John Powell - Books on Ghana

Grassroots economic development in the Third World - How a university of science and technology can help.

About Me

John Powell

I was born in Bristol, England, in 1937

and educated at Cotham Grammar School,

Bristol, and the University of

Southampton, finally graduating in 1963

 with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.

From 1963 to 1971, I was Technical

Director of Westwind Air Bearings Ltd.,

a manufacturer of precision high speed

bearings for the computer manufacturing

industry. During this period I published

two books: Gas Lubrication with Dr N

S Grassam (Butterworths, 1963) and

The Design of Aerostatic Bearings

(Machinery Publishing Co., 1970). 



Career in Ghana 

In February 1971, I took up a post at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, where in January 1972 I was appointed the first director of the Technology Consultancy Centre (TCC). I started a grassroots industrial development programme in Kumasi and Tamale that attracted the attention of the Ghana Government and international aid agencies, and in 1986 I transferred to the Ministry of Industries, Science and Technology in Accra to extend the programme to all ten regions of the country.

In 1991, I was awarded the OBE for Services to Technical Education in Ghana, a year later I was elected a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, and in 2003 I was awarded an honorary DSc by Kumasi University.

After leaving Ghana in 1997 I worked for UNIDO in Vietnam for four years, helping universities of technology in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to set up grassroots industrial development programmes. Then I worked for the EU-China Project in Liuzhou in Guangxi Province for one year before retiring in May 2002.


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