The project was the design of an internal combustion engine employing only pure rotary motion. The work is positioned against various engines which are rotary or pseudo-rotary and involve degrees of eccentricity. The quest for a pure rotary motion engine was conducted in parallel with many decades of work as an industrial designer. Serious devotion to this exploration began with the doctorate and led to a number of patents. The path of discovery and exploration is presented through both a written account and through the drawings and parts produced.
There is a description of the path of discovery leading to the engine as it stands at the completion of the PhD. It briefly covers four designs starting in the 1950s and then explores a fifth, Lissajoux engine, begun in mid-1997. This design was substantially documented and partially made. The account here sets the scene for the Hudson five-cycle engine that began with a eureka moment and evolved through case studies. Initally, 1000cc water-cooled five-cycle engines with different teeth ratios were explored. Subsequently, a design and mock-up of a 28cc engine failed to work and this is reported. The final case study covers the design and making of a 1000cc oil cooled Hudson five-cycle engine. Throughout, there is an emphasis on the processes of designing and making and what knowledge is utilised, displayed, developed and embodied in the doing and in the outcome. This includes a brief discussion of the patenting, costing and marketing of the the engine and an often-anecdotal account of what it is like to be a designer, what matters and how an industrial designer interfaces with others in the corporate world. The design drawings are presented in four appendices.