Tommy Flowers: The engineer, computing pioneer and wartime hero who once worked for BT

Find out about Tommy Flowers, an English engineer and computer pioneer whose work assisting the Allies on D-Day wouldn't be recognised for another 30 years.

Tommy Flowers designed and built the world’s first programmable electronic computer, Colossus, which helped the Allied cause against the Nazis on D-Day.

While the engineer is remembered as a wartime hero, did you know that he also worked for BT's forerunner? Find out more in the video below.

[Read more: Who invented the computer? We celebrate the key players]

Flowers joined the General Post Office – the forerunner of BT – in 1926. At first he worked within the telecommunications branch, and then joined the research station at Dollis Hill where he worked on electronic valves, testing experimental telephone exchange switching.

Colossus was used at Bletchley Park to decode encrypted Nazi message in World War II, but his work, like that of many working in the war effort, was kept secret for many years. It wasn’t till the 1970s that Flowers received recognition for his contribution.

BT’s research facility Adastral Park in Ipswich houses the Tommy Flowers Institute in memory of the engineer.

The Tommy Flowers Institute was established to create a new breed of well-rounded ICT research leaders armed with a thorough commercial and operational perspective to complement their technical excellence.

The Institute brings the ICT industry and UK academia together to produce the research leaders of the future.

A bronze bust of Flowers is also on display at Adastral Park.

Click here to find out more about the Tommy Flowers Institute.

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