Lockspeiser, Sir ben

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LOCKSPEISER, SIR BEN (1891–1990), British engineer and civil servant. The son of a London diamond merchant, Ben ("Benny" was his official given name) Lockspeiser was educated at Cambridge and served in World War i. Most of his career was spent as an aeronautical engineer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, Hampshire, where he contributed significantly to the development of many technical innovations in aircraft design, especially wing de-icers. From 1939, he worked in the British government's Air Defence Department, becoming director-general in 1945 and, in 1946, chief scientist at the Ministry of Supply.

Lockspeiser was among the most influential scientific civil servants in modern British history and was in part responsible for producing the first electronic computers, for building the Jodrell Bank radio telescope, and for creating cern (the European Council for Nuclear Research). He was knighted in 1946 and retired in 1956. Lockspeiser later served as head of the technical advisory board of the Israeli government.


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[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]