Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 22:27 UK

Radar founder recognised in city

Sir Robert Watson-Watt
Watson-Watt was born in Brechin and is viewed as the father of radar

Dundee University is paying tribute to the pioneer of radar with an exhibition about his life and work.

The story of Robert Watson-Watt is told using artefacts, archive footage and photos from the Imperial War Museum.

The Brechin-born engineer and his team played a crucial role in defending the UK during World War II by developing a system to pick up enemy aircraft.

His research still influences technologies used today such as air traffic control and sat-nav systems.

Exhibition organiser Dr Steve Parkes believes we have a lot to thank Sir Robert for.

"At the beginning of the war he developed a radar system that was able to pick up enemy aircraft and give us a substantial amount of warning before the enemy bombers arrived in London and started to drop their bombs.

"So this actually gave time for fighter aircraft to reach the appropriate altitude and intercept those bombers.

Designs for the Watson-Watt memorial in Brechin
Designs for the Watson-Watt memorial in Brechin will be on display
He said: "That was important, otherwise we'd have to have fighters on station all the time, reducing their effectiveness, or by the time the fighters actually got up to intercept them the bombers would've dropped their bombs and headed back to Germany."

Mr Parkes added that Watson-Watt's technology could be seen today at airports, it is used in studying volcanoes and in anti-collision detection in vehicles.

The event aims to highlight Watson-Watt's connection with the Tayside area and also raise awareness of efforts to build a memorial to the engineer in Brechin.

Mr Parkes said: "This exhibition is about his life, his work, and the legacy of his invention.

"He was born in Brechin, he studied in what became the University of Dundee, and we really want to reflect that".

Watson-Watt: The Battle of Britain - Three Steps to Victory runs at the Queen Mother Building at Dundee University until 23 October.

Tribute plan for radar inventor
01 Nov 06 |  Tayside and Central

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