Tizard, Sir Henry Thoms

Tizard, Sir Henry Thoms
SUBJECT AREA: Weapons and armour
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b. 23 August 1885 Gillingham, Kent, England
d. 9 October 1959 Fareham, Hampshire, England
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English scientist and administrator who made many contributions to military technology.
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Educated at Westminster College, in 1904 Tizard went to Magdalen College, Oxford, gaining Firsts in mathematics and chemistry. After a period of time in Berlin with Nernst, he joined the Royal Institution in 1909 to study the colour changes of indicators. From 1911 until 1914 he was a tutorial Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, but with the outbreak of the First World War he joined first the Royal Garrison Artillery, then, in 1915, the newly formed Royal Flying Corps, to work on the development of bomb-sights. Successively in charge of testing aircraft, a lieutenant-colonel in the Ministry of Munitions and Assistant Controller of Research and Experiments for the Royal Air Force, he returned to Oxford in 1919 and the following year became Reader in Chemical Thermodynamics; at this stage he developed the use of toluene as an air-craft-fuel additive.
In 1922 he was appointed an assistant secretary at the government Department of Industrial and Scientific Research, becoming Principal Assistant Secretary in 1922 and its Permanent Director in 1927; during this time he was also a member of the Aeronautical Research Committee, being Chairman of the latter in 1933–43. From 1929 to 1942 he was Rector of Imperial College. In 1932 he was also appointed Chairman of a committee set up to investigate possible national air-defence systems, and it was largely due to his efforts that the radar proposals of Watson-Watt were taken up and an effective system made operational before the outbreak of the Second World War. He was also involved in various other government activities aimed at applying technology to the war effort, including the dam-buster and atomic bombs.
President of Magdalen College in 1942–7, he then returned again to Whitehall, serving as Chairman of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy and of the Defence Research Policy Committee. Finally, in 1952, he became Pro-Chan-cellor of Southampton University.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Air Force Cross 1918. CB 1927. KCB 1937. GCB 1949. American Medal of Merit 1947. FRS 1926. Ten British and Commonwealth University honorary doctorates. Hon. Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Royal Society of Arts Gold Medal. Franklin Institute Gold Medal. President, British Association 1948. Trustee of the British Museum 1937–59.
Bibliography
1911, The sensitiveness of indicators', British Association Report (describes Tizard's work on colour changes in indicators).
Further Reading
1961, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society VII, London: Royal Society.
KF

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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