Papers of Professor Robert Edgeworth Johnstone (1900-1994), chemical engineer,1937-1972

Scope and Content

The collection comprises subject or case files compiled by Professor Edgeworth Johnstone duringhis research and professional practice. It is probable that the surviving files were compiled duringhis time as Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham, since the datablematerial covers the period 1960 to 1967. The files contain manuscript notes, correspondence andassociated papers accumulated during this period. The files can generally be classified into threegroups:

  • The first and largest group consists of files relating to scientific research, includingindustrial chemical processes, compounds, pollution, 'scale-up', safety, research, development,education and patents.
  • The second group of files primarily concerns methodological matters, including technical filingsystems, 'work study', management, statistics, cost estimation and report writing.
  • One file holds personal papers, concerning Edgeworth Johnstone's interest in sailing.

Lectures, reports and articles written by Edgeworth Johnstone include the titles: 'Thetransference of chemical processes from small to large scale operation' (1939); 'Potential marketsfor high-volatility petroleum coke in Brazil' for Trinidad Leaseholds Ltd (1937); 'Continuingeducation for engineers' (Helsinki, 1972); 'The future of pilot plants' (c.1961); 'Second survey ofchemical engineering and practice' presented to the Institution of Chemical Engineers (1965); 'Scaleeffects in chemical plants' presented to the students and graduates section of the Institution ofChemical Engineers (1965); and 'Some thoughts on engineering education', given as his inaugurallecture as Lady Trent Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham (1962).

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Edgeworth Johnstone (1900-1994) was educated at Wellington College, Manchester College ofScience and Technology (BSc), and the University of London (MSc and DSc). He was a member of theInstitute of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, and the Institute ofChemistry. His early career included periods as a chemical engineer at Petrocarbon Ltd, and TrinidadLeaseholds Ltd. From 1955 to 1958, he was assistant director of the Ministry of Supply's explosivesordnance factories before joining the Atomic Energy Agency.

Edgeworth Johnstone became Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham in1960. He held the chair until retirement in 1967. He was made an honorary fellow of the Institutionof Chemical Engineers in 1981. He died in 1994.


The files in the collection have been arranged alphabetically.

Access Information

ACCESS: Access is restricted pending full processing ofthe items and release of complete finding aid; material can be made available by special advancearrangement.


Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The collection was given to the University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts in April1982.