15.12.1894 Romney/UK - 14.10.1960 Keswick/UK
Herbert Walker Swift was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge and then was commissioned for active service from 1915 in World War I. He was then from 1920 to 1922 chief engineer and for the following four years a Demonstrator and Lecturer at Leeds University. Swift moved in 1926 as Head of mechanical engineering to the Bradford Technical College, gained the PhD title in 1928 and from 1936 was a professor of engineering at University of Sheffield, thereby succeeding Frederick Charles Lea (1871-1952). In 1954 the Department was divided with Swift taking over as a professor of mechanical engineering. He was a Thomas Hawksley Medallist of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1929, and Clayton Prizeman in 1953.
Swift's research contributions were to applied mechanics, especially in the topics of lubrication and plasticity. He was successful in founding Schools in these subjects and he gave inspiration and encouragement to numerous careers. He will particularly be remembered for his advocacy of the use of Mohr's circle of stress, long before it became popular. In the early 1930s, Swift made a considerable contribution to the theory of stability in hydrodynamic lubrication. At Sheffield he formed his interest in plasticity. Subsequently, most of his writings appeared in the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers IME. He became an IME Member in 1929 and in 1946 served in the IME Council. He continued to give the benefit of his experience to the Institution until 1952, when ill-health forced him to retire. He was also interested in the history of technical sciences and referred to eminent scientists such as Rutherford, Coker and Bragg.
Anonymous (1946). Prof. H.W. Swift. Proc. Institution Mechanical Engineers 154: 67. P
Anonymous (1961). Professor Herbert Walker Swift, M.A, D.Sc. The Chartered Mechanical Engineer 8(1): 48-49. P
Anonymous (1972). Swift, Herbert Walker. Who was who 1951-1960: 1061. Black: London. Swift, H.W. (1928). Power transmission by belts: Fundamentals. Proc. IME 115: 659-743. Swift, H.W. (1932). The stability of lubricating films in journal bearings. Minutes Proc. Institution of Civil Engineers 233: 267-288.
Swift, H.W. (1935). Hydrodynamic principles of journal bearing design. Proc. Institution Mechanical Engineers 129: 399-433.
Swift, H.W. (1937). Fluctuating loads in sleeve bearings. Journal Institution of Civil Engineers
5: 161-195.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.


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