Professor David Gordon Wilson

Category: All Harkness Stories /  Higher Education /  Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths /  Up to 1959 / 

Professor David Gordon Wilson ((CFF 1955-57)) is emeritus professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and the author of recently published Born, Blessed & Blitzed in Britain, but Battered by M.I.T. The book reflects on an adventure filled life and outlines his battles with university bureaucracy, from his time as a young engineer who refused to alter test results and later as he called out senior academics for plagiarism. Born and educated in Warwickshire, England, Dave first crossed the Atlantic in 1953, working his way to Canada in the engine room of a cargo boat. In 1955 he was awarded a post-doctoral Commonwealth-Fund fellowship for study and research at MIT and Harvard. After working in the turbine industry in Britain he taught for two years in Nigeria and worked briefly with the VSO (the British precursor of the Peace Corps) in the Cameroons. Before coming to MIT he was technical director and vice president of NREC. At MIT, Dave has taught engineering design, including turbo-machinery design, and applied thermodynamics, and supervised research into power-and-propulsion topics and design areas. His turbine-design text was bought by GE for its jet-engine staff. Since retiring in 1994 he has been interim head of the Office of Minority Education and faculty director of the MITES program, and co-founded Wilson TurboPower in 2001. Dave, a keen hiker and bicyclist, who designed a bicycle that won world speed records, has authored/co-authored 9 books.