The Foundation

The Barnes Wallis Foundation

Firing the Imagination

The Barnes Wallis Foundation aims to inspire, to inform, and to educate a wide audience across fields that Sir Barnes Wallis had embodied through his work, or were otherwise dear to him. These fields accordingly extend beyond weapons and aviation to embrace other areas to which he had made significant contributions (e.g. medical science, education, maritime engineering, astronomy) and constants in his intellectual life (like mathematics).

Please explore our website to learn about Barnes Wallis’ life and work and how the Barnes Wallis Foundation supports education in engineering design and related disciplines at school, universities and other academic institutions.

Trustees and friends of the Barnes Wallis Foundation are available for public speaking and presentation engagements, so please contact us to request a talk.


The Barnes Wallis Foundation (BWF) was established July 2014 as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with the Charity Commission (No.1157723). The Barnes Wallis Foundation has taken over all the functions and resources of its predecessor, The Barnes Wallis Memorial Trust (BWMT), which was first established in 1986 by a group of passionate and like-minded people based in and around Howden, the home of the R100 airship, designed by Barnes Wallis.


To advance education for the public benefit in aeronautical and engineering design, drawing upon and in memory of, the life and work of Sir Barnes Wallis, engineer, scientist and philanthropist, in particular by:

  • Owning artefacts, inventions, archives and any other physical materials and intellectual property created by or relating to Sir Barnes Wallis and making them available for engagement with the public, exhibition and study.
  • Collaborating with accredited museums and others in the conservation, loan or borrowing, and exhibition of such artefacts, materials etc.
  • Establishing, in the name of the Trust, at any school, university or other academic institution, awards for research or teaching in engineering design or related disciplines.
  • Researching and sustaining the local histories of the inventions of Sir Barnes Wallis.
  • And in such other ways as the Trustees may think fit for the benefit of the public.


The overall responsibility for The Barnes Wallis Foundation rests with its Trustees, of whom there are currently twelve. The minimum number is three. In order to ensure continuity during this establishment period, the Trustees have elected a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary as officers of the Foundation for a period of 3 years, with effect from the 14th August 2014. Thereafter Officers will be elected annually. Trustees are unpaid but expenses necessarily incurred on Foundation business are reimbursed. The structure of The Barnes Wallis Foundation is based upon the ‘Foundation Model’ CIO. Therefore, the Trustees are the only members of the CIO and as such, are its directors. The existing Trustees appoint new Trustees, as they consider appropriate.

Find out more about the Barnes Wallis Foundation Trustees