Denbigh, Kenneth George 1911-2004

views updated

DENBIGH, Kenneth George 1911-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born May 30, 1911, in Luton, England; died January 23, 2004, in London, England. Chemical engineer, educator, and author. Denbigh was a widely respected theoretician who wrote especially on the topics of thermodynamics and the concept of time. He studied chemistry at Leeds University, where he graduated with first-class honors in 1932, and in 1934 completed his Ph.D. His early career began at Imperial Chemical Industries in Billingham, England, where he was a chemist from 1934 until 1948. It was while there that he became interested in concepts of time in managing chemical engineering problems, and this, in turn, led to a fascination with thermodynamics. He joined the faculty at Cambridge University as a lecturer in 1948, followed by a professorship at the University of Edinburgh from 1955 to 1960. Next, Denbigh moved to the University of London, where he was professor of chemical engineering at the Imperial College of Science and Technology for six years and the principal of Queen Elizabeth College from 1966 until his 1977 retirement. As a theorist, Denbigh explored such difficult problems as the subjective versus objective nature of time and entropy, but another concern of his was the environmental and social implications and consequences of the industrial revolution. Among his publications are The Thermodynamics of the Steady State (1951), Science, Industry, and Social Policy (1963), Three Concepts of Time (1981), and, with his son, Jonathan, Entropy in Relation to Incomplete Knowledge (1985).


OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Independent (London, England), February 24, 2004, p. 35.

About this article

Denbigh, Kenneth George 1911-2004

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article