87-year-old Rugby man is awarded PhD in Engineering

Dr Ridley.
Dr Ridley.

A Hillmorton man has become one of the oldest people to be awarded a PhD by a British university.

The University of Warwick awarded Dr Kenneth Ridley, born in 1930, a Phd in Engineering at a ceremony on Monday, July 23.

Dr Ridley’s PhD came after he submitted research he undertook to solve problems associated with using a monitoring system for hydrogenerators.

Aged 16, Dr Ridley was entered by his vice-principal on an external London University Engineering degree course – he emerged with Second Class Honours and the 1951-52 Wigan Engineers’ and Foundry Masters’ Association Prize.

After a Graduate Apprenticeship with the British Thompson-Houston engineering and manufacturing firm in Rugby, Dr Ridley joined the Large Electrical Machines Design Department.

After completing his National Service in the Fleet Air Arm during the Suez Crisis, Dr Ridley rejoined the firm and began mostly working on the design of hydroelectric generators.

Dr Ridley became electrical design manager, before becoming professionally qualified as a Fellow of both the Institution of Electrical Engineers (1970) and that of Mechanical Engineers (1992) plus Life Senior Membership of the American Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (2004).

In 1957 he pioneered the application in the UK of computers to the design of large rotating salient-pole electrical machines.

He believes he has travelled the world the equivalent of 18 times through his work.

Dr Ridley is an active member of the Methodist Church all his adult life, and has been recognised as an accredited local preacher for 44 years.

He said he would like to thank his wife, Brenda, for her patience.