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