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Charles Parsons — A Mathematician by Trade

September 23rd, 2013

A mathematician by training and an engineer by trade, Charles Algernon Parsons earned his fame by inventing the steam turbine engine in the mid 1880s — an invention that would revolutionize ocean travel and merchant shipping, as well as naval warfare. His robust career is yet another example of the contributions of engineering to the world of human endeavor.

Charles Parsons — Childhood, Scholastic Accomplishments, and Early Career

Charles Parsons was born in 1854, the youngest of the six sons of famous English astronomer, William Parsons. A mathematical and mechanical engineering prodigy, Parsons and his brothers built their own 4-horsepower steam carriage when Charles was only 12. He parlayed that natural talent into a first class mathematics honors degree from Cambridge’s St. Jamescareer-in-engineeri College in 1877.

After serving an apprenticeship for a Newcastle-based engineering firm, Parsons joined Kitson and Company, located in Yorkshire, where he designed rocket torpedoes. In 1884, he became the Director of Electrical Equipment Development for Clarke, Chapman, and Company, a ship engine manufacturer located near Newcastle.

The Invention of the Steam Turbine Engine

While at Clarke, Chapman, and Company, Parsons developed a multi-stage turbine engine, using an innovative design the restricted the stream in each stage to derive the most kinetic energy possible. This engine allowed electricity to be generated at a much lower cost, revolutionizing shipping and ultimately other industries as well.

In 1889, he founded his own company, C.A. Parsons and Company to build these new turbo generators. Parsons’ turbine design also saw wide use in electricity generating stations. His crowning achievement was the ship, Turbina, which used three parallel-flow turbines able to reuse the steam. The ship reached speeds of over 34 knots, which was very fast for the time.

Parsons’ turbines saw wide use throughout the shipping fleets of the day, including the Titanic, and also became the industry standard for on-land electricity generation. Parsons was knighted in 1911 and died in 1931.

Charles Parsons’ career features the kind of innovation that inspires current and fledgling engineers to enter the practice. If you want to enhance your prospects in this rewarding field, talk to the experts at the Talley Group. One of the leading engineering staffing firms in the Seattle area — they can help supercharge your career.

Breaking News — Stay Current with the Power Engineering App

July 24th, 2013

Those of you interested in the keeping a finger on the pulse of the power engineering industry need to download the Power Engineering app from POWER-GEN International. Essentially a mobile version of Power Engineering Magazine, this app — available for both the iOS and Android platforms — provides an excellent resource for all things related to power generation: articles, videos, and more.

Power Engineering for the iPhone, iPad, and Android Features

  • Watch the Latest Power Industry Newscasts
  • Save and Share your Favorite Magazine Articles
  • Social Network Integration: Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Review Event Floorplans and Sessions
  • Research Event Exhibitor Profiles
  • Available as a Free Download for both iOS and Android

The app’s content is curated by the editorial staff from Power Engineering magazine. The magazine has covered the operations, maintenance, engineering, construction and development of all types of large-scale power generation across North America for the last 110 years.

Power Engineering App also Provides Coverage of Solar and Nuclear Power

In addition to traditional power engineering, the app’s content covers both articles and conference material from emerging energy sources, including nuclear, solar, and other renewable options. It includes convenient access to information on the over 1,200 companies that exhibited at the POWER-GEN International, NUCLEAR POWER International, Coal-Gen and Renewable Energy World North America Conference & Expo events.

The Power Engineering app regularly receives updates as new conferences occur. Anyone currently working in power engineering or with an interest in the industry will find the app to be an invaluable resource for news, information as well as the latest and greatest in products and practices.

Power Engineering magazine has been in business since 1896, and their smartphone app is an excellent example of how technology makes it easier to conveniently access a cornucopia of industry expertise and information.

If you are not a regular reader of Power Engineering, see if your favorite publication has a mobile or online presence. Staying current with news in your industry is essential during your job search.

If this app inspires you to take a closer look at the practice of power engineering or engineering in general, make sure to give the folks at The Talley Group a call or email. As one of the leading engineering staffing companies in the Northwestern United States, they have the expertise to help you further your career.

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