Blok, Arthur

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BLOK, ARTHUR

BLOK, ARTHUR (1882–1974), English engineer, first head of the Haifa Technion. Blok studied electrical engineering at University College, London, and became personal assistant to Prof. Ambrose Fleming, the inventor of the radio tube. He personally operated the instrument which flashed radio signals, for the first time in history, from Cornwall to America, in 1901, and became principal examiner in the British Patent Office. Blok became a Zionist during World War i and in 1920 was appointed by the Zionist Executive as a member of the Governing Board of the Haifa Technion. He was the only engineer on that body and was invited to become the first head of the institution. At the request of Sir Herbert Samuel, the British Patent Office granted him extended leave to enable him to take up his position, which he did in August 1924, organizing the first academic staff.

Blok returned to England a year later and did research in nuclear polymers. In 1946 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for outstanding scientific services during World War ii. He continued to take an interest in the Technion and was a member of the Council of Jews' College.