Thursday, 20 February 2014

Did you know that Simon’s grandfather was the developer of the first scanning electron microscope?

Charles William Oatley was born on 14th February 1904 in a room above his father's bakery in Frome.  Exactly 110 years later the Frome Society for Local Study and the Frome and District Civic Society were able to install a plaque in his honour on the building. Simon (Operations Manager at Trafalgar Wharf) and his family gathered for the unveiling of the plaque last weekend.

Charles Oatley became a distinguished scientist who made three outstanding contributions to the engineering sciences.  He was one one of the team who developed radar during World War 2: he revolutionised the teaching of electronics at Cambridge University and he will always be remembered for the development of the scanning electron microscope.  This last is recognised as the single most important scientific instrument of the post-war years.  It enables the preparation of three-dimensional images of micro organisms beyond the resolution of the human eye.  It is widely used across a range of industries and applications include medicine, forensic science, material science, electronics, semiconductors and pharmaceuticals.

Charles Oatley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1969, knighted in 1974 and, among other honours, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath in 1977.