PROF. W. J. DUNCAN, who has been appointed to the new Mechan chair of aeronautics and fluid mechanics in the University of Glasgow, is the son of a Glasgow shipbuilder, and, after completing his education at Dulwich College and University College, London, he gpent seven years in his father's firm. He then joined the Aerodynamics Department at the National Physical Laboratory, where he stayed for eight years. There, in collaboration with K. A. Frazer, and later A. R. Collar, he laid the foundations of aero-elasticity, treating the new subject of aeroplane flutter from both the theoretical and experimental aspects. When the Department of Aerodynamics was established at University College, Hull, in 1934, Duncan was asked to become its first head, and in 1938 he was made Wakefield professor in the College. He was building up what promised to be an important school of aeronautics at Hull when the Second World War broke out, and he went to the Royal Aircraft Establishment to help in the war effort. He was engaged in researches on aerodynamics and armaments and was for a time sent to Exeter to take charge Of the Armaments Development Research Department there. At the end of the War he spent some time as chief scientist at Volkenrode, studying the work which the Germans had carried out. Prof. Duncan joined the College of Aeronautics at its inception and has been responsible as professor of aerodynamics for building up the teaching methods and the experimental equipment in the Department. He is a member of the Aeral other committees and subcommittees of this body. His main interests lie in aerodynamics and advanconautical Research Council and chairman of its Aerodynamics Committee, besides serving on severed dynamics, and his original work in these fields brought him the honour of election' to the Royal Society in 1947. Apart from these special predilections, he has a very wide interest in, general engineering, and experience of considerable variety, added' to which he is a very able mathematician. His loss to the College of Aeronautics next year will be a severe one ; but the University of Glasgow will gain a man of science and teacher of outstMlding ability.
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Aeronautics at the University of Glasgow : Prof. W. J. Duncan, F.R.S. Nature 164, 905–906 (1949). https://doi.org/10.1038/164905b0