simonarcher by joiceymathew

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  RJF HUDSON PhD., BAppSc., DMS., CEng.,Extra First Class M.O.T
               FIMarEST., MIMechE., MCMI.

Dr Hudson was formerly Chief Engineer and Technical Superintendent of The Indo-
China Steam Navigation Co (HK) (Jardine Matheson & Co)
At the time when sea-going heavy oil engines were being dramatically
increased in size, power and numbers, Dr Archer's investigations into main
engine crankshaft failures exposed the danger of ignoring the stresses due
to torsional vibration. Dr Archer's papers on the subject are classics in the

The author discusses the capital contribution by Dr Archer to the design of
large marine reciprocating engine crankshafts together with his
investigation of the additional troubles caused by the phenomena of
vibration in the line shafting of ships. Also discussed by the author is Dr
Archer's major study of the troubles associated with marine propulsion

The author concludes with the reminder that the Industrial Revolution was
sparked by engineers with no scientific training, but by technical men of
the supreme calibre of Dr Simon Archer, and that the role of the engineer is
to drive science just as much as it is the role of science to drive


In 1950 the world had at its disposal 84 583 155 gross tons of shipping (excluding

passenger and miscellaneous craft). By 1960 this had increased to 129 796 000 gt.

Until 1970, Lloyd's Register did not specifically record container ships, but by 1972

they had recorded 231 container ships totalling 2 780 681 deadweight tons in service

and 209 ships totalling 4 000 000 dwt on order. In 1972, even after scrapping was taken

into account, delivery of new tonnage was about 22 million dwt.      In 1972, 9.3 million

tons of combination carriers were in service as opposed to 5.9 million dwt in 1971. In

1973, Lloyd's Register reported 31 million gt of shipping launched and the order book

was 129 million gt. This included 66 tankers of 400,000 dwt.             The world fleet

approximated 300 million gt. This was the year that Simon Archer, DSc, MSc, CEng.,

FIMarE., FIMechE, was elected President of the Institute of Marine Engineers. It can

be safely said that most every ship reported upon above, was influenced in some way in

its technical design, by the brilliant work of Dr Simon Archer. It can also be safely said

that from pre-war days through to and beyond this period when Dr Archer was

President, the United Kingdom had technical and marine engineering leadership that

was unsurpassed. The names of Lamb, Pounder, Jackson Ker-Wilson, Orbeck, Arnold

and Baker come immediately to mind. These and some other notable marine engineers

of that era are all worthy of our esteem. But here I wish to eulogise Dr Simon Archer

and his work.


Simon Archer was born in Oslo on August 28th, 1907. His family moved to London in

the hardship days of 1909 but Simon was persuaded to return to Norway and take up an

apprenticeship in marine engineering. He left the Oslo shipyards in 1925 but returned

to the shipyards the following year. As is well known, working life was very difficult

in those years and in 1929 the young Simon Archer returned to Newcastle, and to a

further period at sea. He must have had very strong motivations for doing this because

its outcome enabled him to subsequently seek a marine engineering and naval

architecture degree at Armstrong College in Newcastle.              Following upon his

graduation, he joined Lloyd's Register as a surveyor in 1936. He had attracted the eye

of Sir Westcott S. Abell, KBE MA, his professor of naval architecture at Durham

University.   Professor Abell had previously been Chief Ship Surveyor at Lloyd's

Register and had commended the job of a Classification Surveyor to his student.

Upon joining Lloyd's Mr Archer's interest lay in the expanding field of engineering

research. The field was expanding because of the United Kingdom's domination of

ocean-going world trade. Although largely powered by steam reciprocating engines,

more and more diesel powered ships were being ordered. In fact in 1920, Anglo-Saxon

Petroleum Co Ltd had ordered twelve 10 000 dwt ships propelled by double acting

diesel engines that were commissioned in 1927. This was a time when the designs for

fuel-injection, crankshafts, reversing, combustion pressures and stresses, and all relative

issues of marine engineering were in their infancy. Lloyd's Register was the principal

classification society of ships registered in the United Kingdom and so it largely befell

these friends to establish the rules that would govern the technical designs of shipping

and its engineering propulsion. Imagine the technical work required to design a 10

cylinder, four-stroke double-acting blast injection diesel engine, two of which were

designed and built by Harland and Wolff in 1931 to power the 26 940 gt mv Brittanic.

These were the days of slide rules, not computers, and it befell Mr Archer to lead a

newly created Research and Technical Advisory Services Department to establish the

Rules that would govern these and many other crucial engineering design issues.

Screwshaft failures

Like many other eminent members of the Institute, some of whom were very brave to

publish details of their engine failings, Mr Archer presented many papers reporting

upon his work. Among these papers was his contribution "Screwshaft Casualties - the

Influence of Torsional Vibration and Propeller Immersion (1950)1.        For this very

distinguished contribution in 1950, Mr Archer was awarded the degree of MSc by

Durham University, the next year. His paper reported upon investigations carried out

over two years by his research staff at Lloyd's Register, concerning torsional vibration

and other design problems, in the screwshafting of Liberty class ships. These famous

ships were originally designed as general purpose cargo carriers of 10 400 dwt capacity

with five holds and their wartime contribution was incalculable. So severe were

torsional and other stresses in the screwshafts of these ships that complete fractures

occurred in more than 100 cases producing propeller losses at sea. Altogether there

were some 2 500 Liberty type vessels built in the United States and Canada between

1942 and the end of the Second World War. They represented a total of 17 million gt or

about 20 percent of the world total tonnage for 1947. This was 13½ percent of all the

ships that delivered produce throughout the globe. To a world recovering from the

catastrophic effects of the Second World War, and with Liberty, ships playing such a

major part in essential sea-borne trade, any disruption to their service was disastrous.

Yet by 1948, the number of Liberty ships requiring screwshaft replacements had

reached 583. The task Mr Archer set himself in those days was to determine the

principal factors underlying these failures. The seminal paper he produced reported

upon just about every factor that might play a part in the stresses imposed upon a

Liberty ship working screwshaft. Most Liberty ships were of all-welded construction

and were built in the United States. A minor number were of riveted construction and

built in Canada. All had similar scantlings and similar triple expansion reciprocating

steam engines with fully built crankshafts. Almost all of the ships used manganese

bronze propellers with a few using cast-iron propellers, but all propellers were of

similar design. His method of analysing the problem was to obtain every detail of

information that he could about as many ships as he could, and thereafter break all the

information down into its component parts. He then rigorously investigated every

confounding factor. In his study of the torsional vibration characteristics of the overall

propulsion system, Mr Archer carefully delineated the assumptions upon which his

theoretical results would depend.      Having done that he then proceeded with great

thoroughness to set down all the details of his mathematical analysis regarding the

vibratory stress problem. Now it is very important to remember that his research was

carried out in the late 1940's. IBM didn't introduce Formula Translation (FORTRAN)

until 1954. Additionally, Kemeny and Kurtz did not create Beginners All purpose

symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) until the middle 1960's. Mr Archer therefore did

not have the benefit of the mathematical computer programming capability that is

available today, to rapidly provide him with mathematical solutions. Rather, he would

have used a slide rule.     While the Holzer torsional frequency calculations were

laborious, they were not insurmountable. This was provided that there were completely

reliable methods available, to calculate the stiffnesses of crankwebs and the inertia

effects   of    friction-constrained    steam    slide-valves    and    their   linkages.

The available crankshaft stiffness formulae, (Carter2 (1928), Jackson3 (1933), Ker-

Wilson4 (1942) et al), while it was very useful, principally addressed smaller engines

and did not necessarily apply to reciprocating steam engines. What makes Mr

Archer's work so admirable is the painstaking manner in which he took no calculated

result for granted. Without any criticism of the war-time steam engine designers at

the North-Eastern Marine Engineering Co., he proceeded to show that their designed

2 500 ihp steam reciprocating engine that powered the Liberty ships, when running at

its rated 76 rev/min, had an undesired 3rd order one node forcing frequency at 76

revs/min in normal loaded seagoing operation, it also had a dangerous 3rd order one

node forcing frequency of 80 revs/min that occurred when the propeller was clear of

the water. The combined bending and resonance stresses at these revs caused the

failures. This on its own, was a crucial result. However Mr Archer went much

further.   Drawing upon the work of other investigators, all of whom he

acknowledged, particularly the American Bureau of Shipping, he provided the

marine engineering industry with detailed mathematical procedures to calculate the

screwshaft stresses discussed in his paper. He did this across a wide range of engine

speeds, draught and weather conditions, all coupled with the influences and effects of

engine-racing and propeller immersion.

He included discussions upon the vibration damping effects of propeller entrained

water. He furthermore discussed the inadequacies of the then popular design of

screwshaft keyways and of propeller and shaft connections. The manner of the shrink

fitting requirements of built-up steam reciprocating marine engine crankshafts also

caught his attention. Not content with mathematical results, he verified them as far

as was feasible by practical tests undertaken upon two working vessels. In one test,

to get strain gauge readings on the shafting, he inadvertently ran the main engine of

the SS Bendoran to 140 rev/min., almost twice the designed service speed, with the

propeller out of the water. Those with seagoing experience of triple expansion steam

engines racing in severe weather conditions, with open crossheads flailing up and

down, know that this is a very hazardous and frightening event. The wealth of his

contribution to the knowledge on propeller shaft vibration found its way into the re-

writing of the appropriate Lloyd's Rules. As an aside it is worthy to note that it was

by the permission of Lloyd's Register that Mr Archer was enabled to make his paper

public knowledge. This was a period when a commendable sharing technical spirit

in the United Kingdom marine field prevailed. It was a period when Britain had

everything to lose and nothing to gain by sharing their technical design theory and

practice, of large marine diesel and turbine engine plant. Such was the respect given

to Mr Archer by his colleagues when he presented his paper at the Institute’s

Memorial Avenue headquarters, that the names of his colleagues who attended his

lecture not only reflected highly upon Mr Archer, but also reflected admirably upon

the Institute as a centre of learning. The names of many engineers and scientists of

international repute who contributed to the knowledge of the lecture are too

numerous to mention here but they included Dr Ker-Wilsoni, Professor L Burrillii,

Mr A.R. Gatewoodiii.

Mr Archer's findings of the failure of the Liberty ship screwshafts was that it ensued

principally as a consequence of a reduction in the fatigue strength of the shaft which

resulted from overstressing in torsional and bending fatigue, during periods of heavy

racing. Allied to this was his finding of the danger of operating the engines at the

  Dr Ker Wilson authored many significant papers and text books upon torsional vibrations in engines.
    Professor Burrill, an Institute Silver Medallist was Professor of Naval Architecture at Kings College
    Mr Gatewood, a senior ABS engineer, also contributed significantly to the research of these
screwshaft casualties.

makers recommended service speed of 76 rev/min, reporting that this speed in fact

was near the resonant condition, with all that is implies.

Coupled with the assiduity of his practical work, his mathematical analysis of this

problem provided a model for all marine engine designers. The contributions to the

knowledge that emanated from his arguments ranged from improvements in keyway

design to improvements in the screwshaft liner-to-propeller sealing. In recognition

of the MSc awarded by Durham University for his published work, Lloyd's Register

gave a 50 guinea grant to Mr Archer.


In 1956 Mr Archer presented a paper upon the troubles associated with the operation

of large reduction gearing. Titling his paper "Some Teething Troubles in Post-war

Reduction Gears" (1956)5, he reported upon typical gearing problems that had been

reported to Lloyd's Register within the past two years but which had happened over

the previous ten years. His paper was motivated by the rapid increase in tanker size

and the higher turbine horsepower's chosen to power them. The paper was in fact a

treatise not only about gear train problems occurring in service, but also about

manufacture and theoretical designs of large gear trains.    Among many different

types of failure, Mr Archer reported upon the causes of tooth damage and turbine

gear wheel rim fracture.       His comprehensive study documented the troubles

experienced in over 900 sets of gears, between July 1953 and 1955. In an industry

where service reliability is crucial, such information was greatly welcomed by the

marine engineering fraternity because it was information not normally available to

them.     Such was the interest shown in the paper that together with recorded

contributions from others in the field, it occupies fifty-two pages in the 1956

Transactions and includes thirty-nine references.


In 1964, Mr Archer presented to the Institute his pioneering paper, "Some Factors

Influencing the Life of Marine Crankshafts" (1964)6.           In the introduction to his

paper, Mr Archer suggested that the bogey of torsional vibration had been adequately

described in Porter7 (1928), Dorey8 (1935) and Dorey9 (1939). While this might have

been true as he suggests, it will be seen that of the fifty-five references cited by Mr

Archer, the majority dealt with matters other than torsional vibration in diesel

engines. Other than published work by Nestorides10 (1958), Ker-Wilson11 (1959),

Draminsky12 (1961), and Orbeck     13
                                        (1963), there was a paucity of detailed literature

upon the subject suitable for Mr Archer's guidance. It will be seen therefore that Mr

Archer's report upon the principal causes of marine engine crankshaft failure, using

both theory and practice, established a new and original understanding of the

requirements for marine crankshaft designs and their factors of safety. The genesis

of this important work could well have been the Doxford Engine crankshaft

casualties reported upon by Atkinson and Jackson in their paper "Some Crankshaft

Failures: Investigations, Causes and Remedies" (1960)14. Doxford of Sunderland

had begun designing and building oil engines in 1910 and were held in very high

international regard. This paper examined the reasons for the failure of five Doxford

750 mm bore opposed piston diesel engine crankshafts, out of the eighteen engines

that were classed by Lloyd's Register. These failures occurred over a six months

period in 1955. At that time there were some 1 400 Doxford engines of various sizes

in service, all of which were built to Lloyd's Register Rules.

The considerable anxiety amongst ship owners and engine builders, together with

Doxford's anxiety, was readily self-evident. It was argued by Atkinson and Jackson

that the primary cause of the shaft failures was the high fatigue stresses in the

crankpin fillets machined into No 3 forward and No 4 aft side crankwebs of these six

cylinder engines. Crank propagation was deemed to have occurred from one fillet to

the other through the crankweb. Their findings were supported by Lloyd's Register

who had taken a major part in the investigation. However, in the discussion to the

paper, among many notable contributions from internationally known experts in

attendance, the contribution by Mr Archer stood out. Mr Archer re-examined the

complete question of engine-seating and stiffness, together with hull flexibility, the

stresses upon the crankshaft imposed by both bending and torsion, and importantly to

the Doxford problem, the stresses imposed upon the shaft by operation at or near

various torsional and axial critical vibration frequencies.

Mr Archer reported upon bending and other tests undertaken by Lloyd's Register

upon an unbroken section of failed crankshaft examined in the Wilton-Fijenwoord

workshops at Rotterdam. He used his results to correct some shortcomings that he

considered were made in the investigation reported upon by Atkinson and Jackson.

Where Atkinson and Jackson judged the shaft failures were initiated by bending

stresses and not by torsional vibration stress, Mr Archer questioned this view.

He offered investigative results that suggested the failures resulted from combined

fatigue stress rather than by bending or torsion alone. Furthermore, his Holzer

analysis results indicated that at 109/110 rev/min, about 50% of the crankweb stress

resulted from torsional vibration. This was the service speed at which Doxford's

rated its 9 000 bhp (6 700kW) 750mm bore six cylinder diesel engine. The crucial

element in Mr Archer's argument was that while he had no doubt that neither the

torsional nor axial critical speeds coincident with or adjacent to the service speed of

the engines, was capable by itself of causing failure of these crankshafts, as a matter

of proper engineering practice, fatigue stresses of this type so near the engine service

speed ought to be eliminated at the design stage. While agreeing that the crankshaft

failures were initiated by bending stresses, Mr Archer demonstrated that essentially

the failure problem was one of combined fatigue stress and not one of torsion or

bending alone. This was a point not reported upon by Messrs Atkinson and Jackson.

Mr Archer then went on to question the disparities between Doxford's reported

practical tests and the results that had been obtained from Lloyd's Register own tests

upon their own section of failed crankshaft. From Mr Archer's contribution it can be

quickly inferred that engine designers worldwide had many more factors to

understand and to implement in their work, if the likelihood for serious crankshaft

failures was to be eliminated. It could also be quickly inferred that the Lloyd's

Register engineers had a continuing good grasp of the necessary and appropriate

diesel engine design criteria.    This too, was a crucial contribution because the

industry was in the process of rapidly advancing to engines in the 20 000 bhp

(14 900kW) range.

Continuing with Mr Archer's paper we note that in the first section he sought to

identify a link between the make and the shape of a crankshaft and its propensity to

fail under various conditions. The second part was a treatise that provided a well

considered practical approach to crankshaft design. Mr Archer established a method

that accommodated stresses not previously being considered by engine builders.

Lloyd's Register shafting design Rules had originally been framed by Milton15

(1911), when the significance of torsional vibration was little understood. They had

been enhanced by Dorey16 (1947). Major additional revisions had been made in

1952. Now Mr Archer was providing a new crankshaft design methodology that not

only identified all the stresses at the vibration nodal points, but more particularly

identified stresses at shaft sections where the range of total torsional stress variation

was a maximum. This was indeed the issue that Mr Archer had emphasised in his

contribution to the seminal paper given by Jackson and Atkinson in 1960. The

appendices to Mr Archer's paper provided the new computer algorithms he used in

his analysis, together with a detailed example of their use. Indeed, the technical

director of a major Dutch marine diesel engine manufacturer, Mr N Visser, before he

presented an important contribution to Mr Archer's paper, was prompted to write that

from "his initial discussion about primitive crank-handles, Mr Archer had

progressed to the study of the most modern possibilities of mastering the difficult

problems which brought about the complex phenomenon of the highly loaded

crankshaft of today".

It should be noted that the harmonic analysis of any periodic motion such as an

engine two-stroke or a four-stroke combustion cycle was perhaps laborious but was

not new.     Furthermore, from photographed oscilloscope diagrams or directly

registered indicator diagrams the engine combustion gas pressures at any chosen

ordinate could readily be found. But the continuing question was how could it be

assured that the pressure ordinates read off any indicator diagram finally gave the

right harmonic forces and phase angles, especially the higher one, in the study of

harmonic forcing torque and stress.     In an appendix to his paper Mr Archer gives

Lloyd's Registers' solution to this problem.    The computer algorithms he provides

takes into account the torsional stiffness of the crankshaft together with the effective

moments of inertia of all the crankshaft masses with their damping and vibratory

effects. The tabulated results from the analysis of real data using these algorithms,

provided a criteria that Lloyd's Register expected engine designs to meet. The

improvement to the calculation of the dynamical behaviour of crankshafts by the use

of the computer was evident in his results, as were the quality of the contributions to

the paper that also resulted from new computer use. In presenting his results, Mr

Archer's guidance to engine builders was not limited to large marine heavy oil

engines but included the complete power range of diesel engines classed by Lloyd's

Register.   In essence, Mr Archer's paper had critically identified some of the

crankshaft design failings of the past and outlined new and improved methods to help

overcome them. It was a distinguished contribution to the knowledge.

As well as being a member of the Institute of Marine Engineers, Mr Archer was also

a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Before this august body in

1951, Mr Archer presented another meritorious paper. This paper was entitled

"Contribution to Improved Accuracy in the Calculation and Measurement of

Torsional Vibration Stresses in Marine Propeller Shafting" (1951)17. From his

earlier writings it would seem clear Mr Archer was concerned that in the customary

calculation of stresses in marine propulsion shafting, the apportionment of damping

energy between the propeller and the engine, in respect of torsional vibration, was

being incorrectly applied. As is well known, it is the inertia of the propeller and its

geometrical design, coupled with its entrained water, that provides the major

vibration damping influence, particularly in the single node torsional vibration

calculations.   It therefore follows that if wrongful damping assumptions are

employed, the accuracy of shaft stress predictions must be suspect. Extending the

results obtained by Troost18 (1938) in open-water tests of bronze two, three, four

and five bladed propellers, Mr Archer converted Troost's results into readily useable

graphical curves. By using Archer’s curves and interpolation, and knowing the

system critical speeds and the details of the propeller design and the engine

horsepower, the propeller damping coefficient could be more confidently

calculated. The use of this influential damping coefficient in the usual vibration

amplitude evaluations, led to an improved understanding of design safety factors.

In a further major step, Mr Archer perceived that at resonance under conditions of

heavy propeller damping, there may be considerable twist in the shafting and

therefore an appreciable phase angle may occur between the amplitudes of

vibration, of engine and propeller. In other words, these components might not be

exactly 180° in anti-phase.     Neglecting to incorporate this factor when using

calculations assessed from torsiograph measurements could lead to significant

overestimation of vibration stress.          Mr Archer recognised that contrary to the

straightforward theoretical approach in damped multi-mass systems, in practice

there is no true node in the shafting at which the vibration amplitude is constantly

zero.    Mr Archer addressed the absence of this 'true' node by establishing a

procedure to determine a point corresponding to it, termed the 'point of minimum

amplitude'. In his paper therefore, Mr Archer had presented two further important

contributions to the knowledge about stresses produced in marine propulsion


Thomas Lowe Grey - Transmission of power

In 1963 Mr Archer was invited by the Technical Strategy Board of the Institution of

Mechanical Engineers to present the annual Thomas Lowe Grey Lecture. This is an

annual award under the Institution’s Council Awards committee. The award was

established in 1924 under the will of Thomas Lowe Greyiv.                        To receive the

Institution’s invitation to present this lecture is a pronounced honour. Mr Archer

delivered the thirty-sixth Thomas Lowe Grey Lecture on "Marine Propulsion, with

Special Reference to the Transmission of Power"19, to an audience of 178 members

and visitors on the night of January 22nd 1964.                  Mr Archer's discourse was

particularly valuable because it contained a lot of practical experience and a wealth

of technical and other detail, which would normally never come to the knowledge of

individual superintendent engineers and ship-owners.

  Thomas Lowe Grey was born in 1857 and received his technical education in Manchester, U.K.
His apprenticeship was served partly with Messrs John Stewart and Son, Blackwall, and with the
Union-Castle Line. Subsequently he became Surveyor to Lloyd's Register at Cadiz and Buenos
Aires, returning in 1908, when he went to live at Torquay. He died there on the 18th February 1923
at the age of sixty-six. He became a Member of the Institution in 1879.

Mr Archer furthermore traced the upward trend in propulsion horsepower and the

manner of its disposition between steam turbines and diesels in the newer ships. He

reviewed almost all types of screwshaft drive, from turbine locked train gearing to

the hydraulic form of reversing gears used upon John Lamb's gas turbine ship Auris.

Mr Archer discussed aspects of very complicated machinery with an attitude of

delight. His lecture was a written appreciation of the wonderment of the work that

occupied his life. There were other eminent marine engineers about him at the time,

such as Mr C C Pounder, technical director of the famous Harland and Wolff works,

and Mr John Lamb, who was technical director of Shell Tankers Ltd and who had

earlier led the development of burning heavy fuel oil in marine propulsion diesel

engines. But among them all, Mr Archer was one of the pre-eminent.

Representing Lloyd's Classification Society, on these matters as he did, most

everything that Mr Archer spoke upon therefore not only carried great weight, but

was publicly available to be criticised and tested.   This was a period of immense

technical energy, not only in the United Kingdom, but also in Europe and Asia. It

was a period when Doxford's were testing their nine-cylinder bridge-controlled

20 000 bhp (14 900 kW) opposed piston engine.           Burmeister and Wain were

offering twelve cylinder 980 mm bore 40 000 bhp (29 800 kW) engines. Japanese

shipyards were launching 175 000 dwt tankers and had full order books. The age of

container ships and gas tankers had begun. Most all of this work was being done

under Lloyd's Class.      If Mr Archer's technical messages to the industry were

wrong, they could never be argued away.

It is a fact that the great liability of the engineer compared to men of other

professions is that his works are in the open for all to see. And being Principal

Surveyor in charge of the Machinery Plans Approval Department, meant that the

technical innovations he introduced were in such a framework as to be mandatory

for ship owners to follow them. This was a great responsibility for any individual

but there is little doubt that the man who was once at sea as a greaser, and who

spent nine months as a fitter at Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co., had

technical and other talents well abreast of any crucial issue he was being asked to


Mr Archer's lecture consisted of forty-six pages. He drew information from fifty-

eight references. He presented an analysis of the prime movers of some 11 000

ships classed by Lloyd's Register of Shipping. He tabulated types of engines,

engine powers, their seating location and the number of screws. He presented a

comprehensive critical analysis of the different forms of power transmission. Then,

as if to show that he was truly enjoying himself, he presented in an appendix, the

mathematics for a 'possible new basis for determining intermediate shaft sizes', with

all that this implies. Indeed, this was a most memorable night and it was concluded

by Vice Admiral Sir Frank Mason proposing the Institution’s vote of thanks.

Two years after this paper and one year after his 1964 crankshaft paper, the

University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne awarded Mr Archer the degree of Doctor of

Science for his published works in marine engineering.

Conclusion     President of the Institute of Marine Engineers - City and Guilds

The crowning of Dr Archer's most memorable engineering career took place in 1973

by him being elected President of the Institute of Marine Engineers.                  His

Presidential Address was warm and full of gratitude to the profession that enabled

him to enjoy life full of technical absorption and human interest. In his Address he

proposed “the Institute can best serve the interests of marine engineering by

initiating research projects, participating in research committee work and critically

reviewing research programs, much as it has done in the past”. In other words, the

role of the engineer is just as much to drive science as it is science’s role to drive the

engineer.   He rejoiced in the accolade of being a chartered marine engineer.         He

was as much at home in a boiler suit monitoring crankshaft deflections in an engine

room, as he was in collar and tie at his desk in head office. He spoke of the

grandeur of being an engineer in the same breath as he spoke of boiler trials. His life

had coincided with many great advances in marine engineering, from the ever

higher steam pressures with their extreme superheat temperatures in turbines, the

introduction of boiler oil fuel to propel large marine diesels, to the emergence of

Pounder’s new eccentric driven exhaust-piston engines for the 32 000 bhp

(23 800 kW) Castle liners built by Harland and Wolff at Belfast. He could happily

look back on his life through the renowned structure of Lloyd's Register of

Shipping. and see the results of all his technical achievements

In 1972, the year that he retired, Dr Archer was presented with the City and Guilds

of London Institute Insignia Award in Technology (Honoris Causa) in recognition

of his significant contribution to marine engineering. Dr Archer died in 1997. He

was a great supporter of both Institutes and served upon many committees including

the Institute of Marine Engineers Technical Papers and Conference Committee. In

the world of technical education with its incalculable value to the prosperity of all

nations, Dr Simon Archer's contribution in the marine engineering field was

princely and forever. Let us therefore honour Dr Archer a hero, as an engineer.

      “The crank-throws give the double-bass, the feed pump sobs an’ heaves,
          An’ now the main eccentrics start their quarrel on the sheaves;
           Her time, her own appointed time, the rockin’ link-head bides,
  Till – hear that note? – the rod’s return whings glimmerin’ through the guides”
                                                                    Rudyard Kipling


The author expresses thanks to Ms N Briody (I Mar E), Ms B Jones (Lloyd's

Register of Shipping) and Mr K Moore (I Mech E), for their helpful assistance with



     Archer, S.,(1950), Screwshaft Casualties - The Influence of torsional Vibration
                and Propeller Immersion. IMarE. 1950 Vol 62 pp 43-84.
     Carter, B.C., (1928), An empirical formula for crankshaft stiffness in torsion.
                Engineering, 13 July 1928, p 36.
     Jackson, P., (1933), The Vibration of Oil Engines. 5115 Diesel Engine Users
               Association 26 April 1933, pp 19-20.
     Ker-Wilson, W., (1942), The History of the Opposed-Piston marine Oil Engine.
               Trans IMarE Vol 58, 1946.
    Archer, S., (1956), Some Teething Troubles in Post-war Reduction Gears. Trans
                IMarE 1956 Vol 68 pp 309 - 361
    Archer, S., (1964), Some Factors Influencing the Life of Marine Crankshafts.
                Transactions of the Institute of Marine Engineers. 1964 Vol 76 No. 4
                pp 73-140.
     Porter, F.P., (1928), The Range and Severity of Torsional Vibration in Diesel
                Engines A.S.M.E. Vol 50 APM-50-8 and APM-50-14.
     Dorey, S.F., (1935), Marine Machinery Defects - Their Causes and Prevention.
               Traus. IMarE Vol 47 p305.
    Dorey, S.F.,(1939), Strength of Marine Engine Shafting. Trans. N.E.C. Inst. Eng.
               and Shipb. Vol LV, p.203.
     Nestorides, XXX., (1958), B.I.C.E.R.A. A Handbook on Torsional Vibration.
               Canbridge Uni. Press.
      Ker-Wilson, W., (1959), Thirty Years Development of Opposed-Piston
              Propelling Machinery. Proc Inst Mechanical Engineers Vol 22, 1950.
              Trans NECIES Vol 105 Pt 2 Nov 1988.

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