Benjamin was born on 15 April 1929 in Wallasey, Merseyside. He studied electrical engineering at Liverpool University 1947-1950, before moving to Yale University on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to take an M.Eng. Benjamin then went to Cambridge University where he took his doctorate on cavitation in fluids. He was elected Fellow of King's College, Cambridge in 1955, and appointed Assistant Director of Research 1958-1967 and Reader in Hydrodynamics 1967-1970, working in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University, on problems of fluid dynamics such as thin films, wave instability, drag reduction, and vortex breakdown. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1966, at the early age of 36.
In 1970 Benjamin moved as Professor of Mathematics to the University of Essex, where he set up the Fluid Mechanics Research Institute, to promote interaction between mathematicians and experimentalists in advanced fluid mechanics. In 1979 he accepted appointment to the Sedleian Chair of Natural Philosophy at Oxford, which carried with it Fellowship of The Queen's College. Apart from periods as visiting professor at overseas universities, principally in America, Benjamin remained in Oxford until his death on 16 August 1995.
The collection contains correspondence, mainly scientific, lecture notes, drafts of articles, and mathematical calculations, most concerning fluid dynamics. Also included are press cuttings about Benjamin, letters of congratulations on his appointment to the Sedleian chair, and material relating to the numerous societies, associations, etc. that he was involved with. The collection also contains material relating to his non-scientific interests, especially music and poetry
The papers were received from Mrs. Natalia Benjamin (widow) and via Professor John Toland, School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Bath, at various dates in 1996.
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Benjamin | Thomas Brooke | 1929-1995 | mathematician and physicist