All Talks and Meetings will commence at 2.30 pm and be held in the pavilion, Field Place, Worthing,           BN13 1NP, unless another venue or time is indicated.

Visitors are welcome to attend all meetings; there is a charge for non members of £5 which includes tea/coffee and biscuits, members and spouses pay £2. To become a member see Membership under About Us.

Timings for visits and outings will be as printed in the detailed description of the activity. Click here for full details…

Coffee mornings take place at 10.30am on the 3rd and the last Thursdays of the month.

Click here for full details…


Date Event Detail Place News Letter Report
Sept 19th AGM Followed by Talk by our member, Dr David James

Covers the impact of Artificial Intelligence  and will look at the simpler approaches to Machine Learning.

Field Place



Oct 10th

Talk, The Magnetron by Prof Mike Underhill It is commonly believed that the main contribution made by radar in WW2 was to facilitate the success of the RAF during the Battle of Britain.  Arguably however, a more significant contribution was the development of airborne radar provided by the British invention of the Magnetron. Mike’s talk will describe its history and deployment, and how it led to present day uses such as the common domestic microwave oven. Field Place


Nov 14th Talk, the use of Hydrogen in Iron Production by Dr Tim Smith 

The global steel industry emits around 2.6bn tonnes CO2 a year, representing 8% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.   5% of said global steel output is from European producers. As a means of reducing these emissions, in order to limit global warming, the steel industry is undertaking a number of projects to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. One such approach is to substitute fossil fuels with hydrogen.  Earlier this year, Tim visited Ovako Steel in Sweden, to see their recently commissioned 20MW electrolyser plant capable of producing 8 tonnes of hydrogen per 24 hours, using power generated by renewable and nuclear energy. This is used to replace propane gas in Ovako’s re-heat furnaces. At Ovako, the hydrogen is simply used for heating. Tim will also look at methods of producing steel using hydrogen as an alternative to the coke-based blast furnace which, on a global average, emits 1.88t of CO2 for every tonne of steel produced.

Field Place


Dec 7th Christmas Lunch

Christmas Lunch at The Findon Manor Hotel, Findon, West Sussex at £35.00 per head.

Bookings to George Woollard on

Dec 12th Talk by Dr Robert Massey the Deputy Executive Director of the Royal Astronomical Society.

A cluttered and noisy sky.

65 years ago the Soviet Union placed the first satellite in space. There are now around 6,500 satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO), the region up to 2,000 km above the ground, and their deployment is accelerating. 2019 saw the launch of Starlink, a satellite constellation built and launched by SpaceX, a system that on its own could soon have more than 30,000 spacecraft deployed. With other operators we could see up to 300,000 satellites in LEO by the end of this decade.


This is nothing less than a step change in our use of space. And like most paradigm shifts, it will have significant consequences. A key example is how it will affect the science of astronomy and our view of the sky. Some estimates suggest that as many as 1 in 10 ‘stars’ visible could be satellites, and professional and amateur astronomers alike now face significant challenges to our work. As a result our community has mobilised, working at a national, international and global level to tackle a complex problem, and to try to find a balance between the positive results of boosting communications and the impact on the space environment. 


Robert will set out the problem, what it means for scientists and the wider public, and what we can do about it.

Field Place  
Jan 9th 2024 Talk, Flight Simulators by Jeremy Hopkins

The presentation will: · Briefly describe the use of flight simulation by commercial airlines · Introduce the main components of the simulator and identify key differences from military aircraft simulators · Discuss the pros and cons of simulation versus simulation of cockpit avionics · Give a brief history of technology progress in the simulation host computing engine · Give an overview architecture of the Boeing 787 flight simulator · Provide an overview of simulator use in pilot training · Recap the key points ·

Time permitting, present an overview of the small arms training devices which were derived
from aspects of flight simulation technology

Field Place  
Feb 13th Talk, “The decline of British automotive manufacturing and the quality revolution that helped restore (some of) it; but is history about to repeat itself?” by Laurie West Between 1932 and 1955 Britain was the 2nd largest producer of cars in the world next to the USA. By 1950 Britain was the largest exporter of cars in the world with some 38 car manufacturers. Today there are no British owned car producers of any volume in existence. So, what happened and why? Laurie will comment briefly on the historical perspective. He will outline his experience, progressing from a Ford engineering apprenticeship in the late 60’s, through various roles at Ford Motor Company, before moving to the automotive supply industry and ever more senior, management positions. Having experienced the often-adversarial relationships that existed within and between automotive companies, he will discuss how, in the late 80’s and early 90’s he was challenged by a completely different approach to business when bidding to supply the newly established UK plants of Nissan and Toyota. Initially somewhat sceptical, he will tell us how he and his company went through a paradigm shift by embracing and adopting the Japanese approach to manufacturing. Achievement of the now commonly used term “Lean Manufacturing” is predicated on respect, trust, commitment, relationships and quality. Successful implementation resulted in his company achieving many accolades in the UK and mainland Europe. Laurie will provide an overview of Lean Manufacturing and its many benefits, which are applicable to any process; not just manufacturing and not just automotive. But … he will also highlight how the UK automotive industry may be at risk of falling behind again unless a comprehensive strategic vision and deployment plan for the shift to electric vehicles is executed, noting that this time around it is the Chinese that are currently in pole position and set to dominate. Field Place  
March 13th Talk, by Prof Ian Stolerman on Aspects of Psychopharmacological drug research

The Professor of Behavioural Pharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London will give a glimpse into his fascinating career studying the effects of drugs on the brain and behaviour.

Ian gained his pharmacy degree in London in the swinging sixties, a time when both recreational and medical interest in the psychotropic effect of drugs was rapidly expanding. With a keen interest in psychology, he was particularly drawn to understanding how drugs influenced behaviour and left the UK to take up an opportunity to study nicotine with a research team at the prestigious Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York), focused on drug effects on learning and memory.

Though highly unfashionable at the time, nicotine and tobacco research is where Ian built much of his global renown. He will share in his presentation how this expertise led to relationships with tobacco companies, and his experience of their underhand dealings in concealing data and corrupting the academic community as the risks of nicotine and tobacco use became apparent.

Ian will also give insights into a lifetime’s research into misused substances, their risks and potential benefits, and how his findings have gone on to influence drug development in the pharmaceutical industry and further understanding of drug dependence.


Field Place  
April 9th Talk by Frank Riddle and Paul Fitchett, Worldwide Homologation and the growth of Nissan UK and experiences of UK and other European car testing organisations. Frank Riddle tells a remarkable story of how, in 1973 after returning from Canada, he took a job with the embryonic Datsun UK (became Nissan UK). He worked for Nissan’s Design Administration Department in Japan but based in UK and closely with Octav Botnar. His presentation will be partly about Botnar’s background (twice a political prisoner before coming to the UK), and how he grew Datsun UK from zero, to selling 150,000 cars per year, and partly about his own career and expertise, especially in homologation; certifying cars for compliance with British, European and International regulations; Federal American, Australian Design Rule etc, Regarding Nissan he may be ably assisted by Paul Fitchett (ex DfT). This work covered Nissan/Datsun cars from 1973 to 1991 and from 1991 to 2008 for many other well known brands including; Rolls Royce Crewe ISO9001 for Lloyds Register QA, Suzuki, VW/Skoda, Ford, Renault Saab and Aston Martin. Watch This Space Field Place