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THE ESSENCE OF RESEARCH

THE ESSENCE OF RESEARCH November, 1944 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERIN G 309 but has suffered much from the importunate attentions of such individuals.. "Without exception," says MR. RICARDO, "al l the Aircraft Engineering really useful inventions I have, come across, have taken the form of Th e Monthly Scientific and Technical the application of experience, or research, or both, to some particular need." "The successful inventor," he adds, "is he who applies Orga n of th e Aeronautical Engineering his knowledge, whether it be derived from practical experience or from academic research, to the fulfilment of some need in the right Professio n way and at the right time." Admirable definition. The word has Editor: Lieut.-Col.W.Lockwood Marsh, O.B.E., F.R.Ae.S., M.S.A.E., F.I.Ae.S. led, indeed, to so much misconception and misleading claims that we would like to see i t dropped from the language—a view which, Vol. XVI. No . 189 November, 1944 we gather, MR. RICARDO shares with us, from his introducing the subject by saying, "Thus far, I have avoided the use of the term ' invention,' but I cannot ignore it altogether." E can imagine no one, whether in Great Britain or elsewhere Personnel Versus Material in the world, whose opinions on the carrying out of researches with a view to their direct application to industry would We are gratified to find endorsed by so eminent an authority a carry more weight than those of MR. HARRY RICARDO—whose view that we have been pushing in season and out of season in name is a household word in research matters and whom we should recent months—that in research, as in other matters, it is 'th e man like to congratulate on the award of the RUMFORD MEDAL by the behind the gun ' that matters. "From a somewhat apathetic ROYAL SOCIETY for his work on the internal combustion engine. point of view about research," he writes, "the pendulum of public I t was, therefore, with peculiar interest and pleasure that we ap­ opinion has now swung to the other extreme, and is demanding that proached his recently delivered Presidential. Address to the vast sums shall be spent on research in the post-war era, but nobody, INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS. How richly rewarded I gather, has any very clear idea as to exactly what those sums we were can be judged from the extended extract from the paper shall be expended upon. The skilled research worker, like the that we publish in this issue. The first portion of the lecture, of skilled craftsman, requires very few tools. .. . An elaborately which only the latte r part appears here, gives a fascinating account equipped laboratory, in the hands of unskilled personnel, would not of his own early training and development, but we are not repro­ only produce nothing, but would become a fertile breeding ground ducing it on account of limitations of space and because it is more of fallacious theories. By all means, let us spend large sums of with the lessons for others that he draws from these youthful money, but let it be spent on the production and training of skilled experiences that we are concerned. Those, however, who have the research workers rather than on the equipment of large laboratories. opportunity of doing so should not fail to read the whole paper We hear much of the costly and magnificent equipment of the re­ when it becomes available in the Transactions of the Institution— search laboratories in other lands, but not so much of their meagre to whom we are indebted for permission to reproduce so much as output. I have not been much impressed by what I have seen of appears in these columns. these laboratories abroad. .. . In practice, the bulk of it remains as pure 'window dressing'." To which we would only add that the Clarity of Expression pre-eminence (we repeat, pre-eminence) of British aeroplane design A point on which he lays special stress, in dealing with the has been achieved not in spite of the lack of grandiosely-equipped laboratories (as some would have us believe), but because of the higher relationship between research and industry, is one in which he quality of the research workers who know how to use intelligently himself stands pre-eminent. This is in the reporting of the results and fruitfully the thoroughly-understood tools which they have. of his work in "plain, colloquial English, setting out clearly the conclusions to be drawn, the practical advantages to be gained and the risks to be run". In our third issue—that of May, 1929—we INDUSTRIAL ADMINISTRATION were privileged to publish an article from his pen, the sub-title of which ran "Th e Characteristics, Present Position and Future MESSRS. TIRANTI AND WHIPPL E contribute to this issue a sum­ mary of the results of an inquiry into the educational facilities pro­ Possibilities of Heavy Oil Engines for Aircraft Propulsion Duties," vided in the United States for the subject which is variously known and in the following July we published the Eighteenth Wilbur Wright Memorial Lecture, on the then position and future develop­ as "Industrial Engineering," "Administrative Engineering," ment of aero-engines, which he had delivered on May 30, 1930. "Industria l Administration" and "Business Administration." In both instances the simplicity of the method of presentation, Not all of these terms, perhaps, are intended to cover quite the same ground but they are all directed to the same end. There and resulting clarity of exposition, were quite outstanding. He is no doubt that far more attention has been paid to this matter on has indeed developed—not, we suggest, without considerable trouble and effort—a facility for expressing the most abstruse the other than on this side of the Atlantic, and it is informative to technicalities in the plainest possible language which cannot but have this carefully compiled survey of the courses available in have contributed largely to the position in the world of applied various American Universities and Technical Colleges. research he holds to-day. When a man speaks on a subject on A Proposed Course which he is an acknowledged master, it behoves all to listen to his words. We can all of us name the comparatively few workers in In the recently published report of the Committee appointed to aeronautical research who have taken pains to learn this art of clear prepare detailed proposals for the establishment of a School of exposition; which leads to our taking up R. & M.s bearing their Aeronautical Science—with which we hope to deal at some length names with very different feelings from those with which we post­ next month—it is suggested that one of the five main subjects of pone to another time wrestling with the tortuous language in which instruction should be "Production; Administration and Main­ the frequently important results reported in so many other reports tenance" ; Industrial Administration being defined as being are unfortunately couched. concerned with six functions—forecasting, planning, organising, commanding, co-ordinating and controlling. The Committee notes A Myth Exploded tha t no National Administrative Staff College exists, or seems likely to be established, and therefore feels justified in proposing that the Another point with which he deals is the popular superstition that subject should be dealt with in th e proposed College of Aeronautics. great "inventions " leading to sudden developments are, or can be, I t summarizes the educational facilities that existed before the due to "brai n waves" from persons untrained or unversed in the war, which appear to indicate that the subject has not been com­ particular matter with which a development is connected. This, pletely ignored though it has not been accorded the degree status he says, is a thing he has never met in real life—nor, we would like that it has in America. to add, have we ; though no editor (as n o industrialist or designer) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology Emerald Publishing

THE ESSENCE OF RESEARCH

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology , Volume 16 (11): 1 – Nov 1, 1944

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0002-2667
DOI
10.1108/eb031185
Publisher site
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Abstract

November, 1944 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERIN G 309 but has suffered much from the importunate attentions of such individuals.. "Without exception," says MR. RICARDO, "al l the Aircraft Engineering really useful inventions I have, come across, have taken the form of Th e Monthly Scientific and Technical the application of experience, or research, or both, to some particular need." "The successful inventor," he adds, "is he who applies Orga n of th e Aeronautical Engineering his knowledge, whether it be derived from practical experience or from academic research, to the fulfilment of some need in the right Professio n way and at the right time." Admirable definition. The word has Editor: Lieut.-Col.W.Lockwood Marsh, O.B.E., F.R.Ae.S., M.S.A.E., F.I.Ae.S. led, indeed, to so much misconception and misleading claims that we would like to see i t dropped from the language—a view which, Vol. XVI. No . 189 November, 1944 we gather, MR. RICARDO shares with us, from his introducing the subject by saying, "Thus far, I have avoided the use of the term ' invention,' but I cannot ignore it altogether." E can imagine no one, whether in Great Britain or elsewhere Personnel Versus Material in the world, whose opinions on the carrying out of researches with a view to their direct application to industry would We are gratified to find endorsed by so eminent an authority a carry more weight than those of MR. HARRY RICARDO—whose view that we have been pushing in season and out of season in name is a household word in research matters and whom we should recent months—that in research, as in other matters, it is 'th e man like to congratulate on the award of the RUMFORD MEDAL by the behind the gun ' that matters. "From a somewhat apathetic ROYAL SOCIETY for his work on the internal combustion engine. point of view about research," he writes, "the pendulum of public I t was, therefore, with peculiar interest and pleasure that we ap­ opinion has now swung to the other extreme, and is demanding that proached his recently delivered Presidential. Address to the vast sums shall be spent on research in the post-war era, but nobody, INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS. How richly rewarded I gather, has any very clear idea as to exactly what those sums we were can be judged from the extended extract from the paper shall be expended upon. The skilled research worker, like the that we publish in this issue. The first portion of the lecture, of skilled craftsman, requires very few tools. .. . An elaborately which only the latte r part appears here, gives a fascinating account equipped laboratory, in the hands of unskilled personnel, would not of his own early training and development, but we are not repro­ only produce nothing, but would become a fertile breeding ground ducing it on account of limitations of space and because it is more of fallacious theories. By all means, let us spend large sums of with the lessons for others that he draws from these youthful money, but let it be spent on the production and training of skilled experiences that we are concerned. Those, however, who have the research workers rather than on the equipment of large laboratories. opportunity of doing so should not fail to read the whole paper We hear much of the costly and magnificent equipment of the re­ when it becomes available in the Transactions of the Institution— search laboratories in other lands, but not so much of their meagre to whom we are indebted for permission to reproduce so much as output. I have not been much impressed by what I have seen of appears in these columns. these laboratories abroad. .. . In practice, the bulk of it remains as pure 'window dressing'." To which we would only add that the Clarity of Expression pre-eminence (we repeat, pre-eminence) of British aeroplane design A point on which he lays special stress, in dealing with the has been achieved not in spite of the lack of grandiosely-equipped laboratories (as some would have us believe), but because of the higher relationship between research and industry, is one in which he quality of the research workers who know how to use intelligently himself stands pre-eminent. This is in the reporting of the results and fruitfully the thoroughly-understood tools which they have. of his work in "plain, colloquial English, setting out clearly the conclusions to be drawn, the practical advantages to be gained and the risks to be run". In our third issue—that of May, 1929—we INDUSTRIAL ADMINISTRATION were privileged to publish an article from his pen, the sub-title of which ran "Th e Characteristics, Present Position and Future MESSRS. TIRANTI AND WHIPPL E contribute to this issue a sum­ mary of the results of an inquiry into the educational facilities pro­ Possibilities of Heavy Oil Engines for Aircraft Propulsion Duties," vided in the United States for the subject which is variously known and in the following July we published the Eighteenth Wilbur Wright Memorial Lecture, on the then position and future develop­ as "Industrial Engineering," "Administrative Engineering," ment of aero-engines, which he had delivered on May 30, 1930. "Industria l Administration" and "Business Administration." In both instances the simplicity of the method of presentation, Not all of these terms, perhaps, are intended to cover quite the same ground but they are all directed to the same end. There and resulting clarity of exposition, were quite outstanding. He is no doubt that far more attention has been paid to this matter on has indeed developed—not, we suggest, without considerable trouble and effort—a facility for expressing the most abstruse the other than on this side of the Atlantic, and it is informative to technicalities in the plainest possible language which cannot but have this carefully compiled survey of the courses available in have contributed largely to the position in the world of applied various American Universities and Technical Colleges. research he holds to-day. When a man speaks on a subject on A Proposed Course which he is an acknowledged master, it behoves all to listen to his words. We can all of us name the comparatively few workers in In the recently published report of the Committee appointed to aeronautical research who have taken pains to learn this art of clear prepare detailed proposals for the establishment of a School of exposition; which leads to our taking up R. & M.s bearing their Aeronautical Science—with which we hope to deal at some length names with very different feelings from those with which we post­ next month—it is suggested that one of the five main subjects of pone to another time wrestling with the tortuous language in which instruction should be "Production; Administration and Main­ the frequently important results reported in so many other reports tenance" ; Industrial Administration being defined as being are unfortunately couched. concerned with six functions—forecasting, planning, organising, commanding, co-ordinating and controlling. The Committee notes A Myth Exploded tha t no National Administrative Staff College exists, or seems likely to be established, and therefore feels justified in proposing that the Another point with which he deals is the popular superstition that subject should be dealt with in th e proposed College of Aeronautics. great "inventions " leading to sudden developments are, or can be, I t summarizes the educational facilities that existed before the due to "brai n waves" from persons untrained or unversed in the war, which appear to indicate that the subject has not been com­ particular matter with which a development is connected. This, pletely ignored though it has not been accorded the degree status he says, is a thing he has never met in real life—nor, we would like that it has in America. to add, have we ; though no editor (as n o industrialist or designer)

Journal

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 1, 1944

There are no references for this article.