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Alan Cottrell

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Citizenship  British
Role  Metallurgist

Name  Alan Cottrell
Nationality  English
Fields  Metallurgy, Physics
Alan Cottrell httpsiguimcoukimgstaticsysimagesGuardia
Alma mater  University of Birmingham
Notable awards  Fellow of the Royal Society Hughes Medal (1961) Harvey Prize (1974) Rumford Medal (1974) Copley Medal (1996)
Died  February 15, 2012, Cambridge
Books  An introduction to metallurgy
Awards  Copley Medal, Hughes Medal, Rumford Medal, Harvey Prize in Science and Technology

Education  University of Birmingham

Sir Alan Howard Cottrell, FRS (17 July 1919 – 15 February 2012) was an English metallurgist and physicist, former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government and vice-chancellor of Cambridge University 1977–1979.


Alan Cottrell httpsstaticindependentcouks3fspublicthumb

Early life

Cottrell was educated at Moseley Grammar School and the University of Birmingham, where he gained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1939 and a PhD for research on welding in 1942.


Cottrell joined the staff as a lecturer at Birmingham, being made professor in 1949, and transforming the teaching of the department by emphasising modern concepts of solid state physics. In 1955 he moved to A.E.R.E. Harwell, to become Deputy Head of Metallurgy under Monty Finniston.

From 1958 to 1965 Cottrell was Goldsmiths' Professor of Metallurgy at Cambridge University, and a fellow of Christ's College. He later worked for the government in various capacities, ultimately as Chief Scientific Adviser from 1971 to 1974, before becoming Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, from 1973 to 1986, and Vice-Chancellor of the University in 1977–1979.


Cottrell died on 15 February 2012 after a brief illness.

Awards and honours

  • 1955 Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
  • 1961 Hughes Medal
  • 1962 Francis J. Clamer Medal
  • 1965 He was the first to be awarded the A. A. Griffith Medal and Prize.
  • 1967 James Alfred Ewing Medal.
  • 1971 He was knighted.
  • 1973 Honorary Degree (Doctor of Science) from the University of Bath.
  • 1974 James Douglas Gold Medal in 1974
  • 1982 Cottrell was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex
  • 1996 Copley Medal (the Royal Society's highest award)
  • He was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

    Selected books

  • Theoretical Structural Metallurgy (1948) (E Arnold; 2nd Revised edition (1 January 1955)) (ISBN 0713120436)
  • Dislocations and Plastic Flows in Crystals (1953)
  • Superconductivity (1964) (Harwood Academic (Medical, Reference and Social Sc; n edition (December 1964)) (ISBN 0677000650)
  • An Introduction to Metallurgy (1967)
  • Portrait of Nature : the world as seen by modern science (1975)
  • How Safe is Nuclear Energy? (1982) (Heinemann Educational Publishers (29 June 1981)) (ISBN 0435541757)
  • Concepts in the Electron Theory of Alloys (1998)
  • References

    Alan Cottrell Wikipedia

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