Catalogue of the papers of DOUGLAS RICHARD CHICK (1916 - 1978)

This record is held by Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Archives

Details of CSAC 72.2.80
Reference: CSAC 72.2.80
Title: Catalogue of the papers of DOUGLAS RICHARD CHICK (1916 - 1978)





CSAC 72.2.80/B.1 Ministry of Supply


CSAC 72.2.80/B.2 - CSAC 72.2.80/B.69 Associated Electrical Industries Ltd. Research Laboratory, Aldermaston


CSAC 72.2.80/B.70 - CSAC 72.2.80/B.83 Vickers Company Research Laboratory, Ascot


C. TALKS, LECTURES, CONFERENCES, 1946-65 CSAC 72.2.80/C.1 - CSAC 72.2.80/C.42


D. UNIVERSITY OF SURREY, 1965-78 CSAC 72.2.80/D.1 - CSAC 72.2.80/D.48


CSAC 72.2.80/D.1 - CSAC 72.2.80/D.11 Lectures, speeches, conferences, 1965-73


CSAC 72.2.80/D.12 - CSAC 72.2.80/D.26 'Working Party on Continuing Development and Education for Engineers', 1968-73


CSAC 72.2.80/D.27 - CSAC 72.2.80/D.41 Ion Implantation Group, 1965-69


CSAC 72.2.80/D.42 - CSAC 72.2.80/D.48 Miscellaneous other material (includes some of Chick's research notes, 1977-78)


Compiled by Jeannine Alton and Julia Latham- Jackson

Date: 1921-1978
Related material:

Two engraved metal plaques commemorating the opening (see CSAC 72.2.80/B.39) and closing of the Merlin Research Reactor, and which originally formed part of the collection donated by Mrs. Chick, are held separately by the Institution of Electrical Engineers, which also has a set of A.E.I. Research Reports.

Held by: Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Chick, Douglas Richard, 1924-1978, scientist and electrical engineer

Physical description: 23 boxes
Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were received from Mrs. Chick and from Professor Stephens of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Surrey, to both of whom we are grateful for help and advice.

Administrative / biographical background:

Douglas Richard Chick was born in Hastings, Sussex, in 1916. His father was an officer in the Indian army, as a result of which his early education took place in various army garrison schools in U.K. and abroad (see CSAC 72.2.80/A.2, CSAC 72.2.80/A.3, CSAC 72.2.80/A.7 and Summary of Career). On returning to England in 1932, he attended Dartford Technical College before commencing a full-time sandwich course at Woolwich Polytechnic and a student apprenticeship with Johnson and Phillips Ltd. in 1933. (See CSAC 72.2.80/A.4, CSAC 72.2.80/A.5, CSAC 72.2.80/A.8, CSAC 72.2.80/A.9.)


After graduating from Woolwich in 1937 with a B.Sc. (Eng.) and a Higher National Diploma in Electrical Engineering, Chick began work as a Junior Scientific Officer at the Signals Experimental Establishment, Woolwich, engaged on research and development of military radio and radio jamming equipment. He continued to attend Woolwich Polytechnic in his spare time, doing research on gas discharge tubes for an M.Sc. degree (CSAC 72.2.80/A.11, CSAC 72.2.80/A.12). On the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Ministry of Supply, working at Bawdsey and Christchurch on radar and low flying aircraft defence equipment. He was promoted to Scientific Officer in 1941, and spent the remainder of the war doing research on various aspects of radar including searchlight radar control, for which he received a wartime inventor's award in 1946 (see CSAC 72.2.80/A.14). He also filed several patent specifications for work done during this period (see CSAC 72.2.80/A.27). Other papers relating to Chick's career before 1946 are to be found at CSAC 72.2.80/A.5, CSAC 72.2.80/A.6, CSAC 72.2.80/A.10, CSAC 72.2.80/B.1.


In 1946 Chick joined the Research Laboratory of Associated Electrical Industries Ltd. at Aldermaston, where he was appointed Section Leader of the Nuclear Physics Section. He later became Group Leader of the newly-formed Nuclear Sciences Group (see CSAC 72.2.80/B.14). A considerable part of the collection relates to work at A.E.I. Aldermaston, though the record is far from complete. There are a few notebooks covering some of Chick's early research on accelerators (CSAC 72.2.80/B.2 - CSAC 72.2.80/B.5) but the remaining material (B.6 - CSAC 72.2.80/B.69) mainly consists of memoranda, correspondence, research reports, notes of meetings, etc., mostly from the late 1950s up to about 1962. Included with these is a collection of press-cuttings assembled by Chick, mainly relating to research on controlled thermonuclear reactions at A.E.I. Aldermaston and elsewhere (see CSAC 72.2.80/B.39). Drafts for lectures and published papers re research in progress at A.E.I. are to be found in Section C.


In 1963 Chick moved to become Research Manager of the Vickers Company Research Laboratory, Ascot, where he remained until 1966. Papers relating to this period are to be found at CSAC 72.2.80/B.70 - CSAC 72.2.80/B.83.


In 1966 Chick was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the new University of Surrey (formerly Battersea College of Advanced Technology). Having spent most of his life working in industry, Chick was convinced of the importance and mutual advantage of close cooperation between the technological universities and industry, and much of his work at Surrey was directed towards promoting this aim. Among other things he organised collaborative Ph.D. programmes and industrial research fellowships, introduced a compulsory industrial year for undergraduates, and formed an Industrial Electronics Group which made the expertise of his academic staff available to industry on a contract research basis. Most of the speeches and lectures in Section D emphasise the importance of collaboration with industry and there are also several folders documenting the 'Working Party on Continuing Development and Education for Engineers' (CSAC 72.2.80/D.12 - CSAC 72.2.80/D.26) which was set up to make arrangements for Surrey to help in the task of keeping engineers in industry in touch with the latest technological developments.


The remainder of Section D deals mainly with the setting up of a research group on Ion Implantation which grew in a short time to achieve an international reputation. There are also a few of Chick's own research notes from his last years at Surrey.


In addition to Chick's own papers there are a number of lectures and memoranda in the collection by colleagues at A.E.I. Aldermaston and elsewhere. Most of these are to be found in Section B, and they are itemised in the body of the catalogue, but special mention should be made of a number of items by or relating to D. Gabor, as follows: CSAC 72.2.80/A.16, CSAC 72.2.80/B.9, CSAC 72.2.80/B.17, CSAC 72.2.80/B.18, CSAC 72.2.80/B.19, CSAC 72.2.80/B.20, CSAC 72.2.80/B.21, CSAC 72.2.80/B.40, CSAC 72.2.80/C.4 - CSAC 72.2.80/C.7. See also items by Sir John Cockcroft (B.12, CSAC 72.2.80/C.32) and Sir George Thomson (B.40). Correspondence, memoranda, etc. by T.E. Allibone are to be found passim in Section B.


b.1916 Hastings, Sussex


Educated Bishop Cotton School, Simla


Karachi Grammar School


Dartford Technical College


1933 - 37 Full-time sandwich course, Woolwich Polytechnic Student Apprentice, Johnson and Phillips Ltd.


1937 B.Sc. (Eng.), Higher National Diploma in Electrical Engineering


1937 - 39 Junior Scientific Officer, Signals Experimental Establishment, Woolwich


1939 - 41 Junior Scientific Officer, Ministry of Supply, Bawdsey and Christchurch


1941 - 46 Scientific Officer, Ministry of Supply, Malvern and Christchurch (Senior Scientific Officer, 1946)


1946 Wartime Inventor's award with W.S. Eastwood and A.J.H. Oxford


1946 - 63 Associated Electrical Industries Ltd., Research Laboratory, Aldermaston


1946-58 Section Leader, Nuclear Physics Section


1958-63 Group Leader, Nuclear Sciences Group


1950 M.Sc. (Eng.) London


1951 m. M.E. Thomas


1952 Fellow, Institution of Electrical Engineers


1953 M.Sc. (Physics) Reading


1960 D.Sc. (Eng.) London


1963 - 66 Research Manager, Vickers Company Research Laboratory Ascot


1966 - 78 Professor and Head of Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Surrey

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