workings safe for miners in rock temperatures of 70°C.

It was on his return that he began to consider whether the heat in Cornish mines could be harnessed, and his interest in geothermal energy ultimately led to the development of the UK Hot Dry Rock geothermal research project at Rosemanowes Quarry. He was the Project Director from 1977 to 1986 and presided over a pioneering research programme that attracted worldwide attention and paved the way for many researchers that followed. During this time, he was also a visiting staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and held a fellowship under the NATO/CCMS programme.

The ‘Hot Rocks’ project earned him the recognition of scientists and engineers throughout the geothermal community, and directly resulted in the creation of spin-off companies that launched the careers of many who are still in the industry today.


One of those companies was GeoScience, which Tony founded in 1985 and which he regarded as his second family. The company initially worked mostly for its parent organisation Geothermal Resources International on developments in California, Oregon, Japan, St Lucia, The Azores, Turkey and Indonesia. It recently celebrated its 37th birthday and has been wholly owned by Tony since 1992.

In the late 1990’s GeoScience moved into the upstream oil and gas industry and started providing oilfield geomechanics services in support of drilling and completion operations in the North Sea and across the globe.  Tony’s broad range of experience proved invaluable to the oil companies and the need for wellbore stability was realised for the safe delivery of ever more challenging wells.  It was recognised by one company that because of GeoScience and Tony’s direct input they had reduced their levels of Non-Productive Time by over 20%.

Tony had an amazing ability to bring the various disciplines within oil companies together, linking drilling, ops geology and subsurface through his extensive knowledge, experience and enthusiasm. He was held in high esteem by the oilfield community and was trusted to provide independent and reliable advice.

​It is largely thanks to Tony’s ability to apply himself to new challenges, and to lead others to apply themselves in the same way, that the company has adapted to changing circumstances and been successful in new industries and markets. In each case Tony became a recognised expert in the field and established his reputation as a go-to problem solver for clients, earning the respect of everyone he came into contact with.

Although his recent work focused on consulting for oil & gas companies, Tony continued his passion for geothermal energy. He was a member of the Geothermal Resources Council, a founder and Board member of the International Geothermal Association and a Mary Upson Visiting Professor of Engineering at Cornell University in the Cornell Energy Institute.

In 2017, Tony was proud to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition of his commitment to the training and development of young engineers. And last year he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 9th UK Geothermal Symposium. Although he wasn’t with us to receive the award in person, he did know he was going to receive it and was proud of what it represented. He was often referred to as ‘ the father’, and later ‘the grandfather’, of geothermal in the UK, which reflects how important he was to the industry here.

​To those who had the pleasure of working for him, he was a fantastic boss, mentor and friend. He was kind and compassionate and, through his leadership and teaching, he helped many people achieve their goals and start their careers. He has left an important legacy and a huge hole in the lives of colleagues, friends and collaborators.


His family, and all of us here, have been moved by the strength of feeling that has been expressed by people all over the world who have sent condolences, shared their memories, and let us know the extent to which Tony affected their lives.


​Tony influenced, educated and inspired many people. He will be greatly missed.


He was such an incredible man, always had time to say hello to me and ask how work was going. He will be remembered through the work we continue to do, standing on the shoulders of giants. 

I only met Tony a couple of times but is reputation towered overall when it came to geothermal energy in the UK.  

He will be greatly missed by not only his family and friends but also the greater technical community who held Tony in such high esteem. He was always the person I went to discuss technical and strategic issues that were bothering me and I wanted an independent and experienced take on the issue, I was never disappointed, he always found the time to help, however busy he was, and always gave great advice, he was a great friend. I and numerous others will miss him, a great loss.

I was taught by him some 50 years ago and he tried his best to get me to understand rock mechanics. Needless to say I wasn’t his best ever student but I remember and much welcomed his warmth and support on a pastoral level then and since. He will be greatly missed.

Everyone at Chamber of Commerce and wider Cornwall business community will be saddened by this - to lose one of our pioneers and scientific superstars is shocking but our thoughts and prayers are with his family and with you his colleagues

Tony was a true legend. A real gentleman, encyclopaedic knowledge, always warm and welcoming in his approach to his friends and colleagues.  I am very saddened by his passing. He will be missed by a lot of people.

I have personally known Tony for over 18 years, he converted me to well bore stability and I have carried his lessons ever since. I enjoyed every conversation with him, a man of principle, care and unlimited patience. Our industry will be poorer for his passing and his colourful and benevolent nature.

The legacy left behind by Tony Batchelor will live on, certainly for me he was one of my favourite lecturers and advisors. He remained plain speaking and invited scientific argument of the highest order in all fields of Mining including my own subject of Tailings disposal and Dams! His ability to distil complex information was incredible. Very few scientists are blessed with this ability.

Despite my retirement and now, very advanced age, I still held some hopes that, together, we might find some means of turning his dream of getting power from HDR into reality. It was his work in this area which inspired much of my  own investigations, together with Nikola.

He was one of the greatest characters in the geothermal business and will be a great loss. Tony was kind enough to give me my first job in geophysics at a time when I hardly knew what it was. Eventually I think I got the hang of it but am extremely grateful for that initial opportunity and his subsequent support at critical times.

A lot of people owe a great deal to Tony:  in my own case he gave me the opportunity to enjoy a change of direction I would never have had otherwise and he was unstinting in his support and encouragement.  He was a special person and will be sorely missed in many ways.

We first met 43 years ago and we have worked on a number of different projects since then. He was a one off with incredible knowledge on a range of subjects. 

What a man! Tony was my Rock Mechanics lecturer and at the end of my final lecture he said “I cannot tell you anymore as we have reached the Edge of Science”. I was stunned to realise that Tony had managed to get me there, despite my meagre efforts. Later on Tony gave me a commission with the words “you can do that!”. His ability to inspire was second to none! Thank you Tony

I enjoyed meeting and working with Tony over the 15 or so years, and, although haven’t spoken to him recently, I had some memorable conversations.  Engaging, knowledgeable, thorough and pragmatic – I guess he epitomised the GeoScience ethos, and I’m sure he’ll be greatly missed.

I shall never forget my first meeting with Tony, back in 1974. He asked me ‘did you use computers for your Ph.D.?’ I said ‘yes’. ‘Good’ he said. ‘You are teaching from next week’! We remained friends until our retirement.

We had know Tony for over forty years. A friend, a stalwart of the Engineering Profession and a true Professional Engineer and hence worthy of being a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering. The world needs more "Tony Batchelors". He will be very much missed.

Tony was a giant of a man whom I owe a great debt of gratitude to, my life would have been very different if you and he had not given me the chances and opportunities you did. 

I liked Tony a lot - we first met in the days of his work on deep geothermal, and he introduced me to ground sourced heat, as well as giving me considerable political support. He was a real pioneer in environmental technology, and we need many more like him, he will be greatly missed. 

A real innovator and expert in such a wide area of sub-surface activity.  A real loss to the industry. My thoughts are with his family.

What a giant hole is left with the passing of such a warm, charming, self deprecating intelligent man. He will be hugely missed. 

Tony was a giant of a man whom I owe a great debt of gratitude to, my life would have been very different if you and he had not given me the chances and opportunities you did.

He was someone you could always rely on to be that familiar face at a dinner or event, and always had a few words and a rye chuckle for everyone. He was someone who knew everyone and never forgot a name - the definition of ‘mover and shaker’ in the mining and earth science industries. Old hat, but held in high estimation by younger folk who may not have even met him, he was a great boss. His breadth of knowledge about not just his chosen field, but just about anything of interest to him was amazing, but the fact that he could also run a successful business and take some time to enjoy a pint and watch a game of rugby really shows how unique he was.

I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of "Doc Batch". Tony encouraged me in my career from being my third year project supervisor at CSM and helping me further in life to enter the oil patch. He later assisted me in the Geothermal business in Portugal. You could always get a straight answer and an honest opinion from him. He was a guiding light to me in some difficult times.

I am shocked to know the sad news. I worked at GeoScience Ltd between 2003 – 2007, the early stage of my Petroleum geomechanics career. Tony was one of the earliest introducers of rock mechanics to the oil & gas industry, particularly in the UK. His founded consulting firm has not only successfully helped hundreds of clients in safely drilling wellbores, but also has well-educated and well-trained hundreds of professionals. Tony had cared for all his colleagues, friends and surely his family members. My heartfelt condolences to his family and GeoScience colleagues. RIP Tony and you will be sorely missed.

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