Peter Lawrenson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Peter Lawrenson
Born 12 March 1933 (1933-03-12) (age 84)
Prescot, Lancashire, UK
Died 27 October 2017
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Manchester
Known for Switched reluctance drives
Awards Faraday Medal (1990)
IEEE Edison Medal (2005)
Scientific career
Institutions University of Leeds

Peter John Lawrenson, BSc, MSc, DSc, FIEE, FIEEE, FRS, FREng[1] (12 March 1933 – 27 October 2017)[2] was an Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds who contributed to the development of switched reluctance drive technology.


Lawrenson was born in Prescot, before moving to Lancashire, and educated at the University of Manchester from which he held the degrees of BSc, MSc and DSc. From 1956 to 1961 he was a research engineer at GEC.

In 1961 Lawrenson was appointed a Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds. He remained at Leeds for 30 years, being promoted to Reader in 1965 and Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1966. He retired from his chair in 1991 with the title Emeritus Professor.[3][4]

Lawrenson is considered the father of the switched reluctance motor and associated drive technology.[5] Based on research work that had been carried out jointly by the University of Leeds and the University of Nottingham, in 1980 he and three colleagues (Michael Stephenson, Bill Ray and Rex Davis) established a design, technology development and licensing business, Switched Reluctance Drives Ltd. Initially based in Leeds, UK, the company was sold to Emerson Electric in 1994, and although still based in the UK at Harrogate, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Nidec Corporation of Japan.

Lawrenson was co-author of "The Analytical and Numerical Solution of Electric and Magnetic Fields," about electromagnetic field solutions.

Lawrenson is the recipient of the Faraday Medal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the ESSO Energy Gold Medal of The Royal Society and the J.A. Ewing Gold Medal of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was elected a Fellow[1] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[1] (FREng) in 1980 and of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1982.[5] Lawrenson won the IEEE Edison Medal in 2005 For outstanding contributions to the field of electrical machines, most notably the development and commercialization of switched reluctance drives.

Lawrenson was president of The Institution of Electrical Engineers from 1992 to 1993.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b c d "List of Fellows". 
  2. ^ Peter John Lawrenson
  3. ^ University of Leeds, List of Emeritus Professors
  4. ^ Debrett's Biography
  5. ^ a b c "IEEE Edison Medal Recipients" IEEE official website. Retrieved December 24, 2010
  6. ^ "Peter Lawrenson". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved 25 July 2011.