Charles Oatley was educated at Cambridge University, and was subsequently a lecturer at Kings College, London.  In the war he became a member of John Cockroft's team working on Army Radar at the Air Defence Research & Development Establishment (ADRDE) in Christchurch. He initially concentrated on devising and providing test equipment to operate at the novel very high frequencies involved.  This work was of major assistance to all working in this new field.  Later he was Cockroft's deputy and took over the leadership of the Army Radar Establishment in Malvern when Cockcroft left.

He later returned to Cambridge University fresh from his experience in the development of radar and from 1960 to 1971 he was Professor of Electrical Engineering.  He thought that new techniques could be employed to overcome some of the problems encountered in pre-war efforts to develop an electron microscope.  Oatley's work led directly to the launch of the world's first series of commercial scanning electron microscopes produced in 1965.

He was a director of the English Electric Valve Company from 1966 - 1985. In 1969 he was elected to the Royal Society and knighted in 1974. He was also a founder member of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Sir Charles Oatley FRS
14 February 1904 - 11 March 1996

Bill Penley Jan 2011

Papers & Links etc.
Penley Radar Archives - reminiscences & letters 
    [ index on www: www.penleyradararchives.org.uk/documents/oatley ]
Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge holds 'The Papers of Sir Charles Oatley':   
List available via Janus: Ref: GBR/0014/OATL   accessed Feb 2011
go to:  http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/  search with words: OATL
Charles Oatley: Pioneer of scanning electron microscopy - Cambridge University engineering dept.
or go to: www.eng.cam.ac.uk and search for: Charles Oatley {specify search for all university websites}.
Wikipedia page:  biography Sir Charles Oatley  accessed Feb 2011
or try:  http://en.wikipedia.org/  with search words: Charles Oatley 
Royal Society - Elected Fellow in 1969 - for a biography -
go to: http://rsbm.royalsocietypublishing.org  with search words: Charles Oatley
Obituary - The Times - 1st April 1996
Group - did not work at TRE but in the Army radar establishment in Christchurch (elsewhere).

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Page last updated: 05 April 2011