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Staff Memories - David Turner

In 1965 I applied for the post of "Design Engineer and Head of Workshops"; a post that actually went to the much better suited Fred Macintyre. A year later I was still desperate to find a new job, so when I saw an advert for engineering lecturers I sent a postcard to the University saying that I assumed they had kept my details and would they use them as an application for the lectureship? I felt so doubtful about the whole idea of becoming a university teacher that, when asked to bring my application up-to-date, I didn't even reply.

Even so, a month later, I was sitting somewhere on the East Site with the board that was going to interview me. The only person I can put a name to now was Arthur Shercliff. He was telling me of his plans for his marvellous new department and I was feeling more and more a fish out of water-- because of the war, I hadn't even taken the third year of the course at Cambridge!

I was on the point of standing up to terminate the interview and stop wasting any more of their time—I remember already had my hands on the armrests of my chair--when Arthur, getting down to details, said that what they were really looking for was someone who knew a little about design. At that I sank back into my chair--and spent the next 20 years trying to decide how one does teach engineering design.