Matthew Rollins, Engineer, Inventor and Visionary (12.4.1937 - 10.7.2014)
11 July 2014
Matthew Rollins passed away yesterday, leaving behind his wife Estelle, sons Gary, Jeremy and Adam, and many family members and friends in Coventry and around the world.
Matthew had an insatiable drive to develop and deliver low cost solar products globally, and he continued to work enthusiastically, despite his illness, until three weeks ago.
Born in Glasgow in 1937, Matthew trained as an electrical engineer in the RAF and then in 1957 he moved to Coventry to take up a job with GEC, marrying Estelle a year later. In 1962 Matthew set up his own television business in Far Gosford Street opposite the Paris Cinema, later opening up many more shops in Coventry, Nuneaton and Earlsdon. Matthew was always keen to encourage young people in their early career and took on many apprentices in the television trade during this time.
Matthew was always an inventor and held a patent for flat screen televisions in the 1970s using fibre optic technology. Later, he became interested in satellite television and was involved in developing different kinds of satellite dishes. This led to a keen fascination with solar reflectors for cooking purposes which he doggedly pursued throughout his retirement.
Matthew’s research and development activities won him many friends in many countries, including other inventors sharing their knowledge, charities involved in humanitarian aid and the global solar cooker charity, Solar Cookers International. He set up Applied Green Technology Ltd (AGT) with colleagues Roger Whitten (MD) and Viv Sloan (Marketing Director) in 2012 in order to develop and commercialise his inventions and he built a relationship of mutual respect and trust with the charity The Lady Fatemah Trust (LFT). In 2012, well into his seventies, he travelled to Marrakech in order to film a training video demonstrating how to use the solar cookers he designed.
Today AGT has exported thousands of solar cookers, as well as solar lights on behalf of the LFT.
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Matthew was a unique individual who will be sorely missed by everyone, including the Coventry and Warwickshire Inventors Club, which he founded in 2011 and whose members still meet monthly. Viv Sloan said: “We aim to continue growing and developing the business in line with its’vision ‘to be a leading contributor to global sustainability through the development and production of solar heat and light-generating consumer products’. Of course, things will not be the same without him.”
Please leave a comment below:
Bretthox, 20 January 2017
Thank you very much for this lovely tribute to Matthew on behalf of the Rollins family.
Rollins Family, 16 July 2014
I will never forget Matthew and his wise advices.
Matthew seat to me : '' Andreas .....you have already made good solar cookers and out there are many people needed them for there daily life ......find a way to send them as soon as possible. ''
Rest in peace my good friend .