As chemistry was the avenue which led Dr. Desch into the field of metallurgy, so, in the case of Dr. C. Sykes, his successor as superintendent of the Metallurgical Department of the National Physical Laboratory, has physics functioned. After graduating in science in the University of Sheffield in 1925, Dr. Sykes spent one year carrying out research in physics under Prof. R. S. Milner. After obtaining the degree of M.Sc. in 1926, he entered the Metallurgical Department under Prof. Desch as a Metropolitan-Vickers research scholar. Two papers on the alloys of zirconium published in the Journal of the Institute of Metals in 1928 and 1929 appear to represent the first fruits of his work as a metallographer.