Robert Russell was an early pioneer of wave power and ran the Hydraulics Research Station, near Wallingford, for more than 15 years.

He joined the research station in his twenties with an engineering degree from King’s College, Cambridge.

The Station, formerly based in London, was moved to Crowmarsh in 1951.

For more than a decade he was the director of the station and remained with the organisation until retiring on his 60th birthday in 1981.

On his retirement he was awarded the CBE.

The Research Station, then part of the Department of the Environment, made a major contribution to hydraulic projects worldwide, including the Thames Barrier.

Mr Russell invented a way of harnessing energy from waves, which was called The Russell Rectifier.

Among his many achievements were a seminal work entitled Waves and Tides, designing the bridge that leads to the old keep of Wallingford Castle, and being one of the pioneer microlight pilots.

He died peacefully on August 18, at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford, after a short illness.

He was aged 89, and leaves his wife Cynthia, three children and eight grandchildren.

His daughter, Julia Spence, 54, said: “He was very wise and very loving.”