Henry Selby Hele-Shaw

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Henry Selby Hele-Shaw FRS[1] (1854–1941) was an English mechanical and automobile engineer. He was the inventor of the variable-pitch propeller, which contributed to British success in the Battle of Britain in 1940, and he experimented with flows through thin cells. Flows through such configurations are named in his honour (Hele-Shaw flows).[2]


Hele-Shaw was born in London in 1854.[3] He was the first holder of the Harrison Chair of Engineering at Liverpool University College, and also a Fellow of the Royal Society.[4]

In 1923 Hele-Shaw founded the Whitworth Society. It still exists and provides an informal contact between all ages of Whitworth scholar and a means to promote engineering in the UK. The aim of the society is to bring closer those who have benefited from Sir Joseph Whitworth's generosity.

He was awarded the Franklin Institute's Certificate of Merit in 1933.


In 1902 Hele-Shaw was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture Locomotion : On the Earth, Through the Water, in the Air.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guy, H. L. (1941). "H. S. Hele-Shaw. 1854-1941". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 3 (10): 790–726. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1941.0035.  edit
  2. ^ http://www2.maths.ox.ac.uk/~howison/talks/bamc04.pdf
  3. ^ No. 2164: Hele-Shaw at www.uh.edu
  4. ^ 'For the Advancement of Learning (The University of Liverpool 1881 - 1981)', Thomas Kelly, Liverpool University Press, 1981.
Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Matthew Henry Phineas Riall Sankey
President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Succeeded by
Sir John Dewrance