Henry Chilver was a structural engineer and educationalist. During his early career at Cambridge and University College London, he and his team of researchers made significant contributions, both theoretically and experimentally, to the understanding of imperfection sensitivity in the elastic post-buckling of thin-walled structural components. Awareness of this sensitivity was essential for the safe design of load-carrying shells that were increasingly being used in nuclear reactors and aerospace structures. As Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield Institute of Technology he focused on the application of knowledge rather than merely on its acquisition and led the way in harnessing research relevant to the demands of industry. With his incisive intellect, innovative thinking and farsighted vision he was also in great demand as an adviser to the government, overseeing advisory committees, and holding chairmanships and directorships of numerous companies.
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