Front End | News George Ernest English, 1935 - 2020


he Leadership Group of the Electronic Components Supply Network (ecsn) was saddened to learn of the death of George

English, founder of G. English Electronics Ltd. (GELEC). George died in the ‘Hospice in the Weald’ (Kent) on 1st July 2020 aged 85 after a short illness and will be sadly missed by his wife Elizabeth and children Susan, David and Tracy, and his six grandchildren. George Ernest English was born in London in 1935. In 1951 he joined the Royal Navy as an engineering artificer where he quickly developed the interest in electrical/electronic engineering that was to become his lifelong passion. He served with the Navy in S.E. Asia for many years, but it was during a spell ashore in Glasgow that he met Elizabeth, his future wife. The couple married in 1960.

At the end of his exemplary Naval service, George and Elizabeth returned to the UK where George was able to put his technical skills to good use as a customer support engineer with AEI Cables, before moving to McMurdo in Portsmouth and eventually to Distronic, the Harlow based distributor of electronic components.

George struck out for himself in April 1975 when he founded G. English Electronics Ltd., initially to buy and sell surplus electronic components. The company prospered and George was able to amass sufficient financial resources to attract the interest of well-established manufacturers of electronic components and fund the purchase of a working inventory of desirable parts. G. English Electronics Ltd. became a franchised distributor of electronic components in early 1978.

Most of George’s service with the Royal Navy was spent in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Korea, where he developed a keen understanding of Far Eastern cultures, knowledge he was later able put to good use when negotiating franchise distribution agreements with reliable manufacturers of competitively priced components in these regions. Many of the business relationships and supply lines George secured during his frequent trips to S.E. Asia are still in place today. He remains widely regarded as the man who showed others the way to source electronic components from Asia and how to profile an effective UK stock holding of imported parts.

Paying tribute to an industry stalwart, Adam Fletcher ecsn chairman said that George English will be fondly remembered by colleagues throughout the electronic components

distribution industry: “Prior to his retirement in 1999 George was a keen contributor to AFDEC (the Association of Franchised Distributors of Electronic Components) and the company he founded has remained an active member of the association and its successor ECSN for over thirty-two years”.

The COVID-19 situation has compelled a family only funeral but those seeking to honour George’s memory are invited to make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society, either on-line at or by sending a cheque c/o Francis Chappell & Sons, 27 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1AR.

£5.5m grant to create production line nanoscale error sensors

cientists at the University of Huddersfield have been awarded millions of pounds for a five-year research project that will accelerate a new industrial revolution by developing techniques for ultra-accurate measurement on a nanoscale.

An ensemble of miniaturised sensors will enable automated production lines to detect and correct errors in situ, without parts having to be removed for separate measurement. This will deliver much greater efficiency and cost savings plus the ability to manufacture short runs of bespoke items on demand, with unprecedented accuracy.

Industry 4.0 is the term used to describe this next phase of industrial development, based on automation enabled by smart technology. Helping to achieve this is the University of

Huddersfield’s Centre for Precision Technology (CPT), world leaders in metrology – the science of measurement.

It has teamed up with Professor Nikolay Zheludev FRS’s Nanophotonics and Metamaterials Group in the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics at the University of Southampton. The two research groups will share more than £5million in funding for a new programme, titled Next Generation Metrology Driven by Nanophotonics, which will be led by CPT member Professor Dame Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang. The project is funded by a Programme Grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). One of the CPT team at Huddersfield involved in the new project is Dr Haydn Martin, who explained that there is a limit to the extent that conventional optics, such as glass lenses,

can be miniaturised and embedded in the sensors necessary for Industry 4.0 to achieve its potential.

But nanophotonics, the study of light on the nanoscale, allows the production of tiny, flat lenses from novel meta-materials. These lenses are potentially just tens of microns in thickness. “Traditional factories are very good at making lots of similar things, but the Industry 4.0 concept is all about automation and autonomous manufacturing, so that it is possible to send in a design and the manufacturing platform can then configure itself, with Artificial Intelligence supporting all the activity in the background,” said Dr Martin.

“In order to do this, you need a much greater incorporation of metrology, because you are asking the tooling to do many different things rather than the same thing over and over again.”

The EPSRC grant shared by the CPT at Huddersfield and the Zepler Institute at Southampton was earned after a lengthy process of submission and appraisal.

It was towards the end of 2017 that the CPT’s Professor Jiang, alongside Dr Martin and Dr Andrew Henning began to contemplate solutions to the problem of sensor miniaturisation. They focused on the wealth of recent advances in nanophotonics, plasmonics and optical metamaterials, promising hugely transformative potential for sensor development in optical metrology. They were joined by Professor Paul Scott, who will develop new the mathematics and machine-learning techniques required. Now, the EPSRC grant will enable the opening up of a new field in nanophotonics for metrology, said Dr Martin.

Analog Devices launches high dynamic range RF transceiver A

nalog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has announced the first product in a new series of RF transceivers offering the highest dynamic

range on the market and suitable for myriad commercial and military applications. The high-performance ADRV9002 RF transceiver is ideal for mission-critical communications applications— such as first responder radios, private Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks and satellite communications— where size, weight and power are key design considerations. The RF transceiver is the latest addition to ADI’s award- winning RadioVerse design and ecosystem. “Mission-critical communications networks are essential to ensure our safety,” said

6 July/August 2020 Components in Electronics

Joe Barry, vice president of the Wireless Communications Business Unit at Analog Devices. “The difficulty for these networks to decipher complex signals increases as the radio spectrum becomes more populated. The ADRV9002 RF transceiver can correctly decode a signal in heavily congested spectrum. This helps customers develop radio platforms that are power and performance scalable across a broad range of commercial and military applications.” ADI’s RadioVerse includes tools, design resources, and support to accelerate radio

development timelines. The ecosystem includes rapid prototyping platforms, chip-level evaluation systems, reference designs, simulation tools, and development kits. There is a resource of global network partners for design ideas and RF platforms, including reference designs and solution modules. Technology resources include HDL and full-system level software reference designs on GitHub, compatible FPGA development carriers, and chip-level evaluation systems.

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