Bringing the Polish Cyclometer Back to Life

Sat 19 Sep

Saturday, 19 September 2020

1.30pm - 2.30pm

In Conversation | Online Only

Bringing the Polish Cyclometer Back to Life

Second World War Polish codebreakers invented a way of exponentially speeding up the daily task of breaking the Enigma code. Hear how a team has recently recreated the machine they devised.

This event has finished, but you can watch it again online at any time until Sunday, 11 October 2020.

Price: FREE


After the initial breaking of the Enigma, the Polish codebreakers were faced with the daily task of determining the Enigma settings. This was a formidable challenge, which led directly to the concept of the Cyclometer, an electromechanical device designed by Marian Rejewski that produced a catalogue from which the Enigma initial rotor settings could usually be swiftly found.

Tim Flack is a lecturer in the Engineering Department at Cambridge University. He is also the Senior Tutor at King's College, Cambridge, where Alan Turing was once a Fellow. His main areas of research are in the field of electrical power engineering, in particular renewable electricity and drive systems for electric vehicles. However, following a visit to Bletchley Park, he developed a passion for the Enigma, and the techniques that were used to break it. He also realised that the breaking of the Enigma is a powerful advertisement for mathematics and engineering, and could be inspirational to future generations of students. This led to a number of research projects, one of which culminated in the recreation of the Cyclometer.

Hal Evans is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, graduating in 2019 with a double first in Engineering, and awarded an Honorary Scholarship by Clare College. He specialised in Mechanical Engineering during which he was responsible for the initial research into, and the design and manufacture of, the Polish Cyclometer replica for his Master’s year’s research project. Upon graduating, he worked full-time to ensure the completion of the world’s first faithful Cyclometer replica, heading its design and manufacture. He has a broad range of interests varying from Engineering and Mathematics, to Architecture, History and Art. He is now working as a business management consultant in London.

This event is sponsored by the Polish Cultural Institute.

Polish Cultural Institute logo

Date & time

Saturday, 19 September 2020
1.30pm - 2.30pm


Online Only


Online: FREE

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