The British optometry community is mourning the loss of contact lens expert Mike Port. Dr. Port was a major figure in the development of contact lens standards in the UK and a world-renowned contact lens researcher.
In 1963, Dr. Port received his diploma in ophthalmic optics from the Northampton College of Advanced Technology (today known as City University). He got his first job working as an optometrist in Blandford, Dorset.
Throughout the 1970s, Port was extremely active in his local optical committee (LOC) and in the Association of Optometrists (AOP). He also continued to study contact lenses during this time, which eventually led to his diploma in contact lens practice (DCLP) and his MSC in Methods of Ophthalmic Investigation from Aston University in Birmingham.
Mike Port's excellent articles on contacts helped him land the position of senior ophthalmic optician at Moorfields Eye Hospital's contact lens department in 1979. While working at Moorfields, Port won the British Contact Lens Association's Dallos Award for his work.
In 1983, Port returned to his alma mater to teach the next generation of contact lens experts. As the head of City University's optometry department, Dr. Port lectured to hundreds of students on the latest innovations in contact lens design.
Undergraduates who took Port's classes said that he was one of the most energetic and passionate professors they've ever seen. Port was well-known for being generous with his office hours and more than willing to help students better understand optometry.
Besides teaching at City University, Dr. Port wrote many papers on contact lens research and eventually got his Ph.D. Many of Dr. Port's articles from this time period are still widely read by contact lens specialists.
As if that wasn't enough, Dr. Port also served as the councilor for the College of Optometrists throughout the 1980s. At the start of the 1990s, Dr. Port served briefly as the College president.
Port retired in the late 1990s, but he continued to be an active participant in the contact lens community. During this time he actually helped set international contact lens safety standards.
Sadly, Port was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer a few months ago. Port's wife Yvonne is asking for privacy during this time of grieving. Port is also survived by his daughter, Eleanor, and Eleanor's three children.
Professor David Edgar, a friend and colleague of the late Dr. Port, wrote, "With the passing of Mike Port, optometry has lost one of its foremost educators and contact lens specialists." Dr. Edgar teaches in City University's division of optometry & visual sciences.
City University was originally called the Northampton Institute when it opened in 1894. It only became known as City University of London in 1966. Today, City University is an official member of the University of London.
There are now around 10,000 undergraduates and 9,000 postgrads at City University. The university's main campus is at Northampton Square, Clerkenwell, in London.