Thomas Havelock

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Sir Thomas Henry Havelock , mostly briefly Thomas Havelock (born June 24, 1877 in Newcastle upon Tyne ; † August 1, 1968 ibid ) was a British naval engineer and professor whose main focus was on the hydrodynamics of ships.


Havelock was born in Newcastle on Tyne in 1877 as one of six siblings, two of whom died in childhood, of the marine engineer Michael and his wife Elizabeth Burn Havelock. After an excellent graduation from St. John's College, Cambridge , Havelock started as a research assistant at the university in his hometown. He later worked as a professor of mathematics at Armstrong College, Durham University , of which he was vice president from 1933 to 1937.

After Havelock had established a law later named after him on the relationship between the refractive index and the wavelength of light propagation of homogeneous substances as early as 1907 , the theory of hydrodynamics, the fundamentals of which he significantly expanded through decades of systematic work, became his lifelong field of work. A particular focus of his work was the wave resistance of ships.

During his life, Havelock wrote numerous technical articles, mainly in the publications of the Royal Society , which he joined in 1914. The United States Office of Naval Research summarized Havelock's contributions in an anthology for hydrodynamics, which is still regarded as an important textbook today. Criticism of the largely theoretical approach of Havelock's work came, for example, in 1953 from his German colleague Ernst Klindwort .

In 1947 he became a corresponding member of the Académie des sciences . Thomas Havelock received the William Froude Gold Medal from the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in 1956 and was promoted to Knight Bachelor in 1957 . Havelock remained closely associated with his subject after his retirement and died in 1968.

Fonts (selection)


  • AM Binnie, PH Roberts: Thomas Henry Havelock. 1877-1968 , In: Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society , Volume 17, November 1971, Royal Society, London, pp. 327-377.
  • Thomas Havelock , In: Shipbuilding Society: 100 Years Shipbuilding Society - Biographies on the History of Shipbuilding , Springer, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-540-64150-5 , p. 181.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Carl W. Hall: Laws and Models: Science, Engineering, and Technology , CRC Press, 1999, p. 204.
  2. ^ List of members since 1666: Letter H. Académie des sciences, accessed on November 23, 2019 (French).