Biography of John Conn
John Farquhar Christie Conn (1903-1993) was a graduate of the University and John Elder Professor of Naval Architecture from 1957 until 1973.
Conn was an apprentice at Alexander Hall & Co's shipyard in Aberdeen from 1920 to 1925, and then came to Glasgow to study at the University. He graduated BSc in 1929 and was employed as a designer at several shipyards before joining the scientific staff of the Ship Division at the National Physical Laboratory in 1929. He was Chief Naval Architect to the British Shipbuilding Research Association from 1945 until his appointment to the John Elder Chair in 1957.
During his time at the University, Conn forged closer links between his and the other engineering departments. He widened the scope of teaching, particularly to include aspects of ocean engineering that included oil exploration and recovery, and he raised funds from local industry to help meet the costs of building a large experimental tank.
In 1946, Conn was awarded a DSc for his work on marine propeller vibration. His main fields of research activity lay in dynamics, hydrodynamics, mathematics and structures.