A Life Time of Authoring

Peter Sydenham

I was born in London in 1937, being evacuated in 1940 to Midhurst in West Sussex to be away from the bombing. With my Mum and Dad we migrated to Adelaide, South Australia in 1951, where I still live. 

My working life began in Adelaide, Australia as an electrical trades apprentice, merging into an academic career in Engineering from 1961. Upon gaining the BE (Hons) and ME at the University of Adelaide, with my wife and baby daughter, we moved to Warwick University for a PhD research period in the early 1960s.       

Then after a decade as an academic in geophysics at the University of New England in NSW, I returned to Adelaide as an inaugural Professor of Electronic Engineering.  In 1986 I was awarded the DSc, in Engineering, by the University of Warwick. I took early retirement in 1998 to allow me to follow writing and handcrafts. We spent five pleasant years in the Cotswolds.

I have always been attracted to non-fiction writing. My background led me, in the 1980s, into freelancing writing of popular technical articles in the monthly magazine, Electronic Today International.

During my 35 year academic career I  have also authored, or edited, over 20 text and research books, and the usual 100 plus scholarly papers. I was a book-series Editor for John Wiley, in Chichester. 

Today, writing far away in Adelaide, Australia, has not been a problem; the Internet, and its email, provide most of what is needed today. 


My interests have covered numerous handcrafts - with mixed successes. I completely rebuilt and modified an Amilcar racing car in 1954. My 1958 electronic base-guitar was a slight success but I could not play it!  I tried oil painting, playing the clarinet, and dinghy sailing. In 2017 I designed, and made at home, classic decorated wrought iron balustrades that received craftsman acclaim (but which wore out my shoulders)! I have constantly been building onto our homes to provide for our 6 children, who now live in Adelaide, Dubai and Melbourne. Pat and I, now have 11 grandchildren. 


After a long career as an academic researcher in engineering and technology my preferred writing style is one that preserves a sufficient fidelity trace to primary sources, whilst seeking to make the reading interesting and hopefully compelling. I only write non-fiction material, it mostly being as a memoirist using the Internet and a large personal library of older books collected to support the Midhurst WW2 Memoirs project.


In early 2019 I was invited to restyle, layout and edit the 'new look' digital Midhurst Magazine working with local co-editor, Harvey Tordoff.