Goodwin read Mathematics at Cambridge and went on to a distinguished Maths career, winning the Rayleigh Prize in 1936, lecturing at Sheffield University, and working in ballistics, radar and computing. He then joined NPL in 1945.
He quickly rose to become the Head of the General Computing Section and, only a few years later, the Superintendent of the Maths Division in 1951. He was a major contributor to the founding of the Institute of Mathematics, and became a Deputy Director of NPL, responsible for all the Engineering Sciences Divisions, in 1971.
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