Sir Eric Ash
|Born||31 January 1928 (age 91)|
|Education||University College School|
|Alma mater||Imperial College London|
|Institutions||Imperial College London|
University College London
|Doctoral advisor||Dennis Gabor|
|Doctoral students||Kumar Wickramasinghe|
Early life and education
Eric Ash was born in Berlin, the son of a Jewish lawyer. The family emigrated to England in 1938 to escape Nazism. He was educated at the independent University College School, and at 17 won a scholarship to Imperial College London. After graduating in electrical engineering, he continued his studies with doctoral research. His PhD supervisor was Dennis Gabor, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, and his thesis was published as Electron Interaction Effects (1952). He worked on microwave tubes as a Fulbright scholar at Stanford University for two years, before returning to England to continue this work at the Standard Telecommunications Laboratory in London.
Career and research
Ash joined the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College in 1963, became a full professor in 1967. He was appointed Head of Department, and holder of the Pender Chair, in 1980. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 17 March 1977, and was awarded its Clifford Paterson medal shortly afterwards. He worked on problems in physical electronics, ultrasonic signal processing and imaging. He won the Marconi Prize in 1984 "for leadership in electronic technology, including surface acoustic wave devices and optical fibre communications". He won the Royal Society Royal Medal in 1986, in "recognition of his outstanding researches on acoustic microscopy leading to wholly new techniques and substantial improvements in resolution of acoustic microscopes". He also won the Institution of Electrical Engineers' Faraday Medal. He is also a Senior Member and Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (an organisation based in the United States that complements the IET).
After retiring as Rector in 1993, Ash was an emeritus professor in the Department of Physics at University College, 1993–1998, working on educational technology. He acted as CEO of the Student Loans Company 1994–1996, remaining a non-executive director of the company until the end of August 2000.
Ash was Treasurer and Vice-President of the Royal Society 1997-2002. He has also served as a trustee of a number of other organisations including the Afghan Educational Trust, the Dennis Rosen Memorial Trust, the Royal Institution, the London Science Museum and the Wolfson Foundation. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering.
- Wickramasinghe, H. Kumar (1974). Two and Three Dimensional Acoustic Holography in Solids. jisc.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University College London (University of London). OCLC 500588924. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.477197.
- "List of Fellows".
- Details of the 1984 Marconi Prize
- Royal Society page on the Royal Medal
- Daily Telegraph article about the Afghan Educational Trust
- "Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering". Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
- Includes a short biography
- Transcript of a biographical interview
- Interviewed at the Imperial College tv studio in May, 2000
| Rector of Imperial College London