A Bibliography of his Work
Nigel S. Harris an ex Chartered Physicist (CPhys) started his working career at ERA Technology and was mainly involved in the experimental vacuum impregnation and life testing of thin film capacitors. The high-vacuum process plant used consisted in part of a liquid nitrogen trapped mercury diffusion pumped system with a mercury McCloud gauge (see photo at the bottom of the page). Nigel then spent several years working in the Medical Physics Departments of the Royal Marsden & Guys Hospitals using radioisotopes for diagnostic purposes.
Nigel joined Edwards High Vacuum in 1970 as a Development Engineer/Physicist. He spent six years on the development of vacuum pumps including the Diffstak and a porous-element heated vapour booster pump. The latter pump was the subject of a paper presented at the 7th International Vacuum Congress & 3rd International Conference on Solid Surfaces at Vienna in 1977. During this early stage of Nigel's career he had the pleasure of being mentored by vacuum experts B.D. Power and N.T.M Dennis, both who became Technical Directors at Edwards and who were well known for their vacuum books published by Chapman & Hall. Also during this period Nigel attended (on a part-time basis) Sir John Cass College of Science & Technology, London, where he gained an MSc in “Vacuum Science & the Physics of Solid Surfaces and Thin Films”. As part of the MSc degree he wrote a 20,000 word critical survey on the "Back-streaming of oil vapour from rotary and diffusion vacuum pumps". This later formed the basis of several articles encouraged by Professor John Yarwood for publication in the journal "Vacuum".
Nigel then decided to apply his knowledge and experience of vacuum science and technology in a training role within the company. He became Deputy Manager and then Manager of their UK Vacuum Training facility. As Edwards business grew to became a fast-expanding global division of BOC, and with a staff of six built up over several years, he reshaped the then named International Training Department from not only a training delivery team but also into a skilled training material preparation team. This standardised the appearance of global training material, reduced duplication of effort and made training more readily available (delivered by local trainers trained in the UK). He pioneered the introduction of technical e-learning into the Company and prior to his retirement in 2001 he was promoted to Corporate Technical Training Manager, BOC Edwards. (now Edwards). His accountability was to define and articulate the strategic priorities for corporate technical training both for employees and customers and to ensure the delivery of training to meet business demand.
During his vacuum career Nigel had published more than 20 technical review papers, several booklets and the textbook "Modern Vacuum Practice" which has sold over 15,000 copies and is in its 3rd edition. During the early part of his vacuum career Nigel carried out training worldwide, including in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Eire, France, Hungary, India, Japan, Malaysia, Portugal, Sarawak, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and USA. In all it is estimated that Nigel had trained around 4000 students. Conference presentations included "A Laboratory Package for Training in Vacuum Technology". Presented at the 28th National Symposium of the American Vacuum Society, Anaheim, USA in November 1981 and published in the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. Vol 20 No 4
In 2022 Edwards Vacuum Technology Ireland Ltd made a significant investment in a training centre in Dublin. A practical laboratory within the centre has been named the "Harris Laboratory".
On retirement in 2001 Nigel lectured throughout southern England on the postal history of 19th century Canada (displaying a collection he had built up over 20 years). After disposing of his philatelic collection he researched his family history and discovered that his 4 times great grandfather (David Harris), owned a corn watermill in Gomshall, Surrey. The mill was in family ownership from 1759 until 1806. In 2005 Nigel wrote and published a booklet about the mill and his family connection. Further research into various aspect of mills and milling lead Nigel to become an independent author and publisher, specialising in the history, development & technology of flour milling. He was a Heritage Partner of the Mills Archive Trust and a Member of the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. He has published several books dealing with various aspects of flour milling and written numerous articles on the subject.
Link to Authors Amazon webpage