William Joseph Stern

William Joseph Stern OBE (civ.) (1891–1965) was a physicist who worked closely with the early development of the jet engine.

In 1920 Stern reported to the Royal Air Force that there is no future for the turbine engine in aircraft. He based his argument on the extremely low efficiency of existing compressor designs. Stern's paper proved to be so convincing there ceased to be any official interest in gas turbine engines in Britain for several years.

Despite being ethnically German and a close friend of Hugo Junkers, from whom (when Junkers was under Nazi control) and from Messerschmitt he received several very lucrative offers of work, he worked for the British government during the Second World War. After the War he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (Civilian).

He was married to Anna Werner of Frankfurt, Germany.


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