How 'Theo' Williamson FRS Changed the Sound of Music - IMechE Presidential Address of Professor Joe McGeough


Swann Lecture Theatre, Michael Swann Building, The King’s Buildings


Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 18:30 to 19:30
The School of Engineering is delighted to host the IMechE Presidential Address of Professor Joe McGeough on the evening of Thursday 5 March. This is the first time the IMechE Presidential Address will be delivered in Scotland, and the event is open to all.

The lecture - entitled ‘How “Theo” Williamson FRS Changed the Sound of Music’ - will explore how David Theodore ‘Theo’ Nelson (DTN) Williamson transcended setbacks in early life to become one of the most creative engineers of the latter 20th century. Williamson, who was born, raised and studied in Edinburgh, devised engineering innovations in areas including precision manufacturing, radar, amplifiers and colour copying machines.

Most famously, he created the 'Williamson amplifier' - an early example of 'high fidelity', which became the standard for high-quality audio power amplifiers. The lecture will also explore lesser known aspects of Wiliamson's legacy as the forefather of today’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and university 'spin-out' companies.

About Professor Joe McGeough

Professor Joe McGeough FRSE, FRENG, FIMechE, current President of the IMechE, was 7th Regius Chair at the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh between 1983 and 2005. He holds a BSc and PhD from Glasgow University, and has held research appointments at the Universities of Leicester, Queensland, Strathclyde and Aberdeen before coming to Edinburgh.

Professor McGeough's academic activities carry strong industrial relevance, and he held a Royal Society / SERC Industrial Fellowship to develop unconventional electrochemical machinining (ECM) methods for applications in the aircraft engine, car, offshore and medicare device industries. At Edinburgh, he developed a research collaboration with clinicians at the Royal Infirmary to investigate the effects of age on the mechanical properties of human bone, the meniscus and the causes of back pain. 


Staff, students and members of the public all welcome. Email Louise Farquharson to register:

Lecture Video

The lecture was recorded, the video now available for you to watch


Professor Joe McGeough, FRSE, FRENG, FIMechE
Professor Joe McGeough, FRSE, FRENG, FIMechE

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