Professor Allan Bertram Field (1875 - 1963)

Professor Allan Bertram Field

Professor Allan Bertram Field was born on 28th December 1875 in New Barnet, England.

He studied at Finsbury Technical College, London, 1890-93, and was awarded diplomas in both Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. He was then engaged in shopwork and drafting in and near London for a period of two years. From 1896 to 1899 he studied at St. Johns College, Cambridge, where he took the Mathematical Tripos examinations, and was awarded the B.A. and M.A degrees. Following that he took the Honours Science examinations of the University of London, and was awarded the B.Sc. degree in 1900.

In 1914 Field returned to England, becoming consulting engineer and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Manchester College of Technology, retaining this position until 1917. Subsequently he worked at Vickers, Ltd., London from 1917 to 1920. In 1918 he was appointed by the British Admiralty as the first technical director of the Admiralty Experimental Station, Shandon, Scotland. In 1920 he became a consulting engineer for the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company, Ltd., Manchester, England.

Professor Field was the author of some notable research publications which appeared in the proceedings and transactions of American learned and professional societies.

His Obituary, published in 1963, states: "He had a mathematician's approach to work and life, insisting with a quiet courtesy on meticulous accuracy in all his affairs."

Outstanding contribution to science

Traction, power and lighting

During the period 1899 to 1902, he was engaged in engineering work in traction, power and lighting projects for the British Thomson-Houston Company in London.

Transformer and motors design

In order to become more familiar with American engineering practice, he went to the United States in 1902. He joined the General Electric Company and spent more than a year in the testing department at Schenectady, N. Y., and afterwards he was engaged in transformer design. During the period 1905 to 1908, he worked for the Bullock Electric Manufacturing Company, and then the Allis-Chalmers Company on the design of a-c generators and motors.

Turbine generator design

In 1909 he joined the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, being appointed engineer-in-charge of turbine generator design in 1911. From 1911 to 1913 he was responsible for the development and commercial introduction of the built-up rotor, a practice that was followed by the company for many decades; and, in collaboration with Mr. Lamme, he solved many turbine-generator design problems.

Mathematical and experimental investigationof eddy current losses

The first Lamme Medal to be presented by the American Institute of Electrical Engineering was awarded to Allan Bertram Field in 1928 "for the mathematical and experimental investigation of eddy current losses in large slot-wound conductors in electrical machinery." 

Manchester

Field at Manchester

From 1914 to 1917 Allan Bertram Field was appointed as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Manchester College of Technology.

Royal Medal Award

In 1928 Allan Bertram Field received the first Royal Medal Award of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Photo courtesy of IEEEGHN.

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