Kenneth Budden was born on 23rd June 1915 in Portsmouth, the son of George Easthope Budden, Engineer and Civil Servant, Admiralty, and Hannah Gertrude Homer Rea. He was admitted to St John’s in 1933 to study Natural Sciences where he chose to specialise in Physics. He graduated BA in 1936 and subsequently joined a research group in the Cavendish Laboratory working on the propagation of very-long-wavelength radio waves, being awarded his PhD in 1940.
Between 1939 and 1941 Budden was employed by the Telecommunications Research Establishment, before moving to the British Air Commission, Washington, DC 1941-1944. In 1945 he was engaged with Air Command, South-East Asia before working at Delanium Limited as Director of Research until 1947.
In 1947 he returned to the University of Cambridge and St John’s, initially as a University Demonstrator in Physics until 1953 when he became Lecturer in Physics, a position he held until 1965. Between 1965 and 1982 Budden achieved the position of Reader in Physics (Emeritus 1982). Parallel to this, at St John’s he was a Supervisor in Physics from 1947 to 1956, as well as Lecturer between 1956 and 1982, and Director of Studies for Physics 1961-77. He was also a Fellow of the College from 1947 until his death in 2005.
Budden wrote numerous books and papers on the propagation of radio waves, and in 1999 was awarded the Gold Medal of The Royal Astronomical Society in recognition of his contribution to Geophysics.
Obituary in The Eagle: Vol 88, 2006, p. 80
Accessible online at: https://documents.joh.cam.ac.uk/public/Eagle/Eagle%20Volumes/2000s/Eagle_2006.pdf