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John Westcott

Discussion in 'WWII Era Obituaries (non-military service)' started by GRW, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    "The human body depends on myriad feedback mechanisms ensuring instantaneous adjustments to cell activity, for the correction of imbalances in temperature, hormone levels and other functions essential for life. A complicated engineering system such as a Boeing 748 Dreamliner is likewise crucially reliant on the presence of a web of feedback loops. These ensure that information from monitoring devices translates into corrective control action to suppress deviations from the desired flight path, prevent stalling, and so on.
    John Westcott, who has died aged 93, was one of the pioneers in the study of feedback design in an engineering or biological context. Two names given to this study are control engineering and cybernetics. Along with advances in electronic communications, information theory and signal processing, progress in these fields grew out of second world war military research and the ensuing computer revolution.
    In 1942 John was seconded from his industrial job to the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment in Malvern, Worcestershire. He was involved in several top-secret programmes including Shell Splash, which achieved dramatic improvements in the accuracy of coastal gunnery through the use of the latest radar technology.
    The hothouse of wartime military research presented young scientists and engineers with excitement and a level of responsibility unthinkable in the civilian world. John acquired a can-do attitude in the face of formidable technological challenges and an eye for the engineering implications of advanced scientific theories."
    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/22/john-westcott
     

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