Martin Wood

Martin Wood (1927-), scientific entrepreneur, is a co-founder of Oxford Instruments. After the end of the war he began a career in mining engineering, as a 'Bevin boy', and studied at Cambridge and the Royal School of Mines. In 1955 Martin started working at the University of Oxford's Clarendon Laboratory, where he developed high powered electromagnets for physicists. In 1959,as demand for Martin's expertise grew from outside the university, he and his wife Audrey set up Oxford Instruments in their home, to produce electromagnets. In 1961 they wound their first superconductor magnet, which produced high magnetic fields for little energy input. The company became one of the most successful university spin-off firms, producing instruments and superconductor magnets for customers around the world, including those used in the first Magnetic Resonance Imagery [MRI] machines. In their retirement the Woods have established the Sylva woodland foundation and Science Oxford to support scientific entrepreneurs.

  • Birth name Martin Francis Wood
  • Born 1927 Great Milton, Oxfordshire, UK
  • Occupation Scientific instrument designer, entrepreneur
  • Disciplines Scientific Instruments
  • Education Trinity College, University of Cambridge; Imperial College, London

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