Watson-Watt Inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame

The Brechin-born pioneer of radar who was a key figure in the Battle of Britain victory has been added to the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame

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Sir Robert Watson-Watt was honoured at the James Watt Dinner in Glasgow along with Tay and Forth bridges engineer Sir William Arrol, pioneer of thermodynamics William John MacQuorn Rankine and bionic hand boffin Hugh Gill.

The event was hosted by the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland.

A descendant of steam engine creator James Watt, Watson-Watt (1892–1973) was educated at Brechin High School andstudied at University College, Dundee, which would later become Dundee 
University.

As war loomed in the 30s, he was asked by the government to find a way to track aircraft amid fears the Nazis has developed a “death ray” which could destroy towns and cities from the air.

His response was a report on detecting aircraft by radio methods, and his theories later proved successful in a trial against a Heyford Bomber.

Watson-Watt was subsequently put in charge of the Air Ministry’s Bawdsey Research Station near Felixstowe.

His work at Bawdsey resulted in a chain of radar stations being set up along the east and south coasts of England in time for the outbreak of war in 1939. This system provided vital advance warning of incoming attack and helped the Royal Air Force win the Battle of Britain.

Brechin High School head teacher Steve Dempsey has a personal interest in Watson-Watt’s achievements, being a physics teacher and member of the local Robert Watson-Watt Society. He said: “As a school we are very proud of the achievements of Watson-Watt. “Watson-Watt was a key figure in winning the Battle of Britain.”

Taken from theCourier.co.uk Article – 5th October 2013

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