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Churchill contains:
<-- See earlier
HAMB The Papers of Grace Hamblin
HARD The Papers of Russell Hardy
HARS The Diaries of Fedor Minorsky (alias Theodor Harris)
HART The Papers of Sir Harold Hartley
HARV The Papers of Sir George Harvie-Watt
HATN The Papers of Sir William Hawthorne
HBBK The Papers of David Francis Hubback
HCAM The Papers of Helen Cam
HDLM The Papers of Sir James and Agnes Headlam-Morley
HDSL The Papers of Sir (Eric) John Hodsoll
HEND The Papers of Captain A. R. Henderson relating to Invergordon
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The Papers of Sir William Hawthorne

Title The Papers of Sir William Hawthorne
Reference GBR/0014/HATN
Creator Hawthorne, Sir William Rede, 1913-2011, knight, professor of Applied Thermodynamics
Covering Dates 1910–1999
Extent and Medium 241 boxes
Repository Churchill Archives Centre
Content and context

William Rede Hawthorne was born in Benton, Newcastle upon Tyne, on May 22 1913. After attending Westminster School, he read mathematics and engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating in 1934. He spent two years as a graduate apprentice with Babcock and Wilcox Ltd, then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where his research in laminar and turbulent flames earned him a ScD two years later. In 1939 he married Barbara Runkle (died 1992, grand-daughter of MIT's second President), they had one son and two daughters.

After MIT he returned to Babcock and Wilcox. In 1940, he joined the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. He was seconded from there to Power Jets Ltd at Lutterworth, where he worked with Frank Whittle on combustion chamber development for the jet engine. In 1941 he returned to Farnborough as head of the newly formed Gas Turbine Division and in 1944 he was sent for a time to Washington to work with the British Air Commission. In 1945 he became Deputy Director of Engine Research in the Ministry of Supply before returning to America a year later as an Associate Professor of Engineering at MIT. He was appointed George Westinghouse Professor of Mechanical Engineering there at the age of 35 and in 1951 returned to Cambridge as the first Hopkinson and ICI Professor of Applied Thermodynamics.

The oil shortage following the Suez crisis and Hawthorne's interest in energy matters led to his invention and development of Dracone flexible barges for transporting oil. Hawthorne was active on many committees and advisory bodies concerned with energy matters, in particular the Advisory Council on Energy Conservation, of which he was chairman from its inception in 1974.

Hawthorne was elected to the fellowship of the Royal Society in 1955. He was knighted in 1970. He became Head of the Department of Engineering in Cambridge in 1968 and was appointed Master of Churchill College, Cambridge in the same year. He retired as Master in 1983 and died in September 2011.

The papers in this collection relate to Sir William's personal life and to his business, research and University interests.

These papers have been deposited in 22 accessions since 1980. 26 boxes of personal/family material were removed from the Hawthorne Papers and returned to the Hawthorne family.

This collection is owned by Churchill College.

Access and Use

The permission of Sir William's family is required before access can be given to this collection - please contact Churchill Archives Centre about this. Please note that files HATN 3/6, 6/4, 7/15/23 and sections 8 (apart from HATN 8/24/1-3) and 13 remain closed. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the volume must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Sir William Hawthorne, HATN

Further information

Churchill Archives Centre also holds the papers of Sir Frank Whittle (GBR/014/WHTL). Papers relating to Hawthorne's period of office as Master of Churchill College are held in the College Archives, which are administered separately.

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives (NRA), London and on the Janus website, http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/.

The collection has been catalogued and copies of a more detailed catalogue are available at Churchill Archives Centre and the NRA.

This Collection (fonds) and Series Level description was compiled by Louise King of Churchill Archives Centre, July 2004 using text from the original catalogue compiled by Joan Bullock-Anderson (then Churchill College Archivist) in 1995. The 2001 additional material was incorporated into the collection and added to the catalogue by Natalie Adams, Louise King and Ruth Hammond.

Index Terms
Whittle, Sir Frank (1907-1996) Knight, Air Commodore, aeronautical engineer
Hawthorne, Sir William Rede (1913-2011) Knight, Professor of Applied Thermodynamics
University of Cambridge
Churchill/HATN contains:
1 Personal Papers. Files include family correspondence, photographs, certificates and diplomas, diaries, academic work, and school reports. 1925–1999
2 Early Career. The contents of these files cover Hawthorne's work with Power Jet Ltd as well as Babcock and Wilcox. 1941–1966
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Contents include correspondence, memoranda, reports, and notes on problems. 1936–1983
4 Dracones. The Dracone project was born at the end of November 1956. Because of the Suez crisis, petrol was rationed as there were not enough tankers to keep up normal supplies from the Persian Gulf by the Cape route. William Hawthorne developed an idea for using plastic vessels, made of rubberised cotton dinghy fabric, as oil barges, to be filled with oil and towed by existing tankers. When empty, Dracones could be rolled up and returned more quickly, even by air, to the source of supply. . These plastic vessels were christened Dracones by A S F Gow, the nearest word in Greek for a mythical monster such as a sea serpent. Draconella was launched in April 1957 - also made of rubberised cotton dinghy fabric, but bigger than the original test models. It was tested on the river Ouse. Dracone Developments Ltd was formed in August 1957, at the instigation of the National Research Development Corporation, as a private company to exploit and develop patents and information held by WRH, Sir Geoffrey Taylor and Mr J C S Shaw. 20 Dracones were built in the first two and a half years, in sizes ranging from 15 to 320 tons, and over 2000 tons of petroleum products were transported by Dracones in regular operation to the Isle of Wight. Dracone Operations Ltd was formed in 1959 by Hambros Bank and H Clarkson Ltd, shipbrokers, and the word-wide licence was given to DOL by DDL. Dunlop Dracones was formed in the 1960s as a consortium of Dunlop Rubber Co Ltd and Dracone Developments Ltd. The files held at Churchill Archives Centre contain papers relating to the formation of the project, minutes, accounts, correspondence, and publicity material. 1957–1970
5 Cambridge University Engineering Department.
6 Cambridge University - General Papers. Papers relating to the Committee of the General Board on Courses Combining Arts and Sciences, the Sociology Group, the Social Sciences Policy Committee, the Sociology Advisory Committee, the North American Committee on Bursaries for Overseas Students, the Pentacle Club (magic) and the University Air Squadron. 1959–1987
7 Consultancies. Papers relating to Hawthorne's work for companies including Cummins Engine Company, Holset Engineering Company Limited, Kirloskar-Cummins Ltd, and Hawthorne Associates. 1946–1996
8 Committees and Advisory Boards. Files relate to, amongst others, the following bodies: Advisory Council on Energy Conservation, Air Ministry (and Royal Aircraft Establishment) Strategic Scientific Policy Committee, Atomic Energy Research Establishment, British Bicentennial Liaison Committee, British Electricity Authority Condensing Gas Turbine Committee, Coal Industry Research, Electricity Supply Research Council, Royal College of Defence Studies/Imperial Defence College, the Royal Society, Westminster School, Shell UK Ltd. 1948–1995
9 Professional Bodies. Papers relating to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the District Heating Association, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Royal Engineers, and SIGMA XI. 1946–1988
10 Conferences and Visits. Conference subjects include nuclear power, computer-aided design, turbomachinary, solar energy, thermodynamics and world energy. Visits to France, Geneva, Japan, Nigeria, Israel, China, Barbados, and Czechoslovakia. 1951–1988
11 Reviews, Editorials, Publications, Prizes and Awards. Includes a list of Hawthorne's publications and copies of them, correspondence, and copies of articles reviewed. 1939–1988
12 Speeches and Lectures. Correspondence about lectures delivered, offprints, tapes, and the texts of lectures. 1946–1994
13 General Correspondence and Cuttings. Alphabetical correspondence files, as well as correspondence with individuals and organisations. Cuttings about radiation, the Institute of Economic Affairs, and Churchill College. 1910–1990

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