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British Industrial History

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Edmund Griffen

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Professor Edmund Griffen (1902-1963)

1963 Obituary [1]

Professor Edmund Giffen's untimely death on 2nd July terminated a career which was outstanding in many ways, but especially for its contributions to engineering education.

Professor Giffen was born on 1st January 1902 and took his engineering degree at Queen's University, Belfast. He worked for 8 years with Harland and Wolff, and in 1927 was appointed Lecturer in Engineering at King's College, London.

In 1940 he was awarded the D.Sc. degree for his notable researches on internal combustion engines and, in the same year, he became Director of Research of the Institution of Automobile Engineers.

In 1945 he decided to return to an academic career and was appointed Professor of Engineering at Queen Mary College, a post he held until his death.

It is impossible to do justice to Professor Giffen's many activities. He was responsible for the new engineering buildings at Queen Mary College and for the growth of research there and, in 1953, he was appointed Vice-Principal of the College. He was closely associated with the national scheme for Colleges of Advanced Technology. He served on many committees. His studies of engineering education took him to the United States and the U.S.S.R. and he paid visits to universities in East and West Africa to give advice on the setting up of faculties of engineering.

Professor Giffen became a full Member of the Institution in 1938, and was elected Member of Council in 1952. He served on the Education Committee from 1952 until his death, and was Chairman from 1956 to 1958.

He helped to forward cooperation on education between the Engineering Institutions and, at the time of his death, was Chairman of the Joint Advisory Committee on Engineering Education.

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