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Robert Pohl

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Dr. Robert Pohl (c1879-1956)

1956 Obituary [1]

DR. ROBERT POHL, who died on March 15th, aged seventy-seven, was associated with many technical advances in electrical engineering, perhaps the best known of which was the development of the interpole pole as a means of improving commutation in direct current motors and generators. He was also one of the original sponsors of high-voltage alternating current at 50 c/s for railway electrification - a system which has been successfully developed by French Railways and has recently been adopted by the British Transport Commission for British Railways.

Robert Pohl was born in Germany and came to England in 1904 at the age of twenty-five.

When he was only twenty-eight he became chief engineer of the Phoenix Dynamo Company, which is now the Bradford works of the English Electric Company, Ltd.

In 1919 he returned to Germany and then for nearly twenty years he was a director and chief engineer of the A.E.G. turbine works in Berlin. His attitude towards the Nazi regime caused him to leave Germany again, shortly before the second world war and he took up an appointment in the electrical engineering department of Birmingham University, where he acted as consultant to Professor Oliphant on nuclear physics machines.

He was also a consultant to the British Thomson-Houston Company Ltd. and, until he retired three years ago, be was a moderator in the University of London.

For many years Dr. Pohl was a very active member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

A prolific writer, he was the author of more than sixty original papers. His contributions to the columns of THE ENGINEER included articles on "Flux Distribution and Armature Reaction in D.C. Interpole Machines" (January 31 1941) and on "Heating of Turbo-Alternator Rotors due to Rectifier Load" (September 26, 1941).

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