Pete’s career began with an engineering apprenticeship with De Havilland Engine Company and a scholarship to the University of Bristol where, in 1960, he obtained a first-class honours degree in Engineering. Subsequently, he was awarded a prestigious scholarship to study for his Masters degree at Princeton University in the USA.
Over the next 20 years he built up a breadth of engineering experience through appointments in both industry and academia, including work at Rolls Royce, Norris Design Consultants, The University of Bath as a Lecturer in Engineering, Staffa Products as Technical Director, and Commercial Hydraulics in Luxembourg, where he was Engineering Director.
Time at Bath
Pete joined the University of Bath’s Fluid Power Centre, which later became the Centre for Power Transmission and Motion Control, from 1983 until 1997 as Manager. He was instrumental in making the industrial courses a long-running success, as well as developing numerous industrial links. During this time he met Chris Weiss who became his partner for the rest of his life; they married in 2006.
Pete was awarded a PhD from the University of Bath for research on hydraulic motors in 1991.
In all this time Pete was a serious and committed runner, who few of his younger colleagues could keep up with.
Pete was not willing to retire at 60 and was appointed part-time Professor at Trondheim University, Norway – a position which he held for 10 years. In this time Pete authored a book on hydraulic system design (which continues to be available on Amazon!). He also became very interested in exploiting hydraulic systems in wind turbines and, together with some of his young colleagues, formed a spin-out company which was named “Chapdrive”. Pete finally retired in 2011 at the age of 74, although he continued to chair an ISO/BSI committee on hydraulic component testing until 2017 and was an active member of the Herschel Society and University of the Third Age.