Oral history of British science
Raynor, Frank (Part 15 of 18) An Oral History of British Science
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Interviewee's home, Abingdon
Raynor, Frank, 1922- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 15: [26:37][Interview Six: August 28 2012] Remarks on working at Harwell 1958- 1964 at CTR group: FR move between different groups; FR joined by electronics division personnel in Building 488 as work expanded; development of long used experiment timing units with Bill Black and Peter Rose; need for experimental timing equipment to fire experiments; work in CTR group on ways of compressing plasma, advanced by Russian Tokamak concept, other concepts for plasma containment, such as stellarator; [04:15] degree of knowledge of FR of experiments done with his equipment, interaction with scientists in developing equipment; details of capacitors, spark gaps. [05:55] Discussion about developing instruments: development of components, transistors; measuring techniques largely decided by scientists, such as choice of Rogowski coil; prospects of fusion power as seen in 1960s; interaction with scientists after equipment installed, helping making measurements; credit from physicists for work of FR and technician colleagues, example of David Ashby and Don Jephcott listing FR amongst authors of paper, crediting varying on personality of physicists, difficulty of Aldermaston personal publishing compared to fusion. [13:23] Remark on move to Culham: move to Thames Valley rather than Dorset; change of FR duties to include more organisational work after creation of Electronics Service Group at Culham; duties of new FR group, building prototype equipment for manufacture by contractors, various members of group and their duties, repair and service of equipment; FR duties running section, after senior engineer left, FR later promotion to PTO1; status of PTO1. [19:50] Discussion about civil service grades and qualification levels: normal need for a degree for FR post, level of qualification of various technicians and engineer grades, later merging of grades; apprentices sent to FR group for HNC experience; personnel regularly leaving to higher ranking posts elsewhere; relative pay levels; few signs of status of rank; Nobby Clarke's managerial style early in FR's career; frequent use of first names at Aldermaston and Harwell.
Interview with technician, Frank Raynor