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John Ernsting

Professor John Ernsting CB, OBE (1928 - 2009)


Outstanding contributor to human and aviation physiology

Professor John Ernsting was a senior British military commander and renowned aerospace physiology and medicine researcher and teacher. During his careers in the Royal Air Force and at King’s College, London, he made an outstanding contribution to applied research in altitude physiology and protection. His research and development of breathing systems enabled test pilots and aircrew to conduct trials of prototype military and civilian aircraft over four decades. The counter-measures he devised to the stresses encountered at high altitude and supersonic speeds won him international acclaim.

Professor Ernsting oversaw the introduction of the Aviation Medicine MSc at King’s and the internationally renowned six-month Diploma in Aviation Medicine, a joint programme between King’s and RAF Henlow, accredited by the Royal College of Physicians. It continues to attract physicians from around the world.