Engineer of the Week No.64: Rosina “Rose” Winslade OBE (22nd July 1919 - 16th December 1982) MIMC, MASEE, FITE, AMBIM, MSIT
Today, on the centenary of her birth, we remember Rose Winslade, accoustic and electronics engineer and technical educator.
Rosina Winslade was another woman who became a highly respected professional engineer (and President of the Women’s Engineering Society) despite having had almost no formal education. Born in London in 1919 into a working class family, her father having various labouring jobs, she had to leave school at the age of 14 to work in a factory. Her own interest, and presumably demonstrable intelligence, led to her being moved to be a junior assistant in the laboratories. She started to take City and Guilds courses in Telecommunications Technology but was not able to finish due to a serious illness for 2 years. However by 1939 she was sufficiently knowledgeable and experienced to get a job with the Plessey Company working on development and production liaison on airborne equipment and direction finders. In 1947 she moved to become an engineer in the accoustics laboratory of Goodmans Industries Ltd, a company specialising in audio equipment, then (1950) joining Phillips Electrical Ltd as a sales engineer on electromechanical devices and instrumentation. That division became a separate company, Research and Control Instruments Ltd, with whom she worked until 1967, rising to become Manager (Technical) of their Electronics Division, mainly working on automation schemes. In 1967 she took a change of direction into technical education, which was to be a principal interest for the rest of her life, by become the Assistant Secretary of the Council of Engineering Institutions. This led to involvement in overseas educational organisations, in Europe and the Commonwealth and an appointment to the board of governors of University College Nairobi. She retired in 1977.
Rosina was involved in many professional bodies, often becoming one of their first female members. She was an early member of Society of Environmental Engineers, perhaps due to her interest in vibration measurement, on which she published papers in the 1950s. Rosina was active in the Women’s Engineering Society from her joining in 1947 until just before her death. She gave talks, wrote articles, was on the council and became the Society’s President in 1966-67. In the Society’s 50th anniversary year, 1969, she was awarded the OBE for her services to the society, which continued until just before her death in 1982.