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Retired scientist given award
10:10am Thursday 2nd July 2009 in News
A RETIRED scientist from Malvern has been given a top award for his role in the development of radar during the Second World War.
Dr Philip Woodward has been honoured by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), one of the most distinguished scientific organisations in the world.
He has been given the IEEE's Picard Medal, which recognises his fundamental contribution to the theory of radar.
Dr Woodward recalls he was inspired by watching a WAAF radar operator in one of the radar stations defending Britain, trying to interpret a radar trace and decide whether it represented noise or an enemy aircraft.
He went on to develop a theory of the maximum amount of information it was possible to extract from radar returns, a theory still used today in modern radar.
He was also responsible for one of the UK's first electronic computers and its first solid-state computer. He led the software team that developed the first high-level programming language for the armed services’ small military computers.
He retired in 1980 as deputy chief scientific officer from the Royal Radar Establishment, where he began working in 1940.
In 2005, he received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Medal from the UK's Royal Society of Engineers.
The award was presented in Los Angeles last Thursday and received by a friend.