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Alan Arnold Griffith, 1893-1963

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A.A. Griffith (1893-1963) graduated from the University of Liverpool, England in 1921 with the degrees of B. Eng., M. Eng., and D. Eng. He entered the Royal Aircraft factory in 1915 and advanced through a workshop traineeship followed by other positions to become senior scientific officer in 1920. In 1917, together with G.I. Taylor, he published a pioneering paper on the use of soap films in solving torsion problems, and in 1920 he published his famous paper on the theory of brittle fracture. He then worked on the design theory of gas turbines. Griffith was Head of the Engine Department of the Royal Aircraft Establishment in 1938 and joined Rolls Royce as research engineer in 1939. He worked first on conceptual design of turbojet engines and later on vertical takeoff aircraft design. He retired in 1960 but continued working as a consultant for Rolls Royce.

His paper on fracture foreshadowed much of the later development of fracture mechanics. The paper should be read by every student in mechanics. A pdf file is available in JSTOR.

A.A. Griffith, Phenomena of rupture and flow in solids, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, A221, 163-198 (1921)

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Alan Arnold Griffith. 1893-1963
A. A. Rubbra
Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, Vol. 10, (Nov., 1964), pp. 117-136

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