Richard Joseph (Dick) Ifield
One of the most respected engineers of his time with over 250 provisional patents and over 112 accepted as world wide patented inventions. Many people within and outside of the engineering field, will remember this man - Dick Ifield.
Dick Ifield was born on the 27th of April 1909 at Campsie near Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia and, like many past and current inventors whom others class as genius, Dick had very limited schooling. Due to the financial needs of his family, he was forced to leave school before his forteenth birthday and after only two years of high school. Throughout his school years he was regarded as an inattentive dreamer.
He began work as a builder's junior labourer and he worked at a variety of unskilled jobs for about sixteen months, after which the family finances had improved sufficiently for him to take a twelve month's course in draughtsmanship. While there, he learned to prepare water coloured drawings of mechanisms and he received the School Diploma in February 1925 and his career as a designing engineer then began. His ability to produce attractive water coloured drawings of machines proved of great value when he sought sponsors for his inventions in later years, because such drawings were self explanatory.
His inventions and designs range from his earliest (a hinge of unique design, to solve a difficult problem encountered with the heavy bronze doors at the Melbourne War Memorial Building and later for other similar applications) to fuel systems for the earliest jet engines, which are still used today in the supersonic passenger aircraft - the Concorde.