Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Cowen

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William Cowen (c1901-1945)

1946 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM COWEN, M.SC., Wh.Sc., served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Butterworth and Dickinson, Ltd., of Burnley, from 1916 to 1923. He received his technical education at Manchester University, where he studied with distinction for five years, graduating B.Sc. with first-class honours in mechanical engineering, and winning the Fairbairn Prize and also a Senior Whitworth Scholarship. Finally he obtained his M.Sc. degree for research in hydraulics.

He then started his professional career as process engineer to Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd., at Billingham, successively becoming shift engineer and senior plant engineer, an appointment he held jointly with that of research and maintenance engineer, with part responsibility for design of new plant. In 1933 he went to the Manchester College of Technology as lecturer in chemical engineering, and four years later he received the appointment of senior lecturer in the same subject at Manchester University, where he was responsible for the final training of all students taking the honours degree course and also for the development of the department.

Mr. Cowen relinquished this position in 1944 to become chemical engineer to Messrs. Lanril, Ltd., of Lancaster. His untimely death occurred only a few months later in January 1945, at the early age of forty-one. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1937 and was transferred to Membership in 1944. He was also a Member of Council of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and Examiner to that institution.

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