Ivor Jenkins

Metallurgist

Ivor Jenkins, metallurgist: born Gorseinon, Glamorgan 25 July 1913; scientific staff, General Electric Co 1935-44, Head of Metallurgy Department 1946-52, Chief Metallurgist 1952-61; Deputy Chief Metallurgist, Whitehead Iron & Steel Co, Newport 1944-46; Director of Research, Manganese Bronze Holdings 1961-69; Director of Research, Delta Metal Co 1969-73, Group Director of Research 1973-78; managing director, Delta Materials Research 1973-77, deputy chairman 1977-78; CBE 1970; married 1941 Caroline James; died Bognor Regis, West Sussex 15 August 2003.

Ivor Jenkins was one of that fraternity of research metallurgists which worked in support of British industrial development - in war and in peace - in the middle years of the 20th century.

It was a large research community, based in both company and national laboratories, furthering the production and processing of metals and advancing their applications in all the major industries - aeronautical and marine engineering, power generation, electrical machines, electronics and communications. Metallurgy provided new and improved alloys and also assessed their service performance. The leading metallurgists of the time formed a relatively small but distinguished group, closely connected through the learned societies and institutions, exerting a powerful influence on the course of industrial advance. Jenkins was one among them.

He was born in Gorseinon, near Swansea, in 1913 and educated locally at Gowerton Grammar School. In 1934 he graduated in metallurgy from University College, Swansea, subsequently gaining the degree of Doctor of Science in the University of Wales.

His first employment was with the GEC in their Wembley laboratories. By 1946 he was Head of the Metallurgy Department, becoming Chief Metallurgist in 1952. He moved to Manganese Bronze Holdings in 1961 as Director of Research and when his laboratory was taken over by the Delta Metal Company, later the Delta Group, he became their Director of Research.

Jenkins was a prominent member of the metals community. He was president of the professional body, the Institution of Metallurgists, in 1965, and of the learned society, the Institute of Metals, in 1968. Both institutions were absorbed later within the Metals Society, which awarded him its Platinum Medal in 1978.

He had maintained close contacts with academic departments all his working life and in his later years was a Visiting Professor at Surrey University. He became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (as it now is) in 1979. The subject of powder metallurgy had been a continuing interest through his life, and he co-edited Selected Case Studies in Powder Metallurgy in 1991. In 1993 he was President of the Plansee Conference, a forum for research in this field. An annual award in powder metallurgy now bears his name.

Metallurgical research in the latter half of the 1900s underwent great changes; understanding of the structure and properties of metals was underpinned by advances in related subjects, particularly physics and chemistry, and by new instrumentation which enabled the direct observation of structures and the progress of microscopic events to be followed at high magnification. It fell to Jenkins to bring the developing knowledge and techniques to bear on the industrial issues of the time, against a changing academic background where metallurgy was increasingly being embodied in the subject of materials science, with some departments renamed accordingly.

He retired in 1978 somewhat disillusioned by the course of British industrial research over the last 50 years - the closure of so many laboratories, private and governmental, and the general undervaluing of longer-term research and its replacement, in part, by hand-to-mouth troubleshooting.

In 1982 he moved to Cyprus but he kept a summer foot in England and maintained his links with old metallurgical friends.

James Kennedy

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test