The Derby Branch presents a full series of monthly lectures from October to April each year organised by a dedicated committee that combines long-standing experience with the enthusiasm and energy of youth. Its future aims are to broaden its area of influence, particularly within the local aerospace community and places of education, to organise more visits and other activities and to create opportunities for professional development and networking.
President: Colin Smith
Chairman: Paulas Sekaran
Secretary: Chris Sheaf
Contact: Chris Sheaf
Tel: 01332 269368
The Derby Branch was formed on 24th January 1944 following a meeting between two members of Rolls-Royce Aero Engine Division, namely, A.G. Elliott (Chief Engineer) and F.E. Nixon (Chief Powerplant Quality Engineer) along with J.L. Batchelor of Derby Technical College. A.G. Elliott became the first Chairman and J.L. Batchelor the first Secretary. Ernest, later Lord, Hives (Rolls-Royce General Works Manager) was the first Branch President.
Since its inception the Derby Branch has consistently received strong support from Rolls-Royce. The Derby Branch President has always been a serving Rolls-Royce senior and the Branch committee is strongly represented from the ranks of the Rolls-Royce workforce. In recognition of the company‟s support, in 2009 the Derby Branch successfully campaigned for a RAeS Heritage Plaque to be placed at Hucknall Airfield, to reflect the achievements of the site as the RR flight test centre. The words on the plaque are: "From 1935-1971 Hucknall Flight Test Centre pioneered the installation and testing of all Rolls-Royce piston and jet aero-engines - notably the Merlin for the Spitfire and Mustang. The world's first piloted jetpowered vertical flight occurred here."
The inaugural RAeS Derby Branch lecture took place on 1st May 1944 when the speaker was Peter Masefield from the Rolls-Royce Car Division, who gave an illustrated talk on „American Aircraft‟. Today the Derby Branch presents a full series of monthly lectures from October to April each year organised by the committee, which combines long-standing experience with the enthusiasm and energy of youth. This year the range of lecture subjects includes lectures on the NASA Apollo-Gemini Program and Changes to Commercial Pilot Training. Members of the Branch also take part in a number of organised visits each year to local aeronautical sites of interest, with previous visits including RAF Museum Cosford and East Midlands Airport Control Tower.
The Derby Branch prestige event of each year is the Sir Henry Royce Lecture which is sponsored by Rolls-Royce. The inaugural Sir Henry Royce Lecture took place in 1956 when Ivan Evernden of Rolls-Royce Car Division (Crewe) gave a historical talk to the Branch on Sir Henry Royce and his achievements. The Sir Henry Royce Lectures have continued on an almost annual basis ever since and subsequent lectures have been delivered by leading figures from all of the major airframe manufacturers, from airlines, research establishments and also from two astronauts. The 48th Sir Henry Royce Lecture in June 2012 will be given by Tony Tyler, former head of Cathay Pacific and now Director General and CEO of IATA.
The Derby Branch has a close working relationship with the RollsRoyce Heritage Trust and the two organisations share an annual historical lecture, the Geoff Wilde Lecture. The 2011 Geoff Wilde Lecture was given by former test pilot Peter Baker on the subject of Concorde Flight Testing.
The Branch, again with Rolls-Royce support, also has a strong focus on the development of young members and holds an annual Young Persons Lecture Competition which was won in 2011 by Calum O‟Keefe with his talk on “Predicting Fan Shaft Failure after a Fan Blade Off event”. The winner of this annual Branch competition goes forward to compete in the Society-wide NE Rowe lecture competition.
Following accreditation of a number of Rolls-Royce senior engineers, including Branch Committee members, Derby has now been established as a regional centre to conduct Chartered Engineer interviews on behalf of the Society and the Engineering Council. This important service to local members has encouraged an uptake in applications for registration.
The future aims of the Derby Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society are to broaden its area of influence, particularly within the local aerospace community and places of education, to organise more visits and other activities and to create more opportunities for professional development and networking.