1866-Sir William Fairbairn
Sir William Fairbairn was born in Kelso in 1789.
At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to Percy Main Colliery, near Newcastle-on-Tyne. In 1811 he moved to London, where he worked for Rennie and Penn. In 1817 he set up in business with a former shop-mate, James Lillie.
Fairbairn was involved with many of the major technological advances of his day. Some of the areas he was involved with include bridge building, machinery manufacture, investigation into the strength of materials and the construction of boilers, as well as the prevention of boiler explosions. He was also one of the first to experiment with shipbuilding in iron, and his shipyard at Millwall was the earliest iron-shipbuilding establishment of any great size in England.
He died in 1874.
Samuel Downing was born on 19 July 1811 at Bagenalstown, County Carlow, Ireland. He was the second son of Rev. Samuel Downing, the rector of Fenagh, in the diocese of Leighlin.
Downing studied at Kilkenny College, and from January 1829, at Trinity College, Dublin. He received his BA in Spring 1834. At that time it was not possible to study engineering at Trinity College, so he travelled to Edinburgh, and studied engineering there from 1834-1835. At the same time he spent much of his leisure time in an architect’s office.
After completing his studies, Downing became the pupil of Mr Bushe, and later became his assistant. He was employed on dock works in South Wales, and also designed and executed a road bridge from the Isle of Portland to the mainline. He later worked as resident engineer of the London and Birmingham Railway, and the Taff Vale Railway.
In 1846, Downing was appointed assistant professor of engineering at Trinity College, Dublin, under Sir John MacNeill. MacNeill held the purely honorary post of professor, from which he resigned in 1852. On MacNeill’s resignation, Downing was appointed to the chair of the Practice of Civil Engineering.
His favourite subject was hydraulics. He carried out many experiments in this area, funded by a grant by the Royal Irish Academy. In 1855 he published a treatise on ‘Elements of Practical Mechanics’. In 1875, he published the first volume of ‘Elements of Practical Construction’, and he was working on the second volume at the time of his death.
Downing was made an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering in 1865, after the Summer Meeting of that year was held in Dublin. He acted as Honorary Local Secretary for the Meeting, and was largely responsible for its organisation.
Samuel Downing died on 21 April 1882.
1867-General Arthur Morin
General Arthur Morin was born on 17 October 1795 in Paris, France. As a young boy he studied in Italy but returned to Paris by 1814, where he completed his studies in mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique. After this, he joined the artillery service and in 1823 was appointed lieutenant in the Spanish Civil War. He then assumed the role of Assistant Professor of Mechanics in the Artillery and Military Engineering School at Metz, where he edited the first publications of Jean-Victor Poncelet. Soon afterwards he succeeded Poncelet as Professor of Mechanics.
At Metz, he carried out experiments on friction, slipping, rolling, traction, and belts. He created and used different forms of dynamometer and this was the main factor in the success of his research. In 1839, he was made Professor of Applied Mechanics, a position specially created for him, at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers Paris. In 1849 he was appointed the Director of this institute.
In 1844, he was elected into the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of France. He was juror in the London Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862, and a general commissioner for the Paris Exhibition of 1855.
Of French works known in England, his “Aide Mémoire” is one of the most popular. In addition, his treatises on practical mechanics, steam engines, pumps, hydraulics, motors, strength of materials and ventilation and warming are considered to be standard works. He set up the ventilation of the Corps Législatif, Opera, Châtelet, Gaieté, Lyrique and Vaudeville theatres in Paris. He was also the director of the Northern Railway of France for several years.
In 1867, at the first meeting of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers held in Paris, Morin was made an Honorary Member of the Institution. This was partly because of the valuable contributions he made to the meeting as Director of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. At the meeting he contributed a paper on the ventilation of public buildings, using the Conservatoire, Theatre Lyrique and one of the public schools as case studies in the description of his system of ventilation. In 1878, the Paris meeting of the Institution was repeated and Morin and the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers rendered the same good services.
General Arthur Morin died on 7 February 1880.
1867-Henri Edouard Tresca
Henri Edouard Tresca was born on 12 October 1814 in Dunkerque, France. He gained a place at the Ecole de Saint-Cyr in 1832 but his love of science led him to transfer to the Ecole Polytechnique in 1833, and in 1835 he continued his studies at the Ecole de Ponts et Chaussées.
In 1841, he started as a civil engineer, constructing works for the manufacture of steric acid and the distillation of mineral oil. In 1851, at the Exhibition in London, he was in charge of the classification of the French productions. In 1852, General Morin invited him to take the post of engineer in the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. In 1854, he succeeded Morin in the chair of mechanics. That same year he was appointed inspector of the industrial schools throughout the country and was a member of the committee that selected teachers for the respective schools.
He published his various experiments on mechanical subjects in the Annales du Conservatoire (a work originated by himself), which were rapidly recognised as authoritative in and beyond France.
He devoted the last twenty years of his life to what he considered to be his most important work of all, his investigations into the ‘flow of solids’. He gave a paper on this subject at the first meeting of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Paris in 1867, and produced a further paper at the second meeting of the Institution in 1878. The work he undertook as secretary of the Metre Commission resulted in the adoption of the form designed by him for the metre standards, by which strength was combined with lightness.
Tresca attended the Electrical Exhibition in Paris in 1881 and although he had a limited knowledge of this department of science, he nonetheless took the lead in conducting the trials there made of various apparatus exhibited, and became an authority in experiments on electric lighting and the transmission of power by electricity.
During his lifetime he held many titles both of French and of foreign distinction. Some of the most notable include Honorary President of the French Institution of Civil Engineers, Member of the French Academy of Sciences, Professor and Chairman of Council in the College of Arts and Manufacture, Professor of Mechanics in the Agricultural Institute, Member of the Council of Technical Education, Vice-President of the Society for Encouragement of National Industry, and Vice –President of the International Society of Electricians, of which he was also a founder. In 1867, he was nominated by the Council of the Institution an Honorary Member, and he was present at the summer meeting in Belgium in 1833.
Henri Edouard Tresca died on 21 June 1885.
1876-James Ludovic Lindsay, Lord Lindsay of Balcarres
James Ludovic Lindsay was born at St Germain-en-Laye, in France, on 28 July 1847. He was the son of Alexander, the 25th Earl, whom he succeeded in 1880, and his wife Margaret. He was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He married Emily Florence Bootle-Wilbraham in 1869, and they had a daughter and six sons
He devoted himself to astronomy, and soon gained distinction in his chosen field. With the help of his father, he built an observatory at Dunechet, Aberdeenshire, which he presented to the nation, along with its equipment and library of mathematical and astronomical works. Crawford made several astronomical expeditions, including expeditions to Cadiz in 1870, to observe the solar eclipse and to Mauritius in 1874, to observe the transit of Venus. In 1878 and 1879 he was President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1878.
Crawford had many other interests. He made a scientific expedition during 1905 and 1906 in his steam yacht, ‘Valhalla’. He visited South America, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Madagascar, and brought back a collection of rare birds which he presented to the Zoological Society. Another of his passions was stamp-collecting, and he formed one of the most valuable stamp-collections in England. The Royal Philatelic Society London, of which he was President, established the Crawford Medal in his honour. This medal, awarded annually, is given for ‘the most valuable and original contribution to the study and knowledge of philately published in book form during the two years preceding the award’. Crawford was also named as one of the ‘Fathers of Philately’ by the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain.
Lindsay’s English seat was at Haigh Hall, Wigan, and he had strong links with the local community. He served as MP for Wigan between 1874 and 1880, when he was elevated to the peerage. He was chairman of the Wigan Coal and Iron Company for many years, and also served as President of the Wigan and District Chamber of Commerce.
He was created a Knight of the Thistle in 1891 and was a Knight of Grace of St John of Jerusalem and a Commander of the Legion of Honour. He was made an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1878.
He died on 31 January 1913 at the age of 66.
1876-John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh of Terling Place
John William Strutt was born at Langford Grove, Essex, on 12 November 1842. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was awarded the Sheepshanks Exhibition in astronomy, and in 1865 he was Senior Wrangler (the highest scoring student gaining a first-class honours in the third year of the mathematical tripos) and the first Smith’s Prizeman. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity College the following year. After graduating he developed his laboratory and experimental work at Terling Place, the family seat at Witham in Essex.
In 1871 he resigned his Fellowship to marry Evelyn Georgiana Mary, sister to Arthur James Balfour, later Earl of Balfour and Prime Minister. He succeeded his father as Third Baron Rayleigh in 1873, the same year that he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
He was a founder members of the Society for Psychical Research, but was never a convinced follower, declaring in his presidential address to the Society in 1919 that he had “no definite conclusions to announce” after “45 years of hesitation”.
During the 1870s he undertook significant work in the fields of acoustics and optics, and in 1871 he proposed a solution to one of the then most puzzling questions in optics: why is the sky blue? His Theory of Sound, published in 1877 was for many years the standard work on the subject.
In 1879 he succeeded James Clerk Maxwell as Cavendish Professor of Physics, where he systematised laboratory instruction in elementary physics in a way that later became the basis for physics education in many other institutions of higher education. He also initiated the research programme that led to the redetermination of the ohm, the ampere and the volt.
He was elected Secretary of the Royal Society in 1885, a position he held until 1896, and in 1887 he succeeded John Tyndall as Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution.
Following painstaking research during the 1880s and early 1890s, Rayleigh, latterly with William Ramsay, professor of chemistry at University College London, was responsible for the discovery of argon in the atmosphere. For this they received the Smithsonian Hodgkins prize and, in 1904, the Nobel Prizes for physics (Rayleigh) and chemistry (Ramsay). Rayleigh donated the cash award from the Nobel Prize to the University of Cambridge.
He was chairman of the Treasury committee which recommended the establishment of the National Physical Laboratory, and he subsequently presided over its executive committee. He was Chief Gas Examiner under the Metropolitan Gas Acts, and he was chairman of the explosives committee of the War Office. From 1896 to 1911 he was chief scientific adviser to Trinity House.
Rayleigh was one of twelve upon whom King Edward first conferred the Order of Merit in 1902. In 1905 he became President of the Royal Society, and a Privy Councillor that same year. In 1908 he was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.
The recipient of many honorary degrees and awards, he was made an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1896.
He died at Terling Place on 30 June 1919 at the age of 76.
1883-Sir Frederick Augustus Abel
Frederick Augustus Abel was born on 17 July 1827 at Woolwich, England. He was the son of the late Mr. Johann Frederick Abel of Woolwich. He decided to pursue a career as a chemist, beginning his studies in 1844 at the Royal Polytechnic Institution. In 1845 he gained entry to the Royal College of Chemistry, which had recently been founded with a temporary laboratory in George Street, Hanover Square.
In 1846, he became assistant to Professor Hoffman, who had founded the College. After five years in this position, he was appointed to succeed Michael Faraday as Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Military Academy. He held this post until 1854, when he was appointed Chemist to the War Office. He remained in this position until 1891, serving as an adviser on all matters relating to ammunition and explosives. He was also President of the Explosives Committee from 1889-91.
Sir Frederick Abel and Professor Dewar were both members of a Select Committee set up by the Government in 1888 to examine the various kinds of smokeless powder in existence, and together they patented the substance now known as cordite.
In conjunction with Sir Andrew Noble he carried out investigations into the processes that aided the firing of black powder. He made important contributions to the theory of detonation. He was also interested in the construction of electrical and other fuses. In 1879, he was appointed member of the Royal Commission on Accidents in Mines and his knowledge of blasting powders was invaluable. He contributed much on the subject of the flash-point of petroleum, resulting in the legislation of his open-test apparatus in 1868. Later, when it proved subject to manipulation, the close-test instrument was designed and legalised in 1879.
In 1881, he undertook for the Research Committee on the Hardening etc. of Steel, experiments on the condition in which carbon exists in steel, following this up with a second report in 1883 and the final report in 1885. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1883 and served as an Honorary Secretary until his death. He retired from his appointment at the War Office in 1888. From 1887-1900 he acted as Organising secretary of the Imperial Institute.
He was made a Companion of the Bath in 1877, knighted in 1883, promoted to the rank of Knight Commander of the Bath in 1891, and created a Baronet in 1893, after the opening of the Imperial Institute. In 1901 he received the honour of the Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. He also held the Albert, Royal, Telford and Bessemer Medals.
He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, D.C.L. of Oxford, and D.Sc. of Cambridge. Amongst his various achievements, he had been President of British Association, the Iron and Steel Institute, the Chemical Society, the Institute of Chemistry, the Society of Chemical Industry, the Institution of Electrical Engineers and Chairman of the Society of Arts, and had published several books chiefly associated with explosives.
Sir Frederic Augustus Abel died on 6 September 1902.
1883-Sir Alexander Blackie William Kennedy
Sir Alexander Kennedy was born in Stepney in 1847, and died in 1928.
He served his apprenticeship of four and a half years with J & W Dudgeon, shipbuilders and marine engineers at Millwall. He then took up a position as leading draughtsman in the engine department of Palmers' Shipbuilding and Iron Company at Jarrow-on-Tyne. In 1871 he commenced practice as a consulting engineer in Edinburgh and Glasgow, in partnership with H O Bennett.
At the age of 27, he became Professor of Engineering at University College, London. Here he established the first college engineering laboratory. He continued to take on a great deal of consulting engineering work however, and in 1889 he resigned the professorship and devoted himself entirely to design and constructional work.
He carried out a large number of experiments on concrete beams, and designed the steel and concrete structure of the Alhambra Theatre. He increasingly concentrated on electrical engineering, and became Chief Engineer of the Westminster Electric Supply Company, Central Electric Company and the St James's and Pall Mall Electric Supply Company. He designed many provincial electricity generating stations, and was also associated with related undertakings such as the London County Council Tramways, the Waterloo and City Tube Railway, the electrified lines of the Great Western Railway and Southern Railway and the formation of the London Power Company.
As well as his technical papers, he also published several books of wide interest, including 'Ypres to Verdun', a series of lectures and photographs depicting the devastation caused by the First World War, and 'Petra: its History and Monuments'. The latter was an account of a journey of exploration undertaken at the age of 75, accompanied by photographs which he had taken.
He also had a great love of music and was a talented amateur musician.
He died in 1928.
Jean-Louis Trasenster was born on 10 February 1816 at Beaufays, near Liége, Belgium. He was educated at the Liége public school and then studied science in the University, where in 1836 he and one other were the first students in the newly established department of mining engineering.
In 1838, he gained by examination the rank of mine manager, and in 1842 was the first to be awarded the title of government mining engineer. In 1840, before he had completed all his diplomas, he was placed in charge of the class of elementary statistics at the University of Liége. In 1844, he was appointed lecturer on mining and held this post till 1879. In 1845, he became inspector of the junior department of the Mining school.
He was made inspector of the practical department and professor of the faculty of science in 1846. He rose by successive promotions to the highest rank in 1855. Meanwhile. in 1849 he was also appointed secretary to the University. In 1880 he was made Rector of the University and in 1883 this appointment was renewed for a further three years.
When the Association des Ingénieurs sortis de L’École de Liége was founded in 1847 by twenty-nine of his former pupils, he was elected their first president. He was re-elected annually for thirty-nine consecutive years until 1886 when he retired.
At the start of his career, he acted as consulting engineer to the John Cockerill Company, Seraing. He was also chairman of the Ougrée Coal and Iron Works, near Liége, being re-elected for thirty-eight years. He was also a director of the Alstaden Collieries in Prussia, the Maestricht Paper Mills, and the Herve Railways near Liége.
In 1844 his treatise on ventilating machines was published and in 1852 his treatise on rotary ventilators followed suit. In 1848 and 1872 he produced his works on the draining of mines, and in 1872 and 1878 his works on the use of compressed air and water pressure. It was at his instigation that dressed stone was first used as tubbing for lining the shafts of coal-pits at Alsatden and Seraing. He facilitated improvements, both in the employment of compressed air for sinking pits through watery measures, and in the construction of man engines.
He was part of the editing committee of the “Annnales des Travaux Publics,” and of the “Revue Universalle des Mines,” and contributed important articles to both of these publications. He introduced public baths and wash houses to Liége
At the International Exhibitions of 1862 in London, 1867 in Paris, and 1873 in Vienna, he was juror.
He was made an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers at the Summer Meeting of the Institution in Belgium in 1883. He died on 1 January 1887.
1888-Lawrence Parsons, Earl of Rosse
Lawrence Parsons was born on 17 November 1840 at Birr Castle, Parsontown, Ireland, and succeeded to the title of 4th Earl of Rosse when his father died in 1867. The following year he was elected a Representative Irish Peer. He was the eldest brother of the Hon. Charles A. Parsons, C.B., F.R.S., who is largely responsible for the modern development of the turbine.
He accomplished much in the scientific field and subsequently received a number of honorary degrees including: the honorary degree of D.C.L from the University of Oxford (1870), the degree of LL.D. from Dublin University (1879) and the same latter honorary degree from Cambridge. He succeeded Earl Cairns as Chancellor of Dublin University in 1885.
In 1890, he received the knighthood of the Order of St. Patrick. In addition to acting as Lord Lieutenant for King’s County, he occupied several Government and municipal positions, and the London County Council appointed him chairman of the committee that dealt with gas-testing. He was very popular in Birr, which was practically founded by his ancestors, and which he developed considerably.
He was Fellow of the Royal Society, and an Honorary Member of the Institution from 1888. At the Dublin meeting held in that year at Birr Castle, he contributed a Paper on a 'Balanced or Automatic Sluice for Weirs.' He maintained the observatory established at Birr Castle by his father, including the famous Rosse reflector and always took a keen interest in astronomical research.
Amongst other matters, he himself carried out a series of investigations of the temperature of the moon at different periods of lunation. These investigations were still in progress when he died on 30 August 1908, and were yielding some interesting results.
1888-Reverend Samuel Haughton
Samuel Haughton was born on 21 December 1921 in Carlow, Ireland.
He was educated at the Carlow Diocesan School, where he gained knowledge of Hebrew, botany, chemistry, astronomy and the geology of Leinster coalfield, under the guidance of Rev. John Emerson. Contemplating a clerical life, he attended the county infirmary as a pupil of Dr. Thomas Rawson. He was also interested in mechanics and assisted his cousin, Mr. S Wilfred Haughton in constructing a model steam engine. Aged seventeen, he gained a place at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1843, aged twenty-two, he obtained the first senior moderatorship in mathematics, gaining the gold medal. together with his degree. Dr. Salmon, his tutor, advised him to compete for a fellowship, which he obtained in 1844, within a year of completing his degree, an act that was unprecedented.
He was ordained deacon in 1846 and priest in 1847. Retaining his fellowship, he set up a class with his colleague, the Rev. Joseph Galbraith, for the preparation of students seeking commissions in the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers. In 1862, he obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine of Dublin University, and was appointed successively registrar, and in 1879 chairman of the medical school. He was also made a governor of Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital.
He was joint author of the Galbraith and Haughton series of manuals. In 1851 he became professor of geology and held this post till 1881, when he was co-opted to the Board of Senior Fellows. He represented the University of Dublin on the General Medical Council from 1878 to 1896 and effectively advocated the Dublin schools of medicine.
In 1873 he produced a book on Animal Mechanic, in which his early mechanical tastes are shown in combination with his surgical, physiological and mathematical knowledge. He was president of the Royal Irish Academy from1886 to 1891 where he published a work on the tides of the Irish Seas. He was honorary secretary at the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland for several years. He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1858, and received the degrees of D.C.L. of Oxford in 1868, LL.D. and M.D of Cambridge in 1880, LL.D of Edinburgh in 1884, and honorary M.D of the University of Bologna in 1888. He was also honorary fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.
Haughton was made an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1888, after the Summer Meeting of that year was held in Trinity College, Dublin.
Samuel Haughton died on 31 October 1897.
1889-Gustave Alexandre Eiffel
Gustave Alexandre Eiffel was born on 15 December 1832 at Dijon, France. He received his elementary education in Dijon and at the Lycée Ste. Barbe, Paris. He went on to study civil engineering courses at the École Centrale des Arts et Métiers which he completed in 1855. In 1857, he became a member of the Société des Ingénieurs Civils de France.
In 1858, he became resident engineer on the construction of the iron bridge over the River Garonne at Bordeaux. He then engaged in various contractual works, including the designing, building, and testing of the structure forming the machinery hall for the Paris International Exhibition of 1867. Up until 1887, when he began construction of the Paris 300-metre tower, Eiffel had built iron and steel bridges amongst other things which had a total weight of over 100,000 tons.
The Eiffel Tower, whose weight is 7,800 metric tons, served its purpose during the Exhibition of 1889, and since that period, particularly during the war, it proved a most invaluable building owing the introduction of wireless telegraph and telephony. Eiffel relinquished his active participation in structural engineering due to old age, but continued a practical interest in the experimental side of aerodynamics, setting up a laboratory for this near the Tower, and later on Auteuil.
Eiffel was president of the French Society of Civil Engineers in 1889, and welcomed the members of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on their visit to the Eiffel Tower at the Summer Meeting in that year. As a result of that visit, the Council nominated Eiffel an Honorary Member of the Institution. Also at the Summer Meeting in Paris in 1922 he received the members at the Tower, and honoured the Institution by attending the Banquet in June of that year. He achieved a number of distinctions for his work. He was an Officer of the Legion of Honour, Officer de l’instruction Publique and was a Knight and Commander of many foreign orders. He also received the Langley gold medal of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington.
He died on 28 December 1923.
1890-HRH Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later His Majesty King Edward VII)
Born at Buckingham Palace on 9 November 1841, the first son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, he became Prince of Wales at the age of one month. Educated privately, he subsequently attended Oxford and Cambridge, following a period spent cramming at Edinburgh in 1859. He enjoyed his studies at Oxford, and performed satisfactorily in his examinations. In 1860 he travelled to the USA and to Canada, the first heir to the throne to visit either country. Naturally good humoured and genial, his visit was very successful. He returned to continue his studies at Oxford, and at Trinity College, Cambridge.
The death of the Prince Consort in 1861 delayed his marriage to Princess Alexandra of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, but they were eventually married at Windsor on 10 March 1863. Between 1864 and 1871 they had seven children; their second son, George, born on 3 June 1865, subsequently became King George V. Alexandra took great pleasure in her children, and did not attend public events frequently, whereas the Prince was very much committed to a vigorous social round. Although they managed these differences successfully, there was much criticism of their different lifestyles, and he was sometimes booed in public. However towards the end of 1871 he almost died of typhoid. When he recovered there was widespread celebration and his popularity was ensured.
He took his seat in the House of Lords in February 1863, and set up his London home at Marlborough House in Pall Mall. He also bought Sandringham House in Norfolk. At this time he did not take on any official duties, and neither did he represent the Queen at public occasions. He did take on a number of public responsibilities, playing a significant part in the planning of the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal College of Music. He was also President of the Society of Arts in 1863 and of the 1851 Commissioners in 1870, and he was the Chairman of the Governors of Wellington College in 1864.
During the 1870s, however, he was increasingly the official representative of the Head of State, and he fulfilled this role with great success, becoming known for his ability to speak fluently from very brief notes. In 1875 he made an official visit to India which was seen as very successful, his easy manner with people at all levels of society being particularly helpful in easing the racial tensions evident in colonial India. Indeed, he was very critical of the way some British political office holders dealt with the Indians, and new instructions on this were subsequently issued by the Secretary of State, Lord Salisbury. On his return from India he was awarded several honorary degrees and the freedom of several cities.
In 1881 he became a trustee of the British Museum. In 1884 he was a member of the Royal Commission on the Housing of the Working Classes – the first heir to the throne to serve on such a commission – and in 1891 he served on the Royal Commission on the Aged Poor. In 1897 he established the Prince of Wales’s Hospital Fund for London, which in 1902 became King Edward’s Hospital Fund for London. He was elected an Honorary Life Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1890.
As international relations deteriorated during the 1890s he formed the view that Britain was becoming dangerously isolated, and he worked to strengthen links with Portugal and the USA. During the Boer War, while travelling in Denmark, he was the target of an unsuccessful assassination attempt, and on his return to London he was greeted by huge crowds, reflecting the extent to which his popularity had grown.
When Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901 he ascended to the throne, announcing at once that he should be known as Edward VII. His Coronation, originally arranged for 26 June 1902, was postponed when he was diagnosed with appendicitis and peritonitis. Following a successful operation on 23 June he was crowned on 9 August 1901.
He was enthusiastic about being King, and this rather than duty informed his reign. He set about reorganizing the Royal Palaces and finances, and he revived the practice of the monarch personally opening Parliament. Early in 1902 he proposed an Order of Merit, which would mark distinction in the arts, sciences, literature, and the armed forces, keeping appointment to this Order very much in his own hands. He saw that style was critical to the public perception of the monarchy, and his court set the tone for the ‘Edwardian period’ as it came to be known. At the time it symbolized energy and change, although it subsequently came to be seen as a sort of ‘golden age’ before the First World War.
Much more of the political centre than his mother, he enabled the Monarchy to retain its popularity through a politically difficult period. In 1902 Lord Salisbury was replaced as Prime Minister by A J Balfour. Although he thought that Balfour’s resignation in 1905 was unnecessary, he formed a good relationship with Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who won a striking victory in the General Election of 1906. After Campbell-Bannerman resigned in 1908 his relationship with Herbert Asquith was much more formal. Conflict between the House of Commons and the House of Lords was growing during this period, and it was brought to a head by the Finance Bill of 1909, which the Lords rejected. The King acquiesced to Asquith’s request for him to dissolve Parliament, and the Government won a substantial majority in the subsequent election. The reintroduced Finance Bill was eventually passed into law on 14 April 1910.
The King travelled to Biarritz in March 1910, where he became ill, returning to Buckingham Palace on 27 April. He travelled to Sandringham on the 30 April, and Queen Alexandra returned from a visit to Corfu to be with him on 5 May. He died the following day, 6 May 1910, at the age of 68.
1892-Field-Marshal HRH Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
Field Marshal Prince George, Duke of Cambridge was born on 26 March 1819 at Cambridge House, Hanover, the son of Prince Adolphus Frederick, First Duke of Cambridge and his wife, Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel. He was privately educated. He was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1835 and embarked on a military career.
In 1837, after serving for a short time in the Hanoverian army, he returned to the England and became a Colonel in the British army. From October 1838 to April 1839 he was attached to the staff at Gibraltar, and after serving in Ireland with the 12th Royal Lancers, he was appointed Colonel of the 17th Light Dragoons in April 1842. From then until 1845 he served as a staff colonel in the Ionian Islands, where he received the Grand Cross of St Michael and St George. In 1850 he succeeded his father as Second Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden.
He became inspector of cavalry in 1852, holding that post until the outbreak of the Crimean War, when he received the command of the First Division (Guards and Highland Brigades) of the British Army in the East. In June 1854 he was promoted to Lieutenant-General, and he was present at the battles of Alma, Balaclava, and Inkerman, and at the siege of Sevastopol. In July 1956 he was appointed General Commanding-in-Chief of the British Army, and became a member of the Privy Council; his post was re-titled Commander-in-Chief by Letters Patent in 1887. He served as the chief military advisor to the Secretary of State for War, with responsibility for the administration of the army and command of forces in the field. He was promoted to the rank of Field-Marshal in November 1862, and was the longest serving head of the British Army, being Commander-in Chief for 39 years. He had a reputation for being old-fashioned and resistant to change, although he was deeply concerned about the welfare of soldiers and took a keen interest in army reform. He was involved in the creation of the army Staff College, and was Governor of the Military Academy, Woolwich.
Following the Prussian victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 the Secretary of State for War in W. E. Gladstone’s Liberal Government, Edward Cardwell, called for major army reforms. The Duke of Cambridge firmly but unsuccessfully opposed his proposals. The impetus for reform continued in the War Office Act of 1870, which formally made the Commander-in-Chief of the army subordinate to the Secretary of State for War, and he opposed this and many other subsequent reforms. He resigned on 1 November 1895.
In 1840 he had met the actress, Sarah (Louisa) Fairbrother, daughter of a theatrical promoter, and the couple had two sons before marrying on 8 January 1847, in defiance of the Royal Marriages Act. They subsequently had a third son.
He received many honours and awards, including the Order of the Thistle in 1881, and he was elected Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1892.
He died on 17 March 1904 at Gloucester House, Park Lane, at the age of 84.
1896-Sir Professor William Cawthorne Unwin
Professor William Cawthorne Unwin was born in Coggeshall, Essex, in 1838. He was educated at the City of London School and New College, St. John’s Wood. He served his pupilage with Sir William Fairbairn from 1854 to 1861, and during this time attended the University of London in the evenings, graduating with a BSc in 1861.
At the age of 23 he became works manager for Williamson and Brothers of Kendal. After six years, he was appointed Instructor in the Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, South Kensington. He was then appointed Chair of Hydraulic Engineering at the Royal Indian Engineering College, Cooper’s Hill, and in 1884 became the first Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the City and Guilds of London Central Technical College, South Kensington. He was widely acknowledged as a leading authority on technical education.
One of his interesting activities was his work as Secretary of the International Commission on the Utilization of the Niagara Falls, which was formed in 1890 under the chairmanship of Lord Kelvin. He was concerned with thorough investigations in different countries on hydraulic and electrical developments, and played an important part in the selection of the Niagara plant.
He was a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1886, and served on its Council in 1894. He was President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1911. He was President of the Engineering Section of the British Association in 1892 and served for lengthy periods on the Senate of the University of London on the main Committee of the British Engineering Standards Association, and, during the First World War, on the Metropolitan Munitions Committee Management Board.
He died on 17 March 1933, at the age of 95.
1897-Sir Professor William Chandler Roberts-Austen
Sir William Chandler Roberts-Austen was born on 3 March 1843 in London. Aged eighteen, he accepted a place at the School of Mines. He initially intended to become a mining engineer but when he obtained the associateship of the school he was employed by Professor Graham, then Master of the Mint.
When Professor Graham died in 1869 Roberts-Austen was appointed assayer and was promoted in 1882 to the position of Queen’s Assay-Master. He was put in charge of all the scientific, as distinguished from the mechanical, operations of coinage and until his death he was responsible for the standard fineness of about one hundred and thirty million gold coins.
In 1880 he succeeded Dr. Percy as Professor of Metallurgy at the Royal School of Mines, while still occupying his post at the Mint. From 1880 onwards, he engaged in a long series of experimental research on the atomic theory of metals, and of the influence of traces of impurities on the whole mass. In 1889 the Alloys Research Committee of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was appointed and Roberts acted as Reporter to it, carrying out many of the tests. This Committee made five Reports and the sixth and final one was in draft form before his death. By means of photography, he introduced his automatic recording pyrometer in order to record temperatures automatically.
Alloys formed the topic of his lecture to the British Association at their Newcastle Meeting in 1889, dealing with the hardening and tempering of steel, by which means he struck up a long association with the French metallurgist, M. Osmond.
He worked on several Government committees. In 1893 he was chairman of the committee appointed to enquire into the laboratory arrangements of the Customs and Inland Revenue Departments. In that same year he served on a committee appointed to consider the best means of utilising for metallurgical purposes the water power available on the completion of the Periyar Water Works in India.
In 1896 he served on a Board of Trade Committee on the loss of strength of steel rails through use on the railways, in connection with which he conducted an elaborate research and produced a report of great industrial importance.
He was also a member of the Explosives committee of the War from its inception. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1887 in recognition of his valuable work on the Alloys Research Committee, and was President of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1899-1900. He was also elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1901. He was one of the founders of the Physical Society of London, serving as secretary for a while and then vice-president. He acted as an honorary secretary of the British Association of for the Advancement of Science. In 1875, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and served on the Council. He was also a vice-president of the Chemical Society and of the Society of the Arts.
In 1890 he was created a Companion of the Bath, and was promoted to be a Knight Commander in 1899. He was given the title of D.C.L by the University of Durham in 1897, and he was doctor of Science of Victoria University, Manchester. He had served on the Government Commission in connection with the Exhibitions of Paris in 1889, and in Chicago. He was Knight of the Legion of Honour, and in 1893 he was elected a member of the Athenæum Club for distinguished eminence in Science.
He died on 22 December 1902.
1899-HRH George Duke of York (later His Majesty King George V)
George Frederick Ernest Albert was born on 3 June 1865 at Marlborough House, London. He was the second son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.
He spent his early life at Sandringham, and from the age of 12 he served in the Royal Navy with his older brother, Albert. In 1883 he was posted as a Sub-Lieutenant to HMS Canada, before attending the Royal Naval College at Greenwich and HMS Excellence at Portsmouth. In 1889 he took command of a torpedo boat, and in 1890 the gunboat HMS Thrush, being promoted to Commander in 1891. His active Naval career ended after a brief command of the Cruiser HMS Melampus, when in 1892 he was created Duke of York by Queen Victoria, taking his seat in the House of Lords the same year. However, he became a captain in the Royal Navy in 1893, then Rear-Admiral and Vice-Admiral in 1901 and 1903 respectively, Admiral in 1907, and finally Admiral of the Fleet in 1910.
After the death of his elder brother, Albert, at the beginning of 1892 he was second in line to the throne, and in July 1893 he married Princess Mary of Teck. The couple lived at York Cottage on the Sandringham estate, and had six children, the first being the future Edward VIII, and the second the future George VI. He was a keen sportsman and also developed a strong interest in stamp collecting, building up a collection of over a quarter of a million stamps.
On the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901 his father ascended the throne as Edward VII, and he became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothsay. He and Mary toured the British Empire, visiting Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada, and on his return he was created Prince of Wales. In 1906 he toured India, and, like his father, was shocked by the discrimination meted out by the colonial civil service to the Indian population, and he campaigned for greater involvement of Indians in the running of the country. When Edward VII died on 6 May 1910 he ascended the throne as King George V. He and Queen Mary were crowned at Westminster Abbey on 22 June 1911. Later that year they travelled to India where they were present at the Delhi Durbar, where they were presented to an audience of Indian Princes and dignitaries as the Emperor and Empress of India, George wearing the newly-created Imperial Crown of India.
He had opened Parliament for the first time in February 1911, in the midst of what was a very turbulent period for the constitutional position of the monarchy. The rejection by the House of Lords of the 1909 Finance Bill had led to moves to limit the power of the Lords to over-turn the will of the House of Commons on financial matters, through the introduction of the Parliament Bill. This was eventually passed into law in 1911, the King having ultimately agreed to back the government of the day, and so the House of Commons. The introduction of the Home Rule Bill for Ireland in 1912 marked further turmoil in Parliament, and this again directly involved the King. These years, between his accession to the throne and the start of the First World War, marked the most challenging constitutional experience of a British monarch since the time of George III.
On the outbreak of war in 1914 there was much concern about the close family ties between the British royal family and the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was the King’s first cousin. As a consequence, on 17 July 1917 he issued an Order in Council that changed the name of the British Royal House from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor, and he, and all of his relatives who were British subjects relinquished the use of all German titles and styles, and adopted British-sounding surnames. During and after the First World War the monarchies that had ruled most of Europe fell; many, including Russia, to revolution and war. In 1922 a Royal Navy ship was sent to rescue the King’s cousin, Prince Andrew of Greece and his wife, Princess Alice of Battenberg; their children included Prince Philip, who would later marry Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II).
He took an interest in the turmoil in Ireland, and during the General Strike of 1926 was offended by the suggestion that the strikers were ‘revolutionaries’, saying “Try living on their wages before you judge them”. He was also concerned by the rise of the Nazi Party, warning the British Ambassador in Berlin to be wary of the fascists.
In 1932 he agreed to deliver a Christmas speech on the radio, paving the way for what was to become a major annual fixture in the Royal calendar in subsequent years.
In 1884 he became a Knight of the Garter, and in 1893 a Knight of the Thistle and Royal Fellow of the Royal Society. He received many other honours and awards, and he was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1899.
He was seriously ill from 1928, and his eldest son Edward took over many of his duties. He retired for a brief spell to the house of Sir Arthur du Cross at Bognor, where the myth of his remark,“Bugger Bognor” grew. He celebrated his Silver Jubilee in 1935 to great popular acclaim. He died on 20 January 1936 at Sandringham House at the age of 70.
1901-William Thomson, Lord Kelvin of Largs
William Thomson was born in Belfast on 26 June 1824. His father, James Thomson, was a teacher in the Royal Academic Institute of Belfast. In 1832, James Thomson was appointed to the Glasgow College chair of mathematics, and the family moved to Glasgow. William and his elder brother James attended their father's junior class as listeners, and in 1834 both matriculated. William was then just ten years old.
In 1841, William became an undergraduate at St Peter's College, Cambridge. During his time as an undergraduate he became keen on rowing. In his second year he joined the college eight, and in 1843 he won the Colquhoun silver sculls for single-seat boats. He was also a keen musician, and became a founder member of the Cambridge University Music Society in 1844. In 1845, he was second wrangler (the second highest scoring student gaining a first-class honours in the third year of the mathematical tripos) and Smith's Prizeman. In the same year he was elected a Fellow of Peterhouse, as well as taking over editorship of the Cambridge Mathematical Journal.
He soon travelled to Paris, where he studied under Victor Regnault, who was then making accurate measurements on the properties of steam and other gases. In 1846, he was offered the University of Glasgow's vacant chair of Natural Philosophy. He accepted this position, and remained in the chair until 1899.
He was involved in many areas of science, including kinetics and the kinetic theory of matter; elasticity and hydrodynamics; electricity; magnetism; waves; telegraphy; and the development of accurate scientific instruments. He was knighted in 1866 in response to his work on the laying of the transatlantic telegraph.
He was involved with a wide range of scientific and learned societies, including the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Faraday Society. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1901, after serving as President of the Glasgow Engineering Conference of that year, of which the Institution took charge of Section III (Mechanical).
He died on 17 December 1907 at the age of 84.
1911-Professor Dr Aurel Stodola
Aurel Stodola was born in 1859 in the Slovakian town of Lipstovský St.Mikuláš. He studied at the Realschule at Levoča and Košice in Slovakia, and at the Budapest Polytechnic, where he obtained a scholarship. At 21 years and two months he was awarded the Diploma of Mechanical Engineering with Distinction from the Polytechnikum in Zurich. This distinction was an honour reserved for students of exceptional ability.
After obtaining practical training and further study in Berlin and Paris, Stodola accepted a position as engineer in the Prague works of Ruston and Company, a firm which had introduced the Corliss engine into Austria and would ultimately offer him the opportunity to develop his abilities as a designer.
In 1892, aged 33, he accepted the Professorship of the Mechanical Department of the Polytechnikum in Zürich, a post he held until his retirement in 1929. He remained at Zürich until his death, Switzerland having become his second home. Zürich presented him in 1905 with its Honorary citizenship. During his professorship, he received a number of accolades, including the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Zürich and an Honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from the Technische Hochschule of Hanover and Brünn. In 1908 the Society of German Engineers presented him with the Grashof Denkmünze, its highest distinction. He was also appointed a Corresponding Member of the French Academy of Science.
The position in the engineering world held by the small country of Switzerland at that time, and the eminent positions held by many of his students in other parts of the world, are evidence of Stodola’s teaching success.
Although he had a wide range of engineering interests, his most important contribution was his work on the steam turbine. In this field his earliest work dealt with the stability of governing turbines by means of servo-motors, but it was his first lecture on the theory of the steam turbine, given in 1902 before the Society of German Engineers in Düsseldorf, that marked the beginning of his great work on this subject. In 1903, this lecture was published in an expanded form in the Zeitschrift, and was shortly followed by his first volume published under the title of “The Steam Turbine”.
In subsequent editions his work expanded until in 1922, when his sixth edition was published, it covered some 1,150 pages, and including 1,200 figures. This edition was translated into English and was universally accepted as the key reference work for turbine designers.
Professor Stodola was firmly convinced that the development of this promising prime mover should be based in scientific knowledge, and in formulating a basis for design, he endeavoured to substantiate his mathematical approach by experiment. He demonstrated by tests the false notion that supersonic steam velocities were impossible, or at least impracticable, and did valuable pioneering work in the design of divergent and convergent nozzles. He laid down methods of calculating disk stresses and methods of arriving at shaft critical speeds and the gyroscopic effect on turbine disks. As early as 1914, he developed the theory of disk and blade vibration, ignorance of which had at the time led to many failures.
Stodola was also greatly interested in gas and diesel engines and he envisaged the practical possibility of the gas turbine, his theory of which appeared as an appendix to the second edition of his book on the “Steam Turbine” in 1904. His last work on this subject dealt with the tests on a 4,000 kW commercial gas turbine unit, the results of which were published in England in January 1940.
Stodola was fluent in English and read a great deal of English and American literature. He also had a great interest in music, playing both the piano and organ. He was familiar with the works of the great scientists and philosophers, which was demonstrated in a book published after his retirement. During his professorship Stodola took a keen interest in educational problems, and in his book revealed the ideals upon which his perception of the duty of professorship was based, and dealt with the importance of the character of the engineer.
Stodola was highly revered beyond his native land, symbolized by the James Watt International Medal presented to him by the Institution of Mechanical engineers. He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1902, and an Honorary Member in 1911.
Stodola died in 1942.
1916-Erasmus Darwin Leavitt
Erasmus Darwin Leavitt was born at Lowell, Massachusetts, United States on 27 October 1836. He was educated at local public school, and aged sixteen began work in the machine shops of the Lowell Manufacturing Co., where he was an apprentice for three years.
He spent a year with Corliss and Nightingale, and was later assistant foreman of the City Point Works in South Boston, where he was in charge of the construction of the engine of the U.S.S. “Hartford.” From 1859-61 he was chief draughtsman for Thurston, Gardner and Co., of Providence, Rhode Island, leaving there to join the United States Navy as assistant engineer.
He served through the Civil War and during that time he was part of the Eastern Gulf Squadron. Afterwards, he was engaged on construction duty at Baltimore, Boston, and Brooklyn. Two years later he was assigned to the Naval Academy at Annapolis as an instructor in steam engineering, specialising in pumping and mining machinery. In 1867 Mr. Leavitt resigned from the naval service and became a consulting engineer. From that time, he began to be well known, and became probably the most prominent mechanical engineer in consulting practice in the United States. He first found fame as an engineer with the installation of the pumping engine at Lynn, Massachusetts, which embraced his ideas about engine economy. This engine marked an era in the economy of pumping engines throughout the world.
In 1874, he was appointed consulting and mechanical engineer to the Calumet and Hecla Mining Co., a position he held until he retired in 1904. During that period, he designed and superintended the building of the enormous equipment that was used at Calumet. Up to 1886 Mr Leavitt’s standard steam pressure was 135 lb per square inch, but in that year he began the design of the triple-expansion steam engines, and adopted 185 lb pressure. He also changed the construction of sand-wheels from wood-which was used in the Lake Superior region- to metal, and he designed wheels of 50 and 60 feet diameter using the principle of the bicycle wheel.
During his time at Calumet and Hecla, Leavitt was frequently engaged by other companies and municipalities, namely working as consulting engineer for Henry R. Worthington of New York, the Dickson Manufacturing Co., the City of Boston and the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. As advisory engineer, he designed machinery for the Bethlehem Steel Co. and for South African mining companies. He was an ardent supporter of the locomotive type of boiler and used it almost exclusively, the diameter of the shell measuring about 90 inches.
In 1884 Leavitt received the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. He held a prominent position amongst the most eminent engineers of the world, and was a recognised authority on steam engineering.
He was elected a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1883, and was later made an Honorary Member of the Institution. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and was one of the thirty mechanical engineers who organized The American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1880, and became its president during 1882-3. He was also a member of the American society of Civil engineers and other technical societies.
Leavitt died in 1916.
1916-Richard Price Williams
Richard Price Williams was born on 22 November 1827 in London, a son of Doctor John Morgan Williams, of Bridgend, Glamorgan. He was educated in London. He went on to become a pupil of George Heald, who was Thomas Brassey’s engineer on the construction of the Lancaster, Carlisle, and Caledonian Railways in 1845-6.
Afterwards, he was an apprentice in the locomotive works of Kitson, Thomson and Hewitson of Leeds. From 1854-1860 he designed and prepared plans of girder bridges and carried out other works whist resident engineer on the Great Northern Railway.
Subsequently he acted as Consulting Engineer for the proposed Metropolitan Outer Circle Railway, and in the preparation of plans and estimates for a number of other railways, both in this country and in the Colonies. From 1866 the Royal Commission on Coal supplies appointed him to prepare evidence of their duration, and in 1868 the Royal Commission on Irish Railways appointed him Chief Engineer to examine and value them. He helped the principal railway companies in the UK prepare and advocate their claims against the Government for purchase of the telegraphs in 1871. In 1889 he made reports on the conditions of the railways in New South Wales and Tasmania, and afterwards acted as arbitrator on behalf of the Tasmanian Main Line Railway Co. for the disposal of the railway to the Tasmanian Government. Subsequently he was appointed Consulting Engineer by the Governor.
His early connection with the construction of railways impacted on his decision to make railway engineering his own particular branch from the start of his practice.
His name will always be associated with the introduction and development of the Bessemer process in this country. He encouraged British railway engineers to try out the Bessemer steel rails in place of the iron rails, which were unable to withstand heavy traffic. Sir Henry Bessemer appreciated his service, and appointed him a manager at the first Bessemer steel works established at Greenwich. Besides his engineering activities, Richard Price Williams did a large amount of statistical work on a variety of subjects, and was a Member of Council of the Royal Statistical Society for several years.
He became a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1859 and served as a Member of Council from 1880-7. He was later made an Honorary Member of the Institution in recognition of his services in connection with railways. In 1879, he presented a Paper to the Institution on “The Economy of Railway Working,” but most of his Papers on this question were read before the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Royal Statistical society. He became a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1861 and was awarded the Telford, Watt and Stephenson gold medals. The Iron and Steel Institute awarded him the Bessemer gold medal in 1898 on the recommendation of Sir Henry Bessemer.
Williams died in 1916.
1917-Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow
Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow was born in 1842. At an early age he took out a number of patents with a boy named James Hilditch, the most notable of which were connected with improvements in ploughing machinery, which were very successful in manufacture. The two also installed between their homes the first overhead telegraph line in London and had a keen interest in the use of steam on roads. In 1861 T W Cowan built some machines at Greenwich to their design. At this time, Yarrow and Hilditch in conjunction with other young engineers founded a Civil and Mechanical Engineers Society, of which Mr Yarrow was the first vice-president.
When Hilditch left London for the North with his father, Yarrow founded the firm Yarrow and Hedley in partnership with Joseph Hedley. They created a small works for the repair of boats on the Isle of Dogs, Poplar.
At first progress was slow but eventually the firm established a name as builders of steam-launches. During the seven years of partnership with Hedley, 350 boats of various types and sizes were built. Hedley retired from the partnership in 1875.
In 1876 the first specially designed torpedo boat was built for Argentina, and this event, together with the construction of the shallow-draught vessel for the Nyassa Mission, marked the start of the great development in shipbuilding which the firm’s activities subsequently brought about.
Some of the most notable features of that development were: the careful speed trials and towing experiments which Sir Alfred Yarrow was one of the first to carry out; the introduction of the Yarrow-Schlick Tweedy system of balancing for high-speed reciprocating engines; and the development of the Yarrow straight-tube water-tube boiler. The works were moved from Poplar to the Clyde in 1907. Sir Alfred had retired from active control of his business some years before World War I but resumed his participation in its affairs when the War broke out. He was awarded a baronetcy for the invaluable services he gave in the design and production of urgently needed vessels.
He donated large amounts of money to various organizations including, a £100,000 grant to the Royal Society (of which he was made fellow in 1922) for the foundation of research professorships, a sum of £20,000 towards the constructionof the National Tank at Teddington by the National Physical Laboratory, and a sum of £10,000 to the British Association. He was elected a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1889 and was made an Honorary Member in 1916. He was also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a Vice-President of the Institution of Naval architects in 1896.
Yarrow died in 1932.
1918-William Douglas Weir, Lord Weir of Eastwood
William Douglas Weir was born on 12 May 1877 in Glasgow. He was the eldest child of James and Mary Weir. James Weir and his brother George had launched a marine engineering and maintenance company in 1873, G. and J. Weir becoming a limited company in 1895. William was educated at Allan Glen’s school and Glasgow High School, leaving to enter an apprenticeship in the family firm at the age of 16.
He was made a director of the company in 1898, becoming Managing Director in 1902, and Chairman from 1910. The company thrived under his control. On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 he was invited to join the Central Advisory Committee on Munitions by Lloyd George. He was appointed director of munitions in Scotland in July 1915. He urged Lloyd George to create a single Air Board to supersede the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air service, and he became a member of the resulting Air Board in 1916, the same year being appointed controller of aeronautical supplies. He was knighted in 1917. He was Director-General of Aircraft Production and a member of the Air Council from 1917, becoming its president in 1918, the same year that the Air Ministry and the Royal Air Force were established. He became a member of the Privy Council in April 1918, and was created Baron Weir of Eastwood, Renfrewshire. He was elevated to a Viscountcy in 1938.
He continued to be a valued advisor to government, chairing committees on: civil aviation (1919–20); the amalgamation of the armed services (1922–23); and economies in the armed services (1923). He also served on the committees on co-ordination between the armed services and on the desirability of a Ministry of Defence in 1923.
Although a great believer in free enterprise, he recognised the place for state intervention where private capital had failed. The Committee on Electricity Supply which he chaired between 1924 and 1925 recommended the establishment of a government-appointed Central Electricity Board to build a national grid and to standardize frequencies. Similarly he recommended state subsidies to British North Atlantic shipping (1932).
He was an industrial advisor to the British delegation at the Imperial Conference in Ottawa in 1932, and served on a number of government committees. He played a critical role in the re-armament crisis in the 1930s, working closely with Viscount Swinton. In 1939 he became Director-General of Explosives at the Ministry of Supply, and for some months in 1940 he was Chairman of the Tank Board.
He was Chairman of the Anglo-Scottish Sugar Beet Corporation and held a number of directorships, including Lloyds Bank and Imperial Chemical Industries. He received an honorary doctorate from Glasgow University and was a freeman of the City of London. He was elected and Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1918.
He married Alice Blanche, née MacConnachie, in 1904, and they had two sons and a daughter. He died on 2 July 1959 at Eastwood Park, Giffnock, Renfrewshire at the age of 82.
1919-HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (later His Majesty King Edward VIII, abdicated)
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David was born on 23 June 1894 at White Lodge, Richmond Park, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George V and Queen Mary. Initially educated at home, he was sent in 1907 to the Naval College at Osborne, and in 1909 to the Royal Naval College on HMS Britannia, Dartmouth.
On the death of Edward VII in May 1910 he became, at the age of fifteen, heir to the throne, and on his sixteenth birthday he was created Prince of Wales, being Invested at Caernarfon Castle on 13 July 1911.
He almost immediately began his naval career, serving on HMS Hindustan. On his return to port he was sent to Oxford University, matriculating in 1912, where he resided as an ordinary undergraduate in Magdalen College. He left Oxford in 1914 at the start of the First World War, beginning army life in July that year. He was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards, and he played a valuable role in the following years; although as heir to the throne there was no question that he would see real action, he was several times in real danger, and his driver was killed by shrapnel.
After the War he became a leader of fashionable London society, and in spring 1918 he began a liaison with Mrs Winifred Dudley Ward which was to last until 1934. She was the wife of William Dudley-Ward, MP and Chamberlain to the Royal Household, whom she divorced in 1931. He first met Wallis Simpson, wife of American businessman Ernest Simpson, in 1931 at the home of Lady Furness, with who he was at that time also having a liaison. By 1934 he had transferred all of his affections to Wallis Simpson, and although it seems clear that he expected that one day she would become Queen, he seems not to have discussed the implications of this with anyone at this time.
When George V died on 20 January 1936, he was proclaimed King Edward VIII the following day, having flown from London to Sandringham, the first British monarch to travel by air. A colourful figure that brought modernity and flair to the monarchy, he was not really interested in the business of government, and was consequently largely unaware of the constraints upon him as a constitutional monarch. This was especially apparent in foreign policy, where his sympathetic view of Nazism was in marked contrast to the Baldwin Government’s view of the real nature of Hitler’s Germany.
Socially his behaviour changed little from his time as Prince of Wales, and his affair with Mrs Simpson was undisguised, although little reported in the British press. However, the Cabinet and the Archbishop of Canterbury were well aware of the coverage of the affair in the foreign newspapers, and Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, realising only late in the day that he intended to marry Mrs Simpson, requested a meeting in October 1936. Baldwin felt it necessary to let the King know that the self-imposed embargo on the reporting of the affair by the British press would breakdown when news got out about Mrs Simpson’s divorce, which was to be heard in Ipswich (she was granted a decree nisi on 27 October). However, Baldwin did not get a meeting until 16 November, when for the first time the King stated his intention to marry Mrs Simpson, telling Baldwin that if the Government opposed him, he would abdicate; he later gave the same news to his mother, brothers, and sister. Reports about the affair with Mrs Simpson began to appear in the press at the beginning of December, but by this time it was pretty well agreed by all concerned that there was little option but for the King to abdicate, and on 5 December he told Baldwin that that was his intention.
The instrument of abdication was signed on 10 December, witnessed by his brothers, and he ceased to be King on 11 December 1936.
For his broadcast to the Nation that evening he was introduced as His Royal Highness, Prince Edward. He was later styled His Royal Highness, the Duke of Windsor, although after he married Wallis Simpson she was prevented from using the title ‘Her Royal Highness’. Although a traumatic time for the monarchy, the abdication had no great constitutional implications, as the workings of the system were seen to be effective. He was succeeded by his brother, who became King George VI, quickly re-establishing normality.
Immediately following his abdication he and Mrs Simpson moved to France, where they were eventually married on 3 June 1937; they had no children. In October of that year he and the Duchess visited Germany, an unwise move which was a propaganda gift for the Nazis. A supporter of Neville Chamberlain, he was pessimistic about Britain’s chances of survival in 1940, and he favoured a negotiated settlement with Hitler, a common view in some circles. Although there is some later evidence that the Nazis thought that they would be able to offer him a role in the event of Britain’s defeat as a sort of substitute King, it is fairly clear that he had no ambitions in that direction.
On the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 he and the Duchess returned briefly to England, but returned to France when he was made a member of the military mission. At the fall of France they went first to Spain, and then to Lisbon, before he was offered the Governorship of the Bahamas, which he accepted. Their time there was broadly a success, but they found the Bahamas tiresome, and he resigned as Governor in 1945, having turned down the Governorship of Bermuda. Thereafter they spread their time between France and the USA.
He attended the funeral of King George VI in 1952, and he visited his mother, Queen Mary, before she died in 1953, although he was not invited to attend the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II that same year. However, in 1966 he and the Duchess were invited to attend the unveiling of plaque to his mother. In 1972, when he was terminally ill, he was visited by Queen Elizabeth on her state visit to France.
He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1919.
He died on 28 May 1972 at his Paris home at the age of 67.
1919-Sir Richard Tetley Glazebrook
Richard Tetley Glazebrook was born on 18 September 1854 at West Derby, Liverpool. His father, Nicholas Smith Glazebrook, was a surgeon. He attended Dulwich College, Liverpool College and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took the mathematical tripos. After graduation, he studied physics in the Cavendish Laboratory under James Clerk Maxwell.
In 1880, Lord Rayleigh became director of the Cavendish Laboratory, and Glazebrook was appointed a demonstrator. He also held a college lectureship in mathematics and physics, and a university lectureship in mathematics. Rayleigh retired in 1884, and although Glazebrook was Rayleigh’s choice to succeed him, instead Sir J J Thomson was appointed instead. Glazebrook remained at Cambridge, despite his disappointment, and was made assistant director in 1891, and bursar of Trinity College in 1895.
He was offered the position of principal of University College, Liverpool, in 1898. The following year he was offered the role of director of the National Physical Laboratory, which was then being created. It was under the control of the Royal Society, but funded by the Treasury. His first challenge in this position was to find a location for the NPL, as the initial plan for it to be located at Kew had to be dropped due to public opposition. Bushy House, Teddington was offered as a site, and Glazebrook oversaw its conversion. The early years of the NPL was spent struggling to persuade the Treasury to provide sufficient funding to allow a balance between lucrative but routine testing work, and more explorative research.
By the outbreak of the First World War, the NPL had made great strides in a range of activities, electrical work, metrology, optics and metallurgy, and was able to make great contributions to the war effort, despite loosing one quarter of its staff in the first few months of the war. By the end of the war, its activities had grown to the extent that it was no longer feasible for the Royal Society to remain financially responsible for it. After negotiation it was decided that the Royal Society would continue to oversee its scientific programme, but the NPL would sit under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.
Glazebrook retired in 1919 from his position at the NPL, but he continued to work. He moved back to Cambridge to edit the Dictionary of Applied Physics. Later he moved to London where he was appointed Zarahoff professor of aviation at Imperial College. He retained an interested in the NPL for much of the rest of his life, serving on the general board, and as chairman of the executive committee from 1925 to 1932.
He was also very involved with the Royal Society, and served as vice-president on two occasions (1919 to 1920 and 1924 to 1928). He was also active in other scientific societies, serving as President for bodies such as the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the Institution of Engineering and Technology), the Faraday Society and the Physical Society. He was honoured with the CB in 1910, knighted in 1917, awarded the KCB in 1920 and the KCVO in 1934. He was made an honorary fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1919.
Sir Richard Tetley Glazebrook died in 1935.
1919-Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee
Rajendranath Mookerjee was born on 23 June 1854 in a small village called Bhabla, in Barasat, near Kolkata. When he was only six years old, his father died, and he was brought up by his mother. He showed signs of an interest in engineering early on in life, and went on to study engineering at the Presidency College, although he was unable to take the exams due to ill health.
He initially turned down a job working as surveyor for a large waterbody, as he refused to serve under anybody, but was later awarded the contract for laying out the Palta Waterworks by the Chief Engineer to the Corporation of Calcutta. He went on to receive similar contracts at Agra, Allahabad, Benares and other cities.
He then encountered Sir T A Martin, and the two men went into partnership under the name T A Martin & Co. They undertook many public work projects, such as the laying of a 40 inch main from Palta to Kolkata, and building large buildings and mansions such as the Chartered Bank Buildings, Esplanade Mansions and the Mysore Memorial. The company is best known for building a network of light railway lines from agricultural areas into Kolkata.
Later, he worked with G H Fairhurst to found the iron works of the Indian Iron and Steel Company at Burnpur.
In 1908, Mookerjee was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE). He served as sheriff of Kolkata in 1911. In 1919 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Mookerjee was knighted in 1922 as Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO), and in the same year come over to London as Chairman of the Engineering Committee which recommended the construction of the Howrah Bridge. He received an honorary doctorate in engineering from the University of Kolkata in 1931.
Sir Rajendraneth Mookerjee died on 15 May 1936.
Ambrose Swasey was born on 18 December 1846 in Exeter, New Hampshire. The American mechanical engineer, inventor, manager, astronomer, and entrepreneur is best known as co-founder of the Warner & Swasey Company of Cleveland, Ohio.
He began his training in the machine tool industry in 1864 at the Exeter Machine Tool Works, where in 1869 he met Worcester R. Warner. Shortly afterwards both men moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where Swasey was placed in charge of the gearing department of Pratt and Whitney Company. Here he developed a new technique for making gear-tooth cutters.
He and Warner formed their eponymous company in 1880, and specialized in the manufacture of machine tools and the structural parts for astronomical telescopes. The firm introduced several new methods for securing precision and accuracy in their products, which included the parts for many of the largest telescopes in the world. In 1885 they completed work at McCormick Observatory on the 45-foot dome, which was then the largest in the world, with a unique three-shutter design. In 1887 they built the mount for the 36-inch refracting telescope at Lick Observatory. In 1898 they manufactured a dividing engine for the US Naval Observatory that was used to make the meridian circles.
He was an Honorary Member and, in 1904/5, President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and in 1936 they awarded him the Hoover Gold Medal for his distinguished public service. He was elected to the Machine Tool Hall of Fame of the American Precision Museum in 1982.
He joined the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1898, and in 1921 he was elected an Honorary Member.
In 1914 he established the Engineering Foundation to further research into engineering science, and he remained a major contributor to its funds throughout the rest of his life.
Both he and Warner were keen amateur astronomers, and in 1920 they made a joint donation to the Case Western Reserve University to fund the construction of an observatory, which is still known as the Warner and Swasey observatory. The chair of ‘Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics’ was named for his endowment.
The moon crater Swasey is named after him, as is the asteroid 992 Swasey.
He died at the age of 90 at his summer home in Exeter, New Hampshire, on 15 June 1937.
1922-Senator Guglielmo Marconi
Senator Guglielmo Marconi was born at Palazzo Marescalchi, Bologna, Italy, on 25 April 1874. He was the second son of Giuseppe Marconi, a landowner, and Annie Jamieson, granddaughter of the founder of the Jamieson Whiskey distillery. He was educated in the laboratory of Augusto Righi, and at the Istituto Cavallero in Florence, and, later, in Livorno.
He began his experiments when only 20 years old, building much of his own equipment at his home, the Villa Griffone in Pontecchio. He started by improving the coherer of Branly and Lodge, but his goal was to use radio waves to create a practical system of ‘wireless telegraphy’. Although not a new idea, previous attempts had not proved commercially viable. Marconi’s skill lay in taking existing technologies and adapting them to his own system.
Finding little interest in his ideas in Italy, he moved to London, where he gained the support of Wiliam Preece, Chief Electrical Engineer of the Post Office. In 1896 he conducted successful tests between St Martin’s-le-Grand and the Thames Embankment, and he was granted the world’s first ‘wireless telegraphy’ patent. During the following years he transmitted signals over increasing distances, and in 1901, after many attempts he succeeded in sending a signal across the Atlantic, from Poldhu in Cornwall, to St John’s, Newfoundland. In January 1903 American President Theodore Roosevelt was able to send a greeting to King Edward VII in London. A regular transatlantic radio service was eventually established between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada and Clifden, Ireland.
He was appointed a lieutenant in the Italian army in 1915, but later was transferred to the Navy with the rank of Commander. He was appointed a Plenipotentiary Delegate to the Paris Peace Conference, in which capacity he signed the peace treaties with Austria and Bulgaria. In 1919 he was awarded the Italian Military Medal.
After the First World War his most important work was the development of short-wave transmission, and in 1931 he began to investigate the transmission of very short waves – microwaves. He was able to demonstrate that such waves were not affected by the curvature of the earth, and this led to the opening, in 1932, of the world’s first microwave radio telecommunications link, between the Vatican City and the Papal summer palace at Castel Gandolfo.
In 1909 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physics, and he has been awarded many honorary doctorates, including those from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. His honours and awards include the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts and the Kelvin Medal. He was made an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1922.
In 1905 he married Beatrice, daughter of Edward Donough O’Brien, 14th Baron Inchiquin, and they had three daughters and a son. They divorced in 1924, and in June 1927 he married Maria Cristina Bezzi-Scali, and they had one daughter. In 1929 he received the honorary title ‘Marchese’.
He died in Rome at the age of 63 on 20 July 1937.
1922-HRH Prince Albert, Duke of York (later His Majesty George VI)
Albert Frederick Arthur George was born on 14 December 1895 at York Cottage, Sandringham. He was the second son of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George V and Queen Mary. He was privately educated, and in 1908 passed the entrance examination to the Royal Naval College, Osborne. In 1911 he progressed to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Following the death of King Edward VII in 1910 he became the Prince of Wales, second in line to the throne.
He first went to sea on the training ship HMS Cumberland, and was commissioned as a Midshipman aboard HMS Collingwood in 1913, seeing action as a turret officer at the Battle of Jutland. In 1918 he was posted to the Royal Naval Air Station, HMS Daedalus, at Cranwell, where he was appointed Officer Commanding Number 4 Squadron of the Boys’ Wing. In the final weeks of the First World War he served with the Independent Air Force at Nancy, and remained there after it became the Royal Air Force.
In October 1919 he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where for three terms he studied history, economics, and civics. He was created Duke of York in June 1920, the year in which he first met Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. After a protracted courtship the couple were married on 26 April 1923. Although she was a descendant of James I of Scotland and of Henry VII of England, she was, according to British law, a commoner, and the marriage was seen as very ‘modernising’. They had two children, Elizabeth (‘Lilibet’ to the family), who would succeed her father, as Elizabeth II, and Margaret. The family lived quietly, initially at White Lodge in Richmond Park, then at 145 Piccadilly.
He became prominent philanthropist, and through his Industrial Welfare Society he gained a wide knowledge of industrial developments, and met and mixed with people from all walks of life. From 1921 he established the Duke of York’s Camps, which brought together boys from working class and public school backgrounds – a bold move in social integration. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1922.
When King George V died on 20 January 1936 his brother became King Edward VIII, making Albert the first in line to the throne. Less than year later, on 11 December 1936, Edward abdicated in order to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson. Albert assumed the throne as King George VI. He conferred upon his brother the title His Royal Highness, the Duke of Windsor, although the Letters Patent creating the Dukedom prevented his wife or children bearing any Royal titles.
His Coronation was on 12 May 1937 and was the first to be broadcast by the BBC, although only the procession was televised, and he made a Coronation radio broadcast that evening which was transmitted around the world.
The growing likelihood of war in Europe dominated his early reign. In 1939 the King and Queen undertook an extensive tour of Canada, and although the tour was primarily intended to shore-up Atlantic support for Britain in any future war, the King and Queen were enthusiastically received by the Canadian public, and the visit was a huge success. They also made a warmly received visit to the United States of America, visiting the New York World’s Fair and staying with President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.
Following the outbreak of the Second World War the King and Queen decided to stay in London, remaining at Buckingham Palace throughout, although after the Palace was bombed they spent the nights at Windsor Castle, travelling back into London daily. Having been bombed themselves, they were able to visit bombed areas without appearing condescending or patronising – as the Queen said at the time “We can now look the East End in the face”. Although, of course, they lived very differently from the rest of the population, their position, subject to rationing like everyone else, was probably closer to the lives of ordinary people than at any time before. In 1942, on his own initiative, the King awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta for their heroism, and in 1943 he awarded a sword of honour “to the steel-hearted citizens of Stalingrad”, a high point in Anglo-Russian relations. In 1945, during the Victory in Europe Day celebrations, the crowds in front of Buckingham Palace shouted “We want the King”, a sign of his great popularity.
The collapse of the Coalition Government at the end of the War and the overwhelming victory of the Labour Party in the subsequent general election caused little disruption to the position of the Monarchy, although at this time the dissolution of the British Empire was proceeding apace. That the policies of the Labour Party in this area were supported by the King played an important part in the successful development of the British Commonwealth.
On 20 November 1947 his eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, who was created His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, although he was not made a Prince, popular usage notwithstanding.
The King became ill during 1948, and a planned visit to Australia and New Zealand in 1949 had to be postponed. He resumed limited official duties, opening the Festival of Britain in May 1951, but his health continued to deteriorate. He made his last Christmas Day broadcast that year.
He died on 6 February 1952 at Sandringham at the age of 56.
1924-Frederick Rollins Low
Frederick Rollins Low was an important figure in engineering journalism. He edited the journal Power from 1888 to 1930, after which he was made editor emeritus.
He was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in 1860 and became a telegraph clerk in a Western Union office at the age of 14. In 1880 he joined the staff of the Boston Journal of Commerce as secretary to the editor and took a keen interest in the department of the journal devoted to the technical problems of textile mill power plants. Six years later he became engineering editor of the journal. Around this time, he brought out several inventions in connection with power plant.
His long connection with Power started with his appointment as the fifth editor. During his leadership he succeeded in extending the scope of the journal, whilst maintaining a practical point of view within the articles that appeared in it. Low was the editor of four technical books dealing with power plant, which were published between 1898 and 1906.
In 1918 he was elected vice–president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, becoming president in 1924. He attended the 1924 World Power Conference in London as a delegate of that Society. In recognition of his services in this area the Institution of Mechanical Engineers elected him Honorary Member in 1924. He was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was chairman of two committees of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, dealing respectively with the codification of safety rules for the construction of steam boilers and unfired pressure vessels, and with the rules for testing boilers, turbines, engines, and other power equipment. He continued as chairman of these committees until his death.
He died in Passaic, New Jersey on the 22 January 1936.
1925-Sir Charles Algernon Parsons
Charles Algernon Parsons was born into one of the most prominent scientific families of his day. His father, the 3rd Earl of Rosse, was a leading astronomer and President of the Royal Society. Parsons was educated in Dublin and at Cambridge, and chose to enter engineering over pure science. He gained early experience at the Elswick works of W G Armstrong & Company, where he worked on torpedoes.
By 1884, Parsons had become a partner in the Electrical Department of Clarke Chapman & Company in Gateshead. He had been interested in steam power since his University days, and was soon making rapid progress developing turbines for ship and shore-based electrical lighting. In placing multiple blades on a single shaft (rotor) and driving high velocity steam through a fixed casing and vanes (stator), Parsons achieved rotor speeds of well over 15,000 rpm. He designed complementary dynamos to be directly-driven from his turbines, commencing with a unipolar machine in 1885. Combined steam turbine and turbo-electric generator sets became a practical working proposition and by 1888 about 200 sets were in marine service. Parsons gave an early description of his breakthroughs in the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
The success of Parsons’ designs, culminating in the first use of a steam turbine in a public power station (Forth Banks, Newcastle-upon-Tyne) led him to dissolve the Clarke-Chapman partnership and start his own firm, C A Parsons & Company, in 1889. Disputes over patent rights halted some research until 1894, but Parsons began exploring other ideas. His first condensing turbine was supplied to the Cambridge Electric Lighting Company in 1891, and sets of increasing power and efficiency were made at his Heaton Works.
Parsons’ original 1884 patents had noted the potential for using turbines in marine propulsion, and in 1894 he became free to explore this. He formed the Marine Steam Turbine Company to construct a demonstration vessel, the Turbinia. This 100 foot, 44 ton displacement steam yacht caused a sensation at the 1897 Naval Review at Spithead as the fastest vessel afloat. Turbines were soon adopted for Navy ships (Viper and Cobra, 1899) and passenger ships (King Edward, 1901 and Mauretania, 1906). With the development of reducing gears for cargo vessels (Vespasia, 1909) Parsons’ dominance of the waves was complete.
Although best known for his work on turbines, Charles Parsons also continued his family’s devotion to optical matters. Searchlight reflectors were being produced at Heaton from 1899, and from 1921, Parsons began purchasing optical instrument and glass companies. His purpose was to transform the British optical industry. The 1925 acquisition of Sir Howard Grubb and Sons, renamed Grubb, Parsons and Company, allowed Parsons to produce large telescopes for the world’s great observatories. A 74-inch reflector made for Toronto was at the time of its construction the largest such instrument made in Europe, just surpassing his father’s 72-inch telescope at Birr Castle, but Parsons did not live to see the triumph.
At the time of his death, 1931, Parsons held over 300 patents. His work in power generation alone had transformed society – his earliest 7.5kW generator led to sets of 200,000 kW output within his lifetime. Parsons and his companies had effectively switched on the lights of the 20th century.
1926-Sir John Isaac Thornycroft
Sir John Isaac Thornycroft was born in Rome, Italy, on 1 February 1843. He was the eldest son of Thomas and Mary Thornycroft, both of whom were sculptors. However, his father was also an amateur engineer, and it was in his workshop that John found his talent.
He studied under Lord Kelvin and Professor Macquorn Rankine at Glasgow University, and between 1866 and 1870, at the Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in South Kensington. In 1870 he married Blanche, daughter of Frederick Coules of Gloucester, and they had two sons and five daughters.
In 1866 he established the Thornycroft works in Chiswick. He built the Gitana in 1873, the first torpedo boat, which is said to have reached 20.8 knots. This boat, commissioned by the Norwegian Government, became the model for the first torpedo boat for the British navy. It was called the Lightning and built in 1877. Switching to water tube boilers in his designs, Thornycroft went on to produce many torpedo boats, and in 1892 he built two of the first vessels in the new torpedo-boat destroyer class.
He worked constantly to refine and improve both hull shape and propeller design, and engine development; ultimately to produce a light, fast-running, reciprocating, triple-expansion engine, which became widely used, until it was superseded by the Parsons turbine. When the Thornycroft works moved to Southampton in 1904 – necessitated by the increasing size of torpedo boats and destroyers – the opportunity was taken to equip the new works for turbine construction.
While still at Chiswick Thornycroft began building commercial road vehicles. Originally steam-driven, he later developed an internal combustion engine. The vehicles were built at a separate plant in Basingstoke.
He built an experimental water tank at his home at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, from which many of his most important innovations in hull design originated, and which played a major role in the development of the fast, surface-skimming, coastal motor boats (CMBs) developed for the Admiralty in 1916.
He became a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1876, was a Member of Council from 1897 to 1911, and was elected an Honorary Member in 1926. He served on the councils of the Institute of Naval Architects and of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1893, and was awarded the honorary degree of LLD in 1901 by Glasgow University. He was knighted in 1902.
He died at Steyne, near Bembridge, Isle of Wight, on 28 June 1928.
1926-Sir George G Goodwin
Sir George G Goodwin was born in 1862 and became an apprentice at HM Dockyard at Portsmouth, where he attended the Dockyard School. He gained the highest grade in the Cambridge Local Examinations in all of England. He was offered a scholarship at Cambridge but opted instead to become an assistant engineer at the Royal Navy in 1882.
After taking a course at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, in 1885 he joined his first ship, HMS Malabar, as an assistant engineer. From June 1886, he served almost continuously at the Admiralty or in Chatham Dockyard and was promoted to engineer in 1887, and chief engineer in 1891. His only service afloat was in the second-class cruiser Bellona, from 1894 to 1897. In 1898 he was posted to the Admiralty Dockyard Branch and was promoted to fleet engineer. He returned to Chatham in 1904, as chief engineer of the Dockyard, holding this post for two years. He was then reappointed to the Admiralty as assistant to the Director of Dockyards and a year later he was promoted to engineer captain and appointed Deputy Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet under Sir Henry Oram.
During this period, great changes in the propelling machinery of British warships were taking place. Sir George was closely identified with these developments, being largely responsible for the rapid transition from coal, Scotch boilers, and triple expansion engines to oil fuel, water-tube boilers, and geared steam turbines.
In 1917 he became Engineer-in–Chief and remained at the head of his branch for five years, before retiring in 1922. He was made a C.B. in 1913 and was advanced to K.C.B. in 1918. Shortly after his retirement he joined the board of J Samuel White and Company Limited, and occupied the chair from 1932 to 1935. Sir George was a keen supporter and a valued Member of the Institution of Mechanical engineers, which he joined in 1922. He served on the Council for several years and was made vice-president in 1925 and an Honorary Member in 1926 when he retired from the Council. However, he returned to the Council in 1931 as first chairman of the newly formed Southern Branch and presided over it for the first three years of its existence.
He was an active member and chairman of the Marine Oil Engines Trials Committee and in 1924 he delivered the Thomas Hawksley Lecture on “The Trend of Development of Marine Propelling Machinery”. He was a president of the Institute of Metals and the Institute of Marine Engineers. In addition he was a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects and served on the Council and as vice-president. He was made an honorary LLD of Birmingham University in 1919. Sir Goodwin received a number of honours for his services in WW1 including, the Russian Order of St. Stanilas, first class, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, the Distinguished Service Medal of the United States of America, and was made Commander of the Order of the Star of Rumania.
Goodwin died in 1945.
1927-Sir Robert Abbott Hadfield
Sir Robert Abbott Hadfield is best known for being the head of the eminent firm bearing his name and is well known for his researches in metallurgy. His two most notable inventions, manganese-steel and low-hesteresis steel were an invaluable aid to the world of engineering. He was the author of several books. His most important was published in 1925 and was called “Metallurgy and its influence on modern progress”.
He recorded in 1924 that “during the past forty years or so, more than 3,000 different steels had been made and tested under his supervision and careful records of their properties and behaviour have been preserved.”
The production and success of steel casting owes much to his labour and research. He was made a Knight in 1908 and a Baronet in 1918. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, an honorary Doctor of Science of Oxford and Leeds, a D.Met. of Sheffield, a Freeman of London and Sheffield. America, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Russia and Japan all honoured him amongst the pioneers of England. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1929.
Hadfield died in 1940.
1928-Sir John Audley Frederick Aspinall
Sir John Audley Frederick Aspinall was born in Liverpool in 1851. He received his education at Beaumont College, Berkshire, and in 1869 he became apprenticed to John Ramsbottom, another Past-President of the IMechE, at the Crewe works of the London and North Western Railway. After completing his training with F W Webb, he was made assistant manager of the steelworks at Crewe.
In 1875 he was appointed works manager of the Great Southern and Western Railway at Inchicore, and became locomotive engineer in 1883. At this time, he made important contributions to the development of the vacuum brake. In 1886 he became chief mechanical engineer of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, during which time he was responsible for the establishment of the new works at Horwich. He also founded the Mechanics’ Institute there.
He took a keen interest in engineering education. He helped to establish the Chair of Engineering at the University of Liverpool, where he was Associate Professor of Railway Engineering, and in 1908 he was appointed chairman of the Faculty of Engineering.
Sir John’s locomotive policy at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway was to build a large number of engines to a few simple designs, applying the principles of standardisation. In 1899 he was appointed general manager of the company. He held this position for twenty years, during which time he introduced electric traction for some suburban services. The first of these was the Liverpool and Southport line in 1904. He also developed the steamship services of the company, both from Liverpool to Ireland and from Goole and Hull to various ports in Northern Europe.
In 1919 he resigned his position as general manager, and became a director. He was also appointed consulting mechanical engineer to the Ministry of Transport. He was often involved with the passage of Railway Bills through Parliament. He held this position when the grouping of the railways took place. According to his Memoir, published in the IMechE Proceedings in 1937, at the time of Aspinall’s eightieth birthday, three of the four chief mechanical engineers of the great railway groups had received their training from him.
He was President of the IMechE in 1909-1910, and was made an Honorary Life Member in 1928. He died on 19 January 1937.
1930-Henry Selby Hele-Shaw
Henry Selby Hele-Shaw was born in Billericay, Essex, in 1854. He was educated privately, and at the age of 17 he was articled to firm of Roach and Leaker at the Mardyke Engineering Works, Bristol. After completing his apprenticeship in 1876 he gained the Senior Whitworth Scholarship, which enabled him to study at the University of Bristol. He also gained various Whitworth Prizes during the course of his study, which helped him become appointed assistant to the Professor of mathematics and engineering.
He was promoted to be first professor of engineering at the University of Bristol in 1880, but left four years later to take up the Harrison Chair as first professor of engineering at Liverpool University College. He worked hard to set up the engineering faculty on a more permanent basis, and was instrumental in setting up and equipping the Walker Engineering Laboratories.
It was in Liverpool that he carried out his famous experiments in the streamline flow of liquids, based on investigations of liquid flow between parallel glass plates. In 1899 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for this work.
Shortly after relinquishing his position at the University of Liverpool in order to spend more time on consulting work, and the development of his own inventions, he began to devote his attention to mechanically propelled vehicles. In 1897 he organized a series of trials for heavy commercial vehicles for the Liverpool Automobile Club. He was a founding member of the Royal Automobile Club.
In 1903, Hele-Shaw was appointed the first Professor of Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the Transvaal Technical Institute. He became the Principal of the Institute the following year. In 1905, he was appointed Organizer of Technical Education. Two years later he returned to England to return to consultancy work.
He was elected President of the IMechE in 1922. One of the most important events during his Presidency was the establishment of the Student class of members, and the foundation of the Whitworth Society, of which Hele-Shaw became the first President. He considered that his most important service was the establishment of the National Certificates in Mechanical Engineering, in conjunction with the Board of Education. These National Certificates became a pattern for similar schemes in other branches of technology and commerce, and in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Hele-Shaw became the first chairman of the Joint Committee appointed by the Board and the Institution to administer the scheme, and held this position until 1937.
Hele-Shaw continued to work on his own inventions almost to the end of his life. One of the most significant was the variable-pitch airscrew, in which the inclination of the blades could be varied to assist an aeroplane when quick starting and climbing in needed. The inclination of the blades can be reduced for economical cruising at high speed. This invention was acquired by the Government, and in October 1940, after the Battle of Britain, Dr. Hele-Shaw received commendation on the material way in which his variable-pitch airscrew had contributed to the British success in the aerial war.
Dr. Hele-Shaw died on 30 January 1941.
1930-Baron Shiba Chuzaburo
Baron Shiba Chuzaburo had a significant influence upon the engineering and industrial life of Japan. He carried out pioneering work in marine engineering, and was connected with the Imperial University of Tokyo for thirty-seven years.
He was born in 1873 and succeeded to the barony in 1906. He studied engineering at the Imperial University of Tokyo from 1887 to 1891, after which he joined Kawasaki, shipbuilders of Kobe. He began his career in the drawing office and later became assistant superintendent in the shipbuilding yard. In 1894 he was appointed assistant professor in the Engineering College at Tokyo. He was sent to Europe in 1899 where he studied engineering for two years, and also inspected the machinery under construction in Glasgow and Haarlem for Osaka harbour works.
When he returned to Tokyo he was appointed professor of mechanical engineering at the University. He held this post until his retirement in 1932, shortly after which he was made honorary professor by imperial decree. He recommended the adoption of the first geared turbine installation in Japan, for the Anyo Muro, and later recommended the adoption of steam turbines for the high-speed vessels Tenyo Maru and Chiyo Maru in 1905. For many years afterwards he acted as technical adviser to the Oriental Steam Ship Company.
He was also lecturer in marine engineering at Kyushu Imperial University, and acted as engineer of the Patent Bureau of the Japanese Government from 1912.
In 1923 he was appointed first president of the Aviation Research Institute. Although the building was destroyed by the earthquake of that year, Baron Shiba was instrumental in effecting its reconstruction.
He was very involved with the World Engineering Congress of 1929, of which he was vice-president. 1931 he was appointed adviser and chief engineer to the south Manchurian Railway. As a member of the House of Peers, Baron Shiba made many important suggestions regarding the national industrial policy. He was awarded Honorary Degrees by several European and American Universities. He was a president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers of Japan, and played a leading role in the industrial development of a large number of engineering, mining, chemical and electrical firms in Japan and Manchuria. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1899, and was transferred to Membership in 1917. In 1930 he was elected an Honorary Member. He was also a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects, and he contributed a number of papers to this institution.
He died on 3 October 1934.
1931-Sir John Dewrance
Sir John Dewrance was born in Peckham in 1858. His father was associated with George Stephenson, and was the erector of the Rocket. He later became locomotive superintendent of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. He went into partnership with Joseph Woods, brother of the engineer of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, who had founded an engineering company in London.
Sir John was educated at Charterhouse and at King’s College, London. In 1879 he took over his father’s firm, and a year later took control of the research laboratory and staff of Professor Barff. This establishment was later known as the Albion Chemical Works.
Sir John took part in a great deal of research, particularly investigating lubrication, metallurgy and corrosion. He served as Chairman of the Alloys Research Committee, Research Advisory Committee, Cutting Tools Research Committee as well as the Finance and House Committee of the IMechE.
In 1899, Dewrance was elected chairman of Babcock and Wilcox, which position he held until his retirement on July 1937. He took out over 100 patents, mostly relating to improvements in boiler mountings and steam fittings.
During the First World War he was engaged on Government contracts, and he served on various committees of the Ministry of Munitions, the Ministry of Labour and the Treasury.
He was President of the IMechE in 1923. He also served as President of the Engineering and Allied Employers’ National Federation from 1920 to 1926, and President of the Institute of Metals in 1926. He was an Honorary Member of the Institution of Royal Engineers, and was made an Honorary Life Member of the IMechE in 1931. He was also appointed to the General Board of the National Physical Laboratory, and to the Engineering Research Board. In 1923 he was Master of the Armourers’ and Braziers’ Company.
He died on 7 October 1937.
1932-Sir Henry Fowler
Sir Henry Fowler was born in Evesham in 1870. He studied at Mason Science College, Birmingham from 1885 to 1887. He then commenced his apprenticeship at the Horwich Works of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. He served in the shops until 1891 when he obtained a Whitworth Exhibition and was transferred to the test room. Three years later he became chief inspector of materials and in the following year he was appointed gas manager to the company.
Around this time he became interested in automobiles, and was associated with important motor-car trials at Crystal Palace in 1897. In 1900 he was appointed gas engineer to the Midland Railway, and was later assistant works manager and works manager at Derby.
During the First World War he was appointed Director of Production to the Ministry of Munitions in 1915, and Assistant Director-General of Aircraft Production in 1917. In 1918 he went to America and Canada as Chairman of the first Inter-Allied Conference on the Standardization of Aircraft Components.
On the incorporation of the Midland Railway in 1923 into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, he was made deputy chief mechanical engineer, and two years later he was made chief mechanical engineer. He was responsible for the design of the Royal Scot class of 4-6-0 locomotives in 1927, and for an experimental modification of the design in 1930 to accommodate a Schmidt high-pressure boiler. The following year, Sir Henry was appointed assistant to the vice-president for research and development.
He was President of the IMechE in 1927. He was President of the Engineering Section of the British Association in 1923, and President of the Institute of Metals in 1932. He acted as joint general secretary of the International Railway Congress Association in 1925. He died on 16 October 1938.
1932-Sir Vincent Litchfield Raven
Sir Vincent Litchfield Raven was born in 1858 at Great Fransham Rectory, Norfolk. In 1877 he began a three year apprenticeship at the Gateshead works of the North Eastern Railway. In 1880 he entered the drawing office, and he was then employed for five years on firing and inspector’s duties. He became a divisional locomotive superintendent in 1888. He was promoted in 1894 to divisional locomotive superintendent, and chief assistant mechanical engineer in 1903. Seven years later he became chief mechanical engineer.
During the First World War, he was appointed Chief Superintendent of the Royal Arsenal Factories, Woolwich. In 1917 he was created a Knight Bachelor for his services. Following the war he returned to the North Eastern Railway. He remained chief mechanical engineer until it merged with the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923. He then retired, but continued to act as technical advisor to the LNER.
After his retirement he travelled to New South Wales and New Zealand to investigate the working of the State railways. In 1925 he was appointed chairman of a committee of experts reporting on Indian railway workshop organization.
Raven served as President in 1925. He died at Felixstowe on 14 February 1934.
1932-William Henry Patchell
William Henry Patchell was born in Lincolnshire in 1862. He served a five-year apprenticeship with Robey and Company. In 1881 he was sent to take charge of seven compound Robey steam engines which were being exhibited at the Paris Exhibition. He later became their representative in Spain, and was responsible for the installation of electric lighting plant at Barcelona, Cordova, Madrid and Valencia.
In 1886 he was appointed manager of the Millwall Works of the Electrical Power Storage Company, and was involved with the development of public and private electric supply plant. In 1893 he was appointed engineer-in-chief of the Charing Cross and Strand Electric Supply Company and was responsible for the design and construction of the new works at Lambeth, which opened in 1896. He was also responsible for the design of the new station at Bow in 1902.
In 1906, he resigned and established a consulting engineering practice, specializing in electric generation and the electrification of mines. He was appointed a member of the Home Office Committee on Electricity in mines in 1904.
He was President of the IMechE from 1924-1925, and had served on Council and many important committees for twenty-two years at the time of his death. He was largely responsible for the inauguration of Local Branches. He died at the age of 70 years on 24 November 1932.
1932-Sir William Reavell
Sir William Reavell was born near Capel, in Surrey, on 2 March 1866. His family moved to Alnwick, Northumberland, where he attended the Grammar School. In 1882, he was apprenticed to Hawthorn, Leslie and Co. Ltd. at their St Peter’s Works, Newcastle upon Tyne. He remained there for seven years, spending the last two years in the marine engine drawing office. At the same time he was attending evening classes at the Armstrong College.
In 1889, he came to London and joined the firm of Maudlsey, Sons and Field, as a draughtsman. At the same time, he continued his studies at Birkbeck Institute, and the City and Guilds Technical College, Finsbury. Two years later he joined Babcock and Wilcox as a draughtsman in their marine department. He soon became manager of the marine department.
In 1897 he left to became general manager of the Lambeth works of Peter Brotherhood and Co. Ltd., but he soon decided to branch out on his own, and went into partnership with his brother-in-law, W. H. Scott, C. Gaskell and others. A works site was purchased in Ipswich.
Reavell and Company Ltd.’s first venture was the ‘Scott’ steam engine, which was very successful, prior to the advent of the high-speed, forced-lubrication engine. The company made its name with the Quadruplex Air Compressor, which Reavell had patented in 1899. The company progressed, building new air compressors as the technology developed. In 1905, they began building three-stage air compressors for direct coupling to the early Diesel engines. They were soon supplying large numbers of compressors for land and marine installations, and for marine propulsion.
Reavell was interested in the work of the British Standards Institution from its early days. He was Chairman of the Keys and Keyways Committee. He became Chairman of the Mechanical Industry Committee in 1920, and stayed in this position until 1944. He was Chairman of the Engineering Divisional Council for several years, and Chairman of the General Council in 1936.
Reavell was President of the IMechE in 1926. He died on 25 April 1948.
1932-Sir Joseph John Thomson
Sir Joseph John Thomson was born at Cheetham, Manchester, in 1856. At the age of 14 it was decided that he should begin an apprenticeship at the Sharp, Stewart and Company's locomotive works in Glasgow. As the company had a long waiting list for apprenticeships, Thomson was sent to Owens College, Manchester, in the meantime. It was here that his interested in physics was first sparked.
He remained at the college for five years, and during this time he decided to work for a scholarship which would allow him to go to Cambridge. In 1876 he was successful, and in this year he began the connection with Trinity College, Cambridge which lasted the whole of the rest of his life. He graduated second wrangler (the second highest scoring student gaining a first-class honours in the third year of the mathematical tripos) in 1880.
He immediately began work on a dissertation for the fellowship examination on the subject of the nature of energy. He was successful in the fellowship examination, and in 1882 he was appointed to an assistant lectureship in mathematics. At around the same time he began a mathematical investigation on moving charges of electricity.
He was elected to a University Lectureship in 1883. He was chiefly concerned with electrostatics and electromagnetism, as well as dynamics and statics. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1884, and soon afterwards was elected as Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics, in succession to Lord Rayleigh. It was at this point that he was able to begin his long series of investigation into the passage of electricity through gases, for which he is particularly known.
In 1897 he put forward the electronic theory of the constitution of matter which revolutionized existing concepts and opened a vast field of research for which he was peculiarly suited. This theory had a important impact on many different fields of science, including those of optics, thermionics, radioactivity, magnetism and spectroscopy. He wrote six books between 1893 and 1913, which were chiefly concerned with electrical discharges through gas. He also wrote a book of reminiscences called 'Recollections and Reflections' which was published in 1937, a few years before his death.
He was appointed professor of physics at the Royal Institution in 1905, and in the same year was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. He was President of the British Association in 1909, having been a supporter for many years. He was President of the Royal Society between 1915 and 1920.
During the First World War, Thomson served on the Board of Invention and Research instituted by the Admiralty to devise means of detecting submarines and other investigations into aeronautics, marine engineering, anti-aircraft defences and other matters. He was involved with the formation of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and served on its Advisory Committee from its creation in 1915 until 1927.
Thomson was honoured for his work during his lifetime. He was knighted in 1908 and received the Order of Merit in 1912. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1932. He was also an Honorary Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Electrical Engineers.
In 1918 he was appointed Master of Trinity College, Cambridge by the Crown. In order to take up this position he resigned his Cavendish professorship and his professorship at the Royal Institution but in each case he retained the rank of honorary professor. He remained Master of Trinity College until his death on 30 August 1940. In recognition of the value of his work to the nation he is buried in Westminster Abbey.
1932-Sir James Alfred Ewing
Sir James Alfred Ewing was born in 1855 in Dundee, Scotland. He was awarded the first engineering scholarship to the University of Edinburgh, where he studied under Professor H C Fleeming Jenkin, MIMechE. After graduating he assisted Professor Jenkin and Sir William Thomson, MIMechE. (Lord Kelvin), in their work on submarine telegraphy, and took part in the laying of cables to Brazil and Montevideo.
In 1878, he was appointed professor of mechanical engineering in Tokyo Imperial University. While holding this position he studied seismological phenomena and carried out research in an observatory fitted with instruments he had designed himself, for absolute measurement of earthquakes.
He also began his studies on the molecular theory of magnetism and on hysteresis. He returned in 1883 to become professor of engineering at University College, Dundee, and seven years later became professor of mechanism and applied mathematics at Cambridge. Here he reorganized the general principles of the educational work and was largely instrumental in establishing the engineering tripos. At this time he occupied himself with researches testing the magnetic qualities of iron. He developed several important types of apparatus for measuring permeability and hysteresis.
In 1903 the Admiralty sought his advice on their new scheme of naval education and he was later appointed Director of Naval Education under the scheme. He also became a member of the Explosives committee and of the Ordnance Research Board.
In 1914, after the breakout of WW1, he was instrumental in establishing and developing the office known as “Room 40” at the Admiralty, which was engaged in decoding enemy ciphers. In 1916, he was appointed Principal and Vice- Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, but his work on the admiralty prevented him from taking up his new duties for another year.
After the war, he became increasing occupied with problems of reconstruction at the University of Edinburgh. During his vice-chancellorship thirteen new chairs were established, the training was reorganized, and several new buildings were constructed. In 1923 he became chairman of the Bridge Stress Committee appointed by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. He retired in 1929 and lived at Cambridge, where he turned his attention to the work of the Low Temperature Research Station. He also supervised researches carried out at the National Physical Laboratory on refrigerants, a subject on which he had done valuable work when he was younger, and he was a member of the Committee on the Mechanical Testing of Timber, appointed in 1929. In 1931, he was member of Section G of the British Association and in the following year he delivered his famous presidential address to the same body.
Sir Alfred Ewing’s connection with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers dates back to 1891, when he was elected a Member. He delivered a lecture on “Structure of Metals” to the Graduates’ Section in 1901. In 1914, he presented the Report of the Refrigeration Research Committee, in his capacity as chairman, including an appendix which he had written. From 1915-18 he served on the Council, and in 1932 he was made an Honorary Member. He was made a Freeman of the City of Edinburgh in 1929, and in 1933 he was presented with the Freedom of his native city of Dundee.
He received many honours including Companion of the Bath in 1907 and Knight Commander in 1911. He had been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1887, receiving the Royal Medal eight years later for his research work on magnetism, and he was President of the Royal society of Edinburgh from 1924-29. In addition he was an Honorary Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. He was the author of many papers, especially on magnetism, and of well-known textbooks on the steam engine, thermodynamics, refrigeration, and the strength of materials. He died before he had completed revising his book “Thermodynamics for Engineers,” but the task was finished by A.C.G Egerton, F.R.S.
He died on 7 January 1935.
1933-Sir Richard William Allen
Richard William Allen was born in Cardiff in 1867. He was educated at Christ College, Finchley, and received his technical education privately. He was apprenticed for four years at the firm of his father, William Henry Allen. At the works in Lambeth, he spent time in the pattern shops, foundry, turnery, erecting shop and drawing office.
After completing his education he spent time as a draughtsman with John Elder and Co., Glasgow, and with the Naval Construction and Armaments Co., Barrow in Furness. After visiting the United States in 1890, he returned to W. H. Allen and Co. as Assistant Manager. In 1894, when the company’s works were transferred to Bedford, he became a partner and subsequently Managing Director. In 1926, on the death of his father, he became Chairman.
He was mainly concerned with the design and construction of auxiliary machinery for naval and mercantile marine vessels, but was also interested in a wide variety of engineering projects on land.
He received the CBE in 1918 and was knighted in 1942.
He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1928. He died in 1955.
1934-Lord Invernairn of Strathnairn
The Right Honourable Lord Invernairn was born William Beardmore at Greenwich in 1856. He had a great influence upon industry in Glasgow and the west of Scotland generally. Aged 14, William Beardmore joined his father’s company, the Parkhead Forge and served his apprenticeship here.
He went on to study at the Royal School of Mines, South Kensington, and on his return to Parkhead in 1880 became partner in the firm. Six years later, he assumed full control of the company, introduced steel manufacture and initiated the production of heavy armour plate by the Harvey cementation and chilling process. A few years later he developed a successful process of his own for armour plate manufacture, and its value was immediately recognised as valuable by the Admiralty. The firm secured numerous British and American contracts for this product. In 1898 the title of the company was changed to William Beardmore and Company. Lord Invernairn (William Beardmore) became chairman and managing director, holding this post until 1929 when he retired.
In 1905, gun manufacture was introduced at the Parkhead Works and naval guns ranging from 12 pounders to 15 inch guns were made. In 1900, the firm entered the shipbuilding industry by acquiring the shipyard of Robert Napier and Sons, Ltd., at Govan. In 1902 they built their first cruiser, the Berwick, as well as several smaller vessels. But in 1904, the firm bought a 70-acre site at Dalmuir where a complete shipyard, with fitting out basin and engineering works, was laid out, and the shipyard business was transferred from Govan in 1904-5.
At Dalmuir, a long line of notable battleships were constructed, starting with the Agamemnon, which launched in June 1906. Subsequent ships included the Conqueror in 1911, the Benbow in 1913 and the Ramillies in 1916. During the First World War large numbers of destroyers, submarines, and various other naval craft were built. Extensions were also carried out for the construction of oil carriers and general cargo vessels, notably the East Yard at Dalmuir.
During the war, no less than 650 fighting aeroplanes and 73 warships, including the first aeroplane carrier, were built by the firm. Twenty warships were overhauled and refitted. From 1919 onwards, several notable British merchant ships were built, as well as famous Italian liners of the Conte class. Lord Invernairn was also a pioneer in the application of internal combustion engines. He fitted the gun boat Rattler with experimental gas engines in 1907. Later, devoting his attention to the diesel engine, he developed the Beardmore semi-diesel type which his firm supplied to a large number of vessels. Subsequently he manufactured the Franco-Tosi type of engine, under licence. Extensive airship works at Inchinnan were established where, amongst others, Lord Invernairn constructed the airship R34, which was famous as the first airship to make the double Atlantic crossing. He established several other works including, the Mossend steel works, the Speedwell engine works at Coatbridge, and works at Paisley, Anniesland, and Dumfries. In recognition of his national services he was created a baronet in 1914. He was raised to the peerage, and took the title of Lord Invernairn of Strathnairn.
His association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers extended over forty-nine years. He was elected a member in 1887 and was made an Honorary Life Member in 1934. He contributed two papers to the Proceedings, ‘The Heat Treatment of Large Forgings’ and ‘Sugar Machinery’. He was also president of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1918, and was a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects.
He died on 10 April 1936.
1934-Loughnan St. Lawrence Pendred
Loughnan St. Lawrence Pendred was born in London in 1870. He was educated privately, and received his technical education at the Central Institution, South Kensington, and Finsbury Technical College. He served an apprenticeship with Davey Paxman and Company of Colchester.
He then travelled in Europe, spending time at the works of Van den Kerchove, Ghent, and the old Chemin de Fer de L’Ouest in France. He returned to England in 1893.
In 1896, Pendred joined the editorial staff of the Engineer, where his father, Vaughan Pendred, was editor-in-chief. In 1905 he succeeded his father as editor-in-chief, and remained in this position for over 40 years. He was succeeded in 1946 by his son.
During the First World War, at the request of the Government, Pendred edited the Ministry of Munitions Journal. He was awarded the CBE in 1934.
Pendred was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1930, and was made an Honorary Member in 1934. He was also President of the Institution of Engineers-in-Charge. He was a founder member of the Newcomen Society, and served as President of the Society in 1923 and 1930. He died in 1953.
1934-Professor Sir Thomas Hudson Beare
Professor Sir Thomas Hudson Beare is well-known for his great work for engineering education in general and in particular for his remarkable achievements in the organization of the Edinburgh University Engineering Building. He was born in 1859, in Adelaide, South Australia, and in 1875 he joined the Public Works Department. After completing a University course at Melbourne, where he graduated in 1879, he obtained a scholarship which enabled him to come to England.
He became a student at University College, London, under Professor Kennedy. During the next three years, he was awarded a Gilchrist Engineering Scholarship, and subsequently gained his B.Sc. degree. Shortly afterwards he became an assistant to Professor Kennedy in his private consulting practice, but in addition he was a demonstrator in the engineering laboratory at University College. In 1887, however, he was appointed the first professor of Applied Mechanics and Engineering at Heriot-Watt College, Edinburgh, and immediately began equipping the first engineering laboratory in Scotland. Two years later he succeeded Professor Kennedy at University College, and again he was instrumental in obtaining new equipment and carrying out many improvements at the Engineering School of that college. He returned to Edinburgh in 1901 when he was appointed Regius Professor of Engineering. He took a leading part in the layout of the Sanderson Engineering Laboratory at West Mains. In 1906, he initiated the establishment of teaching and research programmes. In 1914, he became Dean of the Faculty of Science and was a member of the governing body of the Edinburgh University for 28 years. He was knighted in 1926, in recognition of his valuable educational work. In 1936, he was awarded the honorary degree of LL.D. by Edinburgh University, as a tribute to his work there.
Sir Thomas, who was elected a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1893, provided many valuable services to its activities in engineering research and education. He was a Member of the Marine Engine Trials Committee and the Steam Jacket Research Committee, contributing many papers to the latter. In 1936, his biographical paper on James Watt was published in the Proceedings. In addition, he presided over the Joint Committee with the Scottish Education Department on National Certificates. Sir Thomas was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution in 1934. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
He also had a keen interest in military affairs. He served with the Adelaide Rifle Corps in his school days, and many years later became captain in the Fourth Volunteer Division of the Royal Engineers. He was an original member of the committee which started the Edinburgh and East of Scotland Territorial Force Association, which later became the Territorial and Air Force Association, and in 1936 he acted as its chairman.
In addition he was one of the representatives for Scotland on the War Office commission which moved the formation of the Officers’ Training Corps. He was also chairman of the Edinburgh University Military Education Committee. He had a great interest in the work of the Miners’ Welfare Commission, of which he was an original member. He was an active member of the British Association for nearly forty years. From 1894 to 1900 he was Recorder for Section G, and in 1922 he was President of that section.
He died on 10 June 1940.
1934-Sir William Bragg
William Henry Bragg was born in 1862 near Wigton in Cumbria. He was educated at King William's College on the Isle of Man, and gained a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1884, he graduated Third Wrangler, the third highest scoring student gaining a first-class honours in the third years of the mathematical tripos.
Soon after graduating, he was appointed Professor of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Adelaide. After a few years in Australia, he became acquainted with Sir Charles Todd, Postmaster-General and Astronomer Royal for South Australia. Todd had erected a transcontinental telegraph, and had been experimenting with wireless telegraphy. Bragg began experimenting with X-rays at this time. Early in the twentieth century, he turned his attention to radioactivity, presenting his first paper on the subject in 1906.
He was appointed to the Cavendish Chair at the University of Leeds in 1909. Here he carried out further experimentation on ionization in relation to X-rays. As a result, he devised the first spectrometer for X-rays. His son, then Sir W L Bragg, joined him in his research. They were soon able to announce the principles of X-ray spectroscopy, and were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1915.
In the same year, Bragg was appointed Quain Professor of Physics at University College, London, but he was prevented from taking it up by the outbreak of the First World War. During this time, Bragg worked for the Admiralty at Ardour and Harwich, working on anti-submarine devices and technology for the detection of submarines. In 1918 he returned to London as consultant to the Admiralty. He was awarded the CBE in 1917 and created KBE in 1920 in recognition of his war work.
Following the end of the war, Bragg took up his position at UCL. In 1923, he was appointed Director of the Royal Institution, Fulllerian Professor of Chemistry, Royal Institution and Director of the Davy-Faraday Laboratory. He presented the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Thomas Hawksley Lecture in 1927, on 'The application of X-rays to the study of the crystalline structure of materials.', and in his presentation of papers at the Royal Institution and elsewhere, he was famed for his ability to convey complex scientific phenomenon to a wide range of audiences, including the layman. In 1931 he was awarded the OM. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1934.
Bragg was elected President of the Royal Society in 1935, holding the position until 1940. He was made a member of the Advisory Council for Scientific Research in 1937, and continued to work as Director of the Royal Institution until his death on 12 March 1942.
1934-Ernest Rutherford, Lord Rutherford of Nelson
Ernest Rutherford was born near Nelson, New Zealand, in 1871. After winning a scholarship to attend a private secondary school, Nelson Collegiate School, he won another scholarship which allowed him to study at Canterbury College, Christchurch. After completing his three-year course, a further scholarship allowed him to remain at Canterbury for a further two years postgraduate study, the final year of which saw him carrying out independent research. In 1894 he was awarded a scholarship by the Commissioners of the 1851 Exhibition to come to England, where he studied at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, under Professor Joseph John Thomson.
His early work was the investigation of the effect of oscillating currents upon a highly magnetized needle, which he used to design a detector of electric waves. Around 1897 he began work on radioactivity, stimulated by Thomson's experiments on electrical discharges through gases. He extended this work to include the ionization of gases produced by X-rays, and the radioactive effects produced by the rays discovered by Becquerel.
In 1898 Rutherford was appointed Macdonald Professor of Physics at McGill University, Montreal, which at the time had one of the best laboratories in the world. His work here led to the concept of half-life and radioactive decay. In collaboration with Frederick Soddy he developed the transformation theory as an explanation for radioactivity. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1908 for his work at McGill.
He returned to England in 1907 to take up the Langworthy Chair of Physics at the University of Manchester, and it was here he carried out important experimental work into atomic work. In collaboration with Hans Geiger he developed an electrical counter for ionized particles. Once perfect by Geiger, the Geiger Counter became the standard means of measuring radioactivity. In 1911, after surprising experimental results, Rutherford conceived that the atom must consist mostly of empty space with its mass densely concentrated in a tiny nucleus, completely changing the accepted understanding of atomic and nuclear physics.
During the First World War Rutherford was involved in antisubmarine research. He also served as a member of the Admiralty’s Board of Invention and Research. When he was able to find the time he returned to his research in the collision of alpha particles with gas. In 1919 he realized that he had artificially stimulated a nuclear reaction in a stable element and this important discovery dominated his research for the rest of his career. In the same year he was appointed director of the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, where he succeeded Thomson.
Rutherford was knighted in 1914 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1925. He was created Baron Rutherford of Nelson, of Cambridge, in 1931. He served as President of the Royal Society from 1925 to 1930, and in 1927 was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution. He delivered the 19th Thomas Hawksley Lecture of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1932, on ‘Atomic projectiles and their applications’. He was made an Honorary Member in 1934.
Lord Rutherford died in 1937 and in recognition of the value of his work to the nation he is buried in Westminster Abbey.
1935-Lt. Colonel Edwin Kitson Clark
Lt. Colonel E. Kitson Clark was born in 1866. He attended Sutton Valence Grammar School, moving to Shrewsbury in 1882. He then attended Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating in 1888.
He then began his engineering education with a three year apprenticeship at the Airedale Foundry of Kitson and Co., the company which had been founded by his grandfather, James Kitson, in 1837. In 1891 he was made assistant works manager. He was later appointed works manager, and in 1897 he was made a partner in the firm. When the firm became a limited company, he became a director, and later Chairman.
He was associated with several major developments, including the Kitson-Meyer articulated locomotive for steep gradients and sharp curves, and the Kitson-Still locomotive, in which steam and Diesel propulsion were combined.
Besides his engineering career, he was also a second lieutenant in the 8th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment (Leeds Rifles), and served in the West Riding Territorial Army and Air Force Association from its inception. He also played an important role in the establishment of Leeds University Officer Training Corps. During the First World War, he was on active service. From 1913 to 1915 he was the Commanding Officer of the 8th Battalion, and from 1915-1918 he was in charge of the 49th Base Depot in France.
Kitson-Clark was also keenly interested in archaeology and, unusually for an engineer, was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquities. He was President of Leeds Thoresby (antiquarian) Society, and of the Leeds Civic Society. For over thirty years he was secretary of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. He also took a keen interest in Leeds Parish Church, and was an authority on its history.
He played an important role in the history of the IMechE. In 1921 he took a leading role in the formation of the Yorkshire Branch, becoming its first chairman. He was President in 1931. In 1935, he was elected an Honorary Life Member. He was also President of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers in 1921-1922.
He died aged 77 on 31 March 1943.
1935-Colonel Rookes Evelyn Bell Crompton
Rookes Evelyn Bell Crompton was born in 1845 at Sion Hill, near Thirsk. When he was 11 he went with his father to Gibraltar, and soon afterwards became midshipman in HMS Dragon. He was in the firing line in the Crimea, and was present at the fall of Sebastopol. He was later awarded the Crimean Medal and the Sebastopol Clasp.
When he returned to England, he completed his education at Harrow, then underwent a short apprenticeship at the Doncaster works of the Great Northern Railway. In 1864 he was gazetted as an ensign in the Rifle Brigade, and was posted to the staff of the Commander-in-Chief in India. He soon began experimenting with steam traction on roads, and in 1870 he inaugurated the Government Steam Train under the director-general of the Post Office.
He returned to England in 1875, and the following year went into partnership with T H P Dennis and Company, of Colchester. He also acted as a consulting engineer, and designed steam-driven tramcars with P W Willans. In 1877, Crompton became a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
He first became involved with electrical engineering in 1879, when he founded his firm in Chelmsford. For the next thirty years he carried out pioneering work in this area, and was responsible for important developments in electric lighting plant and dynamo design. He introduced lighting by incandescent electric lamps, which were first installed in the Royal Courts of Justice.
During the 1890s Crompton worked with J C Howell on a new type of electric battery. He went to India in 1896 to advise the Indian Government on the preparation of an Electric Lighting Act. He took a leading part in the formation of a Corps of Electrical Engineers for the Army, and commanded the unit during the South Africa War. He was made a Companion of the Bath for this work. Early in the Twentieth century he was asked to reorganize the Mechanical Transport Corps.
He continued to take an interest in motor traction, and was a founder member of the Royal Automobile Club, and served as first President of the Institution of Automobile Engineers. His investigation into the condition of road surfaces led to the formation of the Road Board, of which he was the first engineer.
During the First World War Crompton was a member of a committee appointed in 1915 by Winston Churchill, to devise mechanically propelled vehicles for crossing trenches. The result of this committee was the tank. Crompton, together with L A Legros, played an important part in the development of the tank. He also served on a Ministry of Munitions committee set up to advise on the interchangeability of screw gauges for shells, fuses and other materials. Standardization had long been an interest of his. He also worked to improve standard screw threads, and with Mr Clements, designed a new screw thread, the British Standard Fine.
Crompton was twice President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and served on the Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was also President of the Junior Institution of Engineers. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1933, and in 1935 was made an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He died on 15 February 1940.
1936-Alexander Augustus Cambridge, Earl of Athlone
Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge was born on 14 April 1874 at Kensington Palace. He was the third son of Francis, Duke of Teck and was brother to the future Queen Mary. He was educated at Eton and Sandhurst, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 7th Hussars in 1894. He served in the Matabele Campaign of 1896–97 and transferred to the Inniskilling Dragoons to serve in the Boer War.
He married Princess Alice Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline, daughter of Queen Victoria’s fourth son, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany. They had a daughter and two sons, one of whom died at only six months, the other in a motoring accident in 1928.
In 1904 he joined the Horse Guards, transferring, at the request of the King George V, to the 2nd Life Guards in 1911 with the rank of Major. He was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath at the Coronation that year. He was nominated Governor-General of Canada in 1914, but did not take up the Appointment due to the outbreak of the First World War. He was attached to the British military mission to Belgium, and was promoted to General Staff Officer Grade 1, with the rank of Brigadier-General in 1915. He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1917, and that same year, in accordance with policy, he renounced his German titles and the family name of Teck, taking the family name of Cambridge and the title Earl of Athlone.
He was appointed chairman of a committee to investigate the needs of medical practitioners in 1921. The Athlone Committee produced a report which recommended the establishment of a medical school to promote postgraduate instruction and medical research. The resulting school, subsequently attached to Hammersmith Hospital, became one of the most famous institutions of its kind in the world.
In 1923 he was appointed Governor-General of the Union of South Africa, and High Commissioner, arriving in South Africa in time to open Parliament in January 1924. This was a difficult time in South Africa, and antagonism between the British and the Afrikaners was inflamed by a Nationalist proposal to adopt a new flag for the Union which omitted anything symbolic of the British connection. He worked quietly to soothe and reconcile animosities, and his patience, courtesy, and tact won the respect of all parties.
He returned to England in 1931 and was appointed Governor and Constable of Windsor Castle, becoming a member of the Privy Council. In 1940 he was appointed Governor-General of Canada, where he served a successful five-year term, travelling extensively to attend troop reviews and munitions factories. He returned to Britain in 1936, where he continued to take an active interest in national affairs, and especially in the Dominions and foreign and Colonial affairs.
He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1936.
He died on 16 January 1957 at Kensington Palace at the age of 82.
1936-David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford and Balcarres
David Alexander Edward Lindsay, Twenty-seventh Earl of Crawford and Tenth Earl of Balcarres was born on 10 October 1871 at Dunecht House, Aberdeen. He was the eldest of six sons of James Ludovic Lindsay, Twenty-sixth Earl of Crawford and Ninth Earl of Balcarres and his wife Emily. He was educated at Eton and at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he gained a Third in history and was secretary, treasurer, and President of the Oxford Union. Afterwards he worked at the Oxford House university settlement in Bethnal Green, under the auspices of the Charity Organization Society.
An old Fife family, the Lindsays' home had been at Haigh Hall, Wigan, since the 1790s, and in June 1985 he was elected unopposed as the Conservative MP for the Chorley division of Lancashire, where Haigh Hall was situated. He held the seat until 1913 when he succeeded to the peerage. Heir to the chairmanship of the Wigan Coal and Iron Company, he also inherited valuable collections built up by his father and grandfather – the Bibliotheca Lindesiana, the last great private library in the UK.
In Parliament he took an early interest in the arts. His interventions led to the creation of the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1899, and in 1900 he introduced the Ancient Monuments Protection Act. In 1903 he became a party whip, being promoted to chief whip in July 1911, handling skilfully the bitter divisions over the Parliament Bill and the succession of Andrew Bonar-Law. An ardent diarist, his habit of writing detailed notes within minutes of political conversations make his diaries, published in 1984, an unrivalled source of historical information about both these events and Tory politics generally in the period before the First World War.
In 1913 he succeeded as Twenty-seventh Earl of Crawford and Tenth Earl of Balcarres. In 1915 he enlisted as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps, giving a false age, but only months later, in 1916, he was summoned to become President of the Board of Agriculture, later Lord Privy Seal with responsibility for the Wheat Commission. Between 1919 and 1921, as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, he brought bread supplies back to normal. He was appointed the first Commissioner of Works in 1921, adding Minister of Transport to his responsibilities in 1922. With the fall of the Coalition Government he retired from front-bench politics at the age of 52.
He was a trustee of both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, and was chairman of the National Art Collections Fund. In 1923 he became Chancellor of Manchester University and was a trustee of the British Museum. He was Chairman of the Royal Fine Arts Commission in 1924, and in 1925 he chaired the Crawford Committee on broadcasting, which recommended the establishment of the BBC as a public monopoly. He chaired the Royal Literary Fund and was Chairman of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in and its President from 1924 to 1929.
He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1936.
He died on 8 March 1940 at Haigh Hall at the age of 68.
1936-Edward George Villiers Stanley, Earl of Derby
Edward George Villiers Stanley was born on 4 April 1865 at 23 St James’s Square, London. He was the eldest son of Frederick Arthur Stanley, who became Sixteenth Earl of Derby in 1893, and his wife, Lady Constance Villiers. He was educated at Wellington College, and joined the Grenadier Guards in 1885 as a Lieutenant.
He was Aide-de-Camp to the Governor General of Canada, his father, between 1888 and 1891. He fought in the second Boer War between 1899 and 1900, when he became private secretary to the Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in South Africa.
He entered parliament as Conservative MP for Westhoughton in 1892, and served under Lord Salisbury as a Lord of the Treasury between 1895 and 1900, and under Salisbury and later Arthur Balfour as Financial Secretary of the War Office between 1901 and 1903. He entered the cabinet as Postmaster General in 1903, a post he held until Balfour’s Government fell at the end of 1905. He failed to retain his own seat in the House of Commons in the election of 1906, but when he succeeded his father to the Earldom in 1908 he was able to take his seat in the House of Lords.
In Liverpool in August 1914 he organized an extremely successful recruiting campaign for Kitchener’s Army, and in October 1915, as Director-General of Recruiting, he instituted the Derby Scheme, a kind of halfway-house between voluntary enlistment and conscription, which the Government was reluctant to adopt, although it eventually had to do so in 1916. He returned to the Government in July 1916 as Under-Secretary of State for War, being promoted to Secretary of State for War later the same year. In 1918 he was made Ambassador to France, remaining in that post until 1920. Between 1922 and 1924 he again served as Secretary of State for War under both Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin.
He was a Privy Councillor and was the recipient of many awards and honours, including Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1908, Knight of the Garter in 1915 and Knight Grand Cross of the Bath in 1920. He was Lord Mayor of Liverpool between 1911 and 1912, and was Honorary President of the Rugby Football league, donating the Lord Derby Cup. He was Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire between 1928 and 1948.
He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1936.
He followed in the family tradition, and was one of the most prominent owner-breeders of racehorses in the first half of the 20th century, winning, amongst many others, the Epsom Derby (three times), the St Leger Stakes (six times), and the 1000 Guineas (seven times).
On 5 January 1889 he married Lady Alice Maude Olive Montagu, daughter of the Seventh Duke of Manchester. They had two sons and a daughter.
He died on 4 February 1948 at Knowsley Hall, Lancashire at the age of 82.
William Taylor was born in Hackney in 1865. He served his apprenticeship from 1880 to 1885 with Paterson and Cooper, electrical engineers and scientific instrument makers. He also studied electrical engineering at the City and Guilds of London Technical College at Finsbury.
After further experience with Paterson and Cooper, mainly in the design and installation of electric lighting plants, he joined his brother, an optician, in Leicester. They founded the company of Taylor, Taylor and Hobson in 1886. William’s intention had always been to apply mechanical engineering principles to the different processes involved in making lenses. He made a comprehensive study of these methods, and embodied the results in production machines of his own design. Some of his earliest inventions were related to engraving machines and appliances for the mathematical division of lines and circles. His most important work was relating to the screw thread. He was made a member of the Engineering Standards Committee on screw threads and limit gauges and of the British Association Small Screw Gauge Committee.
During the First World War, Taylor designed machines for the accurate polishing of lenses, and made it possible to produce large numbers of such lenses for binoculars. He also devised new methods of lens manufacture for aerial photography, and produced lenses for range finders, gun sights, and telescopes. He was awarded the OBE for his services. After the war he was responsible for the manufacture of special photographic lenses for cinematograph cameras. He was known as an expert in the field, and was often consulted on photographic problems.
He served on the Council of the National Physical Laboratory and on the Sectional Committees on Optical Instruments and Optical Instrument Standards of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1934.
He was President of the IMechE in 1932, and was made an Honorary Life Member in 1936.
He died on 28 February 1937.
1936-James Ramsay MacDonald
James Ramsay MacDonald was born on 12 October 1866 in a two-roomed ‘but and ben’ cottage in Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland. He was the illegitimate son of Anne Ramsay, a farm servant, and John MacDonald, a ploughman on the same farm. Known throughout his life as James Ramsay MacDonald, his birth certificate describes him as ‘James MacDonald Ramsay, child of Anne Ramsay’. He was raised by his mother and grandmother, and was educated at the Free Church of Scotland School in Lossiemouth and from 1875 at the Drainie School, where in 1881 he became a pupil teacher. He spent a short time in Bristol in 1885, as an assistant to a clergyman, where he became involved in radical politics, returning briefly to Lossiemouth, before moving to London in 1886.
In London he found employment as an invoice clerk, and became involved once more in radical politics. In 1888 he became private secretary to Thomas Lough who was elected Liberal MP for Islington in 1892. He left Lough’s employ that year, having gained valuable experience in electioneering. In 1894 he joined Kier Hardie’s Independent Labour Party (ILP), standing unsuccessfully as an ILP candidate in Southampton in 1895. He stood again in Leicester in 1900, but was again defeated. That year he became secretary of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), forerunner of the Labour Party, and successfully negotiated an agreement with Herbert Gladstone which allowed the LRC to contest a number of working class seats without Liberal opposition. In 1906 the LRC changed its name to the Labour Party, absorbing the ILP, and Macdonald, along with 28 others was elected to Parliament, these MPs undoubtedly owing their election to the ‘progressive alliance’ between the Liberal and Labour Parties.
A committed pacifist, when the Labour Party supported the Government in the First World War, he resigned as its Chairman, becoming Treasurer instead. However, despite his opposition to the War he still visited the front in December 1914, where he behaved with great aplomb under fire, although he never made any reference to this himself.
He lost his seat in the ‘coupon election’ of 1918, which saw the Liberal Coalition Government of Lloyd George win a large majority. He returned to Parliament as MP for Aberavon in Wales in the election of 1922 and was elected Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party, so becoming leader of the opposition. By now he was moving to a more centrist position, and strongly opposed the wave of radicalism that swept through the Labour Party in the wake of the Russian Revolution. He was a determined enemy of communism. At the 1923 election the Conservatives lost their overall majority, and MacDonald became the first Labour Prime Minister, with the support of the Asquith Liberals. His Government was only to last nine months, and did not have a majority in either house, but was able to procure a number of benefits for the unemployed and the low paid. It was also able to achieve a measure of agreement on the German reparations issue in the London Settlement. However, problems associated with relations with Russia and the failure to prosecute a left-wing newspaper in the ‘Campbell Case’ precipitated a General Election, and the ‘Zinoviev Letter’, published by the Daily Mail just four days before the poll, sealed the Government’s fate. However, the result was not a complete disaster for the Labour Party, as they replaced the Liberals as the main opposition party to the Conservatives.
In the election of May 1929 Labour won the largest number of seats and formed a Government with the tacit support of the Lloyd George Liberals. In a stronger position than in 1924, he was able to raise unemployment pay, improve wages and conditions in the coal industry, and pass a Housing Act which focused on slum clearance. However, his government had no effective response to the stock market crash of 1929, and by the end of 1930 unemployment had doubled to over two-and-a-half million. During 1931 the economic situation worsened, and the May Report of July 1931 recommended large public sector pay cuts and large cuts in public spending, notably unemployment benefit. The alternative, proposed by the economist John Maynard Keynes, was a sharp devaluation of Sterling. The Cabinet was split over these proposals, and MacDonald resigned on 24 August, forming a National Government with the Conservatives and the Liberals. As a consequence of this perceived betrayal, MacDonald was expelled from the Labour Party, along with cabinet colleagues Philip Snowden and J. H. Thomas. The Conservatives forced a General Election in 1931, the National Government winning a huge majority, overwhelmingly Conservative. Although MacDonald was still Prime Minister, he was overshadowed by the Conservatives Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain. Ineffective at home, he continued, nevertheless, to lead important British delegations overseas, including to the Geneva Disarmament and the Lausanne Conferences in 1932, and the Stresa Conference in 1935.
By 1935 his health was in decline and he agreed to stand down as Prime Minister, resigning in June 1935 in favour of Stanley Baldwin. He lost his Seaham seat to Emmanuel ’Manny’ Shinwell in January 1936, the year in which he was elected Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
He married Margaret Gladstone – no relation to the Prime Minister W. E. Gladstone – in 1896, and they had six children.
He died on 9 November 1937 aboard the liner Reina del Pacifico.
1937-Alan Ernest Leofric Chorlton
Alan E L Chorlton CBE was born at Audenshaw, near Manchester, in 1874. He attended a private school, and then entered the Manchester Technical School, in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He began an apprenticeship at the Salford Iron Works of Mather and Platt Ltd. As well as the usual turning and fitting shop experience, he also worked in the foundry and smithy. At the same time he attended part-time at the Victoria University.
He was for years a member of the team of one of the major Manchester rugby clubs, and was selected for the Lancashire team.
At 24 he was sent to report on the engineering side of Hubbard’s works near St Petersburg, which was at the time the largest textile printing works in the world. He was then employed to implement the changes recommended, resulting in a fuel economy of 30 per cent, as well as greater reliability.
On his return he was made assistant works manager of Salford Iron Works, becoming general works manager at 28 years old. Four years later he was made director. While in Russia his attention was drawn to the high efficiency of the Sulzer turbine pump, and on his return he took a leading part in the remodelling of the Mather-Reynolds pump then being made by the firm.
In 1913, he left to join Ruston and Hornsby Ltd., of Lincoln, Grantham and Stockport, taking a prominent part during the First World War in the extension of their activities. He was appointed Deputy Controller of Aero-engines in the Ministry of Munitions, and was a member of the Board of Inventions. After the end of the war he was on the Bankers’ Committee, and a member of the reconstruction committees. He was awarded the CBE for his services throughout the war.
From 1918 to 1928 he worked with William Beardmore and Co. Ltd. During this time he introduced the high-speed Diesel engine to the country, designing engines for rail-cars in the US and Canada, and which were also fitted on the R101 airship.
On retirement from William Beardmore and Co. Ltd., Chorlton went into politics, representing the Platting Division from 1931, and Bury up to 1945, when he retired.
He was President of the IMechE in 1933. He died in 1946.
1937-Frederick Howard Livens
Frederick Howard Livens was born in 1854. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to the firm of Marshall Sons and Company Limited, of Gainsborough. During his apprenticeship he gained a Whitworth Scholarship. After completing his pupilship he spent a year in the firm's drawing office.
In 1876 he joined the firm of Rushton Proctor and Company as chief draughtsman. He became chief engineer in 1897, a director in 1899 and vice-chairman in 1929. He retired in 1931. During these years he was involved with the design and construction of a variety of plant, particularly steam and oil engines, pumping plant and excavating machinery. During the First World War he was responsible for the invention and development of a flame thrower, along with Captain Livens, his son.
Livens became a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1890. He became a member of Council in 1921, and served as Vice President from 1929 to 1936. A year later he was elected an Honorary Member. He was also a member of the Instiutiton of Civil Engineers, and was an honorary member of the Junior Institution of Engineers.
In addition to his engineering interests he was active in local affairs, serving as Sheriff of Lincoln in 1901, and chairman of the Education, Draining and other municipal committees. He was a Justice of the Peace, and served as chairman of the governors of the Lincoln Municipal Technical School.
Livens died on 30 October 1948.
1937-Dr Alex Dow
Alex Dow was born in Glasgow on 12 April 1862. He attended board schools for six years, but had to seek employment at the age of 11. He worked as a messenger boy, junior clerk and stenographer at a railway office for six years. At the age of 17 he found employment with the Cunard Steamship Line at Liverpool.
He moved to the United States in 1882, and found work with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He then became supervisor of local line and instrument maintenance of the Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company. He moved to Chicago in 1888, where he was in charge of the Chicago office of the Brush Electric Company, which installed and operated arc lighting systems. He was responsible for the design ad construction of the South Park system in Chicago, requiring about 30 miles of underground cables. He was employed as consulting engineer by the City of Detroit from 1893, which was then installing a municipal lighting system.
He became an American citizen in 1895 and the following year he became vice-president and general manager of the Edison Illuminating Company, Detroit. When the Detroit Edison Company was formed in 1903, Dow continued as vice-president and general manager, becoming president in 1912. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1940, and during that time insisted on a reliable electric service at fair rates, thus playing an important role in the growth of the city. Dow introduced many important practices and technologies, including the distant-controlled rotary converter; the Wright demand meter and the building of generating plants near the load centres with high voltage distribution to substations.
Alex Dow was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1937. He was also a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. He retired from his position as President of the Detroit Edison Company in 1940, and became Chairman of its Executive Committee. He died on 22 March 1942.
1937-Sir James Fortescue Flannery
James Fortescue Flannery was born on 16 December 1851 in Liverpool, the son of Captain John Flannery of Seacombe. He was educated at the Liverpool College of Science, and at Victoria University.
After working in Birkenhead in marine engineering he was engaged by Sir Edward Reid, Chief Constructor of the Royal Navy. His successful career as a marine engineer and naval architect culminated in him becoming the head of the Flannery, Baggally & Johnson Marine Engineering Company, which opened offices in Liverpool, in London, and in Rotterdam.
He was a Director of the London and South Western Bank, and between 1900 and 1906 he was President of the Railway Clerks’ Association. He was President of the Institution of Marine Engineers in 1914, and later he became President of the Society of Consulting Engineers in 1931. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1937.
He was a Justice of the Peace for Surrey in 1892, for Kent in 1895, and for Essex in 1904. He was knighted in 1899, and he was created a Baronet in 1904, of Wethersfield Manor, in Essex.
He was first elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Shipley in West Yorkshire in the General Election of 1895, a seat which he held until the General Election of 1906. He subsequently returned to Parliament in January 1910 as the Conservative member for Maldon in Essex. He successfully fought this constituency as a Coalition Conservative candidate in 1918, but he did not stand as a candidate in the General Election of 1922.
In 1892 he married Edith Mary Emma, daughter of Osborn Jenkyn of Ealing, and they had a son and two daughters.
He died on 5 October 1943 at Wethersfield Manor, Essex, at the age of 91.
1937- Dr Frederick William Lanchester
Frederick William Lanchester, also known as Paul Netherton-Herries when publishing poetry, was born on 23 October 1868 in Lewisham, London. He was the son of Henry Jones Lanchester and his wife Octavia, née Ward. The family moved to Brighton, where he won a scholarship to the Hartley Institution in Southampton and then on to what is now the Royal College of Science and the Royal College of Mines in London. He also attended classes at the Finsbury Technical School, although he abandoned his education before he attained any formal qualifications.
He began work with the Forward Gas Engine Company of Birmingham 1888, and within six months he had invented the ‘pendulum governor’ to control engine speed. This was followed by his ‘gas engine starter’, subsequently sold to the Crossley Gas Engine Company. In 1892 he designed and built the world’s first direct-coupled engine–dynamo installation, which was used to light the Company’s offices. He left the company the following year.
In 1895 he built the first all-British motorboat, using an engine of his own design driving a rear-mounted paddle wheel. He then went on to design his first motor car, a four-wheel model built at his workshop at Saltley in Birmingham. A later design won the Gold Medal at the Automobile Exhibition and Trials in Richmond in 1989, and was known subsequently as the ‘Gold Medal Phaeton’. The Lanchester Engine Company was formed, with premises in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. Here he designed and built a 10hp twin-cylinder engine for a new car launched in 1901 and remaining in production until 1905. After the company went bankrupt, and was re-formed as the Lanchester Motor Company, he resigned, becoming a consultant and technical adviser. He was already a consultant to the Daimler Motor Company, later the Birmingham Small Arms Company, for whom he designed a double-decker bus.
He was very interested in powered flight, although in 1897 his paper ‘The soaring of birds and the possibilities of mechanical flight’ was rejected by the Physical Society, being too advanced for its time. In 1907 he published a two-volume work, Aerial Flight, which included the first full descriptions of lift and drag; this work, too, was ahead of its time. From 1909 he was a consultant to the White and Thompson aeroplane concern, developing many innovative features for their biplanes. In 1909 he was also appointed to the Royal Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, where he was a strong advocate of the future role of aircraft in warfare, publishing his views in his book Aircraft in Warfare: the Dawn of the Fourth Arm in 1916.
From the 1920s he was a consultant for a number of companies, including Lanchester, Wolseley, and Beardmore, and also for Sir Malcolm Campbell on his ‘Bluebird’ record-breaking car. In 1925 he founded a new company – Lanchester’s Laboratories Ltd, to promote some of his other inventions, including high quality sound-reproducing systems.
Under the pseudonym Paul Netherton-Herries he published two volumes of poetry.
In 1919 he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Birmingham University, and in 1922 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, receiving their Ewing Gold Medal in1941, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, receiving their Gold Medal in 1926. He was an associate member of the Institution of Naval Architects, and he received the American Guggenheim Gold Medal in 1931. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1937, and was awarded the James Watt International Medal in 1945.
In 1919 he married Dorothea Cooper, and from 1924 they lived in the house he designed himself – Dyott End – in Oxford Road, Moseley. They had no children.
He died on 8 March 1946 at Dyott End at the age of 77.
Charles Day was born at Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, in 1867. He was educated at the Stockport Grammar School, and later attended the Manchester Technical School. At the age of 18 he received a Whitworth Scholarship, and attended further evening classes in electrical engineering, and a summer evening course at Owens College in industrial chemistry. He served an apprenticeship in engineering with Emerson Murgatroyd and Co., Stockport, and J and H Andrew and Co., makers of the ‘Stockport’ gas engine.
At 23 he was appointed chief draughtsman at the boiler works of Joseph Adamson and Co., Ltd., Hyde. Later he moved to the National Boiler Insurance Company Ltd., where he started a branch for dealing with the insurance of steam engines. Whilst with this company, Day wrote articles for The Practical Engineer on the subject of ‘The Testing of Engines and Boilers’, and also a book on ‘Indicator Diagrams’.
His work on engine testing brought him into contact with Cole Marchent and Morley Ltd., Bradford, who had taken up the manufacture of Corliss-type steam engines. He joined that firm as manager in 1895. In 1899 he visited the United States, where the horizontal Corliss-type steam engine had been widely adopted for direct-driven dynamos used to supply current to tramways.
In 1902 he joined the Mirrlees Watson Company, Ltd., Glasgow, as general manager. This company had acquired Diesel’s patents and designs, and an engine had been built in 1897 and officially tested by Professor Watkinson of the Liverpool University. This was the first Diesel engine built in Britain, and the third in the world. Owing to technical difficulties, the project had been abandoned, but Day visited Augsburg to study the developments that had been made in Germany, and work recommenced. A number of improvements were introduced, and two additional engines were produced to the latest drawings. A Diesel engine department was established. In 1905, engines were supplied to the Admiralty for HMS Dreadnought. These engines, running at 400 rpm, were the earliest high-speed Diesels. At the same time a lighter engine was also supplied to pinnace propulsion. By 1906 the Diesel engine business had developed to such an extent that it was necessary to expand, and in 1907 a new company was formed at Stockport for the manufacture of Mirrlees Diesel engines, in a newly built and equipped works. This company was set up in association with HN Bickerton, and was named Mirrlees Bickerton and Day, Ltd. In 1926 the two companies amalgamated, and Day became managing director, later chairman, of both companies. He resigned in 1946, at the age of 79, but continued as a director, and still took an active part in the business until his death.
During the First World War, Day served on the Lancashire Anti-submarine Committee, which included many prominent Lancashire engineers and scientists, and pioneered submarine detection. He was also a leading member of the Associated Group of Tank Engine Builders, which carried out valuable work in connection with the development and construction of tank engines during the war. The group was composed of the principal firms of engine builders in the Manchester area.
In the Second World War he was intensively engaged in the organization of production to deal with the heavy demands for Diesel engines for war service, aircraft parts, guns, and also the ‘Imo-oil’ pumps for submarines, etc.
As a young man, Day was a keen swimmer, being Captain of the Stockport Swimming Club. He also attended the Lads’ Club where he practiced boxing and other sports. He was a member of the Stockport Golf Club for many years, and a Life Member and joint founder of the West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. He was fond of gardening and was a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society.
He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and he was later elected an Honorary Life Member. He died on 18th June 1949, at the age of 82.
1938-Herbert Austin, Lord Austin of Longridge
Herbert Austin was born at Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire, in 1866. He was a pupil at Brampton College and Rotherham Grammar School. In 1882 he went to Australia, where he served an apprenticeship with the Longlands Foundry Company and Richard Parks and Company in Melbourne. During this time he also attended technical classes at Melbourne Municipal School.
He soon became works manager to Richard Parks and Company, before moving to become engineer to Wolseley, who was developing a machine to shear sheep. Austin returned to England in 1893 and became manager of the Wolseley Sheep-Shearing Machine Company in Birmingham. When the company was reorganized into the the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company Limited in 1901 he held a similar position. In 1905 he left to concentrate on his own company, the Austin Motor Company Limited, of which he was director and chairman until his death. In 1922 he introduced the 'Austin Seven' car, which brought car ownership within the reach of a much greater number of people.
In the First World War, Austin's works at Longridge produced shells and other war material, and during the Second World War the company devoted itself to the production of planes, aero-engines and other munitions. Austin's experience of the mass-production of cars was useful at this time, and enabled him to take responsibility for six 'shadow' aircraft factories. He was also chairman of the Shadow Aero-Engines Committee from 1937 to 1940.
Austin was awarded the KBE in 1917, and he was created a Baron in 1936. He was also a Commander of the Order of Leopold II. He was elected a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1918, and was elected an Honorary Life Member in 1938. He was President of the Institution of Automobile Engineers and the British Cast Iron Research Association.
Lord Austin died on 23 May 1941.
1938-Richard Edward Lloyd Maunsell
Richard Edward Lloyd Maunsell was born at Raheny, County Dublin, in 1868. He was educated at Armargh Royal School and Trinity College, Dublin. He graduated BA in 1891 and later received the degree of MA.
His engineering education began in 1888 with a three year pupilage at the Inchinore Works of the Great Southern and Western Railway, Ireland. He later became a pupil for a year at the Horwich Works of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. In 1892 he was appointed locomotive foreman in charge of the Blackpool and Fleetwood District of the L&YR. In 1894 he moved to India to take up the position of assistant locomotive superintendent on the East Indian Railway, where he was in charge of the Anasol section. After remaining in this position for a couple of years, Robert Coey, chief mechanical engineer of the Great Southern and Western Railway offered him the post of works manager at Inchinore. Maunsell accepted the post, and remained works manager for fifteen years, rearranging and modernizing the works and improving production capacity. Maunsell succeeded Coey in 1911 as chief mechanical engineer.
Two years later, Maunsell was appointed locomotive, carriage and wagon superintendent of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, taking up headquarters at the Ashford Works, Kent. With the outbreak of war in 1914, Maunsell made great contributions to the Allied war effort, making several journeys to ascertain the railway needs of the fighting front in France, improving the efficiency of Ashford Works, and producing gun mounts for the anti-aircraft defence of London at the Works. For this work he was awarded the CBE in 1918.
After the war, Maunsell was entrusted with the task of producing standard locomotive designs for use in the British Railways by the Association of Railway Locomotive Engineers. This project was well advanced when the amalgamation of the railways into four groups made in unnecessary. In 1923, the newly formed Southern Railway appointed Maunsell as chief mechanical engineer, and he took up headquarters at Waterloo Station. He was particularly concerned with mechanical engine failures, and made sure that he was kept informed of all such failures so as to avoid as far as possible a recurrence. His approach to design was 'Make it as simple as possible...and above all let it be foolproof in use'.
He was very concerned with the education of works apprentices, and the training of young engineers, and he was a key member of the Education Committee of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Maunsell became a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1893, and became a Member of Council in 1923. He served as Vice-President in 1932 and was elected an Honorary Member in 1938. He was also a Member of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers, and served as President in 1916 and 1928-29. He died on 7 March 1944
1938-John Davenport Siddeley, Lord Kenilworth of Kenilworth
John Davenport Siddeley was born in 1866 in Cheadle Hulme, near Stockport. He was the eldest son of William Siddeley and Elizabeth, née Davenport. He left school as an apprentice hosier in his father’s business. He began attending evening classes, and by 1885 he was designing bicycles. He married Sarah Mabel Goodier in 1893. They had three sons and two daughters.
He began his engineering career as a draughtsman with the Humber Cycle Company at Beeston. He later became managing director of the Clipper Tyre Company, and it was in this role that he participated in the thousand-mile reliability trials which were held in 1900. As a publicity stunt Siddeley became the first person to cycle from John o’ Groats to Land’s End.
He first became involved with motor cars through pneumatic tyres. He formed the Siddeley Autocar Company in 1902, manufacturing Peugeot designs under license. He moved on to a position with the Wolseley Motor Company. He resigned from his position as general manager in 1909, becoming the managing director of the Deasy Motor Car Manufacturing Company. He was so successful in turning this struggling company around that it was renamed the Siddeley-Deasy car.
During the First World War the company’s fortunes improved with government orders for lorries and motor cars. Siddeley convinced the company to move into aviation, which led to orders for aero-engines and airframes. They created the Siddeley Puma which was very reliable, and was the principal design used in British bombers by the end of the war.
After the war Siddeley arranged a take-over of the Siddeley-Deasy company by the Armstrong Whitworth Company. Under the holding company Armstrong Whitworth Development Company two companies were formed, Armstrong Siddeley Motors and Sir W G Armstrong, Whitworth Aircraft Limited. During the 1920s, Siddeley took control of all three companies, financed by a £1.5 million loan. He officially retired in 1936 after arranging a merger with Hawker.
Kenilworth received the CBE in 1918. He was Knighted in 1932 and made a Peer in 1937. He was a President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and the Society of British Aircraft Constructors. He was a Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1938.
Kenilworth retired in 1936. After his retirement he bought the historic Kenilworth Castle, which was presented to the nation by his son, Cyril.
Lord Kenilworth died on 3 November 1953.
1938-William Richard Morris, Viscount Nuffield
William Richard Morris was born on 10 October 1877 in Worcester. He was the son of Frederick Morris and his wife, Emily Ann, née Pether. The family moved to Headington, near Oxford, and he attended Cowley village school until he was 15. He was then apprenticed to a cycle maker.
At the age of 16 he set up his own cycle repair business in Oxford, and started to assemble his own bicycles. He soon gained a reputation for value and reliability. In 1902 he began to manufacture motorcycles, and in 1909 he set up the Morris Garage, where he sold, hired, and repaired cars. In 1912 he founded W R M Motors Ltd and moved into motorcar manufacture, buying in components from which he built vehicles to his own design and specification. From the outset he was concerned that his vehicles should be reliable and keenly priced, and his first car, the 1912-designed Morris Oxford exemplified this approach. In 1913 he sold some 1300 examples of this model, putting him at once among the top British car manufacturers
During the First World War he manufactured an assortment of military products, which led to him receiving an OBE in 1917. After the War he began manufacturing his newly-designed Morris Cowley from new premises at Temple Cowley on the outskirts of Oxford. Although in 1919 he was able to produce only 387 cars, by 1923 he was turning out more than 20,000 per year, at prices which undercut most of his competitors. His cars gained an enviable reputation for reliability, ease of maintenance, and innovation, and during the 1920s and 1930s he was able to exploit the growing market much more effectively than his rivals.
He gradually took over his specialist suppliers. From 1923 he was manufacturing his own engines, bodies, and radiators at the Morris Engines Company. From 1926 he was manufacturing his own carburettors. That same year Morris Motors (1926) Ltd was founded. From the late 1920 his company supplied a third of all the cars built in Britain, but this was its high point. The Morris 8 and Morris 10 ranges launched in the 1930 kept Morris ahead of his competitors, but they were closing in fast, mimicking his successful manufacturing techniques to great advantage. From the late 1930 product development stagnated, as did the management style within the company, and the successful post-war Morris Minor was only introduced into production against Morris’s own wishes. In 1951 he merged the company with Austin to form the British Motor Company, of which he was president until he retired in 1954.
He was a great philanthropist, making significant educational and medical donations from the 1920s onwards, in total donating some £30 million. In 1936 he established a medical school in Oxford, and the following year donated land and some £900,000 for the establishment of an Oxford College. He was instrumental in establishing a network of provident societies that eventually became the British United Provident Association (BUPA). He made significant donations to hospitals, including the Radcliffe Royal Infirmary in Oxford and Guy’s Hospital in London. In 1939 established the Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown, and in 1942 he set up the Nuffield Foundation, with capital in the region of £10 million, to provide medical and social relief, and, from the 1950s, educational grants.
In 1938 became Viscount Nuffield, of Nuffield in the County of Oxford. He received many honours and awards, including five honorary doctorates and honorary Fellowships of four Oxford Colleges. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal College of Surgeons, and he was a Companion of Honour. He was elected Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1938
He married Elizabeth Maude Anstey on 9 April 1904; they had no children.
He died on 22 August 1963 at Nuffield Place in Oxfordshire at the age of 85.
1939-Major General Alexander Elliot Davidson
Major General A E Davidson was born in 1880. He was educated at Blackheath School, and later attended the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich.
He entered the Royal Engineers in 1899, and rose steadily through the ranks of the army, serving in both the South African War and the First World War. He was associated with mechanized warfare, and was one of the pioneers of mechanical transport in the army. He commanded one of the first sections of mechanical transport in Kimberley, South Africa, in 1902.
In 1910, he was secretary to the Mechanical Transport Commission and took part in the preparations for and expansion of mechanical transport in the run up to the First World War. From 1927 to 1931 he was Chairman of the Mechanical Warfare Board. This period was of great importance for the design and development of tanks, although such research was underfunded. In 1936, Davidson was appointed Director of Mechanization. He retired from the army in 1940.
He was President of the IMechE in 1935, and was later made an Honorary Member.
1939-Alexander Graham Christie
Alexander Graham Christie was born in 1880 in Manchester, Ontario, Canada. He obtained a degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from the University of Toronto in 1901.
He started work as a lathe operator at the Westinghouse Machine Company in Pittsburgh, but was very soon transferred to the steam turbine department. In 1904 he was put in charge of the company’s steam turbine exhibit at the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis. He spent a year as an instructor at the highly-regarded Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering, before moving back into industry, first with the Allis-Chambers Company and then as mechanical engineer in charge of power plants for the Western Canada Cement and Coal Company.
In 1909 he became an associate professor of steam and gas engineering at the University of Wisconsin before joining the School of Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1914. He was promoted to professor in 1920, and in 1921 became chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department, a post that he would retain until his retirement in 1948. He was also head of the Night Courses for Technical Workers for part-time engineering students for 21 years, until 1953.
During the First World War he was involved in developing anti-submarine measures, and in the Second World War was Director of Training for the Baltimore War Manpower Commission.
He did much to raise the professional status of engineers and engineering, and helped establish the State of Maryland Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, serving as its first chairman. In 1939 he was elected President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and in 1953 he was awarded their George Westinghouse Gold Medal. He was a Life Member of the American Society of Engineering Education, and he received their prestigious Lamme Award in 1948. In 1939 he was elected Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
A memorial plaque in the Engineering Section of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library on the Homewood Campus of the Johns Hopkins University reads: “Scholar, teacher, leader of men, Alexander Graham Christie, Mechanical Engineer”.
In 1919 he married Flora Brown of Ohio, and they had two children.
He died in 1964 in his 85th year.
Henry Ford was born on 30 July 1863 in Greenfield, near Detroit, Michigan. He was the son of farmer William Ford, of County Cork, Ireland, and his wife, Mary, whose parents were Belgian.
In 1879 he left home to be an apprentice machinist in Detroit, first with James F. Flower & Bros and then with the Detroit Dry Dock Company. He returned to Greenfield to work on the family farm in 1882, becoming an expert operator of the Westinghouse portable steam engine – so much so that he was subsequently hired by Westinghouse to service their steam engines. He joined the Edison Illuminating Company in 1891, and was Chief Engineer by 1893.
In his spare time he built his first self-propelled vehicle, which he called the Ford Quadricycle, in 1896. He built a second vehicle in 1898, and he left Edison and founded the short-lived Detroit Automobile Company in 1899 with William H. Murphy. In 1901 he successfully built and raced another vehicle, and with Murphy and others formed the Henry Ford Motor Company. However, he left the following year when Murphy hired Henry M. Leland as a consultant engineer; Murphy subsequently renamed the company the Cadillac Automobile Company.
Ford maintained an interest in motor racing from 1901 to 1913, and in 1902 he designed and built a racing car which set the land speed record of 91.3 mile/h (147 km/h) and was toured around the US by racing driver Barney Oldfield, making the brand known nationwide. With the backing of Alexander Malcomson he formed Ford & Malcomson Ltd, manufacturing inexpensive cars using parts made by John and Horace Dodge.
Financial crisis led to the transformation in 1903 of Ford & Malcomson into the Ford Motor Company, with the Dodge brothers as part-owners. The company introduced its ‘Model T’ in 1908. By 1914 sales had exceeded 250,000, and by 1918 half of all cars in the USA were Model Ts. (When production eventually ceased in 1927 more than 15 million had been produced.) In the 1920s rising competition for the Model T made it necessary to introduce a new car, and the result was the ‘Model A’. Introduced in 1927, it was produced until 1931, with a total output of over 4 million cars.
The Ford plant at River Rouge became the largest industrial complex in the world. Plants were opened in Canada and the UK in 1911, in Italy, in cooperation with Fiat, in 1912, and in Germany, France, Australia, and India in the 1920s. In 1929 he built what became the GAZ car plant in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod). The many subsidiary companies established included Ford of Europe, Ford of Brazil, Ford of South Africa, and Ford of Mexico. By 1932 Ford was building one third of all of the world’s cars, and ‘Fordism’ slipped into the language: something quintessentially American. It was stated at the time ‘Automobiles have so completely changed the American’s mode of life that ... it is difficult to remember what life was like before Mr Ford’.
He was a pioneer of ‘welfare capitalism’, believing that good wages would attract and keep the best staff. In 1914 he introduced a $5/day wage – almost twice the average of the time – which proved extremely profitable, as all of the best mechanics flocked to Ford, raising productivity and lowering training costs. He also set a reduced work week: in 1922 this was a six-day, 48-hour week, reducing by 1926 to a five-day, 40-hour week. Another advantage of paying people more was that they could now afford to buy the cars they were producing, thus pushing up demand. He was adamantly opposed to unions, believing that they would restrict productivity and increase unrest. He was convinced that good managers would properly look after their staff, as it was in their own interests to do so. However, he was eventually forced to concede an agreement with the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) in 1941, the last of the major car builders to do so.
He entered the aviation business during the First World War, building Liberty engines for aeroplanes and anti-submarine boats. After the War he established the Ford Airplane Division, building the Ford 4AT Trimotor – known as the ‘Tin Goose’. This plane, very similar to the Fokker V.VII-3m, from which it may well have been copied, first flew in 1926. It was the first successful US passenger airliner. Aeroplane manufacture ceased in 1933 during the Great Depression, but started up again during the Second World War, when, in 1943, Ford turned to the mass production of B24 ‘Liberator’ bombers, increasing production from one per day to one per hour, with a peak of 600 in one month.
His son, Edsel Ford, had been President of the company since 1918, and when he died in 1943 Henry, now in his 80s and in failing health, resumed nominal control. However, the company remained in a kind of limbo until Edsel Ford’s widow installed her son, Henry Ford II as President, and he took full control.
In 1928 Henry Ford was awarded the Elliott Cresson Medal of the Franklin Institute, and in 1939 was elected an Honorary Life Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In 1999 he was the winner of the Car Entrepreneur of the Century Award.
In 1888 he harried Sara Jane, née Bryant, and they had one son, Edsel, born in 1893.
He died in on 7 April 1947 at Fair Lane, his Dearborn estate, in Michigan, at the age of 83.
1939-Engineer Vice-Admiral Sir Harold Arthur Brown
Harold Arthur Brown was born in 1878. He was educated from the age of 15 as an engineering student at the Royal Naval Engineering College at Keyham, Devonport until 1899.
Brown had a long and successful career in the Royal Navy, during which he rose to the rank of Vice Admiral. In 1930, as the culmination of this career he was appointed Deputy Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet. He held this post until 1932, when he was promoted to the position of Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet, remaining in this position until 1936. In the latter part of the 1930s, in the years leading up to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, he moved from a direct role in the Navy to become Director General of Munitions Production for the Army Council at the War Office.
After the outbreak of war, from 1939 to 1941, he held the post of Director General of Munitions Production at the Ministry of Supply. In 1941 and 1942 he was the Controller General of Munitions Production, and from the latter part of 1942 until after hostilities had ended, in 1946, he was the Senior Supply Officer and the Chairman of the Armament Development Board for the Ministry of Supply.
After the end of the War, from 1947 until he retired in 1950, he was the Chairman of the Fuel Research Board.
At the Golden Jubilee meeting of the North East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in July 1935 he was made an Honorary Member.
He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1939.
He died in 1968 in his 90th year.
1939-Professor Alexander Lawson Mellanby
Alexander Lawson Mellanby was born in 1871 in West Hartlepool. He was the eldest son of four sons and two daughters born to John Mellanby, a manager of the Furness-Withy Shipyard, and his wife. He was educated at Barnard Castle School, leaving in 1887 to become an engineering apprentice at the Central Marine Engineering Works in West Hartlepool. In 1892, following the completion of his apprenticeship, he attended the Durham University College of Science until 1895, when he was awarded a BSc in engineering. In 1896 he went to study at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he gained his MSc.
Returning from Canada to Hartlepool in 1897, he was appointed Chief Technical Advisor at the marine engineering firm, T Richardson and Sons. In 1898 he was appointed Chief Lecturer in Engineering at Battersea Polytechnic in London, before moving to the Manchester School of Technology, first as Executive Engineer, later as a lecturer in mechanical engineering. In 1905 he was appointed Professor of Mechanisms and Prime Movers at the Glasgow and West Scotland Technical College, where he set about re-equipping the laboratories. He also increased the attendance at lectures appreciably by enrolling an increasing number of full-time day students from the shipyards on the Clyde. In 1906 he was appointed Professor of Motive Power Engineering. In 1911, when the college became the Royal Technical College, he was made Professor of Mechanical Engineering, becoming Professor of Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering in 1924, the post he held until his retirement in 1936.
He was the recipient of many honorary degrees and prestigious awards from professional associations. In 1939 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
He died in 1951 in his 80th year.
1940-Sir Herbet Nigel Gresley
Sir Nigel Gresley CBE was born in 1876 in Edinburgh. He was educated at Marlborough. He served a premium apprenticeship at the Crewe works of the London and North Western Railway. In 1898 he joined the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway, where he was apprenticed at Horwich. After his apprenticeship he was put in charge of the test room.
In 1901 he became Assistant Works Manager at Newton Heath Carriage Works. The following year he was made manager. After a series of positions at the Lancashire and Yorkshire, he moved to the Great Northern Railway, where in 1905 he was appointed Carriage and Wagon Superintendent at Doncaster. In 1911, when H A Ivatt retired, Gresley was appointed Locomotive Engineer at Doncaster. The following year the position was renamed Chief Mechanical Engineer. In 1923, with the Grouping of the railway companies, Gresley was made chief mechanical engineer of the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway.
Gresley’s first original locomotive design was a two cylinder 2-6-0 engine, which was built in 1912. He continued to develop his designs over the years, and in 1922 completed the first of the famous three cylinder 4-6-2 Pacific engines. Many Pacifics were constructed at the London and North Eastern Railway’s centres at Darlington and Doncaster. These were constantly improved with modifications such as increased boiler pressures and a higher degree of superheat.
In 1925, Gresley introduced the Mikado, a 2-8-2 locomotive for heavy freight traffic. He adopted the design nine years later for the Cock o’ the North, a larger wheeled engine for heavy express work. In 1935, the Silver Link locomotive was built. It was a streamlined Pacific, and it was put to work on a completely streamlined train, the first in the United Kingdom, known as the Silver Jubilee. It made the daily journey from London to Darlington, a distance of 232 miles, in three hours eighteen minutes, without a stop. In 1937, another streamlined train was introduced on the 393 mile journey from London to Edinburgh, completing the journey in six hours. His streamlined 4-6-2 engine No. 4468, Mallard, broke the record for the highest speed ever reached by a train in the UK, maintaining 120mph for five miles, with a short burst at 125 mph.
As well as his pioneering locomotive designs, another major achievement was the establishment of a locomotive testing station in the UK. He had long believed this to be of great importance to locomotive engineering in the country, and his efforts resulted in a national testing centre being constructed jointly by the London and North Eastern and the London, Midland and Scottish Railways, at Rugby. Work had commenced in 1937, but was postponed on the outbreak of war; unfortunately Gresley did not live to see its completion.
Gresley’s work during the First World War, to reorganise Doncaster works for the production of munitions, was rewarded with a CBE in 1920. He received a knighthood in 1937. He also served on several Government appointed committees, including those considering automatic train control and the electrification of railways. He was President of the IMechE in 1935, and was twice President of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers, in 1927-1928 and 1934-1935.
Gresley died in 1941 at the age of 65.
1941-Sir John Edward Thornycroft
Sir John Edward Thornycroft was born in Chiswick 1872. He was educated at St Paul’s School and gained his engineering training at the Central Technical College.
He was the eldest son of Sir John I Thornycroft, the founder of the Thornycroft Shipyard at Chiswick. On completing his technical training he joined his father’s shipyard working on construction. He achieved the position of managing director in 1901.
The main interest of the family business after 1901 was the development of the torpedo boat destroyer. Thornycroft’s design and construction work during the First World War led to a knighthood which was conferred in 1918.
Aside from ship design, the business also developed road vehicles, including the steam wagon and oil engine tractor. Thornycroft’s diverse engineering interests led him to gain Presidential positions with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1937 and the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Thornycroft died in 1960.
1941-Professor Dempster Smith
Dempster Smith was born in 1874. He began his engineering career in 1890, when, at the age of sixteen, he became an engineering apprentice with Sharp, Stewart and Company, in Glasgow. He was subsequently to work for a number of other well-known engineering firms, including the Armstrong –Whitworth Company Ltd, of Manchester, and the Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day Company Ltd, where he was works manager responsible for some 750 staff. This company was situated in the Stockport area, and was subsequently to become a part of Hawker Siddeley.
In 1902 he moved from industry to academia, accepting the post of lecturer at what was then the School of Technology, Manchester. During the First World War he served as an adviser, in an honorary capacity, to the Royal Naval Training Establishment at HMS Vernon, in Portsmouth. In 1919 he was created MBE.
In 1926 he was appointed to the position of Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University and College of Technology, Manchester, as the School of Technology had by then become. During the Second World War he served as the senior production officer, North Western area, for the Air Ministry. He retired from the University and College of Technology in the 1940s, and was subsequently appointed Professor Emeritus.
He had a long association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, becoming an Associate Member in 1907 and then a full Member in 1913. He was Honorary Secretary of the North Western Branch from 1918 to 1921, becoming Chairman in 1932, and he served on the Council of the Institution from 1932 to 1949. In 1924 he was awarded the Institution’s T. Bernard Hall Prize, and he was elected an Honorary Member in 1941.
He died on 21 March 1953 at the age of 79.
1941-Sir Alfred Edward Herbert
Alfred Edward Herbert was born on 5 September 1866 in Leicester. He was the second son of William Herbert and his wife, Sarah Anne, née Thompson. He was educated at Stoneygate House School in Leicester, before joining the firm of Joseph Jessop & Sons as an engineering apprentice.
Before he completed his apprenticeship he moved to Coventry to become the manager of a small engineering firm. Within a year, with a former school friend, William Hubbard, he bought this operation, and the firm of Herbert and Hubbard was established. They initially made boilers and general engineering equipment, but quickly moved into the manufacture of machine tools. He bought out Hubbard, and by 1894 he was taking on agencies for other, especially American, machine tool manufacturers. He established agencies in virtually all the major manufacturing centres in the UK, and also in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, India, Japan, Canada, and Australia, at the same time establishing himself as a machine tool manufacturer in his own right. The original factory in the Butts area of Coventry was moved to Edgwick, when he established a foundry there in 1899.
He recognised the need to employ people of real talent, and with this ethos the company flourished, gaining an enviable reputation for both the quality of its products and its after-sales service. By 1900 Herbert’s was the largest machine tool factory in Coventry, and by 1938 was the largest, in terms of staff employed, in the world.
During the First World War he was Controller of Machine Tools at the Ministry of Supply, and in 1917 was knighted, as well as receiving the French Légion d’Honneur. In the inter-war years his company continued to be successful, maintaining processes of incremental innovation. In the years leading up to the Second World War he was invited to participate in the Shadow Factory scheme, and during the War his company produced over 65,000 powered machine tools. His expansion continued after the War, with the acquisition of Sigma Tools in 1948. He never retired. Even into his 80s he was still prepared to take advice and make changes if he thought it necessary.
He believed strongly in high-quality apprenticeships, and he was also an early pioneer of industrial safety and welfare programmes, establishing a fully-equipped surgery at Edgwick to deal with industrial accidents.
He was a founder member of the Coventry and District Engineering Employers Federation in 1907 and was President of the Machine Tool Association for 20 years from 1912. He was President of the Institution of Production Engineers and a Fellow of the Society of Arts.
He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1941.
He was married three times: in 1889 to Ellen Adela, née Ryley, with whom he had four daughters; in 1913 to Florence, widow of Lieutenant-Colonel H. E. Lucas; and in 1933 to Marian, née Arundel, widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Pugh.
He died on 26 May 1957 at Compton Manor in Hampshire at the age of 90 – still holding the title of Chairman and Managing Director of the company he founded more than 60 years earlier.
1942-David Evan Roberts
David E Roberts was born in 1867 in Merthyr Tydfil, where his father was manger of the Plymouth Ironworks. He was educated at Christ’s College, Brecon, then apprentices to the engineering department of the Rhymney Iron Company. He soon became their chief draughtsman.
He returned to Merthyr Tydfil to become assistant engineer of the steelworks section of the Dowlais Iron Company, and was soon promoted to engineer of the department. In 1902 he became chief engineer of the Dowlais Iron Company, but soon left. He went to Cardiff where he set up as a consultant on ironworks and steelworks practice.
This period was a time of great change and progress in the technology and practice of iron smelting and steel making. Roberts soon built up a world-wide clientele, working in many parts of the world and acquiring a reputation as an expert in his area.
During the First World War Roberts was attached to the iron and steel department of the Ministry of Munitions, particularly involved with the control of the Cardiff National Shell Factory.
Roberts was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1938. He also served as President of the South Wales Institute of Engineers. He died in 1950.
Orville Wright was born on 19 August 1871 in Dayton, Ohio. He was one of seven children. His brother Wilbur, with whom he worked closely, had been born in 1867. His father, Milton Wright, was a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.
In 1889, Orville dropped out of high school to start a printing business. With the help of Wilbur, he built his own printing press, and the two were soon publishing a local newspaper called the West Side News. In 1892, inspired by the bicycle craze sweeping the nation, they opened a shop to sell and repair bicycles. They were manufacturing their own bicycles by 1896. By this time they had become deeply fascinated by attempts at flight then going on around the world.
Orville and Wilbur realized that they would need to master gliding before attempting powered flight. They worked on a suitable control system, and in 1900 took their glider to Kitty Hawk, Carolina, for testing. These early experiments were less successful than the brothers hoped, and they came to realize that a key component of the lift equation, the Smeaton number, was incorrect. They returned home and carried out experiments which led to an accurate calculation of this number, allowing for much more realistic predictions. It also allowed them to experiment on miniature wing designs, saving much time and other resources.
They continued experimenting with gliders for a few years, until they were totally convinced that they had achieved a true system of control. In 1903, they applied for a patent for their ‘flying machine’. Many historians feel that the control mechanism detailed in this patent was as significant in the history of flying as the addition of a motor to the powered flyer later in the year.
The brothers designed and built a four-cylinder four-stroke engine which was light in proportion to its power. This drove two wooden propellers in opposite directions through chains. The propellers were designed and tested by the brothers using their wind-tunnel. They returned to Kitty Hawk, and after initial delays made the first attempt on 14 December 1903. This first flight lasted only a few seconds. Minor damage meant that the next attempt was not made until 17 December, but on this occasion they made two flights each. After landing the plane was severely damaged when it was picked up by a strong gust of wind, and it never flew again. Despite the significance of these flights, the world’s first manned, powered flights, the brothers were unable to get interest from the press.
Orville and Wilbur continued to build on their success. They withdrew from their bicycle business, and began to concentrate on flight as their means of livelihood. They were granted a patent in 1906, and in 1908 signed contracts with the US Army and a French company, and as part of these contracts had to stage demonstration flights, in which they carried a passenger. Wilbur successfully carried out demonstration flights in France, beginning on 8 August 1908, and Orville carried out demonstration flights in Virginia, beginning on 3 September 1908. On 17 September 1908, Orville suffered a serious accident when the propeller of his plane shattered, sending the aircraft out of control. Thomas Selfridge, his passenger, died of his injuries on the evening of the accident. Orville was hospitalized for almost two months. His sister, Katherine, helped him during this time, and was able to negotiate an extension of their US Army contract.
Orville and Katherine travelled to France early in 1909 to join Wilbur for more demonstration flights, which were witnessed by thousands, including royalty from across Europe. On their return to the US, the Wrights were invited to a reception at the White House with President Taft, and their hometown of Dayton threw a two-day celebration of their homecoming. On 22 November 1909 the Wright Company was formed, with Wilbur serving as President and Orville as Vice-President.
Wilbur Wright died in 1912 of typhoid fever. Orville took over his position as President of the Company, but he sold up in 1915. He made his last flight as a pilot in 1918. After retiring from business he served on many committees, including the precursor to NASA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).
During the course of his life he received many honours, He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1909, and the medal of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1917. He received the first Daniel Guggenheim Medal in 1930, and was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1936. In 1942, he was made an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Orville Wright died on 30 January 1948.
1943-Edmund Bruce Ball
Edmund Bruce Ball was born in 1873 in Norfolk. He showed an early talent for engineering, apprenticing at Charles Burrell and Co in Thetford. This talent was rewarded with two science scholarships, a Whitworth Exhibition and the Queen’s Prizeman for Science. The scholarships ensured he was able to complete his technical training at the Manchester School of Technology.
Practical engineering experience followed as a draughtsman with Benjamin Goodfellow and Co. He soon progressed to the position of works manager with Reavell and Co and then Clarkson Ltd. His specialist subject was hydraulic engineering, in particular the storage and distribution of water.
Ball’s experience took him overseas to Italy and then China. On his return he took the position of works manager at D Napier and Son, Acton. His last position was as Managing Director with Glenfield and Kennedy Ltd, which also gave him management of British Pitometer and Hydrautomat Ltd.
He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1939, and was also made an Honorary Life Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
He died in 1944.
1943-Dr Harvey Nathaniel Davis
Harvey Nathaniel Davis was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1881. His father was a teacher of mathematics at Brown University, and Davis grew up on the Brown campus. He graduated from the university in 1901. From Brown he went to Harvard, receiving a MA in 1903 and a PhD in 1906. He went on to teach physics at Harvard, and was later made Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He also held positions in a number of companies, including the General Electric Company, the Franklin Railway Supply Company, and the Air Reduction Company.
During the First World War, Davis did research work on helium gas for the Army, Navy and Bureau of Mines. His particular areas of speciality were thermodynamics, and he worked with Lionel S Marks to compute the 'Tables and Diagrams of the Thermal Properties of Saturated and Superheated Steam'. He also co-authored 'Practical Physics' and 'New Practical Physics' with N H Black.
In 1928 he became the third President of the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. He remained as President for twenty-three years. He advocated a general, unspecialised training for engineers, concentrating on the fundamentals, as well as skills needed for the administrative demands of business and industry. He established an evening graduate school as well as research laboratories.
The Second World War brought particular challenges to the Institute. The US Navy's V-12 programme brought thousands of students to the campus for speeded up engineering work, and a War Industries Training School was set up. All students were required to spend a number of weeks each year in war-time industries. In 1942, Davis headed the Office of Production Research and Development, a technical advisory group to the War Production Board in which scientists and engineers worked together to develop new processes to speed-up war production. Davis led a mission to London in 1943 to establish closer links with British research and production authorities. It was soon after this that he was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Dr. Harvey Nathaniel Davis died on 3 December 1952.
1943-Professor Sir Charles Edward Inglis
Charles Edward Inglis was born in Worcester in 1875. He was educated at Cheltenham College, and in 1894 he went to Cambridge with a mathematical scholarship. He was graduated with first-class honours in 1897, and went into the engineering school, gaining first class honours in the Mechanical Sciences tripos the following year.
He then went to Sir John Wolfe-Barry, consulting engineer, for a three year pupillage, spending part of his time in the office, and part on docks and railway construction. He was transferred to the staff of Wolfe-Barry's resident engineer, Alexander Gibb, to work on the new extension of the Metropolitan Railway between Whitechapel and Bow. He worked particularly on the design of the nine bridges crossing the railway.
In 1901, he was made a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and became a lecturer in the engineering department. His dissertation was on the subject of balancing of engines.
He served with the Royal Engineers between 1914 and 1919. As a consequence of his earlier work on portable bridges with the University Officers Training Corps, Inglis was placed in charge of the design and supply of military bridges. He was awarded the OBE in recognition of his work at this time.
He returned to Cambridge in 1919, prepared to continue his work as lecturer, but instead was elected to the post of Chair of Mechanical Sciences. Before the war, there had been 250 undergraduate engineering students, and this number has placed great strain on the existing accommodation. The immediate postwar intake was 800, and Inglis had no option but to move the department to new facilities. A new four acre site was acquired and the Inglis building erected between 1920 and 1923.
Inglis remained in the Chair of Mechanical Sciences until his retirement in 1943. He was against premature specialization in engineering students, and advocated the teaching of aesthetics for engineers.
Outside of academia, Inglis served on the Bridge Stress Committee which had been set up in 1923 to look into the behaviour of railway bridges under moving loads. He also worked on the enquiry into the loss of the airship R101. He served on the Councils of the Institutions of Naval Architects, Civil Engineers and Water Engineers, and was President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1941. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1943. Two years later he received a knighthood.
He died on 19 April 1952.
Asa Binns was born in Keighley in 1873 and was educated at Keighley Grammar School and Leeds University. He was awarded a Whitworth exhibition in 1896.
Practical training followed at engineering works in Leeds and Bradford but it was an appointment to the civil engineering department of the Admiralty at the Hull docks of the North-Eastern Railway that was to set the path for the rest of his working life.
The training he received with the Admiralty led to an appointment with the London and India Docks Company, later the Port of London Authority. Through his talent and determination he achieved the position of chief engineer in 1928 and stayed with the authority until his retirement in 1938.
His main interest was dock construction and he worked on the George V Dock at North Woolwich and the Royal Albert Dock.
He was President of the IMechE in 1940 and of the Institution of Engineers-in-Charge from 1936-37.
Binns died in 1946.
1944-Air Commodore Frank Whittle
Frank Whittle was born near Coventry on 1 June 1907 In 1923 Whittle was accepted by RAF Cranwell to train as an aircraft fitter and rigger. During his three year apprenticeship, he was a keen member of the Model Aircraft Society. In 1926, out of six hundred apprenticeships, he was awarded one of only five cadetships, and joined the RAF College at Cranwell as a Flight Cadet. It was here that, at the age of 21, he wrote a thesis entitled ‘Future Developments in Aircraft Design’, in which he envisaged speeds of over 500mph in the stratosphere. This was at a time where the maximum speed of RAF fighters was 150mph.
In 1928, Whittle joined the No 111 Fighter Squadron, and spent just over a year there before being posted to the Central Flying School as a pupil on the 30th Flying Instructors’ Course. During his time here, he continued to work on his ideas for a high-altitude high-speed aeroplane, and it was at this time that he first considered using a gas turbine to provide jet propulsion. His earlier thesis had only considered rocket propulsion and a gas turbine driving a propeller. With support from his Commandant, Group Captain Baldwin, Whittle’s ideas were brought to the attention of the Air Ministry, and a meeting arranged with Dr. A. A. Griffith, who was interested in gas turbines for driving propellers. Despite the promise shown in Whittle’s ideas, Griffiths was unimpressed. The Air Ministry rejected Whittle’s proposals and denied him funding. Despite this setback, and with the support of Flying Officer W. E. P. Johnson, Whittle filed a patent on 16 January 1930. As the Air Ministry showed no interest, it was not placed on the secret list.
Once he had completed the officers’ engineering course at Henlow, the RAF sent him to Cambridge University, where he spent most of his time working on his engine project. In the middle of his two year course, Whittle received word from one of his former RAF colleagues, Rolf Dudley Williams, who wrote to say that he had interested a ‘big noise’ in the engineering firm General Enterprises Ltd. in Whittle’s ideas. After a meeting to discuss the project, they agreed to cover the expenses of patents and raising money for research, and to act as Whittle’s agents. Although by this time the original patent had lapsed, a new one was obtained by patenting a series of improvements to the original specification. Eventually a firm of investment bankers, O.T. Falk and Partners, became interested in the project and funding became forthcoming. On 27 January 1936, an agreement was signed between Falk & Partners, the Air Council, Williams and Tinling, and Whittle, under the terms of which a company, Power Jets Limited, was formed to exploit the turbojet engine. Whittle was permitted by the Air Ministry to act as Honorary Chief Engineer and Technical Consultant for a period of five years, although this was to be on a strictly part-time basis; he needed the permission of the President of the Air Council to work for the company for more than six hours a week.
The experimental engine was to be constructed by the British Thomson-Houston Company. Although it was not intended for flight purposes, Whittle did have a target flight in mind; powering a small 500mph mailplane, he hoped it would carry 500 lb of mail across the Atlantic in six hours. Although initially Whittle and his colleagues had intended to built and test all the engine components separately, this proved much too costly, and due to financial restraints, they had to build the complete engine in one go. The first test run of the engine was carried out on 12th April 1937. Although the engine ran, Whittle was not satisfied with its performance, and despite working on many modifications, came to the conclusion that a major reconstruction of the engine was necessary. Funding was eventually obtained, after some difficulty, and Whittle was posted to the Special Duty List. This meant that work on the engine was now his official fulltime employment.
In the summer of 1939, an Air Ministry contract was signed for a flight engine, the W.1, and an experimental aircraft – the Gloster/Whittle E.28/39, Britain’s first jet. Whittle was also assured that, even if war were to break out, the Air Ministry wanted the work to continue, and that Whittle’s position on the Special Duty List was secure. The E.28/39 made its maiden flight on 15 May 1941, and trials continued for twelve days. During this year, Rolls Royce began making turbine blades, gearcases and other components for the programme. Within the year, General Motors was constructing Whittle engines in the US. In 1942, Whittle was sent there to do whatever he could to help with the American development of the engine.
Rolls Royce’s involvement with the jet engine grew, and eventually the firm took over its production and development. Jet fighter aircraft finally entered service in 1944, and by the end of the war, Power Jets had been taken over by the government. Whittle handed over his shares without receiving any payment, stating that he did not believe a serving officer should benefit commercially. In 1945, Air Commodore Whittle delivered the first James Clayton Lecture at the IMechE. This was the first public address on the subject, and was so popular that it had to be repeated. In 1948 he was knighted, and retired from the RAF, due to ill health, with the rank of Air Commodore. He was also awarded £100,000 by the government for his invention.
In the 1950s, he planned Comet jetliner operations for BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation), and during the 1960s he developed the Turbodrill for drilling through the earth’s crust as Technical Advisor to Bristol Siddeley Engines (later Rolls Royce). These helped to open up the North Sea for oil exploration. In 1976 he settled in America and was a member of the Faculty of the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.
Later, in the 1980s, he worked on Super Concorde designs, which would have been capable of 2500 mph, and aimed at supersonic flights to Hong Kong in three and a half hours.
Whittle died in 1996.
1945-Sir William Arthur Stanier
Sir William Stanier was born in 1876, the son of a Great Western Railway Stores Superintendent. It was at the GWR works at Swindon that Stanier gained an engineering apprenticeship and experience of locomotive engineering.
He stayed with the GWR for forty years progressing from the drawing office to a position as Principal Assistant to the Chief Mechanical Engineer. During this time he acquired technical and managerial expertise and a reputation for integrity and leadership.
The pinnacle of his career was achieved with the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. He was appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer in 1932 and was tasked with improving rolling stock. In 1933 he introduced the Coronation Pacifics, followed by the Jubilees and a mixed-traffic locomotive series the Black Class Fives. His locomotives were reliable and pioneering.
He was President of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers in 1936-7 and 1938-9 and became President of the IMechE in 1941. Further distinctions followed with a knighthood conferred in 1943 and a Fellowship of the Royal Society.
He died in 1965.
1945-Dr Ervin George Bailey
Ervin George Bailey was born on 25 December 1880 in Damascus, Ohio. He was the fifth of eight children. He was mechanically gifted as a child, and invented a number of labour saving machines while working on his father’s farm and sawmill. In 1998 he went to Ohio State University to study engineering, graduating in 1903.
He began work in the same year with the Consolidated Coal Company of Fairmont, West Virginia, where he spent nearly five years in the test department, before being recruited by Arthur D. Little of Boston to establish a coal testing department. Two years later, in 1909, he set up the Fuel Testing Company in Boston with two college friends. In working to improve the efficiency of coal-fired boilers he developed the Furnace Indicator, which guided the stoker on how much coal to add, and then, in 1915, the Bailey Boiler Meter, which accurately measured the flow of air into the fuel bad and the flow of steam from the boiler. At the beginning of 1916 he established the Bailey Meter Company, moving it from Boston to Cleveland in 1919. In 1922 he produced the Bailey automated control system, which not only measured, but also regulated the flow of air and fuel to a boiler. His inventions facilitated the culmination of traditional steam technology, achieving maximum efficiency from coal-fired boilers.
In 1926 he sold the Bailey Meter Company to the Babcock & Wilcox Company, although he continued as President, also becoming President of another Babcock & Wilcox subsidiary which manufactured coal pulverizing equipment. He also served as Vice-President of Babcock & Wilcox from 1931 to 1952, where he was in charge of research and development, designing the cyclone furnace to burn pulverized coal most efficiently, and developing water-cooled furnace walls to overcome the limitations of refractory materials available at the time. He retired as Chairman of the Bailey Meter Company in 1956.
He won the Franklin Institute’s Longstreth Medal in 1930, the Ohio State Lamme Medal in 1936, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Medal in 1942, being elected their President in1948. In 1952 the four US national engineering societies awarded him the John Fritz Medal for outstanding achievement in the field of combustion. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1949.
He died on 18 December 1974 in Easton, Pennsylvania, at the age of 93.
1945-Professor Jerome Clarke Hunsaker
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker was born on 26 August 1886, in Creston, Ohio. He was the son of Walter J Hunsaker, a newspaper publisher, and his wife Alma. He was educated in schools in Detroit and Saginaw, Michigan, before enrolling in the US Naval Academy. He graduated at the head of his class in 1908. He was assigned by the Navy to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study ship construction, where he received his masters degree in naval architecture in 1912.
He was then sent to the Boston Naval Yard, but in 1913 went to MIT to develop courses in aerodynamics, spending some time in Europe studying aeronautical research, including wind tunnel design at the National Physical Laboratories at Teddington. He returned to MIT in 1914, where he set about designing a wind tunnel. He was awarded MIT’s first doctorate in aeronautical engineering in 1916, that same year moving to be head of the Aircraft Division of the Navy’s Bureau of Construction and Repair. In 1918 he was charged with designing and building a flying boat capable of crossing the Atlantic. This aircraft, the Navy Curtiss, was the largest aircraft in the world at the time. At the end of the First World War he went to Germany to study Zeppelin design.
In 1926 he joined the Bell Telephone Laboratories to develop communication services for aircraft, and then in 1928 he joined the Goodyear Zeppelin Company to help develop a trans-Atlantic passenger service, although this was to be unsuccessful.
He returned to MIT as Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1933. He became the founding Head of the newly-formed Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1939, where he was instrumental in developing the academic basis of aeronautical Engineering. He retired from the MIT Faculty in 1952, although he remained active, continuing to serve as Chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a post he had occupied since the Second World War. In 1954 MIT established the Hunsaker professorship in the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in his honour.
He was appointed CBE in 1969. He was a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and of the US National Academy of Engineering. He was awarded honorary degrees by Williams College, Adelphi College, and Northeastern University, and he was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Physical Society. He was an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, the Royal Aeronautical Society, and Imperial College London. He was an Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1945.
He married Alice Ported Avery in 1911 and they had one son and three daughters.
He died in September 1984 in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the age of 98.
1946-Professor Sir Geoffrey Ingram Taylor
Geoffrey Ingram Taylor was born on 7 March 1886 in St John’s Wood, London. He was the eldest son of Edward Ingram Taylor, an artist, and Margaret, daughter of George Boole, Professor of Mathematics at Queen’s College, Cork. He was educated at University College School in Cambridge and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was awarded first class honours in 1908 and received a major scholarship. This enabled him to stay on at the Cavendish Laboratory, and two years later he won the Smith’s Prize for the theoretical study of shock waves. In 1911 he became the first reader in meteorology at the university.
In 1913 he was meteorologist to the Scotia Expedition to the North Atlantic to investigate the flow of icebergs following the sinking of the SS Titanic. His observations here formed the basis of later work on the turbulent mixing of air.
During the First World War he went to the Royal Ordnance Factory at Farnborough, where he worked on aircraft design. He learned to fly, and later went to France as a meteorologist with the Royal Flying Corps. After the First World War he returned to Cambridge, first as a lecturer in mathematics, and later as a Yarrow research professor, a post he held until his retirement in 1951. Here he pursued his studies into turbulence – the mechanics of air and water – and began also a study into the irregularities of crystal structure in metals.
In the Second World War he worked on the propagation and effect of blast and shock waves, both in air and in water. In 1944 he went to the USA as a member of the group working on the Manhattan Project – the development of the first nuclear bomb – at Los Alamos. After the end of the Second World War he continued to serve on the Aeronautical Research Committee, working on the development of supersonic aircraft. He officially retired in 1952, but continued his researches for most of the rest of his life. His last research paper was published in 1969 when he was 83. In it he discussed the electrical activity in thunderstorms, modelled as jets of conducting liquid driven by electrical fields, and the cones from which such jets are observed are now known as ‘Taylor’ cones. He suffered a stroke in 1972, and this put an end to his work.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1919, and was awarded its Royal Medal in 1933 and its Copley Medal in 1944, the same year in which he was knighted. He was awarded the American Medal of Merit in 1947, and in 1962 he was awarded the Franklin Medal. He has received many honorary doctorates from universities both in the UK and overseas, and in 1969 he was appointed to the Order of Merit.
He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1945, and was awarded the Watt Medal of that institution in 1965.
He died on 27 June 1975 in Cambridge at the age of 89.
1946-William Loren Batt
William Loren Batt was born in 1885 in Salem, Indiana. He received his technical education at Purdue University and graduated in 1907 with a degree in mechanical engineering. For a short time afterwards he was private assistant to the Dean of Engineering at the university.
His career in engineering began when he joined the Hess–Bright Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, makers of anti-friction bearings, where he subsequently became General Manager. In May 1917 the Hess–Bright Manufacturing Company was incorporated into the SKF Ball Bearing Company, and he was later appointed to the position of Vice-President of SKF, becoming President in 1922. He was also a director of the Air Pre-Heater Company and of the American Bosch Corporation and the United Gas Improvement Company.
In the period between the First and Second World Wars he worked to promote strong commercial relations between the USA and Sweden, being involved for a number of years in the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the USA, where he was successively Director and Vice-President. He was Chairman of the executive committee of the International Management Congress held in Washington in 1938, and would have been President of the cancelled 1941 Stockholm meeting. In recognition of his work in this area he was appointed, by King Gustav V of Sweden, to the Order of Vasa in 1926 and the Royal Order of the North Star in 1933.
During the Second World War he held a number of important US Government posts, serving on the Advisory Commission to the Council for National Defence and on the Harriman Mission to Moscow in 1941. He was also Deputy Director of Production and later Director of Materials at the Office of Production Management, and Director of Materials and then Vice-President of the War Production Board,
He received many honours and awards, including an Honorary Doctorate from Purdue University, the Gantt Medal, and the Edward Bok Medal.
He was President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1936, and was made an Honorary Member in 1942. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1946.
He died in 1965 in his 80th year.
1947-Walter Gordon Wilson
Walter Gordon Wilson was born on 21 April 1874 in Blackrock, County Dublin. He was the fifth son of the barrister George Orr Wilson and his wife Annie, née Shaw. After his early schooling he was enrolled as a Navy Cadet in the Britannia. He entered King’s College, Cambridge, in 1894, graduating in mechanical sciences in 1897.
He was at first very interested in the idea of powered flight, but early design efforts in this area were brought to an abrupt end when a close friend and colleague was killed in a glider accident. He turned instead to the design of automobiles, producing his first car around the turn of the century. In 1904 he designed a car for the Armstrong, Whitworth Company, and in 1908 he moved to J and E Hall of Dartford, designing the Hallford lorry for them. This lorry was widely used by the Army in the First World War.
During the First World War he served as a Lieutenant with the Royal Navy Armoured Car Division, where he soon became involved in the construction of armoured vehicles. In 1915 he was posted to Squadron 20 of the Armoured Car Division, where he was placed in charge of the first experiments at Burton Upon Trent which were to lead to the development of the first tank. Through various designs – starting with ‘Little Willie’ in 1915 – the prototype of the first production tank, known as ‘Mother’, was developed, and the subsequent Mark 1 tank first saw action on the Somme in 1916. He transferred to the Army in 1916, becoming a Major in what, from 1917, was the Royal Tank Corps. He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, and was Chief of Design in the Mechanical Warfare Department of the War Office until the end of the War.
After the First World War he continued his work on gearbox design, developing the Wilson Self-Changing Gearbox, and founding the Self-Changing Gears Company Ltd in Coventry, providing gearboxes for many motor manufacturers in 1920s and 1930s.
He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and had been a member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers from 1916. In 1938 he was awarded the George Stephenson Prize by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and when the Institution of Automobile Engineers amalgamated with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1947, he was elected an Honorary Member.
On 1 June 1904 he married Ethel Crommelin, and they had three sons.
He died on 30 June 1957 at his home near Winchester in Hampshire at the age of 83.
1947-Leslie Haywood Hounsfield
Leslie Haywood Hounsfield was born in 1877 at Oxhey Hall near Watford in Hertfordshire. As a young engineer he first made a living designing and manufacturing pumps, founding Polygon Engineering in South London in 1904. Subsequently he set about designing a reliable and affordable car, building his first prototype in 1913. He claimed that the engine of this vehicle had just seven moving parts. He renamed the company ‘Trojan’ in the following year, moving it to Croydon and producing a second prototype, but the First World War put further production on hold until 1920.
In 1921 Trojan signed a licensing deal with Leyland, and during 1922 and 1923 some 17,000 cars were built. In 1923 he retired as managing director of Trojan, becoming Leyland’s chief engineer in the Trojan department. The licensing agreement with Leyland came to an end in 1928, and during the following year the Trojan Company moved its production from the Leyland factory. After the intervention of the Second World War Trojan recommenced vehicle production in 1948, and were to continue to manufacture commercial vehicles until 1964 – Trojan ‘mechanical horses’ were common sights around railway stations throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
He set up another company in the 1930s, Hounsfield, which manufactured a patented folding spring camp bed of his own design, and engineering testing equipment. The test equipment became very successful and was sold around the world, and this was to lay the foundation for Hounsfield Test Equipment Ltd, a hugely successful and innovative test equipment manufacturer which eventually became part of the Tinius Olsen Testing Machine Company of Philadelphia in 2004.
He was a Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers, and when that Institution was amalgamated with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1947 he was elected an Honorary Member.
He died on 17 September 1957 at the age of 80.
1947- Colonel Stephen John Thompson
Colonel S J Thompson was born in Wolverhampton in 1875 and obtained his early training as a mechanical engineer as an apprentice in the Ettingshall boiler works. He gained experience in the shops and drawing office and on completion of his apprenticeship he became assistant works manager, progressing to a partnership in 1901.
He founded the firm of John Thompson Ltd and associated companies, taking up the position of Governing Director in 1938. His companies manufactured steam boilers, motor body frames, water softeners and steel window frames. Thompson initiated many developments in modern power plant processes and in addition to his technical expertise was noted for his humanistic attitude towards his employees.
During the First World War he served as a Battery Commander in the Royal Artillery and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He also held notable offices in public life, including High Sheriff and later Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Staffordshire. His involvement with the IMechE led to the formation of the Midland Branch in Birmingham in 1923. He was elected a Member of Council in 1925 and became President in 1942. An interest in engineering history led him to gift a collection of George Stephenson artefacts which are held in the archives.
Colonel Stephen John Thompson died in 1955.
1947-Sir Standen Leonard Pearce
Standen Leonard Pearce was born on 28 September 1873 at Crewkerne in Somerset. He was the son of the Reverend Standen Pearce and his wife, Sarah, née Young. He was educated at the Bishops Stortford College and then at the Finsbury Technical College. He then served an apprenticeship with the Electrical Engineering Corporation of West Drayton, and with Thomas Richardson and Sons, of Hartlepool, after which he spent a year at sea.
In 1897 he began working for the Metropolitan Electric Supply Company, and in 1899 he moved to the British Thomson-Houston Company, where he was involved with the construction of electrical equipment for the Central London Railway. Also known as the ‘Twopenny Tube’ this is now the Central Line of the London Underground, and after the railway opened in 1900 he became Superintendent Engineer at the Shepherd’s Bush power station. In 1901 he was appointed Chief Electrical Engineer to the Manchester Corporation, subsequently becoming their consulting electrical engineer, remaining in that post until 1925.
After a short period in Sydney, Australia, he was appointed Engineer-in-Chief of the London Power Company, where, amongst other things, he was responsible for the design and construction of the Deptford West and Battersea power stations. Aside from its iconic appearance – the work of architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott – the Battersea power station was also innovative in having integral flue-washing plant to eliminate fumes. For many years his designs for power stations were amongst the most efficient.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Manchester University, and received the Constantine Gold Medal (1914), the Watt Gold Medal (1924), and the Faraday Medal (1947). He was appointed CBE in 1919 and knighted in 1935. He was a Member of Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Vice-President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, President of the Junior Institution of Engineers, and Chairman of the Manchester Association. He was President of the Incorporated Municipal Electrical Association, and a member of the National Fuel Research Board. He was a member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
He was a Vice-President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and the Thomas Hawksley Lecturer in 1940, and in 1947 he was elected an Honorary Member.
On 18 July 1901 he married Susannah Kate, née Cockhead, and they had one daughter.
He died on 20 October 1947 at ‘Crewkerne’, his home in Bickley, Kent, at the age of 74.
1947-Sir Arthur Morley
Arthur Morley was born in 1876 at Cheadle Hulme in Cheshire. He was the son of James Bolton and Letitia Agnes Morley. He was educated at Manchester University, and served his apprenticeship with L Gardner and Sons of Patricroft.
In 1900 and 1901 he was a demonstrator in engineering at the Yorkshire College in Leeds, and from 1901 until 1905 he was the senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at University College, Nottingham, and subsequently professor of engineering. In 1912 he was appointed His Majesty’s Inspector of Schools, and in 1919 he was promoted to the position of Staff Inspector (Engineering) for the Board of Education, in which post he remained until his retirement in 1937. It was here that he made probably his most significant contribution to engineering, being instrumental in the introduction in the 1920s of the first National Certificates and Diplomas in Mechanical Engineering – awards which became the prototypes for similar schemes in other branches of engineering and technology.
He was a prolific author, and his publications include Mechanics for Engineers (1905), Strength of Materials (1908) Applied Mechanics (1911), Theory of Structures (1912) and Mechanical Engineering Science (1938).
He was a Doctor of Science, and he was appointed OBE in 1937. He was first elected to membership of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1907, and was made an Honorary Member in 1947.
He married Catherine Brown of Liverpool in 1903, and they had two sons.
He died on 5 January 1962 at his home in Bath at the age of 85.
1948-Professor Frederick Charles Lea
Frederick Lea was born in 1871 and was educated at Owens College in Manchester. He undertook his engineering education at the Royal College of Science, London and displayed such an aptitude for engineering that he was both a Whitworth Exhibitioner and a Whitworth Scholar. In later years he was to serve as President of the Whitworth Society. His career began in the field of railway engineering, serving as an apprentice with the London and North Western Railway at Crewe. He progressed to an appointment as assistant in the civil engineering department.
However, in 1900 a keen interest in engineering education led to an appointment as chief assistant to Professor W C Unwin at the City and Guilds Engineering College in South Kensington, London. This experience resulted in a position as an engineering inspector with the Board of Education, but Lea returned to full-time academia as Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham in 1913.
He had spent a year in the post when the First World War broke out and he served as an honorary lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and as a captain in the Royal Air Force.
At the close of the war he returned to the University of Birmingham and spent the rest of his career in education. He retired from the chair of mechanical engineering at Sheffield University in 1936. Throughout his academic career he worked across a wide range of fields but his specialisms were hydraulics, metals properties and structures. He was the recipient of a number of awards, including the Telford Prize, the Crampton Prize, the Concrete Institute medal and the T Bernard Hall Prize.
Lea became President of the IMechE in 1943 and was a popular member of the Yorkshire Branch, serving as Chairman. He was also an Honorary Fellow of Imperial College, a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a member of the Institution of Structural Engineers. He was made an OBE in recognition of his aeronautical work. He died in 1952.
1949-Professor John Orr
John Orr was born in Shotts, Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1870. He attended Coatbridge Mining College, the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, and Glasgow University. He graduated from Glasgow University as Bachelor of Science in Engineering. In 1893 he was awarded a Whitworth Exhibition and an Exhibition tenable at the Royal College of Science, London. He served an apprenticeship with A F Craig and Company Limited, Paisley, and with Gibb and Hogg Limited, Airdrie.
Orr went to South Africa in 1897 as lecturer at the South African College, Cape Town. The following year he was appointed Professor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the South African School of Mines, Kimberley. When this school was moved to Johannesburg in 1903 Orr became Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Transvaal Technical Institute, successively known as the Transvaal University College, the South African School of Mines and Technology, University College, Johannesburg, and the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1925 he became the first President of the Council of the newly created Witwatersrand Technical College, and was later appointed Director. He retired from this position in 1945.
He was President of the South African Institution of Engineers, and Chairman of the South African Standards Institution. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1949.
He died in 1954.
1949-Sir Harry Ralph Ricardo
Harry Ralph Ricardo was born in 1885, the year of Karl Benz’s first single-cylinder petrol engine vehicle. The evolution of this primitive piece of engineering, capable of a maximum of 8mph, to machines capable of far in excess of 2500hp was to be Ricardo’s life work. His interest in automobiles dates from the moment he drove his first car, a 3.5hp Benz dog cart, as a schoolboy of 13.
Ricardo completed his education at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was taught by Bertram Hopkinson (1874-1918), and also conducted engine research for him. Ricardo’s mix of practical expertise and acute experimental observation gave him a formidable knowledge of subjects such as engine knock and pre-ignition, which were then fairly obscure. In 1908 he founded a business, the Two Stroke Engine Company. The firm exploited Ricardo’s first patented engine, the Dolphin, which was used in fishing boats and automobiles.
The Dolphin was a relatively short-lived venture. By 1914, Ricardo was touring works in America and Europe in preparation for a senior mechanical post in the firm Rendel, Palmer and Tritton. He later became active in promoting new aero engines for the Royal Navy Air Service, leading him to be appointed engineer to the Department of Mechanical Warfare. Consulted on tank development, Ricardo provided new powerplant designs of 150hp, later 225hp, for the British Mark 5 tank. Ricardo’s engines were manufactured in large numbers from 1917, transforming the tank into an effective battlefield weapon.
Ricardo was awarded royalties of £30,000 by the government in recognition of his work in tank engine development. He used the money to establish a private centre for research into the internal combustion engine, fulfilling a long-held ambition. Ricardo had formed Engine Patents Limited in 1915 but it was not until 1919 that its base was moved to the Bridge Works at Shoreham. The Ricardo Company was named in 1920.
The firm’s earliest contract was for fuel research for the Asiatic (Shell) Petroleum Company. During the years 191-1921 Ricardo’s compiled an analysis of the quality of commercial fuels to a standard rating – eventually expressed as an ‘octane number’. This was fundamental work. Ricardo’s team of Sir David Pye (1886-1860) FRS and Sir Henry Tizard (1885-1859) FRS eventually became leading British scientists in their own right. Another, more practical consequence of Ricardo’s interest in fuel selection was the enabling of Alcock and Brown’s transatlantic flight in 1919.
The publication of Harry Ricardo’s book The internal combustion engine…(1922-1923) established him as the main authority of the inter-war years. Ricardo’s practical contributions included work on the world’s first diesel passenger car, the Citroen Rosalie, and he enjoyed particular success with the Comet combustion chamber for high-speed diesels from 1931. Ricardo’s interest in aircraft engines continued and his association with the competing Bristol, Napier and Rolls-Royce companies testify to his unique role in commercial research.
In championing the sleeve valve aeronautical engine during the Second World War, Ricardo remained a true piston-engineer. This was despite his assistance to Sir Frank Whittle’s development of the jet engine, for which he designed a barometric fuel control system. The jet would eventually consume Ricardo’s own wartime high performance type, the revolutionary Rolls Royce Crecy engine, tested in 1944 but never flown.
In 1948, Harry Ricardo was knighted. He had earlier been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (1929) and had served as President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (1944-1945). Post-war, the Ricardo Company increasingly moved into automotive and commercial vehicle engine research, but also carried out pioneering research in other areas. For example, British Railways’ foray into diesel-mechanical Fell locomotives, developed in 1948-1951, utilized Paxman-Ricardo prime movers and expertise.
Harry Ricardo retired fully in 1965. Before his death in 1974 he wrote a full account of his life and times, Memories and machines (1968), an entertaining testimony of what it is to be an engineer.
His company became Ricardo Consulting Engineers in 1970. The automotive sector remained a company specialization: in the 1970s, for example, Ricardo’s pioneered the use of Stirling engines for passenger cars on behalf of the US Department of Energy. Additionally, the present company has operations in vehicle engineering, driveline and transmissions and motor sports. A notable success in Harry Ricardo’s beloved aeronautical field was an engine redesign for Voyager, the first aircraft to fly around the world without refuelling, in 1986.
1950-Dr Fredrik Ljungström
Fredrik Ljungström was born in Stockholm in 1875. Poor health meant that he was unable to receive a formal education, but he taught himself engineering, and at the age of 18 began working in his brother's factory. Until 1896, he worked on the development of the Svea bicycle, and was then employed by Alfred Nobel for a time. He later travelled to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to receive engineering training with the firm of Dunford and Elliot.
During the Second World War, he was responsible for easing his country's fuel shortage by extracting oil from shale by electrically heating rods in a circle deep in shale deposits. Gas and oil were forced out of a central hole by the pressure generated.
Ljungström was a keen sailor, and following the end of the war, he worked on the stabilization of sailing vessels through the use of hydrofoils carried on spars from the mast, the lifting forces of which converge on the centre of lift of the sail.
He was awarded the James Watt International Medal by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1949, and on 29 April 1949 presented a paper dealing with some of the major achievements of his career, including the Ljungström air preheater and the 'Stal' steam engine which he developed with his brother Birger Ljungström. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution the following year.
Dr. Fredrik Ljungström died in 1964.
1950-Colonel Sir Samuel Henry Egerton Barraclough
Henry Barraclough KBE CBE was born in 1874. He attended the University of Sydney, graduating with Honours. In 1892 he was awarded an 1851 Exhibition Science Travelling Scholarship. He went to Cornell University, completed a post-graduate course, and was awarded the degree of Master of Mechanical Engineering and the Sibley Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering.
After travelling further he returned to Sydney and was appointed to the teaching staff of the University of Sydney in 1896. He became an assistant professor in 1908 and Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 1916.
During the First World War he served as a commissioned officer of the Army Intelligence Corps, serving in India, Egypt, France and Great Britain. He was demobilized with the rank of Colonel in 1920. He administered the Australian Munitions Workers scheme from London. His contributions were recognized in 1919 with the CBE (Military Division) and a Knighthood of the British Empire in 1920.
Barraclough was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering in the University of Sydney from 1924 to 1933, and again from 1936 until his retirement in 1941. He was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus by the Senate of the University upon his retirement.
In 1943 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, of which he was President in 1935. He was elected a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1907, and was made an Honorary Member in 1950. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Colonel Sir Henry Barraclough died in 1958.
1950-Professor Andrew Robertson
Andrew Robertson was born in 1883 in Lancashire, the son of a marine engineer. He was apprenticed in his father’s engineering works gaining a thorough practical training. He showed talent and achieved a place at Manchester University. A first-class honours degree, a Fairbairn engineering prize and a graduate scholarship were the result of his hard work and technical aptitude.
Robertson’s academic skill led to appointments as a demonstrator and tutor at the university. Prior to the First World War he started investigations in to the behaviour of mild steel with his colleague Gilbert Cook. The war took him to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough where he worked on materials testing. He dedicated his time to examining the strength of struts and his findings influenced working practices in the steel industry.
After the war Robertson was appointed Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol. The mechanical engineering faculty was part of the Bristol Merchant Venturers College and in 1924 he was elected Principal of the college and dean of the faculty. In addition to his academic work he acted as a consultant and designer.
He achieved honours from Bristol and Bath universities and continued his research into steel in to the 1920s. In 1940 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and he became President of the IMechE in 1945.
He died in 1970.
1951-Senator Ralph Edward Flanders
Ralph Edward Flanders was born on 28 September 1880 in Barnet, Vermont. He was educated at schools in Pawtucket and Central Falls, leaving in 1896 to take up an apprenticeship at the Brown and Sharp Manufacturing Company in Providence, Rhode Island.
After his apprenticeship he moved through a number of different engineering companies before being offered the post of Editor of Machine magazine in 1905. He held this post, based in New York, for five years, travelling widely and writing about all aspects of engineering manufacturing, from tin cans to motor cars.
In 1910 he moved to Springfield, Vermont, where he took a position as mechanical engineer at the Fellows Gear Shaper Company. The following year he moved to the Jones & Lamson Machine Tool Company (J&L). Here he was responsible for the manufacture of automatic lathes, which he redesigned to give greater accuracy and productivity, and where he implemented a continuous production, bringing some of the efficiencies of mass production to machine tool manufacture. He became a director of J&L in 1912 and President in 1933. With his brother he was also instrumental in developing screw thread grinding machines, and they were awarded the Franklin Institute’s Edward Longstreth Medal for this in 1946.
In 1917 he served in the Machine Tool Section of the War Industry Board, and after the First World War served the Screw Thread Committee of the American Standards Association. In 1933 he was appointed to the government’s Business Advisory Council as Chairman of the Committee on Unemployment. In 1933 he was appointed to the Industrial Advisory Board of the National Recovery Administration. From 1944 to 1946 he was President of the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, and after the Second World War he served on Committee for Economic Development. He was elected Republican Senator for Vermont in 1946, being re-elected in 1952, although he did not stand in 1958.
He was President of the National Machine Tool Builders Association in 1924, and was President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1935, having been a member since 1914, and receiving their Worcester Reed Warner Medal in 1934. In 1944 he received the Hoover Medal for public service. He was a member of the corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a trustee of Norwich University, Vermont, and he has many honorary degrees, including Doctor of Laws from Harvard University. He was elected Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1951.
He married Helen Edith née Harkness, daughter of industrialist James Harkness, in 1911, and they had two daughters and a son.
He died on 19 February 1970 in Springfield, Vermont, at the age of 89.
1951-Sir John Douglas Cockcroft OM KCB CBE FRS
John Cockcroft was born on 27 May 1897 at Langfield in Yorkshire. He was one of four children of John Arthur Cockcroft and Annie Maude, née Fielden. He was educated at Todmorden secondary school and in 1914 won a scholarship to study mathematics at the University of Manchester.
During the First World War he was a signaller in the Royal Field Artillery. He returned to Manchester, to the College of Technology, in 1919, graduating the following year. He gained a college apprenticeship in engineering at the Metropolitan-Vickers Company, where he gained his masters degree in 1922. He went on to St John’s College, Cambridge in 1924, subsequently working with Rutherford at the Cavendish Laboratory and gaining his PhD in 1928. Working with Peter Kapitza and later E T S Walton in 1932 he succeeded in disintegrating a lithium atom with a proton beam. From 1935 he took charge of the Royal Society Mond Laboratory, directing its low-temperature research work, and was Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy from 1939 to 1946.
In the Second World War he was Chief Superintendent of the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment at Christchurch, and from 1940 he was involved in early discussions about atomic bombs. From 1942 he was director of the Montreal laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada, working on the NRX heavy water reactor at Chalk River. He returned to the UK in 1946 as director of the newly-formed Atomic Energy Research Establishment. From 1954 this was under the control of the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA), of which he was a member. He instigated fusion research at Harwell, and was influential in the creation of the Rutherford High Energy Laboratory and in the establishment of the Conseil Européen de Recherché Nucléaires (CERN). He also cooperated closely with the Medical Research Council on radiological protection, and radioisotopes for biological and industrial uses came to be an important income stream for Harwell.
In 1955 he was the British representative at the first United Nations Geneva conference on the peaceful uses of atomic energy, and again at the second conference in 1958. He resigned from full-time involvement in the AEA in 1959, becoming the first Master of Churchill College, Cambridge. Amongst many other roles, he was President of the Pugwash Conference and Chancellor of the Australian National University, Canberra. He was President of the British Association, the Institute of Physics, and the Physical Society. He was a freeman of many cities, had honorary degrees from universities around the world, and was the recipient of many awards and medals, including the Faraday Medal, the Kelvin Medal, the Churchill Gold Medal, and the Nils Bohr Medal.
In 1951, with E T S Walton he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, and in 1961 he received the Atoms for Peace Award. He was knighted in 1948, and appointed to the Order of Merit in 1957. He was an Honorary Member of the Institute of Marine Engineers, the Institute of Metals, and the Institution of Civil Engineers, and in 1951 was elected Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
He married Eunice Elizabeth, née Crabtree on 26 August 1925, and they had two sons and four daughters.
He died on 18 September 1967 at Churchill College, Cambridge, at the age of 70.
1951-Dr Hans Henrick Blache
Hans Henrick Blache was born in Copenhagen on 17 September 1874. He attended the Royal Technical University, and received a mechanical engineering degree in 1896. He spent the next year working in the naval yard as part of his conscription.
In 1897 he began working for Burmester and Wain as an engineering designer. He worked mainly on steam engines and steam turbines until 1912, when the firm completed its first ocean-going ship, the Selendia, to be propelled by internal-combustion engines. Blache worked on this vessel as assistant to Ivar Knudsen, and was soon given charge of engineering designs. He was then closely involved with the development of the internal combustion engine.
He became a managing director of Burmester and Wain in 1919. Two years later he was created a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog, and in 1929 decorated with the Silver Cross of the same Order. He was awarded an honorary doctor's degree in the same year by the Royal Technical University. Blache was Chairman of the Danish Society of Marine Engineers and Naval Architects from 1915 to 1936. He also served as Chairman of the Danish Committee of the World Power Conference.
When the company of Burmester and Wain was restructured in the 1930s, a special position was created for Blache, which led to his becoming consultant to Harland and Wolff Limited in Belfast between January 1937 and November 1938. On his return to Denmark, he became a consultant for a shipbuilding company there.
Dr Blache was awarded the James Watt International Medal by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in May 1951, and at the same time was made an Honorary Member. He died the following year, on 16 March 1952.
1951-Oliver Vaughan Snell Bulleid
Oliver Bulleid was born in 1882 in New Zealand but at the age of seven his mother was widowed and the family moved to England. He was educated at Spa College at the Bridge of Allan and then at Accrington Technical School. In 1901 he gained an apprenticeship at the Doncaster works of the Great Northern Railway. He combined his training with furthering his education at Leeds and Sheffield universities.
Bulleid’s apprenticeship led to a life-long interest in railway engineering. At the age of twenty-six he took his new skills abroad, working for the French Westinghouse Company in Paris. However, it was with the Great Northern Railway that Bulleid made his mark, working as personal assistant to Sir Nigel Gresley. His aptitude led to involvement in the design of carriages and wagons.
During the First World War Bulleid served in France and was a Major in the Royal Engineers. After the war he followed Gresley to the London and North Eastern Railway and became involved in the work of the International Railway Congress Association. Bulleid’s opportunity to promote his design ideas came with an appointment as chief mechanical engineer for the Southern Railway. He introduced the ‘Merchant Navy’ Pacifics and the ‘Leader’ class of locomotives. He conceived the design of Britain’s only double-deck passenger trains, the 4DD class. Bulleid opposed the nationalization of the railways and was keen to produce steam locomotives that could rival electric or diesel locomotives.
He retired from Southern Railway in 1949 and in February 1950 joined the Coras Iompair Eireann, the Irish state transport system, first as consulting mechanical engineer and then as chief mechanical engineer. He oversaw the introduction of diesel locomotives designed a steam locomotive which burned peat. He retired from Coras Iompair Eireann in 1958.
Bulleid served as President of the IMechE in 1956, and was also President of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers and the Institute of Welding. He was made a CBE in 1949 and received an honorary DSc from Bath University. He was a member of the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers, a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Goldsmith’s Company. He died in 1970.
1951-Sir Henry Lewis Guy
Henry Guy was born on 15 June 1887 in Penarth. He started his career as apprentice to T Hurry Riches, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Taff Vale Railway. From 1907 to 1910 he studied simultaneously the Diploma courses in mechanical and electrical engineering at University College, South Wales. He won the Bayliss Prize of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Royal Research Scholarship and a Whitworth Exhibition.
In 1910 he joined the technical staff of the Mechanical Department of the British Westinghouse Company. He became Centrifugal Pump and Turbo-compressor Engineer in 1915, Turbine Engineer in 1916 and Chief Engineer of the Mechanical Department of British Westinghouse's successor, the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company. He retained this position until 1941.
During the Second World War, Guy served on many important committees. He had been appointed a member of the Ministry of Supply's Advisory Council on Scientific Research and Development in 1939, just prior to the outbreak of war. He chaired its Gun Design Committee and Static Detonation Committee (Bombs). He was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Armament Development, Chairman of a committee formed to report on the work and staffing of the Royal Aircraft Establishment and Chairman of a committee on Technical Organization of the Army, as well as numerous other committees. From 1942 he was a member of the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Labour. He also served from 1944 on the Advisory Council to the committee of the Privy Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Guy became a Graduate of the Institution in 1906. He transferred to Associate Member in 1912 and Member in 1927. In the same year he was awarded the Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal for his paper, 'The economic value of increased steam pressure'. He served on Council from 1929 to 1941, and was Vice-President from 1938 until 1941.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1936, and served on Council from 1938-1939. In 1941 he was invited by the Royal Society to join the Executive Committee of the National Physical Laboratory. He was later Chairman of the Engineering Research Committee of the NPL.
In 1941 he became Secretary of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, holding the position for almost ten years before retiring due to ill health. The years of his Secretaryship were the difficult War and post-war years, but during this time the membership of the Institution more than doubled. He was knighted in the New Year's Honours List of 1949 in recognition of his contributions to the engineering and scientific world.
Sir Henry Guy died on 20 July 1956.
1952-Dudley Gladstone Gordon, Lord Aberdeen
Dudley Gladstone Gordon was born in 1883, the second son of the Marquis of Aberdeen and Temair. He was educated at Harrow and began his engineering training at the shipyard of Hall, Russell and Co. Practical training in the workshop was supplemented with evening classes at the Robert Gordon's College. Gordon’s career advanced at J and E Hall Ltd; he worked his way up through the company, becoming managing director in 1912 and Chairman in 1937. During the First World War he commanded the 8th/10th battalion of the Gordon Highlanders, receiving the DSO in 1917.
Gordon’s engineering specialisation was refrigeration, in particular land type refrigerating installations. In 1929 he gave the Twenty-ninth Thomas Hawksley Lecture at the IMechE entitled “Recent Developments in Refrigeration”. His expertise led to numerous Chairs and Presidencies. He was President of the British Association of Refrigeration, the British Engineers Association and the Federation of British Industries.
At the close of the Second World War he was made Chairman of Hadfields Ltd and assumed directorships with financial institutions, including Barclays Bank and the Phoenix Assurance Company. He became a Member of Council of the IMechE in 1940 and was President in 1947, the Institution’s centenary year. He died in 1972.
1952-James Alexander Jameson
James Alexander Jameson was born in 1885 in Glasgow. He attended Allan Glen's School and the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, then undertook an apprenticeship with D & W Henderson Ltd, engineers and shipbuilders, Glasgow. He then took a job with the Clydesdale Iron and Steel Works of Stewarts and Lloyds Ltd.
When the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company) was formed in 1909, Jameson went to Iran as an assistant engineer. He remained there for eighteen years, becoming fields chief engineer, pipe-line and transport superintendent, fields manager, and finally general manager of fields and refineries in Iran.
He returned to London in 1927 as deputy director and general manager of the Anglo-Iranian Production Department. His pioneering work was recognized with a CBE, and in 1935, upon the official opening of the Iraq pipeline, he was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour. He became a director of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company Limited in 1939.
Jameson concerned himself with all aspects of petroleum exploration, exploitation, production and refining. He was responsible for the adoption of techniques in the area which were far in advance of practice elsewhere in the world, such as the use of geology, geophysics, petroleum engineering and chemical research and engineering. He encouraged chemical research; such work made possible the production of vast quantities of highest grade aviation fuel at a critical stage of the Second World War.
Jameson was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1952. He died on 17 January 1961.
1953-Major E William Gregson
Major William Gregson was born in 1891, in Blaina, North Monmouthshire. He attended the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, in Cardiff, and graduated with an MSc. He then served an apprenticeship at North Blaina, which was later absorbed by the Ebbw Vale Company. He later gained experience at sea, and in other branches of mechanical engineering.
In the First World War he served with the Royal Engineers. At one point he was involved with the Channel Ferries. After the war, in 1920, he joined Spencer-Bonecourt Ltd. as Chief Engineer. This firm was absorbed into the Babcock and Wilcox Group in 1927. At this point, Gregson became joint head of the marine department of Babcock and Wilcox, taking sole control at a later date.
He was mainly involved with the development of modern steam plant at sea, including the development of mechanical stoking and oil-firing equipment.
He was also a member of the Founders Company, a Freeman of the City of London, and a Derby Cold Medallist of the Liverpool Engineering Society. He was a well-known rugby player in his youth.
He was President of the IMechE in 1948.
He died in 1977.
1953-Ernest Walter Hives, 1st Baron Hives CH MBE
Hives was born in Reading, Berkshire, 21 April 1886. He began his working life in a local garage. However, in 1903 he got a job working at C.S. Rolls' car company, after fixing Rolls' car. After becoming a chief test driver in 1908, he led the Rolls team in the Austrian Alpine Trial in 1913.
During the First World War Rolls designed its first aero-engine, the Eagle, and following Hives' successful development of it he was made Head of the Experimental Department, c1915-1916. In 1919 the Eagle powered the twin-engined Vickers Vimy bomber on the first direct flight across the Atlantic.
Other notable engines were later developed under Hives’ lead. Of these the Buzzard was the most important, leading to the ‘R’ series, which powered the Supermarine S.6 seaplanes that won the Schneider Trophy in 1929 and 1931 for Rolls-Royce, and most importantly the famous Merlin engine.
In 1936 he became the general works manager of the factory and a year later was elected to the board. In 1937, thinking war would soon be inevitable, he prepared the firm for a massive production increase in Merlin engines by splitting facilities between engineering and production. As the Merlin powered Hurricanes and Spitfires, this was a decision of vital strategic significance when war did come. It was thanks to Hives that a total of a hundred and sixty thousand Merlins were produced by 1945. In 1941 Hives quickly decided ‘to go all out for the gas turbine’, ensuring the company’s leading role in developing jet engines for civil and military aviation.
Hives became managing director in 1946 and chairman of Rolls-Royce from 1950 till 1956: having earlier been head of the Rolls-Royce Aero Engine division. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1943 and in 1950 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Hives, of Duffield in the County of Derby.He was made an Honorary Member of the IMechE in 1953.
He died in April 1965, aged 79, and was succeeded in the barony by his son John.
1953-Sir Richard Vynne Southwell
Richard Southwell was born on 2 July 1888 at Norwich. He was educated at King Edward VI School, Norwich. He then entered Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1907, where he took the mechanical science tripos with first class honours. He was appointed fellow and lecturer in engineering at Trinity College in 1912.
In 1914 he joined the armed services, and during the course of the First World War, he proceeded to serve with each of the three Services. He began serving with the Army in France. From 1915 to 1918 he was Royal Naval Volunteer Reservist at Kingsnorth Airship Station, were he was in charge of the design of airships. Finally from 1918 to 1919 he was in the Royal Air Force at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough where he was in charge of full-scale aerodynamic research and strain testing.
After demobilization, in 1920, he was appointed superintendent of the aerodynamics department of the National Physical Laboratory. He left five years later to become university lecturer in mathematics, and returned to Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1929 he became professor of engineering science at Oxford University, and in 1942 Rector of the Imperial College of Science, London University.
He published advanced textbooks for engineers on relaxation methods and the theory of elasticity, as well as presenting various papers to the Royal Society. He also served on numerous committees, including the Aeronautical Research Committee from 1937 to 1943, the Civil Defence Research Committee from 1939 to 1948 and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research from 1940 to 1943. He was also a member of the Colonial Office Commission on Higher Education in the Colonies from 1941 to 1943, and the Percy Committee on Technological Education from 1944 to 1945.
Southwell was a Fellow of the Royal Society, of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Aeronautical Sciences of the United States. He was awarded the Alfred Ewing Medal of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1946. He became a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1933, and was made an Honorary Member in 1953.
Sir Richard Vynne Southwell died on 9 December 1970.
1954-Dr Herbert John Gough
Herbert John Gough was born in Bermondsey, London, in 1890. He attended the Regent Street Polytechnic Technical School, and won a scholarship to University College School. For a short while he was a student teacher, but in 1909 he became an apprentice at Vickers, Sons, becoming a designer draughtsman in 1913. At the same time, he studied at London University, achieving first a BSc in engineering, and later a DSc and PhD.
In 1914, Gough went to work at the National Physical Laboratory, then in Middlesex. He worked in the engineering department, where he remained until 1938. He became superintendent of the department in 1930. During the First World War he served with the Royal Engineers (signals) from 1914 to May 1919, rising to the rank of Captain. He was mentioned twice in dispatches and was awarded the MBE (military) in 1919.
Gough’s main area of expertise was the study of material fatigue, in particular fatigue failure, which is failure due to repeated application of a load much lower than that necessary to produce failure in a single application. He made many contributions to knowledge on stress concentrations, the causes of failure, the design of chains, cables, hooks, rings and other lifting appliances, cold pressing and drawing of metals, the stability of thin sheets in structures, lubrication, welding, pipe flanges and fretting corrosion.
In 1938, he entered the War Office as director of scientific research. He was appointed Commander of the Bath in 1942. His responsibilities were wide-ranging, including physical research, signals, chemical research, and included responsibility for the Radar Research Centre at Malvern, the chemical station at Porton Down, Wiltshire, and the rocket station at Aber-port, Cardiganshire. He also took a personal interest in unexploded bomb disposal, and presented the Thomas Hawksley Lecturer on this subject in 1946. In 1947 he was decorated with the Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm by the United States Government, for ‘exceptionally meritorious service in the field of scientific research and development, development of ground force weapons and aiding the United States in the prosecution of the war against the enemy’.
After the war, Gough joined Unilever as Engineer-in-Chief, and was responsible for developing the company’s advisory technical division in London. He retired in 1955, but retained a keen interest in engineering, helping to organize a number of large international scientific conferences.
He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1933 and was President of the IMechE in 1949.
He died in 1965.
1954-Dr Karl Baumann
Karl Baumann was born in 1884. He attended his local secondary school for four years, then the Cantonal Grammar School. From here he received his technical education at the Federal Technical College of Switzerland under Professor Stodola. He later became Stodola's assistant.
In 1909, after completing his studies, he began to work for the British Westinghouse Company as a turbine engineer. In 1912 he was appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer. In 1927 he was appointed a Director of the company, by then called the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company. He remained on the board until his retirement due to ill health in 1949.
Baumann is best known for his work on the development of the steam cycle. His work on the investigation and design of steam turbines for high operating pressures and temperatures had an important effect on advances in power station practice.
In 1915 he patented a system of regenerative feed water heating, which was put into practice in 1916 in a turbine of the Carville Power Station of the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Company. This technology later became standard practice. In 1916 he invented the axial and circumferential turbine exhaust, commonly known as the Baumann multi-exhaust, which also became widely used.
Baumann also made important advances in the gas turbine field. From 1938 he and his staff were responsible for the first aircraft propulsion gas turbine with an axial flow compressor to fly in Britain. They also produced Gatric, a marine propulsion turbine and the world's first sea-going gas turbine, and the first British gas turbine-locomotive.
Baumann was awarded the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Hawksley Gold Medal for his 1930 paper, 'Some considerations affecting the future developments of the steam cycle'. He gave the thirty-fifth Thomas Hawksley Lecture in 1949, entitled 'Heat engines', and in the same year was awarded the James Clayton Prize. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution in 1954.
He died in 1971.
1954-Dr Johannes Aleidis Ringers
Johannes A Ringers was born at Alkmaar, Holland on 2 January 1885. He graduated as civil engineer at the Technical University of Delft in 1906, and began working for the Department of Public Works as an Assistant Engineer.
In 1916, Ringers was appointed principal overseer for the service of track and works of the Netherlands Indies Railway Company in Java. He returned to Holland four years later to resume work in the Department of Public Works, and was appointed Chief Engineer in 1922. As Chief Engineer he was responsible for building the world's largest sashlock in the world, at Ijmiuden, a task made more difficult by the sandy subsoil of the area.
In 1927, Ringers was appointed Director Chief-Executive of the Company responsible for the Zuiderzee land reclamation works, which have been declared one of the American Society of Civil Engineers' Modern Wonders of the World. Three years later he became General-Director of Public Works.
Ringers left the Department of Public Works towards the end of 1935, and became a member of the Chief-Council of the Netherlands Indies Railway Company. Due to extensive war damage, in 1940 the Netherlands Government applied to him for help, and appointed him Commissioner for Reconstruction. In 1941 he became General-Delegate for the Building Industry. In 1943 he was imprisoned in a German camp, returning from captivity in 1945 to become Minister for Public Works and Reconstruction. He resigned this post in 1947 and set up as a general and technical advisor for civil engineering works. In this role he was consulted by the British government when the River Trent and the River Wellad burst their banks. In response, Ringer was made a Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the British Empire.
Ringers was a member for many years of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Engineers, and was President a number of times, first serving in 1935. He assisted the Institution of Mechanical Engineers with the organisation of their Summer Meeting in Holland in 1953, and was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution in 1954. He died in 1965.
1955-Dr Stanley Fabes Dorey
Stanley Fabes Dorey was born in 1891. He attended Owen’s School, London, then served an apprenticeship at the Royal Dockyard, Chatham. He received his academic training at Armstrong College, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he won a Whitworth Exhibition and a Lloyd’s Register of Shipping Scholarship in Marine Engineering.
During the First World War he served as an Engineer Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. After the war he spent a short time with Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth and Co. Ltd., following appointment as an Engineer and Ship Surveyor to Lloyd’s Register of Shipping. He was posted to the staff of the Chief Engineer Surveyor in 1924, and at the end of 1932 was appointed Chief Engineer Surveyor.
He received the CBE in 1946, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1948. He was a President of the Institute of Refrigeration, the Institution of Naval Architects, and was President of the IMechE in 1950. He was also a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.
He died in 1972.
1956-Sir Edward Victor Appleton
Edward Victor Appleton was born in Bradford on 6 September 1892. He won a scholarship to Hanson School, Bradford, where he showed great promise. He gained a first class in the London matriculation examination at 16, the minimum age, and in the intermediate examination the following year, again at the minimum age.
He was awarded a scholarship for Cambridge, and read the natural sciences tripos at St John's College. He gained first classes in part one in 1913 and part two in 1914, gaining the Wiltshire prize in 1913 and the Hicken prize in Physics and the Hutchinson research studentship in mineralogy in 1914. He immediately began research, but upon the outbreak of war in 1914 he joined the 6th West Yorkshire battalion as a signals officer.
Appleton returned to Cambridge in 1919 as a fellow of St John's College, and the following year became an assistant demonstrator in physics at the Cavendish Laboratory. In 1924 he began experiments which would lead to the demonstration of the ionosphere, particularly the E or Heaviside layer and the F-layer, or Appleton layer. His research had an important effect on the development of radio communication, and influenced Robert Watson-Watt in his development of radar. Appleton was awarded the Nobel prize in 1947 for his research.
In 1924, Appleton had been appointed to the Wheatson chair of physics at King's College, London. He returned to Cambridge in 1936, appointed to the Jacksonian chair of natural philosophy, which was attached to the Cavendish Laboratory under Lord Rutherford. In 1939, Lord Rutherford died unexpectedly, and Appleton acted as head of the laboratory for a short time. Upon the appointment of Bragg as new head of the Cavendish, Appleton became secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Appleton was responsible for altering the focus of the department to wartime activities. His teams worked on topics such as civil defence protection of buildings, as well as the wartime development of radar. He also had administrative control of the Tube Alloys project for practical work on nuclear fission.
Appleton was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1927. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1956
In 1949, Appleton returned to academic work, taking up the position of principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, holding these positions until his death, which occurred on 21 April 1965.
1956-Arthur Clifford Hartley
Arthur Clifford Hartley was born in 1889 at Springbank, Hull. He attended Hymers College, Hull, and the Hull Municipal Technical College. From 1908 he attended the Central Technical College, Imperial College of Science and Technology. He graduated in 1910 with an Honours BSc engineering degree.
After graduation he worked in the office of the Chief Docks Engineer, North Eastern Railway, Hull. From 1912 to 1914 he was an assistant with Rose, Downs and Thompson, Ltd.
During the First World War, Hartley was commissioned in the Royal Flying Corps, where he qualified as a pilot. For much of the time he served in the Air Ministry on experimental armament work. This included one of his most significant contributions, the Constantinesco gear for synchronizing machine guns, which allowed Vickers machine guns to be fixed between the blades of tractor aircraft propellers, able to fire straight ahead. He was awarded the military OBE in 1918.
In 1924 he joined the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. Ltd., later the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Ltd. The following year he was made Assistant Manager of the Engineering Department, and the same year Assistant Manager of the Supply Department. He was seconded to the Iraq Petroleum Co. from 1932 to 1934 for the design and development of the Kirkuk to Mediterranean desert oil pipelines. On his return to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co Ltd. he held the position of Chief Engineer, which he held until his retirement at the end of 1950
Hartley was released by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co from 1940 onwards for war work. From 1940 to 1941 he assisted with the development and production of a stabilized automatic bomb-sight. From April 1942 he worked with the Petroleum Division of the Ministry of Fuel and Power on the PLUTO project – the pipeline under the ocean which supplied fuel for the Allied invasion of France. From October 1942 until the end of the war he worked on the FIDO project, which sought a solution to the problem of poor visibility caused by fog. The solution, oil burners alongside runways, was successfully implemented at fifteen airfields, allowing more than 25000 aircraft to land safely during foggy conditions.
He was awarded the CBE in 1944, and the United States Medal of Freedom in 1946. He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1951 and President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1959, although he died only three months into his term, on 28 January 1960.
1957-Sir David Randall Pye
David Randall Pye was born in Hampstead, London in 1886. He attended Tonbridge School, followed by Trinity College, Cambridge, where he gained first class honours in engineering. After a short time with the firm of Mather and Platt in 1909 he was invited by C. F. Jenkin, professor of engineering science at Oxford, to join him at the engineering laboratories.
During the First World War, Pye first taught at Winchester College, then worked as an experimental officer in the Royal Flying Corps on design and testing. After the war he briefly returned to Oxford, then in 1919 went to Cambridge as a lecturer, and became a fellow of Trinity College. At the same time he also worked on a research programme on the combustion of volatile fuels, in cooperation with Henry Tizard and Harry Ricardo. Between 1931 and 1934 he published a highly regarded two volume work, The Internal Combustion Engine.
In 1925, a Directorate of Scientific Research was initiated at the Air Ministry, and Pye was invited to become Deputy Director. In 1937 he became Director of Scientific Research, with responsibility for introducing into the RAF new methods and new equipment in preparation for the Second World War.
He left this position in 1943, once it was clear that the war had reached a point when the research programme should be limited to projects which would become effective within the next two years. He took up the Provostship of University College, London, which had suffered heavily in the air attacks of 1940 of 1941. When he took up the Provostship, the students and staff had all been evacuated to seven sites in different parts of the country. In London, all that remained was a secretary’s office. He presided over a large programme of rebuilding, acquiring sites for future development, and re-integrating the scattered Faculties of the College into a single community of 3500 students and 400 staff. In recognition of this work, Pye was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Years Honours list.
Pye was also an enthusiastic climber, and in 1922 he led the first ascent of the severe Crack of Doom, Skye. He was also elected to the Alpine Club, becoming Vice-President in 1956.
He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1952.
He died in 1960.
1957-Dr Ernest Ansley Watson
Ernest Ansley Watson was born in 1887. He was educated at King Edward's High School, Birmingham, and at the University of Birmingham. In 1907 he gained a BSc degree with honours in mechanical and electrical engineering. He was awarded an 1851 Research Exhibition in the same year, and continued his studies at Liverpool University.
He began his career with Morris and Lister, Coventry, a company which made electrical equipment. During the First World War the company specialized in the development of ignition magnetos, and changed its name to M L Magneto Syndicate Limited. Dr Watson was awarded the OBE in 1918 in recognition of his outstanding work in aero-engine magneto development. The Syndicate was acquired by S Smith and Sons Limited, but continued to operate independently with Watson as Technical Director. In 1930 the Syndicate was taken over by Joseph Lucas Limited, and the companies were merged. Watson was appointed Chief Engineer. He was personally responsible for the firm's activities during the Second World War, research on combustion problems, the development of combustion chambers and the design and development of the associated fuel supply and control equipment for aero-gas turbines. Watson was appointed a Director of Joseph Lucas Limited in 1945.
Watson became a Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1926. He was elected a Member of Council in 1940, and continued as a Member of the Automobile Division Council when the Institution merged with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1947. In that year, Watson presented a paper on 'Fuel systems for the aero-gas-turbine', and was awarded the Dugald Clerk Prize. In 1955 he presented a James Clayton Lecture on 'Fuel control and burning in aero-gas-turbine engines'. The following year he was awarded the James Clayton Prize for his work in automobile engineering and his contributions to the development of the aircraft gas turbine.
Dr Watson was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1957.
He died in 1975.
Alfred Roebuck was born in Thurlstone in 1889. He became an apprentice with the firm of Hadfields Ltd, local steel makers and engineers, at their East Hecla Works. He remained with this company for the rest of his working life. From 1931 until 1945 he was Works Director, and for the following five years, until his retirement in 1950, he was Director with Special Duties.
In 1949 the Anglo-American Council on Productivity appointed him leader of the first specialist team to visit the USA to study materials handling in factories.
He was a supporter of the Junior Institution of Engineers, of which he was President in 1949. He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1953.
He died in 1962.
1959-George Frederic Gruner
George Frederic Gruner was born in Basle in 1908. He attended schools in Basle and gained his secondary school leaving certificate in 1926. He then served an apprenticeship at the SCODA engineering works at Pilsen. He studied civil engineering at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, graduating in 1931 in hydraulics.
From 1931 until 1934, Gruner was an assistant in the Hydraulics Research Laboratory in Zurich, where he worked on locks, hydroelectric schemes and river control. In 1935 Gruner worked on the planning for the road over the Susten pass, and from autumn 1935 until 1937 he was resident engineer on the building of the trans-Iranian railway. He later worked on the construction of Tehran railway station in reinforced concrete.
From 1938, Gruner became a consulting engineer in his father's practice, where he first specialized in hydroelectric projects and heavy foundation work. He later started a section for the design of industrial buildings in reinforced concrete, steel and timber.
He became a member of the Société Suisse des Ingénieurs et des Architectes in 1932. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1959.
1960-Percy Lewis Jones
Percy Jones was born in Penarth in 1886. He attended Taunton School, and served his apprenticeship at the Locomotive Works of Rhymney Railway Company, near Cardiff. He then attended University College, Cardiff, and graduated with a BSc in Engineering three years later.
After graduation he was appointed Assistant Lecturer at Liverpool University. Two years later he joined the technical staff of the Chief Mechanical Engineer of Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company. With the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted in the infantry, later commanding a battery of artillery in France and Flanders. He was awarded a Military Cross in 1916 and a Bar to the Military Cross in 1917.
On demobilization he rejoined the staff at Metropolitan-Vickers. He remained there until 1923, when he joined Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson as Technical Manager of their Engineering Department at the Neptune Works. He later became General Manager, and then Managing Director of the Engineering Department.
Jones was also President of the North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders. He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1955. He died in 1966.
1960-HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich
Born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on 10 June 1921, he was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece, himself the grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark. His mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, eldest child of Prince Louis of Battenberg, and sister of Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Prince Philip was to adopt the family name Mountbatten when he became a naturalized British subject and renounced his Royal title in 1947.
At the age of just 18 months he was evacuated with his family from Greece by the Royal Navy on the instruction of King George V, and the family settled in Paris. In 1928 he came to England to attend Cheam Preparatory School, later attending Salem School in southern Germany, before going to Gordonstoun School in Scotland, where he became Head of School.
In 1939 he joined the Royal Navy as a cadet, attending the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, before joining HMS Ramillies in the Indian Ocean as a Midshipman in 1941. The following year he joined the battleship HMS Valiant, seeing action and being subsequently mentioned in dispatches. He was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant aboard the destroyer HMS Wallace based at Rosyth, and in 1942 was made Lieutenant and in 1943 First Lieutenant, when joined the fleet destroyer, HMS Whelp, as part of the British Pacific Fleet.
After the Second World War, on 20 November 1947, he married Princess Elizabeth, eldest daughter of King George VI, and they had three sons and one daughter. Shortly before the wedding he was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich, with the style of His Royal Highness.
He was appointed First Lieutenant aboard HMS Chequers in 1949, and then Lietenant-Commander in command of the frigate HMS Magpie in 1950. He was promoted to Commander in 1952, but his active Navy career came to an end on the death of King George VI.
He is patron or president of some 800 organizations, and he takes a special interest in scientific and technological research and development, and industry and industrial life, visiting research stations, laboratories, factories, engineering works, and industrial plants throughout the UK. He is the Patron of the Work Foundation, and he was first President of the World Wildlife Fund (UK) and first President of the World Wide Fund for Nature, of which he is now President Emeritus.
He launched the pilot Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for Boys in 1956, followed by a similar Scheme for Girls in 1958, both superseded by the Duke of Edinburgh Award for Young People in 1969. The Prince Philip Designers Prize was created in 1959, and has rewarded the best design in products, graphics, buildings and engineering.
He was pointed Knight of the Garter in 1947, Knight of the Thistle in 1952, and in 1968 he was appointed to the Order of Merit. He holds many overseas awards, and has honorary degrees from many universities around the world. He has served as Chancellor of the Universities of Cambridge from 1976, Edinburgh from 1952, Salford from 1967 to 1991, and Wales from 1948 to 1976. He is a Life Governor of King’s College, London, and a Patron of London Guildhall University. He was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1952. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1960.
He continues to travel extensively, and he works to raise public awareness of the relationship of humanity with the environment.
1962-George Horatio Nelson, First Baron Nelson of Stafford
George Horatio Nelson was born in 1887 in Islington, London. He was educated at the City and Guilds Technical College, where he gained a diploma. He received a Brush studentship to the Brush Engineering Company at Loughborough.
He then joined British Westinghouse Company in Manchester. In 1911 he became Chief Outside Engineer at Trafford Park, and was made Chief Electrical Superintendent in 1914. He was responsible for the manufacture and installation of steam and hydro-electric power equipment and electric traction equipment. The company joined with the Metropolitan Vickers Group, and in 1920 Nelson became Manager of the Sheffield Works of the Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company. He remained in this position for ten years.
His former manager, Sir Holberry Mensforth, had been appointed Chairman of the English Electric Company, and in 1930 he persuaded Nelson to join him there as managing director. When Mensforth retired, in 1933, Nelson became chairman and managing director of the company. During Nelson’s time at the company he instituted a massive development of the company, for example, building up the number of employees from 4,000 to 80,000. When, in preparation for the Second World War, a policy of rearmament was being followed, Nelson worked very hard to get the English Electric Company involved. In 1938 he was successful in obtaining a training contract for 75 Hampden bombers, although he was told that these were already obsolete. The order was fulfilled successfully, and was followed by orders for 2,470 Halifax bombers and 2,730 tanks. By the end of the war, the company was developing the Canberra bomber, one of the most successful military aircraft of the time, to its own designs.
Nelson was also active in public work, and was a member of many important committees such as the Heavy Bomber Group Committee of the Air Ministry from 1939-1945 and the Reconstruction Joint Advisory Council from 1943 to 1944. He was also Chairman of the United Kingdom Tank Mission, which went to the United States and Canada in 1942 to discuss a joint policy for tank production.
He received a knighthood in 1943, a baronetcy in 1955, and was made first Baron Nelson of Stafford in 1966. He was President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1955, and was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1957.
He died in 1962.
1962-Sir Frank Ewart Smith
Frank Ewart Smith was born on 31 May 1897 in Loughton, Essex. After the family moved to Hastings in Sussex he was educated at Uckfield Grammar School. He won a scholarship to Christ’s Hospital and then in 1815 another scholarship to read natural sciences at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. However, this was delayed until 1919 by the First World War, during which he served in the Royal Artillery at both Messines and Ypres. At Cambridge he achieved first class honours in mechanical engineering, and continued to do post-graduate study into phase changes in iron, for which he was awarded the John Wimbolt Prize.
He served an apprenticeship with Palmers Shipbuilding Company at Jarrow-on-Tyne before joining Synthetic Ammonia and Nitrates Ltd in 1923. Here he held a series of different posts, including Research Engineer, Design Engineer, Deputy Chief Engineer, Deputy Works Manager of the Nitrogen Division, and Chief Engineer of the Oil Division. As Chief Engineer of the Oil Division he was responsible for the engineering work involved in developing the process for the production of petrol by the high-pressure hydrogenation of coal.
IN 1932 Smith moved to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) as Chief Engineer of the Billingham works of Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd (ICI). From 1942 to 1945 he served as Chief Engineer and Superintendent of Armament Design for the Ministry of Supply at Fort Halstead, where he played a leading role in the development of armour-piercing ordnance. In 1945 he was appointed to the board of ICI Ltd, and subsequently became deputy chairman until he retired in 1959.
After his retirement he was asked to serve on the Stedeford Committee which was looking into possible solutions to the financial problems facing British Transport. He instead recommended that they appoint an able metallurgist from ICI – Dr Richard Beeching – who infamously went on to recommend the closure of some 30 per cent of Britain’s railway stations
He was a Member of the Northern Ireland Development Council and of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Fuel and Power. He was a member of the Société des Ingénieurs Civils de France, a member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, and served on the Committee on Scientific Manpower. He played a major part in the formation of the British Conference on Automation and Computation.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1957. He was a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers from 1944. He served on Council as a Member from 1945 to 1952 and as Vice-President from 1952 to 1958. He was awarded the James Clayton Prize in 1958, and elected an Honorary Member in 1962.
He died on the 14 June 1995 at the age of 98.
1963-Alexander Fleck, Lord Fleck of Saltcoats
Alexander Fleck was born on 11 November 1889 in Glasgow, he was the only son of Robert Fleck, a coal merchant, and his wife Agnes. He was educated at Saltcoats public school and Hillhead High School. He entered Glasgow University as a laboratory assistant, and through attending first evening and then full-time classes, he gained an honours degree in chemistry in 1911, and, after joining the staff of the Glasgow and West Scotland Radium Committee, a DSc.
In the First World War he was Chief Chemist at the Castner Kellner Alkali Company, which was associated with Brunner, Mond, & Company, manufacturing a range of chemicals for wartime industry. In 1926 Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was formed, incorporating Brunner, Mond with the United Alkali Company and the British Dyestuffs Corporation, concentrating a significant amount of the work of all three companies at a new site at Billingham, where Fleck was responsible for the planning and operation of the new works. Following the reorganization of ICI in 1931, he was appointed Managing Director of the General Chemicals Division in Liverpool, returning to Billingham as chairman in 1937. Although Billingham was a major target throughout the Second World War, he managed to keep the plant open and operational. He was appointed to the ICI Board in 1944, and was made Deputy Chairman in 1951 and Chairman in 1953, which post he held until his retirement in 1960.
He was chairman of Scottish Agricultural Industries, and chairman of the Coal Board Organization Committee, appointed by the Minister for Power. In 1957 and 1958 he was chairman of the committee investigating the Windscale accident, and from 1958 to 1965 he was chairman of the Advisory Council on Scientific Research and Development. In 1958 he was also President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He had honorary degrees from the universities of Glasgow, Durham, Nottingham, Oxford, London, and from Trinity College, Dublin, and he received the Castner and Messel Medals. He was Vice President of the Royal Society in 1960, and he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of Manchester College of Science and Technology. He was President of the Society of the Chemical Industry, and from 1960 to 1965 was chairman of the Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee. He was President of the Royal Institution in 1963.
He was appointed KBE in 1955 and created Baron in 1961, and he was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1963.
He married Isabel Mitchell in 1917; they had no children.
He died on 6 August 1968 at Westminster Hospital at the age of 78.
1964-Sir Harold Hartley
Harold Hartley was born on 3 September 1878 in London. He was the only son of Harold Thomas Hartley and his wife Katie, née Brewer. He was educated at Mortimer College and then at Dulwich College. He won a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, and in 1900 he graduated with a first-class honours degree in natural sciences, being appointed tutorial fellow of Balliol in 1901, an association with the college that was to last more than 60 years.
In the First World War he joined the 7th Leicestershire regiment, where he was promoted to Captain and given the job of chemical adviser to the Third Army. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and in 1917 was made Assistant Director, Gas Services. He won a Military Cross in 1916, and was appointed OBE and then CBE. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1918, and was made Controller of the Chemical Warfare Department of the Ministry of Munitions. In 1919 he was a member of the Holland Committee, advising the government on the future of chemical weapons, and he remained an advisor to the government on related issues right up to the 1950s.
Returning to Oxford, he continued to teach with great success, introducing summer schools for science teachers which were very successful in raising the standards of science teaching throughout the country. In 1922 he joined the Society of Chemical Engineers, and in 1926 was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. In 1929 he joined the Fuel Research Board of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and was Chairman from 1932 to 1947.
In 1930 he left his teaching post at Balliol and took the full-time post of Vice President and Director of Research of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company (LMS). In 1934 he was appointed Chairman of the newly-established Railway Air Services. He was subsequently Chairman of British European Airways (1946–47) and of the British Overseas Airways Corporation (1947–49). In 1949 he become the first Chairman of the Electricity Supply Council, where he remained until 1954. He was later a consultant to the Central Electricity Generating Board.
He was knighted in 1928, and in 1957 was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1967.
He was President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in 1954–55 and President of the Society of Instrument technology from 1957 to 1961. He was elected Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1964.
In 1906 he married Gertrude Mary Forster, née Smith. They had one son and one daughter.
He died on 9 September 1972 in London at the age of 94.
1965-Professor Sir Owen Alfred Saunders
Owen Saunders was born in Streatham, London in 1904. His father was an engineer, and was the inventor and designer of the Beckmeter petrol pump, which was widely used in British petrol stations.
Saunders attended Emmanuel School, Wandsworth Common, from 1913 to 1919. After a period of home study, he enrolled at Birkbeck College, in the Chemistry department. In June 1923 he achieved a first-class pass in the London University external general science degree. He then attended evening classes in physics, and won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he began studying in 1923.
In 1927 he began working at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Fuel Research Station, as a scientific officer. He continued his studies at this time, and gained a BSc in special mathematics with first-class honours, and an MSc in physics.
In 1932, Saunders was appointed a lecturer in applied mathematical physics at Imperial College. Five years later he became the first Clothworkers’ reader in thermodynamics. He was seconded to the Directorate of Turbine Engines (Ministry of Aircraft Production) in 1942 and remained there until the end of the war.
In 1946, Saunders returned to Imperial College, and was appointed Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Head of the Department. In this position he oversaw a period of considerable re-building. He remained in this position until 1964, when he was elected Pro-Rector of the College. When the Rector, Sir Patrick Linstead, died suddenly, Saunders acted as Rector from 1966 to 1967. He then became Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, overseeing the merger of Bedford College and Royal Holloway College and becoming the first Chairman of the council of the combined college. He retired from the Vice-Chancellorship in 1969.
Saunders was also a full member of the Magic Circle.
He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1960, and was made an Honorary Fellow in 1965. He died in 1993.
1965-Dr Franciscus Querien den Hollander
Franciscus Querien den Hollander was born in Goes on 31 May 1893. He was the son of Francis Clement Querien den Hollander, a shopkeeper, and Catharina Johanna Sandijck. He was educated at Goes Grammar School and Delft University, graduating with honours in Mechanical Engineering in 1916. He married Afitha Schutel in October that same year, and they had one daughter.
After graduating he trained with the Dutch Iron Railway Company and in 1918 was appointed to the staff of the Netherlands Indies State Railways. He was Chief Engineer of the main Java workshops in 1933, Traffic Superintendent for South Sumatra in 1936, and Operating Superintendent Western Lines in 1937. He returned to the Netherlands as Assistant Manager of State Workshops in 1938, becoming General Manager in 1940.
In 1945 he became Permanent Under-Secretary to the Ministry of Economics, and later that year became General Managing Director of Transport for the Ministry of Transport. In 1946 he was appointed General Manager of the Netherlands Railways, becoming President the following year. From 1959 to 1961 he was President of the Federation of Netherlands Industries.
He did much to further international cooperation between the national railways of Europe, including the introduction of the Trans Europe Express trains, connecting at their peak some 130 cities, and the international standardization of rolling stock. This work was largely undertaken between 1949 and 1960, while he was President of the Office for Research and Experiments of the International Union of Railways.
In 1955 he was awarded the George Stephenson Medal by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and from 1955 to 1959 he was a member of the British Transport Commission’s Technical Development and Research Committee.
He was elected Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1965. He held an honorary doctorate in the technical sciences from Delft University, and he was an Honorary Member of the Institute of Transport, an Honorary Life Fellow of the Permanent Way Institution, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, a Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, and an Officer of the French Legion of Honour.
He died on 18 August 1982 at Maarn, Utrecht, at the age of 89.
1965-Dr Barnes Neville Wallis
Barnes Neville Wallis was born on 26 September 1887 at Ripley, Derbyshire. He was the second child of Charles George Wallis, a GP, and his wife Edith. After the family moved to south London in 1891 he attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s School and later Christ’s Hospital school. He excelled in mathematics, English, and the sciences, and learned mechanical drawing. In 1904 he was indentured as a marine engineer to the Thames Engineering Works, transferring his articles to J S White & Company of Cowes, where he soon moved into the drawing office.
In 1913 he was appointed Assistant Chief Design Engineer at Vickers Ltd in the Airship Department. He served for a period in the First World War in the Royal Artists’ Rifle Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, returning to Vickers as Chief Designer in 1916, where he remained until 1921.
In 1923 he became Chief Engineer of the Airship Guarantee Company Ltd, and his work on airships culminated in the successful flight of the R100.
From 1930 to 1937 he was Chief Designer (Structure) with Vickers Aviation Ltd, where he initiated the geodetic construction of the ‘Wellesley’, which flew to Australia and held the world’s long range record for eleven years, and the ‘Wellington’, the famous Second World War bomber.
Between 1937 and 1945 he was Assistant Chief Designer of Vickers–Armstrong’s Aviation Section, engaged in the development of geodetic structures, and is perhaps best known for his development of the special weapons – the ‘bouncing bombs’ - which were used during the Second World War against the Moehne and Eder dams in the Ruhr valley, and which were immortalised in the film The Dam Busters. His specially-developed weapons were also instrumental in the sinking of the battleship Tirpitz, and the destruction of the Bielefeld viaduct, and the Arnsberg, Arbergen, and Nienberg bridges. At the end of the War he was awarded with the Ewing Medal of the Royal Society, who also elected him a Fellow.
From 1945 to 1971 he was head of the Vickers’ Department of Aeronautical Research and Development at Weybridge, where he successfully developed his ideas for variable geometry aircraft. These culminated in the revolutionary ‘Swallow’, which was never developed by Vickers. He was knighted in 1968. His last professional work was on the design of nuclear cargo submarines. He retired from Vickers in 1971 at the age of 84.
He died on 30 October 1979 in Leatherhead at the age of 92.
1967-Sir Charles Kenneth Hague
Kenneth Hague was born in Leeds in 1901. He attended New College School, Oxford, before studying at Leeds University. He joined Babcock and Wilcox Ltd. in 1924, and stayed with this company for the whole of his working life.
He rose through various positions at Babcock and Wilcox, becoming Managing Director in 1950 and Chairman in 1960. His main interests were in steam engineering and nuclear engineering. He was also actively involved with industrial labour relations, and served as a member of the UK Management Labour Delegation to the United States, and as British Representative on the Public Utilities Committee of the Combined Production and Resources Board in Washington.
Perhaps his most important contribution was his work towards the unification of the engineering profession. He took an active part in the formation of the Engineering Institutions Joint Council in 1961, and served as the first Chairman of its Council. He held this position until the reorganization in 1965, when it was renamed the Council of Engineering Institutions, and was granted a Royal Charter.
He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1961, and was made an Honorary Fellow in 1967.
He died in 1974.
1967-Sir Arnold Alexander Hall
Arnold Alexander Hall was born in Liverpool on 23 April 1915; he was the son of Robert Alexander Hall and his wife, Ellen Elizabeth, née Parkinson. He was educated at Alsop High School where he gained a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge, gaining first class honours in the engineering tripos in 1935.
After Cambridge he was appointed as a Principal Scientific Officer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough. Here he worked first on the design of an advanced electronic gun sight, later collaborating with the team at British European Airways who were working to bring into service the first turbo-prop engine – the Rolls Royce Dart – on the Vickers Viscount airliner. Between 1945 and 1951 he was Zaharoff Professor of Aviation at London University and Head of the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London. In 1951 he was appointed as Director of RAE Farnborough, where he remained until 1955. This was at the time of the early fatal crashes of the Comet, the first jet airliner, and the RAE was charged with investigating the causes. Hall built a full-size water tank to hold the entire Comet fuselage, and in this way they discovered the causes of the accidents – structural fatigue due to repeated pressurization. Rebuilt Comets were subsequently brought back into service without further serious problems. In 1967 he became Chairman of Hawker Siddeley Aircraft, holding the position until he retired in 1986. Between 1966 he held directorships of Lloyds Bank, Rolls-Royce Ltd, and ICI, and he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.
He was knighted in 1954, having been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society the previous year. He received the Gold Medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1962 and in 1963 the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1967.
He was married twice. On 29 November 1946 he married Moira Constance Dione Rathmell, née Sykes, and they had three daughters; she died in 1966. He later married Iola Nealon.
He died on 9 January 2000 at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, at the age of 84.
Philip Sporn was born on 25 November 1896 in Folotwin, Austria. He moved to the United States with his parents, Isak and Rachel, in 1907. He was educated at New York city schools and graduated from Columbia University School of Engineering with a degree in electrical engineering.
He joined the American Gas and Electric Company – later the American Electric Power (AEP) Company – in 1920 and became Chief Engineer in 1933. He was President of the company from 1947 until his retirement on 1961, thereafter serving as a director and consultant until 1967.
Under his leadership AEP received the Edison Award twice: in 1954, for the development of the first US transmission line to operate at 345,000 volts, and in 1957 for the “imaginative, courageous and successful … engineering” which lead to system-wide transmission at 345,000 volts.
He devoted much of his time to the application of nuclear energy in the field of power generation. In 1955 he was a member of the US delegation to the United Nations Geneva Conference on ‘The Peaceful use of Atomic Energy’, and in 1958 he was an accredited observer. In 1967 he served on the Panel on Stopping the Spread of Nuclear Weapons, and he also served on the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council Committee on the Disposal and Dispersal of Radioactive Wastes.
He was President of Nuclear Power Group, Inc., a non-profit making company engaged in atomic power developments. He was a trustee and member of the Policy Committee for Economic Development, a Governor of the Weizmann Institute of Science and Director of its American committee. He was a visiting Professor at Cornell, and a member of the Visiting Committee of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton.
He is the author of numerous books and has been awarded many honorary doctorates, including from the University of Grenoble, Columbia University, Ohio State University, Haifa Technion, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has received many awards, including in 1956 the John Fritz medal, the highest engineering award in the USA. In 1957 he became a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, in 1960 he received the American Conservation Service Award, and in 1962 was awarded the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Medal. He was elected Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in July 1968.
He married Sadie Posner on 10 September 1923, and they had two sons and a daughter.
He died in New York City on 23 January 1978 at the age of 81.
1968-Sir William Godfrey Agnew
William Godfrey Agnew was born on 11 October 1913 at Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He was the only son of Lennox Edelstein Agnew and Elsie Blyth, née Nott.
He was educated at Tonbridge School and qualified as a solicitor in 1935. The following year he entered the Public Trustee Office. During the Second World War he served with the Royal Artillery and with the Surrey and Sussex Yeomanry.
After the War he returned to the Public Trustee Office, where he was appointed Senior Clerk to the Privy Council in 1946. In 1951 he was became the Deputy Clerk, and then, in 1953, Clerk to the Privy Council.
In 1953 he was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in recognition of the considerable work he had done in preparation for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Twelve years later he was made a Knight Commander of that same Order for his services to the Queen and Her Majesty’s Privy Council.
During the many years he was at the office of the Privy Council he gave distinguished services both to the engineering profession as a whole and to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in particular. He was especially helpful during the formation of the Council of Engineering Institutions (CEI) in 1965. This embodied the growing unity of the engineering profession, which he always encouraged. Prince Philip was the founder President of the CEI.
He was well regarded by the Queen and her Household. She knew him well because his first wife was the daughter of the famous Charles Moore, who was her father's and her racing trainer.
Sir Godfrey Agnew was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1968.
He married Ruth Mary Moore in 1939, and they had three sons and three daughters. She died in 1962, and in 1965 he married a second time, to Nancy, Lady Tyrwhitt.
He died on 10 December 1995 at the age of 82.
1968-Baron Donald Gresham Stokes
Donald Gresham Stokes was born in 1914 and received his technical education at the Harris Institute of Technology in Preston. He apprenticed at Leyland Motors and was to spend a long career with the company.
During the Second World War he served as Assistant Director of Mechanical Engineering with the Central Mediterranean Forces and by its close had attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. After the war he returned to Leyland as Exports Manager and was appointed to the Board in 1953.
In the mid to late 1950s Leyland acquired a number of companies, including Triumph and Rover. Stokes became a director of many of the companies and during his appointment as Sales Director the Leyland Motor Corporation was formed. He had achieved the positions of Chairman and Managing Director by the early 1970s.
During the 1980s he became involved in working with international automotive companies, such as Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones and Beherman Auto-Transport in Spain. His many years of experience led to presidential appointments with the Engineering Employers Federation, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the Motor Industry Research Association.
In addition to industry appointments Stokes was bestowed with honorary titles from many universities including Keble College at Oxford, Lancaster, Loughborough, Southampton and Salford. His professional membership began with the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1935. He joined as a graduate and when the IAE merged with the IMechE he was automatically made an Associate Member. He was elected as an Honorary Fellow in 1968 and became President in 1972.
1968-Sir John Fleetwood Baker
John Fleetwood Baker was born on 19 March 1901 at Liscard, Cheshire. He was the only son of Joseph William Baker and Emily Carole Fleetwood. He was educated at Rossall School in Lancashire and Clare College, Cambridge, where he read mechanical sciences.
After a period of practical training and experience he joined the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research with whom he remained until 1933, conducting pioneering work into the design of steel-framed buildings. This work was recognised in 1932 when he was awarded the Telford Gold Medal of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
He was appointed Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol in 1933, where he realised that the elastic method of structural analysis could never serve as the basis of a rational design method for steel structures. From 1936 onwards his work was directed towards the plastic methods of design.
In 1939 he was seconded from Bristol to the Ministry of Home Security, where he was responsible for the design of all public air raid shelters, including the Morrison indoor shelter.
He became Professor of Mechanical Sciences and Head of the Department of Engineering of Cambridge University in 1943, and remained in that post until his retirement in 1968. Here he built up a substantial research team to continue his work on plastic theory and method – work which was to revolutionise the design of steel-framed buildings throughout the world. At the same time he completely revised both the undergraduate curriculum and post-graduate engineering courses. New buildings were constructed, and Chairs in Electrical Engineering and Applied Thermodynamics were established.
He served on the Civil Defence Research Committee, the Advisory Council to the Military College of Science, and the University Grants Committee. He was awarded honorary degrees by the universities of Wales, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh, Aston, Leicester, Liverpool, and Ghent. He was a fellow of the Institute of Welding, and he played a prominent part in the establishment of the British Welding Research Association. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1956, and a founder FEng in 1976. He was a Fellow and Vice-President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and he was elected Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1968. He received an OBE in 1946, was Knighted in 1961, and made a life peer in 1977
He married Fiona Mary MacAlister, daughter of John Walker of Liverpool in 1929, and they had two daughters.
He died in Cambridge on 9 September 1985 at the age of 84.
1969-Henry George Nelson, Lord Nelson of Stafford
Henry George Nelson was born on 2 January 1917 in Manchester, only son of George Horatio Nelson, First Baron Nelson of Stafford, and Florence Mabel, daughter of Henry Howe, JP. He was educated at Oundle School and King’s College, Cambridge, graduating in mechanical sciences in 1937.
He worked in France and Switzerland before joining the English Electric Company in 1939 as superintendent of their Preston works. He oversaw the change from locomotive to aircraft production for the Second World War, and was involved in the production of the ‘Hampden’ and ‘Halifax’ bombers for the Air Ministry. In 1942 he was appointed Managing Director of D Napier & Sons Ltd, Acton when they were taken over by English Electric.
He became Executive Director of the Marconi Company in 1946, and Deputy Managing Director in 1949, before becoming Managing Director of English Electric in 1956, succeeding his father as Chairman and Chief Executive in 1962. He oversaw the development of the ‘Canberra’ bomber and ‘Lightning’ fighter, as well as moving the company into civil nuclear power as part of the consortium that built the Sizewell A and Hinckley Point power stations On the amalgamation of the General Electric Company (GEC) with English Electric in 1968, he assumed the office of Chairman, which he held until he retired in 1983. He was a deputy chairman of the British Aircraft Corporation from its formation until 1977.
He served on many governmental advisory committees, and was a member of the Engineering Advisory Council, the Engineering Employers Federation, and the British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers Association. In 1966 he was President of the Advisory Council on Technology, and in 1970 was President of the European Engineering Industries Association.
A director of the Bank of England, he was Lord High Steward of the Borough of Stafford, and the first Chancellor of the University of Aston in 1966. He has honorary degrees from Aston and Keele universities, and was made an Honorary Fellow of Imperial College London in 1969. He was Vice-President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and was made on Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1969.
He married Pamela Roy-Bird of Skipton in 1940, and they had two sons and two daughters. He succeeded his father as Second Baron Nelson of Stafford in 1962.
He died in Stafford on the 19 January 1995 at the age of 78.
1969-Sir James Denning Pearson
James Denning Pearson was born on 8 August 1908 in Bootle, Lancashire. He was the son of James and Elizabeth Pearson. His father died when he was twelve, and he moved with his mother to Cardiff. Educated at Canton Secondary School, he was apprenticed to a local shipyard. He studied part-time at Cardiff Technical College, and was awarded a first class honours degree by the University of London. After a year of postgraduate study he received a senior Whitworth scholarship, which he used for turbine research at Metropolitan Vickers in Manchester.
He joined Rolls-Royce in 1932 where he worked on aero-engine design and development. During the Second World War he was in charge of the technical department of the company in Glasgow, later being appointed Chief Technical Production Engineer. After the War he moved to Canada when the ‘Merlin’ engine was selected to power a Canadian-built version of the Douglas DC-4 airliner.
He returned to the UK as General Sales and Service Manager, later Managing Director, of the Aero-Engine Division. He concentrated on developing the civil aviation business, selling Rolls-Royce engines to airlines all over the world. He was appointed to the board of Rolls-Royce in 1949.
In 1957 he succeeded Lord Hives as Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of Rolls-Royce Ltd, and in 1959 he set up Rolls-Royce & Associates to supply pressurized water reactors for the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine programme.
In the early 1960s he saw the need to develop engines to power the new wide-bodied ‘jumbo’ jets that were being developed in the USA. Work began on the RB211 engine, but ran into serious financial problems, necessitating a bail-out by the British Government. He had succeeded Lord Kindersley as Chairman in 1969, but following the financial difficulties with the RB211 he resigned in 1970. In 1971 Rolls-Royce was taken into state ownership. The motor car division was sold off in 1973. The RB211 was subsequently a highly successful engine.
He was President of the Society of British Aircraft constructors and a member of the National Economic Development Council (‘Neddy’) from 1964-67. He was a member of the Universities/Industry Joint Committee of the Confederation of British Industry, a governor of the London Graduate School of Business Studies, and a member of the council of Manchester Business School. He received honorary doctorates from the universities of Brunswick, Nottingham, and Wales, and was a Fellow of Imperial College London. He was knighted in 1963.
He joined the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1947, and was elected an Honorary Fellow in 1969.
In 1932 he married Eluned, daughter of Edward Henry of Glamorgan, and they had two daughters.
He died on 1 August 1992 at his home in Holbrook, Derbyshire, at the age of 83.
1970-Sir Ralph Freeman
Ralph Freeman was born on 3 February 1911 in London. He was the eldest son of Sir Ralph Freeman and his wife Mary, née Lines. His father was the consulting engineer for the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He was educated at Uppingham School and Worcester College, Oxford, where he graduated in engineering science.
He began work in 1932 with Dorman, Long & Company in South Africa, working on the construction of a new steel works in Pretoria. He was then employed on the construction of three major bridges: the Otto Beit and Birchenough bridges in Southern Rhodesia, and the Storstrøm bridge in Denmark. Returning to the UK, he worked for a short time for Braithwaite & Company on an oil pipeline jetty in the river Medway. In 1939 he joined the staff of Freeman, Fox and Partners to work on the design and construction of the Caerwent Royal Naval propellant factory. He was commissioned in the Royal Engineers in 1943 and worked on the development of military bridging techniques at the Experimental Bridging Establishment, Christchurch, Hampshire. In 1944 he was seconded to the Twenty-First Army Group as bridging adviser for the allied advance into northern Europe, and he was appointed MBE in 1945.
He returned to Freeman, Fox and Partners after the War, becoming a partner in 1947. The company were appointed to engineer the Dome of Discovery, part of the Festival of Britain exhibition on the South Bank, and in spite of a very tight timetable, he managed to complete the work in time for the opening of the exhibition in 1951, for which he was appointed CBE in 1952. During the 1950s Freeman, Fox and Partners expanded considerably, working in the fields of thermal and hydro-electric power stations and road and railway construction, as well as their main area – bridges. Here, under Freeman’s leadership, they were responsible for the Auckland harbour bridge (1959), the Forth road bridge (1964), the first Severn road bridge (1966), the Erskine bridge over the river Clyde in Scotland (1971), the Bosphorus bridge (1973), and the Humber bridge – for 17 years the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world – which opened in 1981. He was also appointed consulting engineer for the Sandringham Estate by George VI, and as a consequence he used to describe himself as “the Queen’s plumber”.
He was a Fellow of the Institution of Civil engineers from 1946, and was President in 1966/67. He was Chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers and President of the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers, and he served on the Ministry of Defence Advisory Council on Scientific Research and Development – later the Defence Scientific Advisory Council. He was created a CVO in 1964 and knighted in 1970, the same year in which he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
In 1939 he married Joan Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel J G Rose, of Wynberg, South Africa, and they had two sons and a daughter.
He died on the 24 August 1998 at Ballards Shaw, his home near Oxted, Surrey, at the age of 87.
1970-Brian Hubert Robertson, Lord Robertson of Oakridge
Brian Hubert Robertson was born on 22 July 1896 at Simla, India. He was the oldest child of Field Marshal Sir William Rober Robertson, First Baronet, and his wife Mildred Adelaide, née Palin. He was educated at Charterhouse School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was commissioned in the Royal Engineers in 1914.
He served in France during the First World War, where he won the Military Cross and was appointed to the DSO, before joining King George’s Bengal Sappers and Miners at Peshawar. In 1926–27 he attended the Camberley Staff College before joining the staff of the Geneva Disarmament Conference.
In 1935 he took up the post of Managing Director of Dunlop (South Africa), but in 1940 was recalled as a reserve officer in the South African forces. He later became Brigadier in charge of administration for the Eighth Army in North Africa, where he proved himself to be a very skilled and creative administrator. Following the fall of Sicily to the Allied forces in 1940 he became, as Lieutenant General, to Field Marshal Alexander, Commander-in Chief, Allied Forces, in Italy. In 1947 he became Commander-in Chief and Military Governor of the British Zone in Germany, and in 1949–50 was U.K. High Commissioner to the Allied High Commission, where he was instrumental in organizing the Berlin Airlift. In 1950 he became Commander-in-Chief of Middle East land forces for the British Army.
He retired from the Army in 1953 to become Chairman of the British Transport Commission, a post he held for over seven years, during which time the railways were substantially re-organized and modernized, with the switch to diesel traction from steam being commenced during his tenure.
In 1961 he was created Baron Robertson of Oakridge, having succeeded his father to the Baronetcy in 1933. He received many honours and awards, including CBE (1942), KCVO, (1944), and KCMG (1947), and he was Aide-de-Camp General to King George VI and to Queen Elizabeth II. He was Colonel-Commandant of the Royal Engineers and of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and Honorary Colonel of the Engineer and Railway Staff Corps. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Cambridge University, and was appointed to the Légion d’Honneur and the U.S. Legion of Merit. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1970.
In 1926 he married Edith Christine, née Macindoe, and they had two sons and a daughter.
He died on the 29 April 1974 at Far Oakridge, Gloucestershire, at the age of 77.
1970-Dr Charles Stark Drape
Charles Stark Draper was born on 2 October 1901 in Windsor, Missouri, where he received his early education. He entered Stanford University in 1919, graduating in psychology in 1922. Later that year he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he remained for the rest of his life. He had three degrees from that institution – a BSc in electro-chemical engineering, an unspecified MSc, and a ScD in physics.
He has been called ‘Mr Gyro’ because of his success in developing gyroscope navigation systems and gun sights, and because of the fundamental improvements he made in gyroscope instruments themselves. During the Second World War his work resulted in the development of the Mark 14 gun sight by the US Navy to deal with aircraft attacks. After the War, with associates at MIT, he developed the stellar–inertial guidance system known as FEBE (from Phoebus, god of the sun). The success of this system led to work on inertial navigation for ships and, later, for submarines; in the 1950s he was asked to design the inertial guidance system for ‘Polaris’. At this time he was also researching a guidance system for inter-continental ballistic missiles, and this led to designs for the ‘Thor’ and ‘Titan’ missile systems.
In 1961 the USA began their programme of manned exploration of the moon, and at the request of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Draper and his team designed the automatic guidance system for use on the Apollo spacecraft. MIT Instrumentation Laboratory designed the guidance and navigation systems for all of the Apollo flights, which successfully guided both unmanned and manned flights to the moon and back again.
His work on inertial navigation systems led to the design of an outstandingly successful lightweight system for commercial aircraft. In 1970 he received the Sperry Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for the development of the Carousel IV inertial navigation system for the Boeing 747.
As head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT he was responsible for an extended curriculum of courses in the fields of instrument engineering and fire control. He has written extensively in the field of instrumentation and control, and has been a consultant to many aeronautical companies and instrument manufacturers. He holds a number of patents for measuring and control equipment.
He has three exceptional Civilian Service Awards from the US Air Force, two Naval Distinguished Public Service Awards, the Guggenheim Medal, and two NASA Awards. He served on many US government bodies, and was Chairman of the National Inventors Council. He was President of the International Academy of Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the AIAA, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1970 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
He was married to Ivy Hurd Willard, and they had three sons and one daughter.
He died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on the 25 July 1987 at the age of 85.
1971-Sir Christopher Hinton, Lord Hinton of Bankside
Christopher Hinton (1901-1983)
Christopher Hinton was born in Tisbury, Wiltshire, where his father was the village schoolmaster. At sixteen he was apprenticed to the Great Western Railway’s Swindon Works, spending six ‘unnecessarily long and wearisome’ years there. In 1923 he received the William Henry Allen grant from the IMechE and went to Trinity College, Cambridge.
After graduation, Hinton was turned down by his former employer. One of his professors, Sir Charles Edward Inglis, was told that ‘Hinton would have been a good engineer if he had stayed with us, but now he has had three years at Cambridge we wouldn’t dream of taking him.’ Instead he went to the Brunner Mond Company, which soon became the Alkali Division of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).
At 29 Hinton became Chief Engineer at ICI, just before the 1930s Depression. While there, he learned much about standardisation, management programming and other techniques of financial control. Under Hinton, the company made great progress in mechanical handling of raw materials and in process plant reconstruction.
Christopher Hinton’s ICI experiences in large-scale organisation became important to Britain’s war effort. From 1941 Hinton was Deputy Director-General of the Royal Filling Factory organization, overseeing the operations of nine major plants, each employing 20,000-30,000 workers. Hinton later wrote that ‘size alone does not constitute a difficulty provided that the management is not afraid and knows how to create structures appropriate to the size’.
Post-war, Hinton became head of the Atomic Energy Authority’s industrial production base at Risley, effectively creating an entirely new industry by building Britain’s nuclear infrastructure. Although early UK research reactors such as the British Experimental Pie (BEPO) provided important technical information, Hinton’s team lacked sufficient resources to build pilot plants. They built plants for uranium enrichment, fuel rod production, plutonium separation and the nuclear reactors themselves without such pilots. The Windscale piles, described by Hinton as ‘monuments to our initial ignorance’, went critical between 1950 and 1952, but Windscale pile no.1 was the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents in 1957.
Although the application of nuclear technology to civil power stations was delayed by the government’s weapons procurement priorities, Hinton was a successful project manager, and brought all his projects in on time and on budget. By 1956, Calder Hall power station had become the first nuclear power station to supply electricity to the National Grid.
In 1957 Sir Christopher Hinton was appointed Chairman of the new Central Electricity Generating Board. He moved the industry from entirely coal-based to a more diverse mixture of coal, oil and nuclear power stations. Although his appointment may have been intended to bolster the new nuclear industry, Hinton believed that nuclear electricity generation should be judged on commercial and engineering grounds. He did not lose his faith in nuclear power but felt that the industry had been expanded too quickly.
Before leaving the CEGB Hinton was responsible for major conventional plant construction and an upgrading of the grid. The new ‘supergrid’ was planned so as to cause as little environmental impact as possible.
Upon his retirement Baron Hinton of Bankside took on several different roles, including advising the World Bank on energy matters, and serving as President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. A Fellow of the Royal Society and awarded the Order of Merit, he was one of the most honoured engineers of his generation.
Hinton died in 1983.
1973-Vice-Admiral Sir Frank Trowbridge Mason
Frank Trowbridge Mason was born in Ipswich in 1900. He was educated at Ipswich School, and entered the Royal Navy in 1918. He served for two years as a cadet and midshipman on the HMS Collingwood and HMS Queen Elizabeth, before volunteering to specialize in engineering. Under the Selborne-Fisher scheme of 1903, which aimed to put engineers into the mainstream of naval life, he received special training at the Royal Naval colleges at Greenwich and Keyham.
In 1928, Mason was appointed to HMS Rodney, which was a new battleship which was encountering severe problems with her 16 inch guns. Mason’s experiences with these guns led him to specialize in ordnance engineering. He was appointed for a time to the firm of Vickers at Elswick, and served for three years in the naval ordnance department.
After a series of promotions, and more spells with the Naval Ordnance Department, he was appointed Fleet Gunnery Engineer Officer to the Home Fleet in Scapa Flow, and was promoted to Captain (E). The following year he returned to the Naval Ordnance Department in the Admiralty, and in 1947 he became Chief Gunnery Engineer Officer and Deputy Director of Naval Ordnance. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral (E) and from 1950 to 1952 held the position of Deputy Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet. He was promoted to Vice-Admiral (E) in 1953 and was made Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet. In 1953 he was appointed CB and in 1955 KCB.
The Selborne-Fisher scheme under which Mason trained was ended in 1923, leaving the navy at a technological disadvantage with the outbreak of the Second World War. Mason and others put much effort into reinstating it, and in 1956 a new scheme was implemented.
Mason was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1964, and was President of the Institute of Marine Engineers in 1967. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He died in 1988.
1974-Sir Arnold Lewis George Lindley
Arnold Lindley was born in London in 1902. He attended Woolwich Polytechnic, and was apprenticed at the Fraser and Chalmers Engineering Works of the General Electric Co., Erith, which manufactured steam turbines, compressors and heavy mining plant. In the fourth year of his apprenticeship he entered the drawing office, and later the design department for steam turbine, generating and mining equipment.
In the course of his work he travelled to Belgium, Holland and France, and in 1933 was transferred to South Africa as resident engineer for the GEC of South Africa. He remained there for 16 years. In 1940 he became a Director of the South African GEC. He took a leading role in establishing the manufacture of heavy equipment in South Africa, and the creation of the establishment known as Vecor, the centre of heavy engineering there. He became a member of the South African Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and served as a member of Council from 1940, and Vice-President in 1948.
In 1949 he was recalled to England to become General Manager of the Turbine Engineering Works at Erith, and to re-equip and expand the factory to meet the demand for the large turbo-generating units which were then coming into being. He became responsible for the establishment and development of the nuclear energy interests of the GEC, building two nuclear power stations and setting up extensive research facilities.
He became a Director of GEC in 1953 and was later appointed Chairman and Managing Director. He was knighted in 1964 for services to industry, and in the same year, after retiring from GEC, he was appointed Chairman of the Engineering Industry Training Board. In 1970, he was an Associate Consultant on the Thames Barrier. He was Chairman of the Council of Engineering Institutions from 1972 to 1973.
He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1968 and was later elected an Honorary Fellow.
He died in 1995.
1974-Sir Eric John (Jack) Callard
Eric John (Jack) Callard was born on 15 March 1913 in Torquay. He was the son of Frank Callard, a baker, and Ada Mary, née Fawkes. He was educated at Queen’s College, Taunton, and St John’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated in mechanical engineering.
In 1935, after working at the Vickers Armstrong shipyard in Barrow in Furness, he joined Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) at Billingham on Teesside. He was to remain with ICI for the rest of his professional working life, except for a short period during the Second World War when he was seconded to the Ministry of Aircraft Production factory at Heysham.
After the War he returned briefly to Billingham before being appointed, in 1947, Deputy Chief Engineer at ICI’s Paints Division in Slough. He became Engineering Director of the Division in 1951, Production Director and then Joint Managing Director in 1955, and Chairman in 1959.
He was appointed to the ICI Board as Engineering Director in 1964. He was also the first Chairman of ICI Europa, formed in 1965 to develop the company’s business in Europe, and he quickly moved its headquarters to Brussels. Soon ICI was selling more in Europe than it was in the UK, and he gained a reputation as a ‘safe pair of hands’.
He was appointed Deputy Chairman of ICI in 1967, and Chairman in 1971 – the first engineer to hold the position. He almost doubled company profits between 1972 and 1974, which made ICI Britain’s largest exporter. However, this success masked a concurrent failure to move into new technologies, and an unsuccessful attempt to break into the North American market. He was knighted in 1974, the year before he retired from ICI, joining the board of British Home Stores, where he served as Chairman from 1976 to 1982.
He was Vice-President of the Combustion Engineering Association, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He was Vice-President of the Manchester Business School Association, President of the Industrial Participation Association, a governor of the London Graduate School of Business Studies, and member of the council of the Institute of Management Education. He sat on the governing body of the British Shippers’ Council, was a trustee of the Civic Trust, and a director of the former Midland Bank. He has an honorary science degree from Cranfield Institute of Technology. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1974.
He married Pauline Mary, daughter of Charles Pengelly, a Methodist minister, in 1938, and they had 3 daughters.
He died at Fairford, Gloucestershire, on the 21 September 1998 at the age of 85.
1974-Sir Stanley George Hooker
Stanley George Hooker was born on 30 September 1907 at Eastchurch, Kent. He was the youngest of nine children. He attended Borden Grammar School and won a royal scholarship to Imperial College London to read mathematics. He won the Busk studentship in aeronautics in 1928, the Armourers and Brasiers research fellowship in 1930, and gained his DPhil at Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1935.
From 1936 he worked at the Admiralty’s Scientific and Research Department, before moving, in 1938, to Rolls-Royce at Derby. He was put in charge of supercharger development, and the dramatic improvements made to the performance of the ‘Merlin 60’ engine in the ‘Spitfire’ aircraft was instrumental in enabling the success of the RAF against the German air force in the Second World War.
He was Chief Engineer at Barnoldswick after Rolls-Royce took over work on the Whittle jet engine, and he successfully developed the B37 turbo-jet and the ‘Nene’ and ‘Derwent 5’ centrifugal jet engines. Believing that axial flow jet engines would be unsuitable for civil aviation, he initiated work on turbo-prop engines, with the ‘Trent’ engine being the first to fly in 1944. He became Assistant Chief Engineer at Derby in 1946, but was unable to resolve the problems with the ‘Avon’ axial flow engine. He left Rolls-Royce at the end of 1948.
Joining Bristol Siddeley in January 1949, he was responsible for the ‘Proteus’ turbo-prop engine for the ‘Britannia’ aircraft. The engine was also developed for use by the Navy and by the Central Electricity Generating Board. He was Chief Engineer of the Engine Division in 1951, when the ‘Olympus’ turbo-jet began testing, later powering the ‘Vulcan’ bomber and ‘Concorde’. In 1953 Bristol started work which would lead to the development of the ‘Pegasus’ turbo fan engine, used in the ‘Harrier’ VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft.
When Rolls-Royce took over Bristol Siddeley in 1966 he became Technical Director of the Bristol Engine Division, and was appointed Group Technical Director in 1970, but the insurmountable financial problems associated with the RB211 engine bankrupted Rolls Royce in 1971.
During the 1960s, through the supply of jet engines to Romania, he gained an entrée into China, and in 1973 was awarded an honorary professorship at the Peking Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, of which he was extremely proud. He received many medals - from the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Swedish Aeronautical Society, the Society of Engineers, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was awarded an OBE (1946) and a CBE (1964), having been made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1962. He was knighted in 1974
He was elected to the Council of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1958, and was made an Honorary Life Fellow in 1974.
He married the Honourable Margaret, daughter of John Swanwick Bradbury, First Baron Bradbury, in 1937, and they had one daughter. The marriage was dissolved in 1950, and the same year he married Kate Maria Garth, née Pope, and they too had one daughter.
He died in Bristol on the 24 May 1984 at the age of 76.
1974-Sir William Lyons
William Lyons was born on 4 September 1901 in Blackpool, the only son of William and Mary Jane (Minnie) Lyons. He was educated at Poulton-le Fylde Grammar School and Arnold House.
His first job was as a trainee with Crossley Motors, and he also worked as a Sunbeam salesman. As a motorcycle enthusiast he came into contact with William Walmsley, who built the highly stylized ‘Swallow’ side-cars, and together they formed the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922. This expanded into the Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Company, building special bodies for Austin Seven chassis. Success brought a need to expand, and the company moved from Blackpool to Coventry in 1928. Changing from Austin to Standard chassis, Lyons was able to develop his own car – the famous SS1 sports car – which was a great success, although the Standard saloon car engine gave only mediocre performance. In 1933 he established SS Cars Ltd to develop suitable engines from the Standard designs, which he did successfully for his new ‘Jaguar’ saloon car.
After production was interrupted by World War Two, he devoted his efforts to developing a completely new engine, and this resulted in the famous XK engine. He managed to acquire the rights and tooling for this engine from Standard, and so established Jaguar Cars Ltd.
The XK120 sports car, launched in 1948, was the real start of the company’s sales success, especially in the USA. At his instigation the model entered and won the Le Mans 24-hour race four times between 1953 and 1957, establishing an enviable racing pedigree for the company, and generating huge export success.
Jaguar Cars took over the Daimler factory at Browns Lane, Coventry, and from here they produced a long line of successful saloon and sports cars based on the XK engine, including the E-type sports car and the long-running XJ6 saloon. However, in spite of their success, Jaguar Cars was not able to resist a take-over by the British Motor Corporation in 1966. Two years later Jaguar became part of the British Leyland group, of which Lyons was Deputy Chairman until he retired in 1972.
He was knighted in 1956 and awarded an honorary doctorate from Loughborough University in 1964. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Royal Designer for Industry. He was President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the Motor Industry Research Association, the Motor Trades Benevolent Fund, and the Fellowship of the Motor Industry
He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1974.
He married Greta, daughter of Alfred Jenour Brown, in 1924, and they had two daughters and a son, who was killed while driving a Jaguar at Le Mans in 1956.
He died at Wappenbury Hall, Warwickshire on the 8 February 1985 at the age of 83.
1975-William George Penney, Lord Penney of East Hendred
William George Penney was born on 24 June 1909 at the Naval Hospital in Gibraltar. He was the eldest of the three children of William Alfred Penney, a Sergeant-Major in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, and his wife Blanche Evelyn, née Johnson. He attended a variety of schools, including technical schools at Colchester and Sheerness, where he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Science. In 1929 he graduated with a first in mathematics after only two years. He was awarded his PhD in 1931 and an MA from the University of Wisconsin in 1932. In 1933 he returned to Trinity College Cambridge, and for a short time in 1936, Pembroke College, before moving full-time to Imperial College London, where he was Assistant Professor of Mathematics.
In the Second World War he was recruited to Sir Geoffrey Taylor’s physics of explosions committee, known as Physex, where he became an authority on blast waves. This led to his recruitment in 1944 to the Manhattan Project in the USA, working on the development of a nuclear fission bomb, in the Los Alamos laboratories in New Mexico. Due to his expertise on blast, and as a consequence on the effects of such weapons, he became a very important figure, and was a member of the committee which chose the cities in Japan that were to be attacked. He was aboard the plane shadowing the Nagasaki mission, and was also on the ground in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki soon afterwards, studying the effects of the two explosions.
After the War, in 1946, he became Chief Superintendent of Armament Research. The same year he was also adviser to the US government on the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll. In 1947 he set up his own secret research programme – known as the Basic High Explosive Research Programme – to develop the Britain’s own nuclear bomb, and the first bomb was tested successfully in the Monte Bello islands off north-west Australia in 1952.
When the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) was created in 1954 he was the member for weapons development, turning to the development of the hydrogen bomb. This proved to be another resounding success, being achieved with remarkable speed and at a fraction of the cost of similar earlier developments in both the USA and the USSR. In 1958 he led a British delegation to the first test ban conference in Geneva in 1958. He subsequently put a huge amount of effort into trying to secure a verifiable and comprehensive treaty, and was hugely disappointed when the 1963 treaty was only partial. In 1961 he became Deputy Chairman, and in 1964 Chairman of the UKAEA. When he retired from this position in 1967 he was created Baron Penney of East Hendred. He was subsequently rector of Imperial College London, remaining so until 1973; the College’s Penney Laboratory is named after him.
He received many awards and honours, including honorary degrees from the universities of Durham, Bath, Reading, Oxford, and Melbourne, and from the City and Guilds of London Institute. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, Manchester College of Science and Technology, and Trinity and Pembroke Colleges, Cambridge. He was awarded the Rumford Medal, the Glazebrook Medal, The Ewing Medal, and the Kelvin Gold Medal. He was appointed OBE in 1946 and KBE in 1952. He was made a Member of the Order of Merit in 1969. He was elected and Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1975.
He was married twice. On 27 July 1935 to Adele Minnie, née Elms, and they had two sons; she died on 18 April 1945. On 3 November 1945 he married Eleanor Joan, née Quennell; they had no children.
He died on the 3 March 1991 at Orchard House, East Hendred, Oxfordshire, at the age of 81.
1975-Sir George Robert Edwards
George Robert Edwards was born in Walthamstow on 9 July 1908. He attended the Walthamstow Technical Institute Engineering and Trade School, and followed this with a part time University of London engineering degree course. From 1928, he worked as a technical engineer in the London docks, whilst studying at the West Ham Municipal College.
In 1935, Edwards went to work for Vickers (Aviation) Limited at Weybridge, Surrey. An early aircraft type with which he was involved was the Air Ministry G4/31 prototypes, which developed into the Wellesley bomber for the RAF. He became a group leader, and was tasked with the design of the tail unit on the Vickers B9/32 prototype, which led to the Wellington and Warwick bombers of the Second World War.
In 1939, soon after the outbreak of war, Edwards was given responsibility for designing a special version of the Wellington in order to deal with Hitler's magnetic mines which posed a great threat to Allied shipping. His solution had to be brought from concept to service within three months, and Edwards had to give nightly progress reports, with photographs, to Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty. His device was successfully deployed in the Thames estuary, and later the Suez Canal, Mediterranean harbours and the Near East.
In 1940, Edwards was appointed experimental manager of Vickers-Armstrong. Very soon after his appointment, the Vickers factory at Brooklands was bombed, and Edwards was given the task of establishing a facility in nearby Foxwarren Park. In the same year he began a part-time secondment to Lord Beaverbrook's Ministry of Aircraft Production, working to accelerate the development and production of aircraft in factories throughout Britain.
Edwards became chief designer of the Vickers-Armstrongs aviation group in September 1945. He became a director, general manager and chief engineer in 1953, becoming managing director of Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Limited later in the same year. In these positions, Edwards played a hugely important role in the post-war development of aviation, both civil and military, and the aviation industry.
As well as involvement with revolutionary aircraft such as the Viking, Valetta, VC2, VC10 and V1000, Edwards was original architect of the Concorde programme, and the only member of the original governmental and industrial management team to remain in place throughout the whole of the project, from the signing of the Anglo-French treaty agreement in November 1962 to start of service in January 1976.
Edwards retired in 1975. He had been appointed MBE in 1945, CBE in 1952, and was knighted in 1957. He was awarded the Order of Merit in 1971. He was a fellow of the Royal Society, and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1975. Sir George Edwards died on 2 March 2003.
1976-Alexander Robertus Todd, Lord Todd of Trumpington
Alexander Robertus Todd was born on 2 October 1907 in Cathcart, Glasgow. He was educated at Allan Glen’s school and at the University of Glasgow, where he gained an honours degree in pure science in 1928. He was awarded a Carnegie Research Scholarship, spending two years at the University of Frankfurt before gaining a senior scholarship which took him to Oxford for a further two years. He then spent two more years at the University of Edinburgh, where he was Beit Memorial Research fellow.
In 1936 he joined the staff of the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, and the following year he was appointed reader in biochemistry at the University of London. After a visiting lectureship at the California Institute of Technology he was appointed Samuel Hall Professor of Chemistry at the University of Manchester in 1938, where he remained for six years. In 1944 he became Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cambridge where he remained until he retired from the post in 1971, following a heart attack. In 1944 he was elected to a Fellowship at Christ’s College, Cambridge, becoming Master of the College in 1963.
He is acclaimed for his work on the chemistry of nucleic acids and nucleotides. He and his colleagues in Manchester and Cambridge synthesised all the naturally-occurring nucleotide components of the nucleic acids, paving the way for the work of Watson and Crick on the structure of DNA. It was this work which led to him receiving the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1957.
He was Chairman of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy, and of the Royal Commission on Medical Education. He was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Research and Development Council. He was President of the Royal Society, and when Glasgow’s Royal College of Science and Technology was granted university status in 1964, he was the first Chancellor of the new Strathclyde University.
He has received many awards and honours, including the Lavoisier Medal of the French Chemical Society (1948), the Davy Medal of the Royal Society (1949), and the Royal Medal of the Royal Society (1955). He received the Longstaff Medal of the Chemical Society in 1963 and the Royal Society’s Copley Medal in 1970. He was awarded honorary degrees from some forty universities around the world. He was knighted in 1954, and created a life peer, Baron Todd of Trumpington, in 1962. He became a member of the Royal Order of Merit in 1977.
He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1976
In 1937 he married Alison Sarah, daughter of Sir Henry Dale, Nobel Laureate and President of the Royal Society; they had one son and two daughters.
He died on 10 January 1997 at Oakington, Cambridgeshire, at the age of 89.
1977-HRH The Prince of Wales
Prince Charles was born on 14 November 1948 at Buckingham Palace, the son of Her Royal Highness, the Princess Elizabeth and His Royal Highness, the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Princess Elizabeth was proclaimed Queen on the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952, and Prince Charles became heir apparent at the age of three, taking the titles of Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. He was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in 1958.
Unusually the Prince attended school rather than being tutored at the Palace, and in 1956 went to Hill House School in West London, before moving to Cheam School in 1958. From 1962 he attended Gordonstoun School near Elgin, in Scotland, which the Duke of Edinburgh had attended, remaining there to take both his GCE ‘O’ levels and ‘A’ levels, although in 1966 he spent two terms as an exchange student at ‘Timbertop’, a remote outpost of the Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia. He was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, gaining an honours degree in history in 1970, the same year in which he took his seat in the House of Lords, and a year after he was invested as Prince of Wales by the Queen at Caernarfon Castle in North Wales. Cambridge granted him a Master of Arts degree in 1975.
As was the case with his predecessors as Prince of Wales, he spent time in the Navy and the Air Force. During his second year at Cambridge he received RAF training, and in March 1971 he flew himself to RAF Cranwell to begin training as a jet pilot. The following year he embarked on a career in the Navy, enrolling on a six week course at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth. In 1971–72 he served aboard the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk, then on the frigates HMS Minerva (1972–73) and HMS Jupiter (1974). He also qualified as a helicopter pilot at RNAS Yeovilton in 1974, subsequently joining 845 Naval Air Squadron, operating from HMS Hermes. In early 1976 he took command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington until he left the Navy towards the end of that year. He has qualified to fly a Chipmunk trainer, a Harrier Mk4 VTOL fighter, a BAC Jet Provost, a Nimrod, an F-4 Phantom fighter, an Avro Vulcan bomber, and a Second World War Spitfire.
In addition to his many Royal duties, both in his own right, and as representative of the Sovereign, he has developed interests in many areas, and today these are reflected in ‘The Prince’s Charities’, a group of twenty not-for-profit organizations of which he is President, eighteen of which he established personally. Together these charities raise over £100 million annually. In addition, he is also patron of over 350 other charities and organizations. He has strong views in many areas – especially related to the built environment – and has been described as “a dissident who works against majority political opinion”.
He married Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981, and she became Her Royal Highness, the Princes of Wales. They had two sons, Prince William, born on 21 June 1982 and Prince Harry, born on 15 September 1984. The marriage was dissolved on 28 August 1996. The Princess died in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. On 9 April 2005 he married Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles, who subsequently became known as Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall. It is intended that she should use the title Her Royal Highness, the Princess Consort, when he succeeds to the throne.
He is a member of the Privy Council and Personal Aide-de-Camp, and he has many honours and decorations, including Knight of the Order of the Garter and of the Order of the Thistle, and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. He has been appointed to the Queen’s Service Order, and to the Order of Merit, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1977.
1977-Alfred Robens, Lord of Woldingham
Alfred Robens was born on 18 December 1910 in Chorlton, Manchester. He was the son of George Robens, a cotton salesman, and his wife, Edith, née Anderton. He was educated at Ducie Avenue Secondary School in Manchester, leaving when he was 15 years old to work as an errand boy.
He moved to a job as a clerk with the Manchester and Salford Cooperative Society, becoming a local director in 1933. Between 1935 and 1945 he was a full-time official for the Union of Shop, Distributive, and Allied Workers. Declared medically unfit for service during the Second World War, he was a Manchester City Councillor between 1941 and 1945.
He was the Labour MP for Wansbeck (later renamed Blyth) from 1945 to 1960, becoming, briefly, Minister of Labour and National Service in 1951. In opposition he was Shadow Minister of Labour and Shadow Foreign Secretary. In 1961 he was invited by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to be Chairman of the National Coal Board (NCB). This was a shrewd move by Macmillan: who better than ‘Alf’ Robens to handle the problems of the coal industry, while for Robens, a life-long socialist, the opportunity to run a major nationalized industry could not be turned down. He was created a life peer as Baron Robens of Woldingham in 1961, and ran the NCB as ‘Old King Coal’ for the next ten years. He set himself a punishing work schedule, visiting a different pit every two weeks, spending much of his time underground talking to the miners themselves. The coal industry was facing significant challenges in the 1960s, with demand for British coal declining, and although he had some successes, and he fought long and hard, he could not reverse the long-term downward trend. He was genuinely concerned about the fate of mining communities, and worked hard to improve the health and safety record of the mining industry. Following the Aberfan disaster in 1966, when the subsiding waste tip of the Merthyr Vale colliery in south Wales swamped a school, killing 144 people, 116 of them children, Robens tendered his resignation, but it was declined. He eventually left the NCB in 1971.
In 1971 he became Chairman of Vickers Ltd and also of Johnson Matthey, the bullion company. He had been a director of the Bank of England since 1966, and he held directorships of several other companies, including Times Newspapers.
He was Chairman of the Foundation on Automation and Employment and of the Engineering Industries Council, and a member of the Royal Commission of Trade Unions and Employers’ Associations and the National Economic Development Council. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Health and Safety Executive and the Health and Safety Commission. He was Chairman of the Council of the Manchester Business School, Chairman of the Court of Governors of the London School of Economics, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Guys Hospital. He was Chancellor of the University of Surrey, and he holds honorary degrees from several universities, as well as being an Honorary Fellow of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1977.
He married Eva, née Powell, on 9 September 1936; they adopted one son.
He died on 27 June 1999 at Chertsey, Surrey, at the age of 88.
1977-William Reginald Dermot Manning
William Reginald Dermot Manning was born on 12 February 1903 in Newmarket, in Suffolk. In 1925 he represented Cambridgeshire in the Minor Counties Cricket Championship. He graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1926.
After a period of research at Cambridge he joined the Brunner Mond Company Ltd, which shortly thereafter became the Alkali Division of Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd (ICI).
In 1928 ICI began to explore the effects of very high pressures on chemical reactions in the new research laboratories at Northwich, in Cheshire. Manning was one of the people charged with developing the pressure vessels, seals, intensifiers, pipe work, and valves for pressures up to 12 kilobar – a formidable pressure in those days. By 1932 he had assembled a well-equipped laboratory which was the base for the high pressure research which was to lead to the discovery of polyethylene by R O Gibson in March that year.
The problem of converting a laboratory experiment into a production-scale plant was, however, a formidable task. To fully exploit the discovery a much clearer understanding of the design criteria for high pressure systems – particularly thick-walled vessels – was needed, and Manning’s contribution in this field was considerable. He proposed that the ultimate pressure a cylinder could withstand should be the basis of the design of high-pressure vessels – at the time representing a revolutionary change from accepted practice. He also developed at this time the wave ring joint, and together these permitted the development of large pressure vessels of monobloc construction with thinner walls and of simpler design.
He was the first to appreciate the significance of fatigue in high pressure vessels, and the fact that the fatigue strength of thick-walled vessels was much less than might be expected, and it was he who recognised the great importance of impact strength in pressure vessel materials. (The enviable safety record of high-pressure engineering stems largely from his foresight.) Under his direction plant equipment was designed using 7-litre vessels, and later the first commercial-scale plant using 50-litre vessels. It was this plant which produced the polyethylene which was so essential for insulating the high-frequency equipment required particularly for airborne radar, and which made a significant contribution to the winning of the Second World War by the allied forces. He remained with the Plastics Division of ICI where he became Assistant Chief Engineer before retiring in 1962.
He was subsequently a Visiting Professor at Loughborough University. An Associate Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1977.
He died on 21 January 1984 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, at the age of 80.
1978-Dr Duncan Sheppey Davies
Duncan Sheppey Davies was born on 20 April 1921 in Liverpool, the only child of Duncan Samuel Davies and his wife Elsie Dora, née May. He was educated at Liverpool College and then at Trinity College, Oxford, where he graduated with first class honours in chemistry in 1943. He was awarded his DPhil in 1946.
He joined Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in 1945 in the research department of the dyestuffs division at Blackley, Manchester, where he remained for the next ten years, until he was appointed Head of the Colours Experimental Department at Grangemouth, where he applied new laboratory-derived techniques to full-scale production with considerable success. In 1959 he became Research Manager and Director of the General Chemicals Division at Runcorn on Merseyside. In 1962 he was appointed the first Director of the Central Petrochemical and Polymer Laboratory, where he was engaged in the recruitment of a group of some 400 scientists and managers from all over the world, charged with the ‘creation of new innovative opportunities for ICI’. He himself was responsible for the introduction of biotechnology into the laboratory. He was one of the instigators of the much-valued co-operative awards in science and engineering (CASE) for PhD students.
From 1967 to 1669 he was Deputy Chairman of the Mond Division of ICI in Runcorn, and from 1969 to 1977 was General Manager, Research and Development at ICI headquarters, responsible for the formulation of group research and development policy and associated matters.
In 1977, after 32 years with ICI, he was appointed Chief Scientist to the UK Department of Industry, the title being changed during 1978 to Chief Scientist and Engineer. He was the senior permanent civil servant responsible for policy in science, engineering, and technology, championing biotechnology as an exploitable technology.
He has served on the Science Research Council and the Science Board, the CBI Research and Technology Committee and the SRC/SSRC Joint Committee. He was a member of the British Overseas Trade Board and a member of the Club of Rome. He was Chairman of the British Ceramics Association and President of the Society of Chemical Industry. He is a Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He has honorary degrees from the universities of Stirling, Surrey, and Bath, and from Technion Haifa. He was a visiting Fellow of University College, Swansea, of the Australian National University, and of Murdoch University, Perth, Australia. He was made an Associate of the United States Academy of Engineering in 1978, the same year he was elected Honorary Life Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
In 1944 he married Joan Ann, daughter of Edward Noel Frimston of Liverpool; they had a son and three daughters.
He died on 25 March 1987 in Paris at the age of 65.
1979-Sir James Arnot Hamilton
James Arnot Hamilton was born on 2 May 1923 in Penicuik, Midlothian. He was educated at the Penicuik Academy and the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree.
From 1943 he served in the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, where he worked on the wing and hull design of flying boats, including Sunderlands and Coronados, and even a floating Spitfire. He became Head of Flight Research five years later, in 1948. In 1952 he moved to the Royal Aircraft Establishment, where he was appointed Head of Projects Division in 1964. The following year, 1965, saw him appointed Director of Anglo-French Combat Aircraft for the Ministry of Aviation.
Between 1966 and 1970 he was Director-General of the Anglo-French Concorde project at the Ministry of Technology, where his huge experience in wing design culminated in the distinctive shape of the wings of the supersonic airliner. From 1971 to 1973 he was the Deputy Secretary for Aerospace at the Department of Trade and Industry. For three years between 1973 and 1976 he held a Cabinet Office post, and in 1976 was appointed first Permanent Under-Secretary of State, later Permanent Secretary of State, at the Department of Education and Science. He held this post until his retirement in 1983.
Between 1983 to 1991 he was a director of the Hawker Siddeley Group, and he was a member and later Chairman of the board of Brown, Root (UK) Limited, from 1983 to 2000. He was a director of Smiths Industries from 1984 to 1993, and of the Devonport Royal Dockyard between 1987 and 1997. He was a trustee of the Natural History Museum from 1984 to 1988, and President of the Association for Science and Education in 1984 and 1985. He was Vice President of the Council of Reading University between 1983 and 1995, and was Vice-Chairman of the Council of University College London from 1985 to 1998.
He was appointed MBE in 1952, and KCB in 1978. He holds honorary degrees from Heriot-Watt University and from the Council for National Academic Awards. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Engineering, being elected to the Fellowship of Engineering in 1981. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1983, having already been elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1979.
In 1947 he married Christine Mary, née McKean, and they had three sons; the marriage was dissolved.
1980-Sir Michael Owen Edwardes
Michael Owen Edwardes was born on 11 October 1930. He attended St Andrews College, Grahamstown, South Africa, before studying at Rhodes University, also in Grahamstown.
He began his career in 1951 with the Chloride Group, a company which manufactured batteries. In 1969, he became general manager of one of the company’s subsidiaries, Alkaline Batteries.
In 1977, Edwardes was appointed Chief Executive of the vehicle manufacturer British Leyland. The company had been partially nationalized in 1975 and included much of the British owned car industry, including Rover, Jaguar and Land Rover. Under his leadership the company was split into two companies, Austin Morris and Jaguar Rover Triumph. Edwardes remained at British Leyland until 1982. After leaving the company he wrote Back from the Brink, an account of his time there.
He became Chairman of International Computers Limited (ICL) in 1984. He remained here for just six months, resigning when the company was taken over by Standard Telephones and Cable (STC). Since then, he has been involved with many companies, including Tryhorn Investments Limited, Charter PLC and Syndicated Services Company Limited. He is a Director of Flying Pictures Limited and Jet Press Holdings BV and President of Strand Partners Limited.
Edwardes is a keen squash plaer, and was President of the Squash Rackets Association from 1991 to 1995, and of the Veterans Squash Club of Great Britain from 1981 to 1994. He was also a Trustee of the Thrombosis Research Institute from 1991 to 2001.
Michael O Edwardes was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1980.
1980-Sir Denis Eric Rooke
Denis Eric Rooke was born on 2 April 1924 in New Cross, South London. He attended Westminster City School and the Addery and Stanhope school in Lewisham, going on to University College London. He graduated in mechanical engineering and took a postgraduate diploma in chemical engineering.
From 1944 to 1949 he served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in the UK and in India. Afterwards he joined the staff of the South Eastern Gas Board as Assistant Mechanical Engineer in the coal-tar project works, becoming Deputy Manager of Works in 1954. In 1957 he was seconded to North Thames Gas Board to undertake work on the sea transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG). He was in charge of trial runs across the Atlantic, which were fraught with danger. He was also a member of the technical team which sailed on the Methane Pioneer, the specially re-designed cargo ship which made the first journey from North Africa to the UK carrying 2000 tons of LNG in 1959. This opened the way for the replacement of ‘town’ gas, made from coal, by natural gas. The discovery of natural gas in the North Sea in commercial quantities led to the development of the national distribution grid and the conversion of all gas appliances to use the new fuel, all of which was overseen by Rooke.
He was appointed Development Engineer by South Thames Gas Board in 1959, Development Engineer of the Gas Council in 1960, and he was Gas Council Member for Production and Supplies from 1960 to 1971. In 1972 he became Deputy Chairman of the Gas Council, where he played a major part in its amalgamation with the twelve separate regional Gas Boards to form the British Gas Corporation. He was Deputy Chairman of the British Gas Corporation in 1972 and then Chairman in 1976, serving in this role for thirteen years until 1989. Throughout this period British Gas was immensely successful.
Following the election of the Thatcher government in 1979 he fought long and hard to maintain the integrity of British Gas as a coherent entity as it was prepared for privatisation in the 1980s. When it was eventually privatised in 1986, it was largely on his terms.
He was Chairman of the Council for National Academic Awards, a member of the Advisory Council for Research and Development, and a member of the Advisory Council for Energy Conservation. He served on the Offshore Energy Technology Board, the National Economic Development Council (Neddy), and the Energy Commission. He was a member of the board of the British National Oil Corporation, and he was a Fellow and President of the Institution of Gas Engineers. He was a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, and he was Chancellor of Loughborough University. He was made an Honorary Doctor of Science by Salford University in 1978. He was appointed CBE in 1970, and knighted in 1977. He was elected to the Fellowship of Engineering in 1977 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1978. He became a member of the Order of Merit in 1997.
He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1980.
He married Brenda Evans in 1941, and they had one daughter.
He died on 2 September 2008 in London at the age of 84.
1981-Sir George Jefferson
George Jefferson was born on 26 March 1921. He was educated at Dartford Grammar School and Woolwich Polytechnic, where he was awarded an honours degree in engineering.
He trained as an engineering apprentice in the Royal Ordnance Factory at Woolwich, and in the Second World War, between 1942 and 1945, he served with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC), the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), anti-aircraft command, and, later, in the Armaments Design Department at Fort Halstead.
After the War he joined the staff of the Ministry of Supply at Fort Halstead, and then, in 1952, English Electric’s Guided Weapons Division. He progressed here to become Deputy Chief Engineer and then Director of the English Electric Aviation Company Ltd. When the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) was formed in 1960 following the government-enforced merger of English Electric Aviation with Vickers Armstrong (Aircraft), the Bristol Aeroplane Company and Hunting Aircraft, he joined BAC. He was successively Director and Chief Executive, and Chairman and Managing Director of guided weapons and he was also appointed as a member of the BAC Board.
In 1980 he was appointed Chairman of British Telecom (BT), and was the architect of its privatization in 1984. Originally appointed for a five year period, he eventually retired as Chairman of BT in 1987, being replaced by Ian Valance.
At the time of his appointment as Chairman of BT he was a director of a number of overseas companies connected with British Aerospace. He was also a member of the National Enterprise Board, the National Defence Industries Council, and the Council of the Society of British Aerospace Companies, as well as a Director of Babcock International Ltd.
Jefferson was made a CBE in 1969 and was knighted in 1981. He holds a Fellowship of Engineering, and is a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institution, the Royal Aeronautical Society, the British Institute of Management, and the Royal Society of Arts.
He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1981.
1981-Robert Andrew Inskip, Second Viscount Caldecote
Robert Andrew Inskip was born on 8 October 1917 at 10 Eaton Square, London. He was the only child of Thomas Walker Hobart Inskip, First Viscount Caldecote, barrister, politician, and Lord Chief Justice (1940–46), and his wife, Lady Augusta Helen Elizabeth, eldest daughter of David Boyle, Seventh Earl of Glasgow. He was educated at Eton College and King’s College, Cambridge, graduating with first class honours in mechanical sciences in 1939.
During the Second World War he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1941 for his part in the evacuation of the army from Greece and Crete. In 1947 he obtained a Diploma in Naval Architecture from the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and was appointed assistant manager of the Vickers–Armstrong Naval Yard at Walker-on-Tyne. In 1948 he was elected a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and appointed a lecturer in the University engineering department.
He had been a director of English Electric since 1953 and in 1955 he left Cambridge to take on responsibility for its aviation division. He remained here until 1959, during which time the Lightning fighter was developed and entered service. When English Electric, Vickers Armstrong, and Bristol were all combined as the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) in 1960, he became managing director of the new English Electric Aviation Company. He was appointed director of the guided weapons division in 1961, becoming managing director in 1963. From 1961 until 1967 he was also deputy managing director of BAC. During this time the BAC guided weapons operation came to be regarded as the best in Europe.
He resigned from BAC in 1968, and in 1972 became Chairman of the Delta Metal Company. He was also Chairman of Legal and General Group from 1977 to 1980, and for seven years to 1987 was Chairman of Investors in Industry. He was Chairman of the Design Council (1972–80), a member of the British Railways Board (1979–80), and a member of the Engineering Council. He was President of the Fellowship of Engineering from 1981 to 1986, and was Pro-Chancellor of Cranfield Institute of Technology from 1976 to 1984. He was a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. He was appointed KBE in 1987.
He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1981.
He married Jean Hamilla, daughter of Rear-Admiral Hugh Dundas Hamilton on 22 July 1942; they had one son and two daughters.
He died on 20 September 1999 at South Harting, Sussex, at the age of 81.
1982-Sir Robert Lang Lickley
Robert Lickley was born in 1912 in Dundee and was educated at Edinburgh University. He graduated with a degree in civil engineering and was awarded a Caird Scholarship in 1932 to study aeronautics at Imperial College.
His career began at Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Kingston-on-Thames. He worked in the Stress office and was involved in stressing on the prototype Hurricane. During the Second World War he was appointed as Chief Project Engineer working on the development of the Typhoon and the Tempest.
After the war he took a professorship with the College of Aeronautics at Cranfield and devoted his time to raising the standard of aircraft design education. He served on a number of committees and performed consultancy work. In 1951 an opportunity arose to join the Fairey Company as Chief Engineer and Lickley quickly progressed through the company to become Managing Director. As well as overseeing the development of the Rotodyne, the first large compound helicopter, Lickley was also involved in the atomic energy work of the company. He served on the Board of Atomic Power Constructions which built the Trawsfynydd Power Station.
During the 1960s Lickley left Fairey and joined Hawker Siddeley Aviation. There he managed the supply of the Harrier to the US Marine Corps. In later years he was a key member of the Rolls Royce Support Staff at the National Enterprise Board.
He became a member of the IMechE in 1950, was elected to Council in 1964 and became President in 1971. From 1981-82 he served as President of the Institution of Production Engineers. He was bestowed a fellowship from the Royal Aeronautical Society and received honorary doctorates from the universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde. He died in 1998.
Jean Bouley was born on 26 September 1925 at Montauban, Landes, France. He was educated at the École Polytechnique, graduating with a diploma in engineering in 1944.
He began his career in the French railways in 1947 when he was attached to the Motive Power and Rolling Stock Department of the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français – the SNCF. After the usual initial training period he was made shed master at Capdenac in south-western France, and then at Paris Ivry. He then moved to the railway workshops at Vitry, and his career continued in the districts of Brive and Limoges, and at the workshop in Bordeaux.
He then moved to the Carriage and Wagon sub-division of the south west region of the SNCF, where he played a significant role in the preparation for the first running of the Capitole Rapide train at a speed of 200km/h in 1966. He was subsequently Chief Engineer for Maintenance at the SNCF Motive Power and Rolling Stock headquarters, and he was appointed Deputy Manager in 1972 and then Director in 1974. In these senior roles he was responsible for the organization of the work in the department, but above all he advanced the concept and the construction of new motive power and rolling stock at one of the most important periods in the modernization which the French railways have known. He will be forever linked to the development and introduction of the Train à Grande Vitesse – the TGV. He remained as Director of Motive Power and Rolling Stock until 1980, leaving SNCF in 1981.
He also took on important international responsibilities, becoming Chairman of the 5th Commission (Rolling Stock and Motive Power) of the International Union of Railways (UIC). The UIC had been established in 1922 to further the standardization and improvement of railway equipment and operational procedures with particular regard to international traffic. He was appointed Secretary General of the UIC in January 1981, in which position he remained until 1990.
He was an Officer of the Legion of Honour, and he was a founder member, in 1987, of the Association for the History of Railways in France. He had a long association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, presenting papers in 1977 and in 1982, and he opened the Railway Division conference at York in 1982, the same year he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution.
He died in 1998.
Desmond Carter was born in Dublin in 1906. He was educated at King Edward VII School, at Lytham, followed by the Manchester College of Technology. He followed this with a five-year apprenticeship with Crossley Brothers Ltd., Manchester, the firm with which he was to spend the remainder of his working life.
Following his apprenticeship he spent a six month placement in Germany investigating an early gas turbine project, as well as visiting the works of a number of Continental firms. He returned the Manchester to take up a position as design engineer. He was responsible for the design of Crossley’s first marine Diesel engine, of a two-cycle direct-reversing type.
Over time, Carter became Chief Marine Engineer, Works Manager of a Branch Works, Chief Engineer of the Company and eventually, Director and Chief Engineer, responsible for the whole of the company’s products. In 1951 he became Managing Director, and in 1957 Chairman and Managing Director.
He retired in 1962, and died in 1990.
1983-Sir Robert Telford
Robert Telford was born on 1 October 1915 in Liverpool. He first attended Quarry Bank School. In 1929 his family moved to Staffordshire, and he began to attend Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Tamworth. He won a scholarship to Christ’s College, Cambridge, gaining an MA in civil engineering in 1934.
He joined Marconi’s Wireless and Telegraph Company in 1937 as a management trainee. He was subsequently employed by the company in various capacities, both at home and overseas, including manager of the Hackbridge Works in 1940 and managing director of Marconi in Brazil from 1946 to 1950. On his return to the UK, following the take-over by English-Electric of the UK-based Marconi Company, he was made assistant general manager. He became general works manager in 1953 general manager from 1961 to 1965.
When the company merged with GEC in 1968 he was appointed Managing Director of GEC–Marconi Electronics, retiring from this post in 1984. In 1981 he became Chairman of The Marconi Company Ltd, and then, in 1982, Chairman of Marconi Avionics Ltd as well. He was appointed Life President of The Marconi Company in 1984 – an honour only previously bestowed upon members of the founding Marconi family.
He served from 1968 as a member of the Engineering Industry Training Board. He was a member of the council of the Industrial Society, and Chairman of the Avionics Requirements Board of the Department of Trade and Industry. He was President of the Electronic Engraving Association and a member of the Commonwealth Engineers Council. He served on the Research and Development Advisory Group of the European Community, and on the Council of Senior Advisors to the International Association of University Presidents. He was President of the Institution of Production Engineers 1982–83, and was instrumental in the setting up of the Engineering Council. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1983.
He was appointed CBE in 1967, and was created Knight Bachelor in 1978. He has honorary degrees from the universities of Salford, Cranfield, Hatfield, Bath, Aston, Birmingham, and Bradford. He was made a Freeman of the City of London in 1984, and was a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Essex. In 1992 he was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Medal.
He was married twice, and had seven children, four from his first marriage and three from his second.
He died on 10 March 2008 at the age of 92.
1983-Sir Sze-yuen Chung
Sze-yuen Chung was born on 3 November 1917 in Hong Kong. He was educated at St Paul’s College, and in 1936 went to study civil engineering at St John’s University, Shanghai. Due to the second Sino-Japanese war he had to return to Hong Kong without completing his degree, but subsequently studied mechanical engineering at Hong Kong University and gained a first class honours degree in 1941. He worked initially as a mechanical engineer for Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock, and in 1948 was awarded a scholarship to the University of Sheffield, where he earned his doctorate.
He returned to Hong Kong in 1951, spending a year working as a mechanical engineer before establishing himself as a consulting engineer, with his own company, Chung Sze Yuen Engineering. In 1956 he was made General Manager of Sonca Industries, becoming Managing Director in 1960 and Chairman in 1977.
He played a major role in promoting industrial and economic growth in Hong Kong from the 1960s onwards. He was a member of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries from 1966 to 1970, served on the Hong Kong Industrial Design Council from 1969 to 1975, and on the Hong Kong Productivity Council between 1974 and 1976. He was a member of the Hong Kong–Japan Business Cooperation Committee (1983–88), and the Hong Kong–US Economic Cooperation Committee (1984–88).
He was a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council from 1965 to 1978, a member of the Hong Kong Executive Council from 1972 to 1988, and from 1992 to 1997 he was an advisor to the government of the People’s Republic of China on Hong Kong affairs. In 1996 and 1997 he was a member of the Chinese government’s preparatory committee for the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and he was the first Convenor of the HKSAR Executive Council from 1997 to 1999.
He was the founding Chairman of Hong Kong Polytechnic and of the City Polytechnic, Hong Kong, and he served on the Hong Kong Hospital Authority from 1991 to 1995. He was President of the Engineering Society of Hong Kong in 1960 to 1961, and was Founding President of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences from 1994 to 1997.
He has honorary degrees from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong Polytechnic, and the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. He has received many awards, including the Defence Medal (1948), the Silver Jubilee Medal (1977), the Gold Medal of the Asian Productivity Organization, the HKSAR Grand Bauhinia Medal, and the Japanese Order of Sacred Treasure. He was created OBE in 1968, CBE in 1975, and GBE in 1989 and he was knighted in 1978. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Engineering, and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1983.
In 1942 he married Nancy Cheung, and they had one son and two daughters.
1984-Beryl Catherine Platt, Baroness Platt of Writtle
Beryl Catherine Platt was born on 18 April 1923 at Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. She was the daughter of Ernest and Dorothy Myatt. She attended Westcliff High School and Girton College, Cambridge, where she studied mechanical sciences, specializing in aeronautics and graduating in 1943.
Her first appointment was in the experimental flight test department at Hawker Aircraft where she worked on the development of the Hurricane and Typhoon fighters. She left Hawkers in 1946 to join the R&D Department of the newly-formed British European Airways, where she was mostly concerned with the safety of the aircraft being developed for passenger service.
She was elected to Essex County Council in 1965, and in 1969 became Chairman of the Further Education Committee, and of the education Committee in 1971. She became Chairman of the Finance Committee, and was Vice-Chairman of Essex County Council in 1981, being created a life peer the same year.
She has done much to further the involvement of girls in science and technology, being a member of the Advisory Committee on Women’s Employment between 1984 and 1988, and Patron of Women into Science and Engineering from 1995. She is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, serving four terms between 1982 and 2007, and she was Vice President of the Parliamentary Scientific Committee from 1996 to 2000. She was Chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1983 to 1988, at the same time also serving on the European Communities Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men.
She also served on many other bodies and committees, including the Chelmsford Engineering Society, Cambridge University Engineers Association, and the Association for Science Education. She was Vice President of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and technology (UMIST) from 1985 to 1992, and Chancellor of Middlesex University from 1993 to 2000. In 1989 he was made a Fellow of Manchester Polytechnic and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She has honorary degrees from many universities, including Salford, Cranfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Anglia Ruskin, Southampton, Essex, Bradford, Brunel, Loughborough, and the Open University.
She is an Honorary Fellow of the Polytechnic of Wales, of UMIST, of the Women’s Engineering Society, of the Institute of Structural Engineers, and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and in 1984 was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
In 1949 she married Stewart Sydney Platt, and they had one son and one daughter.
She lives at Writtle, near Chelmsford, in Essex.
1984-Professor Sir Hugh Ford
Hugh Ford was born in 1913, the son of a freelance inventor, and was educated at Northampton School. At the age of eighteen he began an apprenticeship in the locomotive works of the Great Western Railway. In 1934 he was awarded a Whitworth Scholarship which enabled him to attend the City and Guilds College, graduating with a first class honours and gaining the Bramwell Medal for achieving first place in the mechanical engineering list. He later gained a PhD from City and Guilds College for his work on heat transfer and fluid flow problems.
During the Second World War Sir Hugh joined Imperial Chemical Industries Alkali Division in Cheshire as a Research Engineer. He worked on commercial high pressure polyethylene plant and the design of a pilot plant for the manufacture of chlorinated polyethylenes. Three years later he became Chief Technical Officer to the British Iron and Steel Federation and progressed to the position of Head of the Mechanical Working Division of the British Iron and Steel Research Association. His research in to the operation and characteristics of cold strip mills gained him the IMechE’s Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal in 1948. His work eventually led to the development of automatic gauge control which became popular worldwide. By 1947 he had gained experience in establishing new laboratories, at Sketty Hall and the Hoyle Street, Sheffield laboratories of BSRIA.
A brief period as Technical Director of Paterson Engineering, waterworks engineers, was followed by a Readership in Applied Mechanics at Imperial College (previously City and Guilds College). A year later he received the DSc(Eng) of the University of London. He established a consulting practice, Sir Hugh Ford and Associates Ltd, working as Chairman to link the fields of academia and industry, and joined several companies as director.
In 1951 he became Professor of Applied Mechanics and oversaw the rebuilding and re-equipment of the Mechanical Engineering Department. During this period he worked on applied mechanics research and teaching, plasticity theory and metal working processes. He worked across numerous fields including polymer engineering, biomechanics, high pressure technology, fatigue and fracture mechanics. He was invited to join the Research Grants Committee of DSIR which later became the Science Research Council. In 1968 he became the first Chairman of the Council’s Engineering Board, promoting the Total Technology concept, a scheme for postgraduate training linked to management as well as technical concerns. In 1966 he became Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Head of Department at Imperial College. In 1978 he was made Pro-Rector and retired in 1980.
Sir Hugh Ford’s professional achievements are numerous. He has been President of the Institutes of Metals and Sheet Metal Engineering and in 1983 was awarded the James Alfred Ewing Medal of the Institution of Civil Engineers for his contribution to engineering research. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1967. He was a founder member of the Fellowship of Engineering and was a vice-President from 1981-84. In academia he received honorary doctorates from Salford, Queen’s (Belfast), Aston, Bath and Sheffield universities and was a Fellow of Imperial College. He was knighted in 1975.
He joined the IMechE council in 1962, serving until 1982, and became involved in the Applied Mechanics Group, the Engineering Policy Review Committee, the Council Awards Committee and the Technical Board. He worked on the Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science and founded the Materials Forum, chairing from 1979 to 1984. In 1984 he became an Honorary Fellow of the IMechE. The Hugh Ford Management lectures are held annually by the IMEchE’s Management Group.
Professor Sir Hugh Ford died on 28 May 2010 at the age of 96.
1986-James Gordon Dawson
James Gordon Dawson was born in 1916 in Scotland and was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and Aberdeen University. He was the son of James Dawson, an educationalist who transformed the country’s education system. As a result of these changes Dawson was able to study engineering at university without having gained scientific Highers.
At university he studied electrical and mechanical engineering, and was awarded an HND prize by the IMechE in 1937. On graduating in 1938 he gained a pupilship with Rolls-Royce. He progressed to a position as a technical assistant in the Experimental Test Department. He worked on high performance testing and in 1942 was sent to run a new test department at Sinfin. The experience he gained at Sinfin led to an appointment as Chief Engineer at the Shell Aero Engine Laboratory at Thornton.
In 1955 Dawson moved to join Perkins based in Peterborough overseeing the modernization of the company’s product range and the reorganization of the engineering department. He worked on road trials of the differentially supercharged diesel engine and was awarded the IMechE’s Akroyd Stuart and Gresham Cooke prizes. After Perkins he moved to directorships at Dowty Group and then Zenith Carburettor Co.
Dawson joined the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1939 and transferred to membership of the IMechE in 1943. He was a founder member of the IMechE’s automobile division and was also involved in running the Qualifications, Technical and Finance Boards. He became a Fellow in 1957 and was elected President in 1979. He died in 2007.
1987-Dr Jack Birks
Jack Birks was born on 1 January 1920 in Sheffield. He was one of six children. He was educated at Ecclesfield Grammar School, then attended Leeds University, where he gained a first in chemistry.
During the Second World War he joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), working on radar tracking systems. He saw service in Europe and in India, and was mentioned in dispatches. After the War he returned to Leeds University to study for a PhD in physical chemistry, where his tutor, M G Evans, introduced him to British Petroleum (BP).
He joined BP in 1948, and following the establishment of the Kirklington Hall research centre near Nottingham, worked there until 1957, when he was promoted to be manager of Petroleum Engineering at the Sunbury research centre. He was vice-president for exploration for BP North America from 1959 to 1962, with a particular interest in developing the oil fields of Alaska, and he subsequently moved to Iran as general manager for the Iranian Oil Exploration and Producing Company. In 1970 he was appointed general manager of BP’s Exploration and Production Department, where he was instrumental in establishing the Forties field, the first substantial oil field in the North Sea. He became Managing Director of BP in 1978, remaining in that post until his retirement in 1982.
After his retirement he served as chairman of the National Maritime Institute, overseeing its privatization and merger with the British Ship Research Association into British Maritime Technology, a new body of which he was appointed Life President in 1995.
He held a number of directorships, and was chairman at various times of Charterhouse Petroleum, the North American Gas Investment Trust, Schroder Energy, London American Energy, Midland and Scottish Resources, and Mountain Petroleum. He was appointed CBE in 1975.
He was President of the Pipeline Industries Guild (1979–81), of the Institute of Petroleum (1984–86), and of the Society of Underwater Technology (1975–76), of which he was also an Honorary Fellow. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Mining and of the Institute of Chartered Engineers, and he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in January 1987.
In 1948 he married Elizabeth Burrell-Davis, and they had two sons and two daughters. She died in 1998. In 2000 he married Margaret Stevens.
He died on 27 June 2001 at his home in Holt, Norfolk, at the age of 81.
1987-Nancy Deloye Fitzroy
Nancy Deloye Fitzroy was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where she gained her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1949.
In 1950 she began what was to become a 37-year career with the General Electric Company (GE), Schenectady, New York. She was among the first engineers to work on the heat transfer of nuclear reactor cores, and she later worked in corporate research and development, being involved with technical problems in the fields of heat transfer, gas turbines, nuclear energy, and space vehicles – she worked on the first of the satellites that GE put into earth orbit. For 20 years she was also editor of the GE newsletter on heat and fluid flow. In 1979 she received the GE Power Systems Sector Engineering Award, and she holds three patents and is the author of more than 100 technical papers and articles. When she retired in 1987 she was Manager, Energy and Environmental Programs in the Turbine Marketing and Projects Division.
She is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and a life member of the Society of Women Engineers, receiving their Achievement Award in 1972. She served on the Council on Public Affairs of the American Association of Engineering Societies. She was an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for many years, serving on the Board of Governors and on many other society bodies and committees, and she was the recipient of their Centennial Medallion in 1980. She was elected President of ASME in 1986–87, the first woman to head a major national engineering society. She is a licensed commercial aeroplane and helicopter pilot, and has been a member of the ‘Whirly-Girls’, an international group dedicated to advancing women in aviation.
In 1995 she was elected to the American National Academy of Engineering, and she has honorary doctorates in science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was awarded honorary member ship of ASME in 2008, and she was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of mechanical Engineers in March 1988.
She is married to Roland Fitzroy, Jr, an electrical engineer.
1989-Professor Tao Hengxian
Tao Hengxian was born in 1914 in Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province. He graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Shanghai Tongji University in 1939.
After graduation he worked first as a mechanical engineer with the Dayu Mining Machinery Building and Repairing Works in Jiangxi Province, and later with the Gansu Machinery Works. In 1945 he went to the United States, where he worked with a number of companies in Cincinnati, returning to China on 1947 to become Deputy Director of the Shanghai and Kunming Machinery Works, a position which he held for three years. In 1950 he became Section Chief in the Industry Department of Yunnan Province, and in 1953 was promoted to Departmental Chief and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Machine Building Industry and the Instrument Bureau. In 1980 he became the Ministry’s Chief Engineer and a Vice-Minister.
He was elected as an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1955, and was a member of the 5th, 6th, and 7th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conferences. He was a member of the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council. From 1980 to 1985 he was a member of the secretariat of the China Association of Science and Technology (CAST), and from 1985 was a Member of the CAST National Committee. He was appointed a corresponding Member of the Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI) in 1955. In 1986 he received the Gold Medal of the Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society (CMES), one of the highest engineering honours in China.
From 1961 to 1981 he was General Secretary of the CMES, and was instrumental in building it into probably the largest society of qualified mechanical engineers in the world. In 1981 he became Vice-President, and he was elected President in September 1986.
He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in June 1989.
1989-Sir Francis Leonard Tombs
Francis Leonard Tombs was born on 17 May 1924. He was educated at Elmore Green School, Walsall and the University of London.
His career began in the electricity industry with GEC Ltd at Witton in Birmingham. From here he moved on to become a graduate trainee with the Birmingham Corporation Electricity Department. After serving as a junior shift engineer at the Hams Hall ‘B’ power station, he joined the Midlands Division of what was then the British Electricity Authority as assistant grid control engineer. From here he went on to hold positions with both the Merseyside and the North Wales Divisions of what was by then the Central Electricity Authority.
In 1957 he returned to GEC at Erith, in Kent, where he was made manager of a new department set up to handle the commissioning of plant. He went on to become Sales Manager and was subsequently Engineering Services Manager. From 1965 to 1968, under C A Parsons and Company Ltd he was General Manager of the Erith works. In 1968 he moved to become General Manager of the air and gas handling division of James Howden and Godfrey Ltd in Glasgow, and was also made a director of the Howden group of companies.
He left Howden in 1969 to take up the post of Director of Engineering for the South of Scotland Electricity Board (SSEB). He was appointed Deputy Chairman in 1973. In 1974 he became Chairman of the SSEB, and he took up the appointment of Chairman of the Electricity Council in 1977. He later moved on again to become Chairman of Rolls-Royce.
A Chartered Mechanical and Electrical Engineer, he has an honours degree in economics and the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on him by Strathclyde University in 1976. He is a Fellow of the British Institute of Management, and he was elected to the Fellowship of Engineering in 1977. He was knighted in the 1978 New Year Honours list, and was made a life peer, as Baron Tombs of Brailles in the County of Warwickshire, in 1990.
In 1981 he served as President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE). He was made an Honorary Fellow of the IEE in 1991. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1989.
He sits on the cross-benches in the House of Lords.
1989-Paul Thomas Fletcher
Paul Thomas Fletcher was born in 1912 and was educated at Maidstone Grammar School and Maidstone Technical College. He served a three year apprenticeship with E A Gardner and Sons and remained with the company for seven years.
At the start of the Second World War he joined the Ministry of Works and undertook projects such as the construction of storage for the National Gallery in North Wales. He had responsibility for engineering services in public buildings and government factories, and for plant and equipment for service research establishments. He progressed to the position of Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer in 1951.
In 1954 Fletcher joined the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) as Deputy Director of Engineering in the Industrial Group. Throughout the 1960s he was heavily involved in the development of nuclear facilities, working for GEC and overseeing the construction of Japan’s first nuclear station, Tokai Mura. His experience in the nuclear field led to numerous consultancy appointments. He was Deputy Chairman of Atomic Power Constructions and Chairman of the Pressure Vessels Quality Assurance Board and served on the Sizewell B safety policy committee.
Paul Fletcher’s joined the IMechE in 1930 and was elected President in 1975. He supported the development of the Institution of Incorporated Engineers and the Royal Academy of Engineering. The IIE founded the Paul Fletcher Award in his honour. He was also President of the Institution of Mechanical Incorporated Engineers and the ITEME.
He died in 1998.
1990-Sir Robert Scholey
Robert Scholey was born on 8 October 1921. He was the son of Harold and Evelyn Scholey. He was educated at King Edward VII School, Sheffield and subsequently studied mechanical engineering at Sheffield University.
From 1943 he served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), leaving to take a position as an engineer with Steel Peach & Tozer of Rotherham, part of United Steel Companies, in 1947. In 1968 United Steel Companies became the British Steel Corporation, and he was appointed to the head office, becoming Managing Director of Strip Mills in 1972. In 1973 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of British Steel, and from 1976 he was Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman. He became Chairman in 1986, a position he was to hold until his retirement in 1992.
Between 1987 and 1989 he was the President of the Pipeline Industries Guild, and from 1987 until 1992 he was a Director on the Board of Eurotunnel plc. In 1989–90 he was President of the Institute of Metals. He was a non-executive director of the National Health Service Policy Board from 1989, and was President of Eurofer, the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries, from 1985 to 1990, remaining thereafter as Vice-President. In 1989 he was Chairman of the Iron and Steel Institute, and subsequently Vice-Chairman. He is a past chairman of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Development Trust.
He was appointed CBE in 1982 and was knighted in 1987. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Sheffield Hallam University on 1977, and has honorary degrees from the University of Sheffield (1987) and the University of Teeside (1996). He won the Bessemer Gold Medal of the Institute of Metals and the Gold Medal of the British Institute of Management in 1988. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute in 1990, and the same year was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1990.
In 1946 he married Joan Methley, and they have two daughters.
1990-Sir Richard Frederick Vincent
Richard Frederick Vincent was born on 23 August 1931. He was the son of Frederick Vincent and his wife, Elizabeth, née Coleshill. He was educated at Aldenham School in Hertfordshire, and at the Royal Military College of Science (RMCS), Shrivenham.
He joined the Royal Artillery in 1951, initially as a National Service Officer, serving with the British Army on the Rhine until 1955. From 1960 to 1961 he served at the Radar Research Establishment in Malvern. In 1965 he attended the Royal Army Staff College in Camberley, and afterwards served with the Commonwealth Brigade in Malaysia. In 1968 he was appointed a General Staff Officer at the Ministry of Defence until 1970, when he was given command of the 12th Light Air Defence Regiment in Germany and Northern Ireland, serving in this role until 1972, when he returned to Camberley as Instructor at the Staff College.
In 1974 and 1975 he was Military Director of Studies at the RMCS Shrivenham, before taking command of the 19th Airportable Brigade from 1975 to 1977. He subsequently attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in Belgrave Square, after which he was appointed Deputy Military Secretary from 1979 to 1980. He returned to RMCS Shrivenham as Commandant in 1980, remaining in this post until 1983, when he was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance at the Ministry of Defence. In 1987 he was appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, becoming Chief of the Defence Staff in 1991. He stepped down from this post in 1992, to become Chairman of the Military Committee of Nato, which post he held from 1993 to 1996.
He was created Baron Vincent of Coleshill, of Shrivenham, in the County of Oxfordshire, in 1996, and he is a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, and a member of the Distinguished Service Order. Among many other offices, he was Colonel Commandant of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) from 1981 to 1987, and in 1996 was made Master Gunner of St James Park. He has held a number of directorates, including Hunting Engineering Ltd, Vickers Defence Systems, and INSYS Ltd. He was a member of the court of Greenwich University (1997–2001) and was Chancellor of Cranfield University from 1998 to 2010. He is an adviser to the Council of the RMCS, and a governor of Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1990.
He married Jean Patterson in 1955, and they have one son and one daughter.
1990-Admiral Sir Lindsay Sutherland Bryson
Lindsay Sutherland Bryson was born on 22 January 1925 in Glasgow. He was the son of James McAuslan Bryson and his wife Margaret, née Whyte. He attended Allan Glen’s school, leaving at the age of 14 to become a laboratory assistant. He subsequently gained a first class honours degree in electrical engineering as an external student of the University of London.
He joined the Navy in 1942 as an engineering cadet, then in 1944 as an electrical mechanic, becoming a midshipman in 1946. After the end of the Second World War he was sent to the USA where he was trained in the operation and maintenance of the ‘Skyraider’ airborne radar system. On his return he served as first electrical engineer to the Navy’s ‘Skyraider’ squadron, accompanying it aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle.
He then served on a number of frigates and destroyers before being promoted to Lieutenant-Commander and appointed to the Ministry of Defence’s Department of Electrical Engineering at Bath. He was subsequently deputy weapons engineer on the cruiser HMS Tiger, and, after promotion to Commander, he served aboard the guided missile destroyer HMS Fife. He then moved to command of HMS Daedalus, the naval engineering training school at Lee-on-the-Solent, then on to the Royal College of Defence Studies until he was appointed Director of Naval Guided Weapons Systems in 1973, and then Director of Surface Weapons Systems in 1975, with the rank of Commodore.
He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1977 and appointed Director-General of Weapons (Naval), becoming Chief Naval Engineering Officer, with the rank of Vice-Admiral, in 1979. He was the first engineer to be appointed Controller of the Navy in 1981, serving in that position until his retirement in 1984. He was the Chairman of the Marine Technology Directorate from 1981 to 1984), and he was Deputy Chairman of GEC-Marconi (1987–90), and Chairman of ERA Technology (1990–97).
He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1981, and a Knight of the Order of St John in 1990. He was a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and also of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex and Brighton and Hove in 1989, serving until 2000. In 1985–86 he was President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and he was Chairman of the Council of Sussex University from 1989 to 1995. He has honorary doctorates from the universities of Strathclyde, Bristol, and Sussex, and he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1990.
He married Averil Curtis-Willson in 1951, and they had one son and two daughters.
He died on 24 March 2005 in Brighton at the age of 80.
1992-Sir Edward Walter Parkes
Edward Walter Parkes was born on 19 May 1926. He attended King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and St John’s College, Cambridge. He graduated with first class honours in the Mechanical Sciences Tripos in 1945.
He worked at the Royal Aircraft Establishment and in the aircraft industry for a few years, before returning to Cambridge as a research student, and later a University Lecturer. He remained at Cambridge until 1959, when he went to Stanford University as a Visiting Professor.
In 1960 he went to the University of Leicester as Head of the Department of Engineering. He remained there for five years before returning to Cambridge as Professor of Mechanics and Professorial Fellow of Gonville and Caius College.
Parkes became Vice-Chancellor of City University in 1974. He remained at City for four years, before becoming Chairman of the University Grants Council from 1978 to 1983. From 1983 to 1991 he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds. During the last few years of his time in Leeds he served as Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom (1989-1991). He had been Vice-Chairman of this Committee since 1985.
He was knighted in 1983, and elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1992. He had honorary doctorates from many universities, including Loughborough, Leicester, City, and the University of Wales.
Parkes married Margaret Parr CBE in 1950, and they had one son and one daughter.
1992-Professor Dr Algirdas Žukauskas
Algirdas Žukauskas was born in Biržai, Lithuania, on 2 February 1923. He graduated from Kaunas State University Faculty of Technology in 1947, and in the same year began teaching there. In 1951 he began teaching at Kaunas Polytechnic Institute, where he remained until 1953.
In 1956 Žukauskas was involved with the formation of the Institute of Energy and Electrotechnic. Under his leadership the Institute, renamed as the Institute of Physical-Technical Energy Problems in 1967, became one of the largest centres of scientific enquiry in Lithuania. It is now known as the Lithuanian Energy Institute. Here he initiated forward-looking energy development plants, including Lithuania’s first high-voltage grid system.
His particular area of specialism was single-phase convective heat transfer. He was the first in Lithuania to investigate the subject, and in this field he was acknowledged as one of the world’s leading experts. He was invited to serve on the Editorial Board of the Heat Exchanger Design Handbook, and took responsibility for the sections of this book which dealt with single-phase convective heat-transfer. The first edition of this handbook was published in 1982. He was the author of over 600 scientific papers, including 170 published in international journals, and was the author of 15 books.
Professor Dr Algirdas Žukauskas was highly honoured in Lithuania, receiving the Honoured Scientist of Lithuania award in 1974, and was the State Prize Laureate in 1975. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1993.
He died in 1997.
1993-Sir George William Barlow
George William Barlow was born on 8 June 1924 in Oldham. He was the son of Albert Edward Barlow and his wife Annice. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School, then studied electrical engineering at Manchester University. He graduated in 1944 with a first in electrical engineering.
From 1944 to 1947 Barlow served with the Royal Navy. He then joined the English Electric Company, where he served in a number of roles, some in England and some overseas. He worked in Spain from 1952 to 1955, and in Canada from 1958 to 1962. In Canada he was manager of English Electric’s operations in Canada, which included hydro-electric projects and turbines for the St Lawrence Seaway, a series of waterways linking the Atlantic Ocean with the North Atlantic Great Lakes.
In 1962 he returned to the UK to became Managing Director of English Electric’s Liverpool operations. Here he was responsible for 14,000 employees working in a number of fields. These included steam and water turbines, aero engines, electric power equipment and domestic appliance manufacture.
He entered the computer industry in 1968, becoming Managing Director of English Electric Computers. He felt that Britain’s computing companies should amalgamate, rather than complete with each other. This resulted in the formation of International Computers Limited, ICL, which existed until it was renamed Fujitsu Services Limited. He resigned from English Electric in 1968, after 21 years service, in protest against the merger of English Electric and GEC, which took place a few weeks after the formation of ICL.
He was asked by the Government to oversee the merger of three British strategic bearing companies to form the new company Ransome Hoffman Pollard Limited. He served as Chairman of this company from 1971 to 1977.
In 1977 he became Chairman and Chief Executive of the Post Office. At this time, the Post Office also operated the telecommunications network, and Barlow realised that the two functions were so different that they should be separated. The Labour government at the time did not agree with his proposal to split the Post Office, but with the election of a Conservative Government in 1979, Barlow received the go-ahead. He organized the division in 12 months, and would have been Chairman of the privatized BT, but the Government then refused to privatize BT. In 1980, Barlow refused the appointment and returned to work in the private sector. His first job was to oversee the merger of Thorn and EMI, and he served as Chairman of Thorn EMI Engineering Group from 1980 to 1984. He has been involved with numerous other companies since, including Ericsson, BICC, Vodafone and SKF (UK). He was knighted for services to industry in 1977.
He has been always been active in the engineering profession, serving on the Council of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE, now the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)) from 1969 to 1972, as Vice-President from 1978-1980 and Deputy President from 1983-1984. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the IEE in 1990. He served on the Council of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers from 1971 to 1974, and was made an Honorary Fellow in 1993. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1991.
He was President of the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association from 1986 to 1987, Chairman of the Design Council from 1980 to 1986, and the Engineering Council from 1988-1990. He has many honorary degrees, including Doctorates from Cranfield, Bath, Aston, City and UMIST.
He married Elaine Mary Atherton, née Adamson, in 1948. They have one daughter and one son.
He died on the 19 May 2012, aged 88.
1993-Professor Sir Ernest Ronald Oxburgh
Ernest Ronald Oxburgh was born on 2 November 1934 in Liverpool. He attended Liverpool Institute High School before going on to University College, Oxford, where he gained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and the University of Princeton, New Jersey, where, in 1960, he was awarded his PhD.
Returning to the UK he became a lecturer in geology at the University of Oxford until 1978, when he moved to Cambridge as Professor of Mineralogy and Petrology (1978–91). Between 1980 and 1988 was head of the Department of Earth Sciences. From 1978 to 1982 he was a Fellow of Trinity Hall, and he was President of Queens’ College from 1982 to 1989. He was a visiting Professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) during 1967 and 1968, and returned there in 1985 and 1986 as the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Visiting Scholar. In 1973–74 he was also visiting professor at both Stanford and Cornell Universities.
In 1988 he became Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence, remaining in this post until 1993, when he became Rector of Imperial College, continuing in this position until 2001. During 2004 and 2005 he was Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading, and he is Chairman of Falck Renewables, a wind energy firm. In 2002 he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Science and Engineering Research Council (Singapore), and he is a member of the International Academic Advisory Panel of Singapore, and of the University Grants Committee (Hong Kong). He is honorary president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, and an advisor to Climate Change Capital. In 2007 he was chairman of DI Oils, plc, a biodiesel producer, and he is a director of the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE).
He was knighted in 1992, and created Baron Oxburgh, of Liverpool, in the County of Merseyside, in 1999. He sits on the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, and is an Officer of the All-Parliamentary Group for Earth Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and he is a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, as well as an honorary member of the Australian and German Academies of Science. He is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the American Geophysical Union. He has honorary degrees from the universities of Paris, Leicester, Loughborough, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores, Lingnan (Hong Kong), Newcastle upon Tyne, and Leeds. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1993.
He is married to Ursula Mary, née Brown, and they have one son and two daughters.
1994-HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent
Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick Windsor was born on 9 October 1935 in Belgrave Square, London. He is the grandson of King George V and Queen Mary. He was educated at Ludgrove Preparatory School in Berkshire, going on to Eton and Le Rosey (Switzerland), before entering the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
He graduated from Sandhurst in 1955 as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys. He served in Hong Kong in 1962 and 1963, and afterwards on the staff of Eastern Command. In 1970 he commanded a squadron of his regiment serving in the Sovereign Base Area in Cyprus as part of the United Nations peace-keeping force. He retired from the army in 1976 with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was subsequently promoted to Major-General (1983) and Field Marshal (1993).
He has performed Royal duties on behalf of his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, for over 50 years, being her representative in many independence celebrations in former colonies. However, one of his major public roles for many years was as Vice-Chairman of British Trade International, and later as the United Kingdom’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. In this role he travelled widely, representing the British government and fostering trade relations overseas. Amongst his other interests he is president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, of the RAF Benevolent Fund, of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and of the Royal United Services Institute. He has also been President of the Scout Association since 1975, and of the Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Since 1967 he has been Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of Freemasonry in England and Wales.
He is a Royal Knight of the Garter and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George and of the Royal Victorian Order. He is a Personal Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth II, and he is the recipient of the United Nations Medal for Cyprus, and of the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation, Silver Jubilee, and Golden Jubilee Medals. He is a Patron of Trinity College of Music, and of the British Computer Society, and he is Chancellor of the University of Surrey. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1994.
On 8 June 1961 he married Katherine Worsley, daughter of Sir William Arthrington Worsley. They have three children, and live at Kensington Palace, London.
1994-Dr Douglas Frederick Muster
Douglas F Muster was born in 1918 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served as a Captain in the Army during the Second World War, then attended Marquette University, Wisconsin, gaining a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering. He went on to gain a PhD from Illinois Institute of Technology.
Muster began his engineering career working at the General Electric Laboratories. In 1961, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering. In 1962 he was appointed chairman of the mechanical engineering department, and continued in this role for the next ten years. After serving as chairman he continued at Cullen College of Engineering as Brown and Root Professor Emeritus of mechanical engineering.
Muster was a well respected forensic engineer, and served as expert witness for attorneys across the United States. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Centre.
With his wife, Jean, he had four sons and one daughter.
He died in September 2007.
1995-Sir John Gowen Collyear
John Gowen Collyear was born on19th February 1927. He was the son of John Robert Collyear and his wife Amy Elizabeth, née Gowen. He attended Leeds University, graduating with a BSc degree in engineering and going on to become a graduate apprentice with Joseph Lucas Industries, in Birmingham, in 1951.
Completing his graduate apprenticeship with Joseph Lucas Industries he continued there as a production engineer, moving in 1953 to a similar position with the Glacier Metal Company in Glasgow, where he was to remain for the major part of the next twenty years. In 1956 he became Production Manager, and later than same year was made Chief Production Engineer.
In 1959 he was promoted to Factory General Manager, remaining in that position for the next ten years, after which he was made Managing Director. In 1972 he finally left Glacier Metals to join Associated Engineering Limited, as Managing Director of the bearings division, and in 1975 he became Group Managing Director of what was then AE plc. In 1981 he was made Chairman, and he remained in this role until 1986, when he moved to become Chairman of the MK Electric Group plc (1987–88). At this time he was also Chairman of Fulmar Ltd (1987–1991), and Chairman of USM Texon Ltd, formerly the United Machinery Group (1987–1995).
From 1985 until 1988 he served as Chairman of the Technology Requirements Board of the Department of Trade and Industry, and from 1987 until 1997 he was the President of the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA). From 1992 to 1994 he was President of the Institute of Metals.
He was knighted in 1986. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1979, and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Metals, and Mining in 2002. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1995.
In 1953 he married Catherine Barbara Newman, and they have one son and one daughter. He lives in Stow-on-the-Wold, in Gloucestershire.
1995-Dr Hiroshi Ohba
Hiroshi Ohba joined the Kawasaki company in 1948, straight from university. He remained there for the rest of his working life, eventually becoming President, in 1987, and Chief Executive of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. In 1995 he presented the Seventh Hugh Ford Management Lecture to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and was elected an Honorary Fellow.
Ohba was also interested in ocean engineering. In 2001 he won the Compass International Award of the Marine Technology Society, which is awarded for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the science and art of oceanography and marine technology by an individual, company, or organization from any country or territory outside the United States working in the field.
Ohba served as Chairman of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) from 1995 to 2002. He was also Chairman of the Ocean Resources Committee of Keidanren for many years. He played an important role in the organizing of Techno-Ocean symposia, serving as the Chairman of the Organizing Committee.
Dr Hiroshi Ohba died in December 2003.
Eiji Toyoda was born on 12 September 1913, near Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. He was the son of Heikichi Toyoda and his wife Nao. His uncle Sakichi Toyoda had founded the family business, Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, in 1926. From a very early age he was immersed in the manufacturing business, as his family lived inside the spinning factory at Nagoya. He attended Tokyo Univeristy to study mechanical engineering, graduating in 1936.
After graduating he joined the family spinning business as an engineering trainee, transferring a year later to the newly-formed Toyota Motor Company at Koromo, subsequently re-named Toyota City. This remains the headquarters of the Toyota Motor Company worldwide. He worked initially on the development of the six-cylinder A1 prototype, the forerunner of the first production saloon, with styling heavily influenced by the contemporary Chrysler Airflow. He gained lots of hands-on experience, subscribing to the view that it is not possible to do a job well without getting your hands dirty.
The Second World War left Japan’s industry in a shambles, and the post-war period saw the Toyota Company struggling to survive. By 1950 he was managing director of the manufacturing arm of Toyota, and went to the US to study the automobile industry there, visiting Ford’s River Rouge plant at Dearborn, Michigan. Hugely impressed by the scale of the operations, he was nevertheless shocked by its inefficiencies, and returned to Japan determined to adopt US mass production methods, but with significant improvements.
He developed the core concepts of what was later to become known as the ‘Toyota Way’, integral to which was the idea of ‘just-in-time’ ordering to keep inventory to a minimum, and the clear identification of all parts so that errors and re-working were avoided. This, allied to the kaizan concept of constant improvement designed to cut production and labour costs, enabled Toyota to become one of the most successful manufacturing companies the world has ever seen. He was made President of Toyota in 1967, and under his leadership during the 1970s, and 1980s the company was tremendously successful, making huge inroads into the automotive market in the USA, in Europe, and worldwide.
In 1981 he stepped down from the Presidency of the company to become Chairman, and in 1983 he determined that Toyota should move into the luxury car market, with the establishment of the Lexus brand. He stepped down as Chairman in 1994 at the age of 81, although he still holds the title of Honorary Chairman.
1996-Sir John Whitaker Fairclough
John Whitaker Fairclough was born on 23 August 1930 at Carlton Miniott, near Thirsk, in Yorkshire. He was the son of Harold Whitaker Fairclough and his wife, Elsinora, née Chappell. He went to Thirsk Grammar Scvhool, and then on to Manchester University to study electrical engineering. After graduating he undertook a period of National Service with the RAF as a radar technician.
In 1954 he joined the fledgling computer department of Ferranti, and he worked in New York on the design of memory modules for Ferranti’s first commercial computer, the Pegasus. In 1957 he joined IBM at their laboratories in Poughkeepsie, New York, moving to their newly-established Hursley Park laboratory near Winchester, in Hampshire, in 1958. Here he set up and ran the development of the SCAMP computer, and his work led to the establishment of the ‘control store’, an aspect of computer architecture that was fundamental to the development of the IBM System 360 computers. Launched in 1964, these machines set the industry standard until the development of the microprocessor heralded the end of the mainframe era.
In 1968 he became Assistant General Manager of IBM UK, but in 1970 returned to research and development at the IBM complex at Raleigh in North Carolina, where he pioneered ‘distributed computing’, which would ultimately enable office workers to communicate through networks. He returned to Hursley as Managing Director in 1974, and in 1983 assumed responsibility for IBM UK’s manufacturing as well as development, with responsibility for the work forces at Havant and Greenock – some 6500 people.
In 1986 he was seconded from IBM to the Cabinet Office as Chief Scientific Adviser, appointed by Margaret Thatcher, to advise on how to get the best economic return from spending on science and technology. He was responsible for the establishment in 1987 of the Advisory Council on Science and Technology, and by 1988 he had laid down the principles upon which public financial support for science should be based. Thus, so called ‘near-market’ research should be the responsibility of the industry likely to benefit from it, whereas government money should go to those areas where a marketable product or process was much less easily identified.
He was knighted in 1990, leaving his role as Chief Scientific Adviser to become chairman of Rothschild Ventures Ltd. He has several honorary degrees, and held a number of directorships, including Oxford Instruments and Lucas Industries, and he was chairman of the Engineering Council and of the Centre for Exploitation of Science and Technology. He was President of the British Computer Society, and Vice-President of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He was a Fellow of the National Academy of Engineering in the USA, and he was awarded the Mensford Gold Medal of the Institution of Production Engineers. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1996.
He married Margaret Harvey in 1954 and they had two sons and one daughter; she died in 1996, and in 2000 he married Karen Jefferson.
He died on 5 June 2003 at the age of 72.
1996-Professor Sir Ronald Mason
Ronald Mason was born on 22 July 1930. He was the only son of David John Mason and his wife Olwen, née James. He studied chemistry at the University of Wales and later at the University of London.
He began his career in 1953 as a research associate for the British Empire Cancer Campaign, remaining with them for eight years until he took up a lectureship in chemistry at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, now Imperial College London. In 1963 he was appointed Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. He remained in this post until 1971, when he was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sussex, in Brighton. He was to fill this role for the next fifteen years, and became Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University in 1977. During the 1970s and the 1980s he was awarded visiting professor ships to many overseas universities, including the University of California at Berkeley (1975), Ohio State University (1976), North Western University (1977), the A D Little Visiting Professorship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1970), the Erskine Visiting Professorship at the University of Christchurch, New Zealand (1977), and the Schmidt Memorial Lectureship at the University of Israel (1977).
He was a member of the Science Research Council from 1971 to 1975, and a consultant and council member of the Royal United Services Institute from 1984 to 1988. He was the UK Member of the United Nations Commission on Disarmament Studies between 1984 and 1992, and was Chairman of the Council for Arms Control from 1986 to 1990. From 1991 to 1993 he served on the Engineering Technology Committee of the Department of Trade and Industry, and from 1986 he was President of the British Hydromechanics Research Association (BHRA), becoming Chairman of the successor British Hydromechanics Research Group until 1995. Amongst many other roles he was also Chairman of Hunting Engineering Ltd (1987) and Chairman of British Ceramics Research Ltd (1990–96). From 1990 to 1994 he was Foundation Chairman of the Stoke Mandeville Burns and Reconstructive Surgery Research Trust, and he was Chairman of the University College Hospitals NHS Trust from 1992 to 2001.
He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1975, and appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1980. He is a fellow of University College Cardiff, and of University College London, and he has honorary degrees from the University of Wales and Keele University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a Fellow of the Institute of Metals. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1996.
In 1952 he married Pauline Pattinson, and they had three daughters; the marriage was dissolved. In 1979 he married Elizabeth Rosemary Grey-Edwards; she died in 2009.
1996-Sir Ralph ‘Harry’ Robins
Ralph ‘Harry’ Robins was born on 16th June 1932. He was the son of Leonard Haddon and Maude Lillian Robins. He attended Imperial College, graduating with a degree in engineering.
He began his career as a graduate apprentice with Rolls-Royce, Derby, in 1955, remaining there as a Development Engineer during the 1950 and 1960s. In 1971 he was appointed Executive Vice-President of Rolls-Royce, Inc, the company’s American operation, but after two years there he returned to the UK, in 1973, as the Managing Director of the Rolls Royce Industrial and Marine Division. In 1978 he was appointed Commercial Director of Rolls-Royce Ltd, and from 1983 to 1984 he was Chairman of the Zurich-based joint venture manufacturing company, International Aero Engines AG, of which Rolls-Royce was a major share holder. In 1984 he was made Managing Director of Rolls-Royce plc, remaining in this position until 1989 when he became Deputy Chairman and, from 1990, Chief Executive as well. He finally became Chairman of Rolls-Royce plc in 1992, the position he was to hold until his resignation in 2003.
In 1986 and 1987 he was President of the Society of British Aerospace Companies, and from 1993 to 1998 was a member of the government’s Advisory Council for Science and Technology. In 2004 he was appointed Chairman of the Defence Industries Council. He held non-executive directorships of a number of major companies, including Schroeders plc (1990–2002), Cable and Wireless plc (1994–2003), and Marks and Spencers plc (1997–2001).
He was knighted in 1988, the same year in which he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He has honorary degrees from the universities of Cranfield, Nottingham, Cambridge, Derby, Strathclyde, and Sheffield, and in 1996 he was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit (of Germany). In 1990 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1996.
He married Patricia Maureen Grimes in 1962 and they have two daughters.
1997-Professor Sir Bernard Crossland
Sir Bernard Crossland was born in 1923. He was educated at Simon Langton Grammar School, Canterbury, before beginning an apprenticeship with Rolls Royce, Derby, in 1940. He studied part-time at Derby Technical College, which led to the award of a State Bursary at the then Nottingham University College, where he was awarded a BSc (Ext. London) in Engineering, in July 1943. He returned to Rolls Royce, where he was appointed a Technical Assistant in the Experimental Vibration Department, where he was concerned with experimental and theoretical work on the vibration of Merlin, Griffon and Derwent engines and vibration of reduction gears on destroyers.
In 1945 he began working as a Lecturer at Luton Technical College. After a year he was appointed Assistant Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol. He became Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at Bristol, before taking up an appointment in 1959 as Professor and Head of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in the Queen’s University, Belfast. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering from 1964 to 1967, and as Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor from 1978 to 1982. He took early retirement in 1984.
Crossland was particularly interested in high pressure engineering, and he worked closely with ICI on high pressure polyethylene plant. He also contributed to the development of explosive welding.
After his retirement he was involved in the investigations of a number of accidents. These include the King’s Cross Fire Investigation in 1988 and the Public Hearing into the Bilsthorpe Colliery Accident in 1994.
In 2010, Sir Bernard Crossland received The Royal Academy of Engineering's Sustained Achievement Medal in recognition of his contributions in the field of high pressure engineering and the links he helped to forge between industry and academia throughout his career.
Sir Bernard Crossland was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1986. He died on 17 January 2011.
1997-Dr John Parnaby
John Parnaby was born on 10 July 1937 in Workington, Cumbria. He was the son of John Banks Parnaby and his wife Mary Elizabeth. He attended King’s College, Durham, now the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, graduating in 1961 with a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering. During 1962 and 1963 he was a research assistant at King’s College, where he set up the Control Systems Laboratory in Mechanical Engineering. He was awarded a PhD in Control Systems Engineering by the University of Glasgow in 1966.
He began his career as an academic, and as Professor of Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Bradford he built up an internationally-acclaimed research group and initiated the first UK undergraduate degree course in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, a model since emulated by a number of other universities.
Parnaby subsequently moved into industry, spending the greater part of the rest of his career with Lucas Industries. He began as Group Technical Director, and was subsequently Chairman of Lucas Systems Engineering and Software Ltd, Chief Executive of Lucas Applied Technologies Ltd, Chief Executive of Lucas Electronic Systems Ltd, and Group Director of Lucas Industries plc, retiring as Group Director of the merged Lucas Varity plc in 1997. He was subsequently chairman of several companies, including Amchem Ltd, BPSE Ltd, Think Digital Solutions plc, and Knowledge Process Software plc. He was also appointed Chairman of the Aston Independent Hospital in 2004.
He has been a non-executive director of a number of important companies, including Scottish Power plc, Jarvis plc, and Molins plc. He was a Member of the Council of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a Senator of the Engineering Council. He was President of the Institution of Manufacturing Engineers and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the Institution for Engineering and Technology).
He was appointed CBE in 1987, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He has been the recipient of many awards, including the Gold Medal of the Institute of Manufacturing Engineers, The Faraday Medal in the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the Gold Medal of the Institute of Purchasing and Supply, and two Silver Medals from the Rubber and Plastics Institute. He has received honorary degrees from the Council for National Academic Awards and Liverpool Polytechnic (1990), Loughborough University and the University of Hull (1991), the Open University (1992), the University of Bradford (1993), Napier University (1997), the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (2000), and Aston University (2001). He is an Honorary Professor of Cambridge University, and an Honorary Fellow of Coventry Polytechnic. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1997.
On 4th July 1959 he married Lilian Armstrong, and they have one daughter and three sons.
1997-Professor Robert Michael Nerem
Robert Michael Nerem graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1959 with a BSc degree in engineering. He went on to the Ohio State university, where he gained a masters degree in 1961, and was subsequently awarded a PhD in 1964.
His focus was initially on aerospace engineering, and he joined the faculty of Ohio State University after his PhD in 1964 to undertake research on heat transfer in high-temperature shock-treated gases. He stayed at Ohio State University for fifteen years, and it was towards the end of his time there that his interest in bioengineering first began to develop. It was motivated initially by the possible role of fluid dynamics in the development of artherosclerosis, and he began to undertake research into cardiovascular fluid dynamics. In 1979 he became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston, Texas, a position he was to occupy until 1986. It was here, in 1981, that he established a cell culture laboratory and began to study the influence of physical forces on the cells that make up blood vessels. It is from this early research that his continuing interest in tissue engineering has grown.
In 1987 he moved from Houston to the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, where he took up a professorship in the school of mechanical engineering, and also the Parker H Petit Distinguished Chair for Engineering in Medicine. Here his research has focused on the mechanical properties of living tissues. Since 1995 he has been director of the Parker H Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, and he is also the director of the Georgia Tech/Emory Center got the Engineering of Living Tissues, an engineering research centre established in 1998 and funded by the National Science Foundation. From 2003 to 2006 he also served on the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1988, and to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1992. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998. He is a past president of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering, and of the International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, and he was the founding president of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. In 2008 he received the Founders Award from the National Academy of Engineering.
1997-Professor Sir David Evan Naunton Davies
David Evan Naunton Davies was born on 28 October 1935 in Cardiff. He was the son of David Evan Davies and his wife Sarah, née Samuel. He was educated at West Monmouth School and then at the University of Birmingham, where he studied electrical engineering, graduating with a masters degree in 1960.
He remained at Birmingham University until 1966, first as a PhD student and later as a member of staff. He then moved to the Royal Radar Establishment, Malvern, where he became Senior Principal Scientific Officer. Between 1967 and 1971 he was Assistant Director of the Research Department of British Railways, Derby. He then moved on to become Professor of Electrical Engineering at University College London, where he later served as Vice-Provost between 1986 and 1988. In 1988 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University of Technology, and in 1993 he became Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence, remaining in this post until 1999.
He produced a report, published in 2000, of the Ladbroke Grove train crash in 1999 in which 31 people died, and in 2001 he was asked to become Chairman of Railway Safety, a new company established to promote rail safety issues. He occupied this position until 2003. He has served as non-executive Chairman of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, and he is Chairman of the Ministry of Defence Nuclear Research Advisory Council. From 1998 to 2001 he was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Sussex.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, serving as its President from 1996 to 2001. He was knighted in 1994, and has received many honours and awards, including the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics (1984), the Callendar Medal of the Institute of Measurement and Control (1984), the Centennial Medal of the US Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (1984), and the Faraday Medal of the Institute for Engineering and Technology (1987). He has honorary degrees from the universities of Loughborough, Bradford, Warwick, Wales, and Birmingham, among others, and was made an Honorary Fellow of University College London in 2006, having already been elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1997.
He married Enid Patilla on 21 July 1962, and they had two sons; she died in 1990, and he subsequently married Jennifer Eason Rayner in 1992.
1999-Sir Robert Malpas
Robert Malpas was born on 9 August 1927. He was educated at Taunton School in Somerset, and then at St Georges College, Buenos Aires. He then entered Durham University to study mechanical engineering, graduating with first class honours in 1948.
In the same year he joined Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). After fifteen years service he had become Head of Engineering in the Petrochemical division. In 1963 he was appointed General Manager of a joint venture in Spain, and in recognition of his work there he was awarded, in 1967, the Spanish Order of Civil Merit. From 1966 to 1975 he worked for ICI Europa, in Brussels, becoming Chief Executive in 1973. In 1975 he was appointed a director to the main board of ICI, with responsibility for the Organics Division, for Engineering, and for Eastern Europe.
He left ICI in 1978 to become President of Halcon International, a New York-based chemicals process research company belonging to the Texas Eastern Corporation. In 1983 he joined the board of BP plc as a managing director with responsibility for Chemicals Research, Engineering, and Latin America, retiring from this post in 1989, when he was appointed Chairman of Powergen plc, one of the successor companies to the Central Electricity Generating Board. From 1991 to 1998 he was Chairman of the Cookson Group plc, and he was British Co-Chairman of Eurotunnel plc from 1996 to 1998. He has held a number of non-executive directorships, including BOC plc, Baring Bros, and Repsol SA (Spain). He is Chairman of Ferghana Partners and of Evolution plc.
He is a former President of the Society for Chemical Industry (1988–89) and is a former Senior Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering (1989–92). He was the first Chairman of LINK, the government/industry research funding partnership (1986–93), and from 1993 to 1996 he was Chairman of the Natural Environment Research Council. He was appointed CBE in 1975, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1999.
He married Josephine Dickinson in 1956; she died in 2004.
1999-Dr Alan Arthur Wells
Alan Arthur Wells was born on 1st May 1924 at Goff’s Oak in Hertfordshire. He was the son of Arthur John Wells, himself an engineer. He was educated at the City of London School, leaving in 1940 to become an apprentice fitter. He continued to study as an external student of the University of London, and he was awarded an intermediate BSc in 1941, and a full honours degree in engineering after two years at Nottingham University.
After graduation he went to the Admiralty works in Rosyth, undertaking laboratory work in support of warship design. At the end of the Second World War he took a research post at Cambridge University, but in 1952 he moved to the British Welding Research Association, where, by the 1960s, he had become Deputy Director of Research. His work at BHRA included seminal studies and findings on brittle fracture.
In 1964 he moved to Queen’s University Belfast, accepting the newly created Chair of Structural Science within the Department of Civil Engineering. He became Head of Department in 1970, and from 1973 to 1976 he was also Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology. While he was at Belfast he invented a novel turbine for generating electricity from wave-power. Now widely known as the Wells Turbine, this device rotates in one direction, irrespective of the direction of axial fluid flow driving it. It is best suited to devices in which waves force the piston-like motion of a column of water in a chamber. Low-speed reciprocating movement is thus efficiently transformed into high-speed rotational motion of the turbine shaft, and this can be used to drive an electrical generator. It became the most commonly adopted machine in prototype wave-power devices throughout the world during the following decades.
He returned to what was by then the Welding Institute as Director General in 1977, remaining in this post until his retirement in 1989. During this period he was involved in the design and construction of a prototype wave-power plant based on an oscillating water column on the Isle of Islay. He later also contributed to two further prototypes, the OSPREY device (1995) and LIMPET (2000). LIMPET is still operational today and is to date one of the most successful wave-power plants in the world.
While he was still a student he won the Bayliss Prize of the Institution of Civil Engineers (1942), and throughout his professional career he continued to win prizes and awards, including the President’s Gold Medal of the Society of Engineers (1955), the Premium Award of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (1956), the Larke Medal of the Institute of Welding (1968), the Platinum Medal of the Institute of Metals (1986), the Esso Medal of the Royal Society (1994), the Edstrom Medal and the Yoshiaka Arata Award of the International Institute of Welding (1987 and 1994 respectively), and the Ludwig Tetmajer Award of the Technical University of Vienna. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1982. He has honorary degrees from the universities of Ghent (1973), Glasgow (1982), and Queen’s, Belfast (1986), and he is Fellow of the Royal Society (1977), a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (979), and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Welding (1969). He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1999.
He married Rosemary Mitchell in June 1950.
He died on 8 November 2005 at the age of 81.
1999-Joseph Cyril Bamford
Joseph Cyril Bamford born on 21 June 1916 in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. ‘Mr JCB’ was the great grandson of the founder of Bamfords Ltd, the agricultural engineering company founded in the nineteenth century which exported machinery all over the world. He attended Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, and subsequently joined the Alfred Herbert Company in Coventry, at the time the largest machine-tool manufacturer in the UK. He spent some time working for them as a diesel engineer in Ghana.
During the Second World War he served with the RAF in supply and logistics in the African Gold Coast, and afterwards he spent a short period with English Electric before joining the family firm. However, this too was short-lived, and he set himself up in a rented garage building farm trailers from scrap and war surplus material. This proved to be a successful venture, and his philosophy of sticking to what you are good at, reinvesting profits, and inventiveness resulted in a number of market-leading innovations. In 1948 he introduced the first hydraulic tipping trailer in Europe, and in 1950 he moved to an old factory building in Rocester. In the following year he started to paint all of his machinery bright yellow.
In 1953 he brought out his break-through product, the ‘backhoe loader’ – the JCB Mk1 – which was originally fitted to a trailer. In 1957 he brought to market the ‘hydra-digga’, incorporating the excavator and the bucket loader as a single unit which was to prove invaluable to both the agricultural and construction industries. This piece of equipment has been the subject of constant development and improvement, but is still essentially the same tool introduced in 1957. From the 1960s onwards he began to export large numbers of excavators to the USA, and the company has won several Queen’s Awards for Exports as its sales have spread to more than 130 countries worldwide.
He was a very committed to marketing, and put a lot of effort into making sure that JCB equipment was not only seen, though the bright yellow paint, but also seen as reliable and tough. As a consequence, ‘JCB’ has become a word in its own right, defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “a type of mechanical excavator with a shovel at the front and a digging arm at the rear”, and the bright yellow paint has become a standard paint, known simply as ‘JCB Yellow’.
In 1975 he retired from the company he founded and ran. In 1999 JCB was the largest privately-owned engineering company in the UK, employing 4500 people and manufacturing 30,000 machines a year, in twelve factories on three continents, earning revenue of some £850m.
He was appointed CBE in 1969, and in 1993 became the only Briton ever to be honoured in the American Construction Equipment Hall of Fame.
He married Marjorie Griffin in 1941, and they had two sons.
He died in London on 1 March 2001 at the age of 84.
2000-Sir Robert William Simpson Easton
Robert William Simpson Easton was born on 30th October, 1922 in Govan. He was the son of James Easton and Helen Agnes, née Simpson. He was educated at the Royal Technical School in Glasgow, and then became an apprentice at the Fairfields shipyard in Govan.
In 1951 he moved to the Yarrow shipyard, the last major warship yard in Scotland, where he rose to become Sales Director, Deputy Managing Director, and finally Chairman and Managing Director. He had joined Yarrow at a time when the Scottish shipbuilding industry was already beginning its long decline, yet in spite of this he managed to keep the workforce together and maintained Yarrow as the only profitable shipbuilder on the Clyde, presiding over the launch of more than 100 ships. In 1967 Yarrow Shipbuilders Limited (YSL) merged with four other companies under the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) banner, and in 1970 he became Managing Director of UCS. In 1971 UCS went into receivership, prompting one of the most celebrated disputes in trade union history - a ‘work-in’ by the labour force to complete the orders that Yarrow’s and other yards had in place. In spite of this, UCS collapsed, and in February 1972 the Government rescued two of the yards, YSL and Fairfields, as Govan Shipbuilders.
In 1985 YSL was sold to the General Electric Company (GEC), and both of the Govan Shipbuilders yards remain in operation today as part of BAE Systems. From 1983 to 1993 he was Chairman of the Clyde Port Authority, and he was Chairman of GEC Scotland from 1989 to 1999, and Chairman of GEC Naval Systems from 1991 to 1994. He was a Director of the Glasgow Development Agency, the West of Scotland Water Authority, and of Caledonian MacBrayne. In 1993 he was installed as Chancellor of the University of Paisley.
He was created CBE in 1980, and knighted in 1990, the same year in which he was Honorary Vice-President of the Institute of Naval Architects. A Freeman of the City of London, he was also a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers, and he was President of the Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland from 1997 to 1999. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2000.
He married Jean Fraser in 1948, and they had one son and one daughter.
He died on 10th October 2008 at his home in Stuckenduff, near Helensburgh, at the age of 85.
2000-Nicholas Vernon Scheele
Nicholas Vernon Scheele was born on 3 January 1944 in Essex. He was educated at St Cuthbert’s Society and at the University of Durham, where he graduated in 1966 with a degree in modern languages.
At the age of 22 he began work with Ford, initially working in procurement. He went on to hold senior purchasing positions in both Ford UK and Ford Europe, before moving to similar roles in the USA in 1978. In 1988 he became a senior executive of Ford Mexico, where he was responsible for directing both manufacturing and marketing operations. He returned to the UK in 1992 to become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Cars Ltd, where he effectively turned the company around, doubling sales and saving thousands of jobs, and restoring Jaguar to its place as one of the world’s leading automotive marques. He moved on to become Chairman of Ford Europe in 2000, and in 2001 was made Group Vice-President of Ford North America. Three months later he became President and Chief Operating Officer of the Ford Motor Company, responsible for its global automotive business.
After chairing their centenary appeal to raise money for a childcare centre in Coventry, he was elected a lifetime member of the National Society for the Protection and Care of Children (NSPCC), and he is also an active supporter of the Save the Children Fund, the St Basil’s Appeal for Homeless Children, and a past-president of the British Motor Industry Benevolent Fund. A strong advocate of close ties between industry and education, he serves on the Advisory Boards of Coventry and Durham Universities, the British American Chamber of Commerce, and the Fulbright Commission, among others. He was Chancellor of Warwick University from 2003 to 2008, and chairman of the Prince of Wales Business and Environment Committee, and of the manufacturing group of Foresight 2020.
He was knighted in 2001 and appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George. He has honorary degrees from Loughborough and Durham Universities, and he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2000. Scheele died in 2014.
2000-Sir Edmund John Philip Browne
Edmund John Philip Browne was born on 20 February 1948 in Hamburg, Germany. He was the son of Edmund Browne, a British Army officer and his Hungarian wife, Paula, a survivor of Auschwitz. He was educated at the Kings School in Ely, Cambridgeshire, going on to St John’s College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a first class honours degree in physics. He also has a Masters degree in Business from Stanford University, California.
He joined British Petroleum (BP) as an apprentice in 1966, while he was still a student. Between 1969 and 1983 he held a number of positions in exploration and production in Anchorage, New York, San Francisco, London, and Canada, and in 1984 he was appointed Group Treasurer and Chief Executive of BP Finance International. In 1986, he was made Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Standard Oil in Cleveland, Ohio, and the following year, after the merger of BP and Standard, he was additionally appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Standard Oil Production Company. In 1989 he became Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BP Exploration, based in London, and in September 1991, he joined BP's board as a Managing Director. He was appointed Group Chief Executive in 1995, and following the merger of BP and Amoco, he became Group Chief Executive of the combined group in 1998, remaining in this post until his resignation in 2007. He has said that he felt pressured into resignation by allegations about his personal life – he is homosexual – which were published in a UK national newspaper, and that this was a matter of deep personal regret.
He was knighted in 1998, and created Baron Browne, of Madingley, in the County of Cambridgeshire, in 2001. He is currently Managing Director and Managing Partner (Europe) of Riverstone Holdings LLC. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006, and the same year was President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was appointed Chair of the Trustees of the Tate Gallery in 2009, and he was author of the independent review of university tuition fees: Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education (the ‘Browne report’), published in October 2010. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Petroleum and an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Royal Society of Chemists, and the Institution of Civil Engineers, and he was elected and Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2000.
2000-Professor Duncan Dowson
Professor Duncan Dowson was born in 1928. He was educated at Lady Lumley’s Grammar School, at Pickering, Yorkshire. He attended Leeds University, where he was awarded a BSc in Mechanical Engineering in 1950 and a PhD in 1952.
He began his career as a Research Engineer at Sir W.G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Co., where he remained for two years before taking up the position of Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Leeds University. He was an instrumental member of the Ministry of Education and Science committee that identified tribology in 1966. The following year he established the Institute of Tribology at Leeds to coordinate tribological practice in industry, teaching and research. Her served as Institute Director until 1987.
At Leeds University, Dowson has promoted innovative degree courses, undergraduate exchange systems and continuing professional education.
His own research has focussed on elastohydrodynamic lubrication, the lubrication of machine elements and natural synovial joints, and the tribological characteristics of total replacement joints.
He was elected to the Fellowship of Engineering in 1982, and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1987. He has worked on committees established by the Department of Education and Science, the Department of Health and Social Security, and the Science and Engineering Research Council.
He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1992.
2001-Trevor O Jones
Trevor O Jones was born in 1932 in Maidstone, Kent. He was trained in electrical engineering at Aston Technical College, Birmingham, leaving in 1952 to attend Liverpool Technical College for training in mechanical engineering.
In 1958 he moved to the USA to work for General Motors. Until 1970 he was involved with the Delco Electronics division, working, amongst other things, on the bombing navigational system for the B52 bombers and the Apollo lunar and command module computers, before moving into the automotive field, where, from 1974 until 1978, he was Director of General Motors Proving Grounds.
In 1978 he joined TRW, Inc. as Vice President, Engineering, and in 1979 he formed TRW’s Transportation Electronics Group, becoming Group Vice President and General Manager. In 1987 he was elected Chairman of the Board of the Libby-Owens-Ford Company (LOF), becoming President and Chief Executive Officer in 1993. He remained on the Board of LOF until 1997. In 1998 he founded BIOMEC, Inc to develop and market engineered biomedical devices and systems, and he was Chairman until the company was acquired by Greatbatch, Inc, in 2007. Since 2007 he has been chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ElectroSonics Medical, Inc., a company of which he was co-founder.
In 1982 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, in 2008 becoming a member of its Einstein Society. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the Institution of Engineering and Technology), having received their Hooper Memorial Prize in 1950. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Engineering Society of Detroit, as well as a life member of the Cleveland Engineering Society. He was Vice-Chairman of the National Motor Vehicle Safety Advisory Council, and recipient of the US Department of Transportation for Safety Award for Engineering Excellence in 1978. He was Chairman Emeritus of the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, and of the Convergence Education Foundation. He was Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cleveland State University, from which he has an honorary Doctor of Science degree. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and in 2001 was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
He lives with his wife, Jennie, in Bratenahi, Ohio, and Naples, Florida.
Ross Brawn was born on 23 November 1954 in Manchester. He attended Reading School in Berkshire. In the early 1970s he became a trainee engineer working on instrumentation with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell in Oxfordshire.
In 1976 he was taken on by March Engineering, a motorsport engineering firm in Bicester. He initially operated a milling machine, but quickly moved to become a mechanic on their Formula 3 racing team. In 1978 he moved as a machinist to the Williams Formula 1 racing team, progressing quickly to work on research and development and as an aerodynamicist.
From Williams he moved to the Haas Lola and Arrows F1 racing teams, and then in 1989 he was taken on by Jaguar to bring his F1 experience to their sports racing division. Here he was instrumental in the design of the Jaguar XJR-14 cars, which won the 1991 World Sportscar Championship. Later in 1991 he returned to F1 as Technical Director of the Benetton racing team, which won the World Driver’s Championship in 1994 (with Michael Schumacher) and both the Driver’s Championship (again with Michael Schumacher) and the World Constructor’s Championship in 1995.
In 1996 he moved to the Ferrari F1 team, making Ferrari once again a serious challenger to the superior Williams and McLaren cars in 1997 and 1998. In 1999 Ferrari won the World Constructor’s Championship, the first of six consecutive wins, also winning the World Driver’s Championship five times in succession, from 2000 to 2004.
In 2005 and 2006 Ferrari lost form, and in 2007 Brawn moved to become Team Principal with the British-based Honda F1 team. However, with the withdrawal of Honda from F1 racing towards the end of 2008 he was left with a potentially race-winning car, but no racing team, and in March 2009 he completed a buy-out of the Honda F1 team, entering the new Brawn GP racing team into the 2009 World Championship. Retaining the former Honda drivers Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button, he sourced engines from Mercedes-Benz, and during the first season managed to get sponsorship from Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson and the brokers MIG Investments. This proved to be a successful combination, and Brawn GP won the 2009 Constructor’s Championship, and Jensen Button won the Driver’s Championship. The Brawn GP team was bought by Mercedes-Benz at the end of 2009, although he remains as Team Principal. Brawn was cited as the reason that Michael Schumacher decided to return to F1 racing with the Mercedes team in 2010. In the same year he was appointed CBE.
Among other honours, Brawn received an honorary doctorate in engineering from Brunel University in 2006. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2002.
Malcolm Brinded was born on 18 March 1953 in the UK. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1974 with an engineering degree.
In the same year that he graduated, 1974, he joined Shell. He worked for them in The Hague initially, and subsequently worked for Shell group companies in Brunei, Oman, the Netherlands, and in the UK. After a long, varied, and successful career with Shell companies he became Managing Director of Shell UK Exploration and Production in 1998. This made him responsible for more than 20 per cent of the UK’s total offshore oil and gas production business. The following year, in 1999, he was made Shell Country Chairman in the UK, a position that he was to hold until 2002, when he was made a Managing Director of Royal Dutch Shell. After two years in this position, in 2004, he was made managing Director of Shell Transport, and later in 2004 he became, upon its formation, Executive Director and Board Member of Royal Dutch Shell plc, with responsibility for exploration and production, a position he retains.
He is also the Executive Director for Upstream International, a leading supplier of professional oilfield consultants to the oil industry, based in Texas. In this role he has responsibility, among other things, for exploration, new business, and sustainable development, in Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, the Middle East, Nigeria, North Africa, and the UK. Late in 2010 he was appointed a Non-Executive Director of Network Rail.
He was created CBE in 2002 for services to the UK oil and gas industry. He is Chairman of the Shell Foundation, a global charity established by Shell in 2000 to identify and develop sustainable solutions to global challenges linked to the impact of energy usage. He is a member of the Nigerian President’s Honorary International Investor Council, and a Trustee of the Emirates Foundation and of the International Business Leaders Forum. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2002.
He and his wife, Carola, have three sons.
2003-David John Sainsbury, Lord Sainsbury of Turville
David John Sainsbury was born on 24 October 1940. He is the son of Sir Robert Sainsbury, and the great grandson of John James Sainsbury and Mary Ann Staples, who in 1869 established the grocer’s shop at 173 Drury Lane which was to become the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. He was educated at Eton College, and graduated from King’s College, Cambridge, with a degree in history and psychology. He also has an MBA from Columbia University, New York.
He joined J Sainsbury Ltd in 1963, becoming a director in 1966, and he was Financial Controller from 1971 until the company’s flotation in 1973, when he became Finance Director. He was Chairman of Savacentre, the hypermarket business, from 1984 to 1993, and he was Deputy Chairman of J Sainsbury plc from 1988 to 1992, when he succeeded his cousin, John Davan Sainsbury, as Chairman and Chief Executive. He gave up the position of Chief Executive Officer in 1996, becoming Non-Executive Chairman, retiring from this position in 1998 to pursue a political career.
He had been a member of the Labour party from the 1960s, and was a major financial supporter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) from its formation in the 1980s, remaining a trustee until 1990. Returning to support of the Labour Party following the SDP’s failure to make any significant headway, he was a major donor to the party throughout the 1990s and 2000s. He has been closely associated with the left-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research and Progress (IPPR). From 1998 until 2006 he held the position of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry, with responsibility for science and innovation, in the House of Lords. In 2006 he resigned from this position, stating that he wanted to focus on business and charity work. He continued to be a supporter of the Labour party, donating a further £2million in 2007, saying that he believed “that Labour is the only party which is committed to delivering both social justice and economic prosperity”. In 2009 he created, through the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Institute for Government, established to enable government and opposition politicians to prepare for political transition and government.
He had founded the Gatsby Charitable Foundation in 1967, and in 1993 he donated £200 million of his Sainsbury’s shares to its assets. He allocated a further £465 million to the foundation in 2009, making him the first British donor of more than £1 billion to charity. The Foundation has given more than £660 million to a range of causes. In 1987 he established the Sainsbury Management Fellowship scheme to develop UK engineers into industrial leaders.
He was created Baron Sainsbury of Turville, in the County of Buckinghamshire, in 1997, the same year in which he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Cambridge. In 2003 he was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, the same year in which he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008.
He is married to Suzi, a former teacher, and they have three daughters. He lives in Turville Park, in Buckinghamshire.
2003-Professor Sir Alec Nigel Broers
Alec Nigel Broers was born on 17 September 1938 in Calcutta. He attended Geelong Grammar School in Australia, going on to gain a degree in physics from Melbourne University in 1959. In 1962 he was awarded a masters degree in electrical sciences at Cambridge University, going on to gain his PhD there in 1965.
He began a 19-year career with IBM in 1965 as a researcher at the Thomas J Watson Research Centre in New York. He also worked at the East Fishkill Development Laboratory, and at Corporate Headquarters. He became an IBM Fellow in 1977 and servied on the Corporate Technical Committee.
He returned to Cambridge in 1984 to become Professor of Electrical Engineering and a Fellow of Trinity College (1985–90), where he set up a nano-fabrication laboratory to develop the technology of miniaturization to the atomic scale. In 1990 he became Master of Churchill College, Cambridge, and occupied this position until 1996. He was appointed Head of Cambridge University Engineering Department in 1993, and in 1996 was made Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, a position he held until 2003.
In 1998 he founded the Cambridge Network, a body established to link like- minded people from business and academia to each other and to the global high technology community. Since 2008 he has been Chairman of the Board of Diamond Light Source, the national synchrotron facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. This opened in 2007 and is the UKs largest new scientific facility for thirty years.
He was knighted in 1998, and was created Baron Broers of Cambridge, in the County of Cambridgeshire, in 2004. He was President of the Royal Academy of Engineering from 2001 to 2006, and since 2004 has been Chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee. In 2005 he presented the Reith Lectures for the BBC.
He has received many awards and honours, including the American Institute of Physics Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics (1982), the Cledo Brunetti Award of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (1985), and the Prince Philip Medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2000). He has honorary degrees from, amongst others, the universities of Cambridge, Warwick, Glasgow, Greenwich, Melbourne, Durham, and Sheffield. He is a Fellow of Imperial College London, and an Honorary Fellow of Gonville and Caius, Trinity, and St Edmund’s Colleges, Cambridge, of Cardiff University, and of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He is a Foreign Associate of the American National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Petroleum, a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now IET), and in 2004 was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
In 1964 he married Mary Therese Phelan, and they have one daughter and two sons.
2004-Professor Dr Ing Lu Yongxiang
Lu Yongxiang was born on 28 April 1942 in Cixi, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. He studied mechanical engineering at Zhejiang University, graduating in 1964 and becoming a lecturer in the mechanical engineering department. In 1979 he moved to Germany to study at the Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule, Aachen, as an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow. He obtained his doctorate here in 1981.
He returned to Zheijiang University in 1981, resuming his position as a lecturer there. He was soon promoted to Associate Professor and was Research Group Leader of the Laboratory of Fluid Power Transmission and Control. In 1983 he became a Professor and the Director of the Institute of Fluid Power Transmission and Control. From 1985 to 1987 he was Vice-President of Zheijiang University, and President from 1988 to 1995. He is also a Professor at Tsinghua University.
From 1986 to 1996 he was Vice-President of the Chinese Association of Science and Technology. He was Chairman of the Higher Education Consultative Committee of the State Education Commission from 1990 to 1994, and in 1995 became Director-General of the Chinese Society for the History of Science and Technology. He was assigned Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in November 1993, and was Executive Vice-President from 1994 to 1997. He has been Executive Chairman of the Presidential Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and also President, since 1997. Between 1998 and 2006 he was Vice-President of the Third World Academy of Sciences, and since 2001 he has been Director-General of the Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society.
He has received many international honours and awards, including the Rudolf-Diesel Medal (1997), the Alexander von Humboldt Medal (1998), the Werner Heisenberg Medal (2001), and the Abdus Salam Medal and the Harnack Medal (2006). He holds the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is an Academician of both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and is a Foreign Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is a Corresponding Member of the Australian Academy of Sciences, and in 2004 was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
2004-Sir Charles Masefield
Charles Masefield was born on 7 January 1940 in Surrey. He was the son of Sir Peter Masefield and his wife, Lady Patricia. He was educated at Eastbourne College and at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he obtained his Master’s degree.
He began his career as a test pilot and sales executive for Beagle Aircraft Ltd in 1964, remaining with the company until 1970 when he moved to Hawker Siddeley Aviation as a test pilot, flying Nimrods, Victors, and Vulcan bombers. From 1976 to 1980 he was first Deputy Chief, and then Chief Test Pilot for British Aerospace in Manchester, becoming Project Director in 1980–81, Production Director at Chadderton from 1981 to 1984, and General Manager at Manchester from 1984 to 1986. From 1986 to 1990 he was Managing Director of British Aerospace Commercial Aircraft Ltd, and from 1990 to 1993 was President of the company.
In 1993 and 1994 he was Senior Vice President (Commercial) of Airbus Industries in Toulouse, with responsibility for all Airbus Marketing, Contracts, and Sales Finance. In 1994 he was appointed by John Major, then Prime Minister, as the head of the Defence Export Services Organization of the Ministry of Defence, responsible on behalf of the British Government for interfacing with rulers and heads of government from around the world. Moving from this role, he became Vice Chairman of GEC plc in 1998–99, and then Group Marketing Director (2001–02), Vice Chairman (2002) and finally President of BAE Systems (2003–07).
He was also Chairman of Microsulis Medical Ltd from 2003 to 2007, and he has been Chairman of Helvetica Wealth Management since 2004. He was a member of the Board of Bank Piguet Geneva from 2003 to 2005, and he has been a Member of the Qatar Foundation since 2003. He is a former European Chairman of Transatlantic Business Development, a body which seeks to maximize transatlantic trade.
Throughout his life he has been a very enthusiastic pilot, and he has a number of achievements in this area. He is the holder, since 1964, of the London–New York record for bi-planes (flying a 1935 De Havilland Dragonfly); he was the winner of the 1967 King’s Cup Air Race, flying a P51-D Mustang; and he was the 1968 British Air Racing Champion. He was knighted in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and was their President in 1994–95. A Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers since 1986, he was elected to Honorary Fellowship in 2005.
He and his wife, Fiona Anne, married in 1970, and they have two sons.
2004-Sir John Rose
John Rose was born in Blantyre, Malawi. He gained his Master’s degree in psychology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 1975. Initially he worked in the banking industry, with the First National Bank of Chicago and Security Pacific.
He made the move to Rolls-Royce in 1984, at a time when it was still a state-owned company in difficulties. He held a number of management roles, becoming Director of Corporate Development in 1989, serving in this role for five years. In 1993 he was made President and Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce Inc, with responsibility for Rolls-Royce activities in North America. At the beginning of 1995 he became Managing Director of the Rolls-Royce Aerospace Group, and was finally made Chief Executive of the Company in 1996, four years after joining the Board of Directors. He announced his decision to retire from Rolls-Royce in September 2010, leaving the Company in the spring of 2011.
He was knighted in 2003 and is a recipient of the Singapore Public Service Star, as well as being a Commander of the French Legion of Honour (2008).
In 2010 he was awarded an honorary degree in engineering by the University of Exeter. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and he is a Past-President of the European Association of Aerospace Industries (AECMA), as well as being a Past-President of the Society of British Aerospace Companies. He was Chairman of the Prince’s Trust, serving also on the Council of that body. Additionally, he is a member of the JP Morgan International Council, the Confederation of British Industry’s International Advisory Board, and the Advisory Council of the Economic Development Board of Singapore. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Englefield Capital, an investment group, and on the European Round Table of Industrialists, an informal forum bringing together around 45 chief executives and chairmen of major multinational companies of European origin, to advocate policies which help improve the prospects for European growth and jobs
He is married, and has three children.
2005-Sir Digby Marritt Jones
Digby Marritt Jones was born on 28 October 1955 in Alvechurch, Birmingham. He attended Alvechurch Primary School, from which he won a scholarship at age eleven to Bromsgrove School. On leaving Bromsgrove School in 1974 he was awarded a University Cadetship in the Royal Navy, going to University College London where he gained an honours degree in law.
After graduating he took articles with the Birmingham law firm Edge and Elliston, becoming a solicitor there in 1980. He became a partner in the firm in 1984, working in corporate finance and client development. He was responsible for the expansion of the firm into London and also into many European countries and the USA. He was made Deputy Senior Partner in the firm in 1990, becoming Senior Partner in 1995. He left Edge and Elliston in 1998 to become Vice Chairman of Corporate Finance for KPMG. In January 2000 he became Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). During his six years in this role he was responsible for expanding the organization overseas, opening offices in Washington DC and in Beijing.
After leaving the CBI in 2006 he held a number of senior corporate positions, including Senior Advisor at Deloitte, at Barclays Capital, and at JCB, Corporate and Government Affairs Advisor to Ford of Europe. He was also Special Advisor to His Royal Highness the Duke of York.
In 2007 he was appointed Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment, and was made a Life Peer, taking the title Lord Jones of Birmingham. He left the Government towards the end of 2008, remaining an active Cross-Bencher in the House of Lords. He also serves as Chairman of the International Business Advisory Board of HSBC, is Chairman of Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, and is Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Cars and for JCB.
He was joint Founder of Enterprise Insight, now the Make Your Mark Organization, and he was a Commissioner for Racial Equality from 2001 to 2007. He has served in many important roles, including as an Ambassador for Investors in People from 2004 to 2007, during which time he was also President of the Diversity Works Initiative of SCOPE. Between 2005 and 2007 he was Deputy President of the Institute of Export, and President of the Friends of the British Library.
He is a fellow of University College London, and an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University. He has honorary degrees from many universities, including Birmingham, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Aston, Hull, Warwick, Bradford, Loughborough, Nottingham, and UMIST. He is a Corporate Ambassador for Cancer Research UK, and a Fellow of UNICEF. He was knighted in 2005, and he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the same year.
He and his wife, Patricia, live in Marylebone, Warwickshire.
Brian Kent was born in Hyde, in Cheshire, in 1931. He was educated at Hyde Grammar School, and left after achieving his Higher School Certificates. He applied to take the Civil Service Examination, leading to a possible engineering apprenticeship at the ‘Atomic City’ at ERE Harwell. Instead, in 1949 Kent entered the full time Mechanical Engineering course at Salford Technical College for an External Honours Degree from London University. He graduated in 1952 with a 2:1 Hons Degree, and the Board of Governors Prize in Mechanical Engineering.
At the age of 21 he joined Mather & Platt Ltd in Manchester as a graduate apprentice. He also lectured in the evenings at Salford, in both Mathematics and Strength of Materials.
Between June 1948 and March 1958, five international tours for young people took place. They were sponsored by the South African Aid to Britain fund, and were to provide tours for young people who had been deprived of overseas travel in the United Kingdom because of the Second World War. As Senior Apprentice, Kent was selected to compete for a place, and spent six weeks touring selected islands of the West Indies and British Guyana on the mainland of South American.
From 1954 to 1957, Kent served in the Royal Navy, initially as part of his National Service requirement. After a year he joined the electrical training staff for the Electrical Research Association.
On his return to civilian life, he rejoined Mather & Platt as a service engineer in the rotating machinery division, involved in the commissioning of high speed centrifugal pumps and motors in the many Central Electricity Generating Board power stations then under construction. His role also involved trouble-shooting on breakdowns, and Kent was involved following the Windscale major gas leak in 1958.
Kent left Mather & Platt in 1964, and began working for Morganite Carbon, where he remained for five years. During this time he was selected to engage in a CPD experience, and was sent to study at IMEDE, the Nestle funded business school at Lausanne, Switzerland, to be trained in international marketing.
From 1969 to 1978, Kent worked for Alfa Laval Ltd., a British subsidiary of the Swedish multinational, as Managing Director.
Between 1978 and 1994, Kent took on the restructuring of Staveley Industries. This was an old company, a conglomerate of British heavy mechanical engineering industries, which was restructured into an international company with interests in light engineering such as weighing and non-destructive testing.
Kent was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1994.
2006-Sir Michael Antony Claes Moore
Michael Antony Claes Moore was born on 6 January 1942. He was the son of Lieutenant A D W Moore RN and Ebba Agneta née Wachtmeister. He was educated at Wellington College, and on leaving there in 1960, he joined the Royal Navy as a Midshipman. He attended Royal Naval College Dartmouth, where he was awarded a Queen’s Telescope.
He was appointed Flag Lieutenant to the Commander Far East Fleet in Singapore in 1966, and was subsequently given command of the Bahrain-based minesweeper HMS Beachampton. Following completion of the Royal Navy Staff Course he was appointed First Lieutenant of the frigates HMS Brighton and HMS Plymouth. In 1975 he was promoted to Commander, taking charge of the Tribal Class frigate HMS Tartar until 1978, when he was moved to the Directorate of Naval Operations and Trade in the Ministry of Defence. In 1980 he became the Executive Officer of the Royal Yacht, HMY Britannia, subsequently being appointed Lieutenant of the Victoria Order. On promotion to Captain he became Naval Assistant to the Chief of Fleet Support, and was later given command of the Leander Class frigate HMS Andromeda and the 8th Frigate Squadron. In 1986 he was given responsibility for maritime operations on the staff of Commander-in-Chief Fleet, before returning to the Ministry of Defence as Director of Naval Warfare. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1990 when he took up the NATO appointment of Maritime Advisor to The Supreme Allied Commander Europe, in Belgium. In January 1994 he was promoted to Vice Admiral, again being given a NATO appointment as the Chief of Staff to Commander Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe, in Italy
He was appointed Director General of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in October 1998. He skilfully led the Institution during a period of rapid change, overseeing the changes made to its governance in 2001, and culminating in the successful modernization of its decision-making process. He was a tireless ambassador for the Institution both in the UK and around the world, and worked closely with the other engineering institutions to promote the status of the engineering profession in general.
He is a qualified interpreter in Swedish/English, and an Honorary Fellow of the Swedish Institute of Military Sciences. He is a Younger Brother of Trinity House, Chairman of the Forces’ Pension Society, and a Trustee of the Maudsley Scholarship Foundation. He was knighted in 1997, and was appointed to the United States Legion of Merit the same year. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2006.
He is married to Penelope, née Lawson, and they have one son and three daughters. They live in Portchester, Hampshire.
2008-Anthony Firzhardinge Gueterbock, Lord Tony Berkeley
Anthony Firzhardinge Gueterbock was born on 20 September 1939. He is the only son of Brigadier Ernest Adolphus Leopold Gueterbock and the Honourable Cynthia Ella Foley. He attended Eton College, going on to Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with a Master’s degree.
He began his career in 1961, working in engineering, construction, and planning for Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners, an engineering consultancy based in Westminster. He remained there until 1967 when he moved to a position with George Wimpey plc, where he was involved in construction and planning, and in business development.
He stayed with Wimpeys until 1985, when he was appointed Public Affairs Manager of Eurotunnel plc, a post he held until 1995. From 1993 to 1999 he was Chairman of the newly-formed Piggyback Consortium, an organization formed with the aim of securing an increase in the railway loading gauge so that four-metre high semi-trailers could be carried by train at least between the Channel Tunnel and Scotland. In 1996 he joined Rail Freight Group Ltd, a body with over 150 members which promotes cost effective rail freight. Between 1995 and 2001 he was an adviser to ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation (later DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems), known under its brand Adtranz, a multi-national rail transport equipment manufacturer with facilities in Europe and the USA. He has been a Board Member of the European Rail Freight Association since 2007, and President since 2009. He has been a harbour commissioner for the Port of Fowey in Cornwall since 2007.
He succeeded his aunt, Mary Lallé Foley Berkeley, to become Eighteenth Baron Berkeley in 1992, and he was created Baron Gueterbock, of Cranford, in the London Borough of Hillingdon in 2000. He sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords, was Labour Whip and spokesman on transport in 1996 and 1997, a Member of the European Select Committee in 1998 and 1999, and is secretary for the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group
He was made OBE in 1989, and he has an honorary DSc from the University of Brighton. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2008.
He married Diana Christine Townsend on 10 July 1965 and they had two sons and a daughter. The marriage was dissolved in 1998. On 8 May 1999 he married Julia Clarke.
William Edgar was born in 1938. He started work with Colvilles Steel Makers, as an office boy at their Hallside Steel Works near Glasgow. In 1955 he started work as an apprentice fitter/turner/draftsman at Hallside Steel Works. Colvilles supported him as he attended five years of evening classes, culminating in an HNC in Mechanical Engineering and an HNC Endorsement in Electrical Engineering. They also sponsored him through university, enabling him to study Mechanical Engineering at the Royal College of Science and Technology.
After gaining an MSc in Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics at the University of Birmingham, Edgar went to work as a Development Engineer at Ravenscraig Strip Mill in Lancashire, then a state of the art steel mill designed and constructed by Davy United.
The following year, in 1963, Edgar went to British Aircraft Corporation at Warton, Lancashire, as an Aeromechanical Engineer. He remained with the company for four years, working on high altitude military aircraft design.
He moved to Weir Pumps, Glasgow in 1967, initially as Chief Development Engineer and then as General Manufacturing Manager at the Cathcart Plant. After seven years he joined Vickers Marine Engineering Division, and two years later was appointed Executive Chairman of Cochrane Shipbuilders.
In 1990 he became Chief Executive of the National Engineering Laboratory. At the time, this was an Executive Agency of the Department of Trade and Industry. Edgar's remit was to prepare the establishment for privatization, which was successfully completed with the sale of NEL in 1995.
Following the sale of the NEL, he joined the John Wood Group as Group Director responsible for Engineering and Production Facilities Division. He retired from this position in 2004, just prior to becoming President of the IMechE.
Edgar was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1999, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2003.
2008-Sir Peter Michael Williams
Peter Michael Williams was born on 22 March 1945 in Warrington, Lancashire. He completed both his MA and his PhD at the University of Cambridge, where he also began his academic career, in Selwyn College. In 1970 he moved to become a lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology at Imperial College London, where he was to remain until 1975.
When he left Imperial College in 1975 he joined the scientific instrument manufacturer, VG Instruments, based in Guildford, where over the course of the next seven years he became Deputy Group Managing Director. He moved from this position in 1982 to join Oxford Instruments, the first spin-off company of Oxford University. He became Chief Executive and, from 1991, Chairman, the position from which he retired in 1999.
On his retirement from Oxford Instruments he returned to academia, becoming, from 2000, the Master of St Catherine’s College, Oxford. He was to hold this post for the next two years. During the same period, from 2000 to 2002, he was President of the Institute of Physics, and in 2002–03 he was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. From 2001 to 2006 he was also Chairman of the UK Engineering and Technology Board, and he was Chairman of the Advisory Council on Mathematical Education and of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council. He is Treasurer and Vice-President of the Royal Society, Chancellor of the University of Leicester, a Trustee of Marie Curie Cancer Care, and also a non-executive Director of GKN plc and W S Atkins plc.
He has received many honours and awards, and in 1986 won the Guardian Young Businessman of the Year Award. He was appointed CBE in 1992 and was knighted in 1995. He has honorary degrees from a number of universities, amongst them Leicester, Hull, Nottingham Trent, Loughborough, Wales, Sheffield, Brunel, Warwick, and Salford. He is a recipient of the Duncan Davies Medal (1995) and the Glazebrook Medal of the Institute of Physics (2006). He is an Honorary Fellow of University College London, of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, and of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and of the Institute of Physics, and an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET) and of the Institute of Chemical Engineers. In 2008 was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
He is married, and has one son.
2009-Paul Rudd Drayson, Lord Drayson of Kensington
Paul Rudd Drayson was born on 5 March 1960. He was educated at St Dunstan’s College in Catford, South London and then at Aston University, in Birmingham, where he was sponsored by BL Cars. He graduated with an honours degree in production engineering in 1982, and went on to do a PhD in robotics in 1986.
After completing his PhD he became Managing Director of the Lambourn Food Company Ltd, now a part of Butterkist Ltd. In 1993 he was co-founder of Powderject Pharmaceuticals plc, Oxford, which specialised in the production of vaccines and pioneered the development of needle-free powder injection of drugs and vaccines. Powderject was floated in 1997, and he remained Chief Executive until 2003, by which time the company had become one of the world’s leading vaccine producers, with operations in the USA and Scandinavia, as well as in the UK. The company was bought by the Chiron Corporation of Emeryville, California, itself acquired by Novartis International AG of Basel, Switzerland, in 2006.
In 2004 he was created Baron Drayson of Kensington, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and in 2005 he was appointed by Tony Blair to succeed Lord Bach as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Equipment and Support. In early 2007 he was appointed Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support, where he oversaw the new Defence Equipment and Support Organization. Later in 2007 he was also appointed Minister of State in the newly-created Department for Business, Enterprise, and Regulatory Reform.
He stood down from his ministerial responsibilities in late 2007 in order to compete in the American Le Mans race series in the United States, and was succeeded by Baroness Taylor of Bolton, the former MP for Dewsbury and government whip, Ann Taylor. He returned to the Government in 2008, being appointed Minister of State for Science and Innovation under Gordon Brown, and taking a seat in the cabinet and becoming a member of the Privy Council. In June of the following year, 2009, he was also appointed Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform, a post he held until the General Election of 2010. Since leaving office he has devoted himself full-time to his motorsports company, Drayson Racing. He has been a motor racing enthusiast since he began racing historic single-seater racing carts and sports cars in 2004.
Between 2001 and 2002 Drayson was Chairman of the Bioindustry Association, and from 2002 to 2005 he was Chairman of the Oxford Children’s Hospital Fundraising Campaign, which led to the opening of the Children’s Hospital at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in 2007. From 2003 to 2005 he was Science Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Said Business School at Oxford University, where he was involved with the teaching of entrepreneurship to MBA students. In June 2007 he became a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Council.
He is married with five children, and he has homes in London and at Nether Lypiatt Manor, near Stroud, in Gloucestershire.
2009-Vincent de Rivaz
Vincent de Rivaz was born on 4 October 1953. He is the son of François de Rivaz and Isabelle de Buttet. He completed his education at the Ecole National Supérieure d’Hydraulique et de Mécanique de Grenoble, from which he graduated as an engineer in 1976.
In 1977, he joined Electricité de France (EDF), working as a hydroelectric engineer for the External Engineering Centre, where he was involved with the building of dams for hydroelectric schemes in Africa, Guyana (formerly British Guiana), and New Caledonia, in the South West Pacific Ocean. In 1985 he was appointed Manager of the EDF Group’s Far East division, looking after the development of nuclear, thermal, and hydroelectric generation and transmission projects, and focusing primarily on China.
In 1991 he was appointed Managing Director of EDF’s hydro power department. He held this position for the next three years, until 1995, when he was appointed to the position of Deputy Head of the International Division and Manager of the New Projects Department. In 1999 he was appointed Deputy Chief Financial Officer of EDF, and the following year he became Head of Strategy and Finance. EDF had bought the privatized electricity companies London Electricity, SeeBoard, and SWEB Energy in 1998, renaming them the London Electricity Group, and he became Chief Executive of this Group in 2003, after it had again had a name change – to EDF Energy. He is now Chief Executive, Executive Director, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of EDF Energy (UK) Ltd, as well as being a director of EDF Energy Networks plc.
In 2006 he was awarded the Melchett Medal of the Energy Institute, the Chartered professional body formed in 2003 from merger of the Institute of Petroleum with the Institute of Energy. In 2009 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
In May 1980 he married Anne de Valence de Minardière, and they have three children. His home is in Chelsea.
2010-Professor Dr Robert William Ernest Shannon
Professor R W Ernest Shannon was born in Belfast in 1937. He was educated at Belfast College of Technology and The Queen’s University of Belfast, where he gained a BSc (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.
He began his career as a Laboratory Technician with James Mackie & Sons Ltd., responsible for product testing in the Plastics Division. In 1956 he undertook an aircraft apprenticeship with Short Brothers. After gaining his degree, he also lectured in aeronautical engineering at Queen’s University.
It was a Queen’s that Shannon met Professor Bernard Crossland, who persuaded him to become a research fellow in mechanical engineering, working on the fracture of ultra-high pressure vehicles, then used for making polythene. He received a PhD for this work, and as a result was recruited by British Gas in 1970.
At this time, there had been some massive gas pipeline ruptures, particularly in the US, with fractures running at speeds up to 2000m/sec and up to 16km in length. Shannon developed standards for the design, operation and repair of high pressure pipelines, and went on to lead the 350-strong team that developed British Gas’s world-beating intelligent ‘pig’ system for investigating pipelines. This received the Queen’s awards for both technology and exports and led to Shannon and his team winning the MacRobert Award for engineering excellence, one of the engineering profession’s highest honours.
Shannon retired from British Gas in 1995, and subsequently worked as a Consultant and a Professorial Fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast.
He was awarded the CBE in 2001 for services to economic development.
He was President of the Institution of Gas Engineers in 1994, and President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1996.
2011-Professor Dame Ann Dowling
Ann Dowling is a Fellow of the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and is a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering and of the French Academy of Sciences. She has an Honorary ScD degree from Trinity College Dublin.
Professor Dowling has served on a number industry and government advisory committees and and chaired the Royal Society/Royal Academy of Engineering study on nanotechnology. She is currently Chair of Main Panel B: Physical Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics in the Research Excellence Framework.
Professor Dowling has held visiting posts at MIT (Jerome C Hunsaker Visiting Professor, 1999) and at Caltech (Moore Distinguished Scholar, 2001).
She was appointed CBE by the Queen for services to Mechanical Engineering in 2002 and DBE for services to Science in 2007.
2011-Dr H Peter Jost
Dr Jost studied in Liverpool and Manchester and at the age of 29 was appointed general manager and then director of an international lubricants firm in London. He was responsible for the development of several innovative products, including a system of oil-free steam cylinder lubrication. He quickly established himself as a pioneer and leading authority in the new field of study, known as tribology.
Five decades later, his work continues to be recognised and celebrated throughout the world. He has been active in professional bodies and has been a highly influential figure on many government committees in the UK dealing with science and technology applications to industry.
Before his retirement in 2006, Peter Jost was Chairman of several industrial technology companies.
He is President of the International Tribology Council, the world organisation of tribology societies.
Dr Jost has received honours from the Heads of State of five European countries (UK, Austria, Germany, France and Poland) as well as the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor of Japan. He has received professional awards from 14 countries, including the first Achievement for Tribology Gold Medal to be awarded by the Chinese Tribology Institution to a non-Chinese recipient.
Dr Jost joined the Institution in 1943, becoming a Fellow in 1957 and was Vice-President in 1987. He retired from Council service in 1992 after a total of 18 years.
2012-Sir Thomas John Parker
Sir John Parker GBE is Chairman of Anglo American plc, Vice Chairman of DP World (Dubai) (since 2006), Non-Executive Director of Carnival Corporation (since 2003) and Airbus Group (since 2007).
Born into a farming family in County Down, he studied Naval Architecture and Mechanical Engineering at the College of Technology and Queens University, Belfast and then joined the ship design team at Harland & Wolff, 1964. After extensive ship design and research experience at Lloyds Register and NPL, he held a number of senior management positions in technical, production and ship sales.
He was appointed Managing Director of Austin & Pickersgill (Shipbuilders) Sunderland in 1974. Following nationalisation of the shipbuilding industry, he was appointed to the Board of British Shipbuilders Corporation (1978), later becoming Deputy Chief Executive. He returned to Harland & Wolff (1983-1993) as Chairman and Chief Executive to lead a turn around and transfer from Public to Private Sector.
Sir John joined Babcock International plc as CEO in 1993 and Chairman and CEO (1994-2000) - during a period of significant Group turn around and transformation. In 1997 he became a Non-Executive Director of British Gas which led to his becoming Chairman of the Lattice Group on its demerger from BG Group in 2000. Lattice then merged with National Grid in 2002, with Sir John becoming Chairman of the combined Gas and Electricity company, National Grid Transco.
He has also been Non-Executive Director of: the Industrial Development Board of Northern Ireland 1983-1986; British Coal Corporation 1986-1993; GKN plc 1993-2002; BG plc 1997-2000; Brambles Industries plc 2001-2003; and Non-Executive Director and subsequently Deputy Chairman of P&O Princess Cruises plc 2000-2003. Sir John was also Chairman of Firth Rixson plc 1999-2003. From 2002, as Chairman RMC Group he led their transformation and agreed sale to Cemex of Mexico in 2005. He was appointed Chairman of P&O in 2005 and led the Groups agreed sale to DP World (Dubai) in 2006.
Sir John was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1983. Other honours/posts include: election as an Elder Brother of Trinity House 2010; President of Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers 2010; being a member of the General Committee of Lloyds Register of Shipping; Vice President of The Royal Navy and Marines Charity; Governor of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution; President of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects 1996-1999; Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights 2000-2001; and an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Fuellers and the Tallow Chandlers Livery Company. He led ‘Young Offenders into Work’ program from 2000-2011.
Sir John is a Visiting Fellow of University of Oxford, he is the recipient of honorary doctorates from a number of universities in the UK and Ireland. He has served on the Defence Academy Advisory Board, was a Member of the Government's Asia Task Force and was Deputy Chairman of the White Ensign Association (2008/9). He was knighted in 2001 for Services to the Defence and Shipbuilding Industries and was appointed GBE in 2012 for Services to Industry and the Voluntary Sectors.
Sir John's recreational pursuits include reading, music and sailing (being a Member of the Royal Yacht Squadron).
2012-Professor Dr Zhou Ji
Zhou Ji was born on 26 August 1946 in Hubei Province. He graduated from
Tsinghua University in 1970 and received PhD degree from State
University of New York at Buffalo in 1984.
He is a professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST). Dr. Zhou
successively served the posts as President of HUST, Director-General
of the Hubei Provincial Department of Science and Technology,Mayor of Wuhan city, and Minister of Education. He was elected Member of CAE in 1999.
During his professional career, Dr. Zhou was actively involved in research and development of Optimal Design, Computer Aided Design, and Numerical Control technology. He advanced the algorithm of direct interpolation for NC machining and the algorithm of monotonism analysis for optimization. He and his team developed
a series of NC equipments and software packages on mechanical CAD, which has been widely used in various industries like machinery, aeronautics, astronautics and energy. Dr. Zhou has got 11 books and over 200 papers published and
was honored several times with theState Award for Science and Technology Progress.
2013-Ratan Naval Tata
Ratan Tata joined the family business in 1962, working on the Tata Steel shopfloor at Jamshedpur, just one of several thousand employees. In 1991 he was appointed as the chairman of the Tata group. Under his stewardship, Tata Tea acquired Tetley; Tata motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel acquired Corus; which have turned Tata from a largely India-centric company into a global business, with 65% revenues coming from abroad. He also pushed the development of the T
ata Indica and the Tata Nano.
Tata is chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and a few other group companies. He is also the chairman of the main two Tata trusts Sir Dorabji Tata and Allied Trusts and Sir Ratan Tata Trust which together hold 66% of shares in the group holding company Tata Sons.
He is also associated with various organisations in India and overseas. He is the chairman of two of the largest private-sector-promoted philanthropic trusts in India. He is a member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry. He is the president of the Court of the Indian Institute of Science and chairman of the Council of Management of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He also serves on the board of trustees of Cornell University and the University of Southern California. Tata serves on the board of directors of Alcoa, and is also on the international advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, Rolls-Royce, Temasek Holdings and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
He received the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and Lifetime Achievement Award awarded by Rockefeller Foundation in 2012. In 2009, Tata was given an honorary knighthood, the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE).
He has also received honorary doctorates from several universities in India and overseas.
Liversidge was the first female president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, in 1997. She was born in 1949.
In the late 1960s, she decided that she wanted to pursue a career in engineering, then an unusual career for a woman. She embarked on a Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Aston, in Birmingham. At this time it was usual for engineering students to receive sponsorship, but this proved difficult to obtain as a female engineering student. After graduating, she obtained a position as Graduate Trainee with GKN, based in the West Midlands.
In 1976, she moved to George William Thornton, a small forging company based in Sheffield. Starting as Assistant Technical Manager, she progressed to Sales Director. In 1987 she moved to East Midlands Electricity as Strategic Planning Manager. She was eventually promoted to Divisional Director of East Midland Electricity’s trading businesses.
In 1993 Liversidge set up a company to manufacture specialist metal powders. The company came about through her interest in Medical Engineering. This interest also saw her promote the formation of a Medical Engineering Division in the IMechE during her time as President. She also facilitated the formation of AIME – the Association of Institutions in Medical Engineering. The manufacturing company was sold in 1996, and she is now Managing Director of a holding company, Quest Investments Ltd.
During her time as President, Liversidge initiated the ‘Moving Forward’ programme. It included a wide-ranging review of the Institution’s activities, allowing it to respond to changes in the Mechanical Engineering profession. Education and Qualification procedures relating accreditation were also reviewed. She also opposed the SARTOR regulations.
She was awarded an OBE in 1999 in recognition of her services to the Institution and Engineering. She is also a member of the WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) National Co-ordinating Committee, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, of the City and Guilds Institute and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She is also a Freeman of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire and of the Worshipful Company of Engineers. Liversidge has received honorary doctorates from Central England, Aston, Bradford and Sheffield Hallam, Huddersfield and Sheffield Universities.
Lord Bamford, formerly Sir Anthony Bamford, has been Chairman of JCB since the end of 1975, succeeding his father, the late Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE, HonFIMechE, who founded the company on the day his son was born on 23 October 1945.
Under Lord Bamford’s leadership, JCB has grown to become one of the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturers.
Based on his belief in the importance of product he has built an engineering-driven organisation and culture which prizes innovation, and has become one of the powerhouses of R&D in the UK.
JCB is a highly vertically-integrated operation, manufacturing the cabs, chassis, hydraulic rams, manual and automatic transmissions, axles and engines for most of its machines – all engineered in house.
JCB entered into diesel engine production in 2004 and the JCB Dieselmax engine is the only engine that meets the stringent European Stage 3b emissions norms without exhaust after-treatment making it the cleanest in the industry. The engine is manufactured both in the UK and India.
Lord Bamford personally inspired the project that resulted in the JCB Dieselmax car, powered by two JCB engines, setting the current world land speed record for a diesel-powered car at 350mph set on the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA in August 2006. The Institution was heavily engaged in the promotion of engineering linked to this unique vehicle.
JCB exports more than 75% of its UK-built machines to 150 countries around the world. The group has a global manufacturing footprint comprising eleven plants in the UK, five in India where JCB is market leader, and single plants in USA, Brazil and China.
An independent report by Oxford Economics recently concluded that JCB provides indirect employment worth 18,000 jobs in the UK, in addition to the 6,000 directly employed by JCB itself.
JCB has won more than 50 premier awards for exports, marketing, design, technology and for its care for the environment, among them 27 Queen’s Awards for Technological and Export achievement
Lord Bamford spearheaded the establishment of The JCB Academy in Rocester, which opened in September 2010, a £22 million project to create the next generation of young engineers and businesspeople.
His maiden speech in the House of Lords (2014) started with the words: ”My Lords, I am an engineer and a manufacturer – a manufacturer of construction and agricultural machinery. I have spent my whole life making things – that that enable other people to make still more things."
During his career through personal leadership and engagement with engineers of all disciplines Lord Bamford has built the success story that is JCB, and has been one of the strongest ambassadors for British engineering. He is also a champion for manufacturing and education.
Lord Bamford’s career began with a two year engineering apprenticeship at Massey Ferguson in France before he started at the JCB World Headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, in 1964.
Lord Bamford himself has been recipient of Young Exporter of the Year (1972), Young Businessman of the Year (1979) and Top Exporter of the Year (1995). He was appointed a UK Trade & Industry Business ambassador in 2011.
He was knighted in 1990, was a former High Sheriff and is a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (2003) and an Honorary Fellow of The City and Guilds Institute (1993) and the Institution of Engineering Designers (2008). He is a Chevalier, l’Ordre National du Mérite (France 1989) and Commendatore al merito della Repubblica Italiana (Italy 1995).
Lord Bamford was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014.
He is active in charitable work through the Bamford Charitable Foundation, established in 1979 to support charities and needy causes, particularly in Staffordshire. The Foundation gives quietly and generously to many organisations.
2015-Dame Sue Ion
As one of the UK’s foremost nuclear engineers, Dame Sue Ion was appointed Chair of the Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board by the Government in January 2014.
She also represents the UK on the European Commission EURATOM Science and Technology Committee (which she now Chairs) and is an international member of the US Department of Energy's Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee.
Dame Sue was appointed Visiting Professor at Imperial College in 2006 and of London Southbank University in 2011 and has been a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Manchester since 2004. She has held an Honorary Professorship at the University of Central Lancashire since the beginning of 2007.
Sue's background is in materials science/metallurgy. She gained a first class honours from Imperial College in 1976 and a PhD in 1979 before joining British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) as a technical officer. She was promoted to Executive Group Director of Technology of BNFL in 1992 and served in this capacity until 2006. From 1997 she assumed functional accountability for the whole of the Group's Technology portfolio including Westinghouse, during a period of tremendous change for the company and the nuclear sector generally.
She has been involved in energy matters since 2004 and chaired the steering group which oversaw the Research Councils’ International Review of Energy Research 2010-2011. Earlier this year she completed her term of office as the representative of the Royal Academy of Engineering on the UK Government’s Energy Research Partnership.
Dame Sue was the UK’s representative on the IAEA Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Energy 2000-2006;a member of the UK Council for Science and Technology from 2004-2011; a member of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council from 1994-2001; a member of Council of EPSRC between 2005-2010 and Chaired the Fusion Advisory Board for the Research Councils between 2006-2012.
She received an OBE in 2002 for services to the nuclear industry and a DBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours for services to Science and Engineering.
Dame Sue was elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1996 and has Chaired the Awards Committee, the Engineering Policy Committee, the Energy Policy Sub-Committee, served as a Vice-President and Member of Council of the Royal Academy of Engineering 2002-2008 and remains Chair of the MacRobert Award Judging Panel.
Dame Sue was the first woman to be awarded the President’s Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014. She is also a Fellow of The Royal Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining; a Fellow of the Nuclear Institute; and an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management.
Dame Sue Ion has remained at the forefront of government decisions, helping to advise on long-term strategic policies and is internationally recognised as a global expert in nuclear engineering.
2016-Professor William Steen
Professor William Steen founded the world’s first laser material-processing research group at Imperial College in 1968 and pioneered scientific research in this field. This developed into a major manufacturing field including laser cutting, drilling, welding, surface hardening, surface cladding, material surface modification and additive manufacturing (commonly known as 3D printing). He is commonly referred to as the ‘Father of Laser Materials Processing’ within the laser processing community.
Professor Steen invented the process of laser chemical vapour deposition. The process is now widely used worldwide for thin film deposition, and the production of nano-materials.
Professor Steen invented and patented laser arc hybrid welding in 1975. The technology is now used in many industrial sectors worldwide, generating £millions for the economy.
He and his research group invented the process of blown powder laser cladding in 1983, a process that is now used worldwide for component repairs, and surface modifications.
They also invented the laser direct casting process, i.e. additive manufacturing of 3D metal components in 1997. The process is the foundation of laser additive manufacturing for metallic materials – commonly known as 3D printing.
Professor Steen pioneered methods for measuring high power laser beam characteristics by scanning metallic wires in 1982, an instrument known as the Laser Beam Analyser (LBA) that has been successfully commercialised.
He co-founded the Association of Industrial Laser Users (AILU) and was its President for the first eight years. The Association has played a very important role in driving the innovations in laser processing technologies and industrial take-ups in the UK.
Professor Steen’s book “Laser Material Processing” is the first textbook on the subject and has been the “Bible” for students, researchers and engineers learning laser material processing and has inspired many generations of researchers and engineers in the field.
He has over 280 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and international conferences and 15 patents.
2016-Sir Terry Morgan (Induction to take place April 2018)