Philip Dee

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Prof Philip Ivor Dee CBE FRS[1][2] FRSE (8 April 1904, Stroud – 17 April 1983, Glasgow) was a British nuclear physicist. He was responsible for the development of airborne radar during the Second World War. Glasgow University named the Philip Ivor Dee Memorial Lecture after him.[3]


He was born in Stroud in Gloucestershire on 8 April 1904 the son of Albert John Dee a schoolmaster. He was educated at Marling School and then won a place at Cambridge University where he graduated MA in 1926.[4] He thereafter took on research roles, initially as a student of Charles Thomson Rees Wilson[5], at the prestigious Cavendish Laboratory[3] during which time Samuel Curran worked under him.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1941[1] and won its Hughes Medal in 1952. During World War II, he initially worked in the Ministry of Aircraft Production and in 1940 moved to the Telecommunications Research Establishment. Dee led the team which developed the Village Inn radar system.

After the Second World War in 1945, he became Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow.[6] He was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1946 Birthday Honours, having already been appointed an Officer of the Order (OBE) in the 1943 Birthday Honours. In the same year he received government funding to build equipment to investigate particle physics and placed Glasgow University as a world authority in that field during the 1950s.

In 1946 he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Thomas Alty, John Walton, Edward Provan Cathcart, and Sir Robert Muir.[4] He was awarded the Society's Gunning Victoria Jubilee Prize for 1958-1962 in recognition of his work on nuclear physics.

He retired in 1972 and received an honorary doctorate (DSc) from Strathclyde University in 1980.

He died in Glasgow on 17 April 1983. His obituary was written by Sir Samuel Curran FRS.[7]

Artistic Recognition[edit]

His 1973 portrait by Kathryn Kynoch is held by the Hunterian Art Gallery.[8]


He married Phyllis Elsie Tyte in 1929.[9]


The archives of Philip Ivor Dee are maintained by the Archives of the University of Glasgow (GUAS).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Curran, S. (1984). "Philip Ivor Dee. 8 April 1904-17 April 1983". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 30: 139–166. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1984.0005. JSTOR 769823.
  2. ^ Anon (1985). "Corrigendum: Philip Ivor Dee. 8 April 1904-17 April 1983". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 31: 667. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1985.0024. JSTOR 769941.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "Philip Dee". 2015-01-20. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Curran, Samuel (1984). "Philip Ivor Dee. 8 April 1904-17 April 1983". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 30: 141–166. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1984.0005. JSTOR 769823.
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