Helen Dick Megaw
Helen Megaw on the occasion of the presentation of an Honorary Degree of DSc
from Queens University, Belfast on 7 July 2000 when she was 93.
Obituary published in 'Crystallography News' June 2002,
- Born 1 June 1907
- Born in Dublin one of 7 children of Robert Dick Megaw, a lawyer and MP for North Antrim
- Educated Alexandra college, Dublin until 1921,
Roedean School England 1922-25
- 1925 -26 matriculated at Queen's University, Belfast
- 1930 graduated from Girton College, Cambridge with a B.S.
- 1934 Ph.D awarded in Cambridge, supervisor J.D.Bernal, studies of mineralogy, petrology and accurate measurements of the cell dimensions of ice. This led to her having an island in the Antarctic named after her, at
(66.917°S 67.600°W) the easternmost of the Bennett islands in Hanusse Bay,
- 1935 Hertha Ayrton research scholarship in Vienna with Prof H.Mark
- 1935 - 36 worked under Prof Francis Simon in Clarendon laboratory, Oxford
- 1936-43 School teacher Bedford High School and later Bradford Girls' Grammar School
- 1943 - 45 Philips Lamps, Mitcham where she worked on crystal structure Barium Titanate, a ferro electric ceramic with many industrial uses which has a
perovskite like structure.
- 1945 - 46 Birkbeck College, London working again with J.D.Bernal
- 1946 - 49 moved to the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge Director, William Lawrence Bragg,
- 1946 - 72 Fellow, Lecturer and Director of Studies in the Physical sciences Girton College Cambridge
- Studied mineralogy and inorganic crystals
- 1951 scientific consultant to the 'Festival Pattern
Group' who promoted crystallographic patterns as a basis for household
textiles, window glass and china as part of the 'Festival of Britain'.
Chance Bros. made some into figured rolled glass popular for many years.
It had a small repeat with atoms shown as small blobs so that sunshine does not burn any curtains behind the glass.
- 1957 published her first book "Ferro electricity in Crystals"
- 1959 - 72 lecturer Cambridge University
- 1973 published another book "Crystal Structures: a working approach"
- 1989 1st woman Awarded the Roebling medal of the Mineralogical Society of America
- other honours: D.Sc Cambridge, Honorary member of BCA,
- She enjoyed gardening in her retirement and was delighted to find
a plant Perovskia
which flourished in her garden in Ballycastle, Antrim
- died 26 February 2002
and in 'Lives in Brief'
in The Times page 40 15th March 2002
Page last updated 26 Feb 2015