BOWERS and WILKINS: Dr. John Dibb interview

David Lander writes:

Before striding into the future, John Dibb enjoyed considerable exposure to his sceptered isle's fascinating past. He was born in England's North Country, in 1948, in a model West Yorkshire village established a century earlier by an enlightened industrialist determined to provide comfortable housing and communal amenities for his employees and their families; called Saltaire, it's now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At age 11, young Dibb won a place at the nearby Bingley Grammar School, which dates back half a millennium, to the era of Henry VIII. He later studied at the University of Bradford, one of two English colleges then offering a course in materials science.

Dibb was interested in composite materials, and proved just the right student for a tutor who'd set up a cutting-edge research project focusing on them. Because the project also allowed him to work at various research establishments around the UK, it proved too attractive to turn down. A few years into Dibb's first job, in aerospace, another irresistible offer came along, this one from a maker of high-fidelity loudspeakers, and Dr. John Dibb made a career move that proved highly beneficial, for himself and for countless owners of the systems he's worked on in the ensuing decades.

David Lander: We should begin by saying that you recently retired after 27 years with Bowers and Wilkins, where you were the lead designer on systems as significant as the Matrix 800, the Silver Signature, and the Signature Diamond.

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