Ewing, Sir James Alfred

b. 27 March 1855 Dundee, Scotland
d. 1935
Scottish engineer and educator.
Sir Alfred Ewing was one of the leading engineering academics of his generation. He was the son of a minister in the Free Church of Scotland, and was educated at Dundee High School and Edinburgh University, where he studied engineering under Professor Fleeming Jenkin. On Jenkin's nomination, Ewing was recruited as Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Tokyo, where he spent five years from 1878 to 1883. While in Tokyo, he devised an instrument for measuring and recording earthquakes. Ewing returned to his home town of Dundee in 1883, as the first Professor of Engineering at the University College recently established there. After seven years building up the department in Dundee, he moved to Cambridge where he succeeded James Stuart as Professor of Mechanism and Applied Mechanics. In thirteen creative years at Cambridge, he established the Engineering Tripos (1892) and founded the first engineering laboratories at the University (1894). From 1903 to 1917 Ewing served the Admiralty as Director of Naval Education, in which role he took a leading part in the revolution in British naval traditions which equipped the Royal Navy to fight the First World War. In that war, Ewing made an important contribution to the intelligence operation of deciphering enemy wireless messages. In 1916 he returned to Edinburgh as Principal and Vice-Chancellor, and following the war he presided over a period of rapid expansion at the University. He retired in 1929.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS 1887. KCB 1911. President, British Association for the Advancement of Science 1932.
He wrote extensively on technical subjects, and his works included Thermodynamics for Engineers (1920). His many essays and papers on more general subjects are elegantly and attractively written.
Further Reading
Dictionary of National Biography Supplement.
A.W.Ewing, 1939, Life of Sir Alfred Ewing (biography by his son).

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

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