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Frank Mobbs

Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the death, on 7 February 2019, of Frank Mobbs, former Reader in the School of Mechanical Engineering.

Frank graduated from Leeds with a First in Mechanical Engineering during World War II, when the country was urgently training additional engineers for the war effort.  At the beginning of 1945 he began working at the Royal Aircraft Establishment as a junior scientific officer.  This experience of fluid mechanics prompted him to take up a postgraduate studentship in aeronautical engineering at Imperial College and he was awarded the DIC in June 1946.

Frank initially joined the lecturing staff at the University of Liverpool, but soon moved to Leeds.  He arrived in 1952-53 as a Lecturer, progressing to Senior Lecturer in 1968, and Reader in 1975.  Whilst his research and teaching interests were strongly focused on fluid mechanics, he also contributed to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in design, thermodynamics, strength of materials, and tribology.  His involvement in combustion research developed into an in-depth study of turbulence and Taylor Vortex flow, the studies of which in relation to tribology were in due course extended to heat transfer problems.  Another research line was directed towards compressibility effects in gas-solid powder flows at high velocity – in which connection he was particularly interested in the transport of solid particles in gas streams.  Further research initiated at Liverpool on turbulent jets was extended at Leeds to studies of the spreading of jets and wakes.

The appreciation published on his retirement in 1989 observed that Frank’s teaching was marked by careful preparation and clarity of presentation, noting that he commanded the respect of students and developed a fine reputation for the care with which he developed his lecture presentations and the painstaking thoroughness and attention to detail which distinguished his research.

Frank will be remembered by colleagues and students for his calm and friendly manner.