"No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I'm after is just a mediocre brain, something like the President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.
Alan Turing - 1912-1954
Alan Turing's work was instrumental in placing National Physical Laboratory ( NPL) at the forefront of computer technology.
On 10 January 1954, a de Havilland Comet - the world's first commercial jet airliner - took off from Rome.
After only just 20 minutes in flight, it broke apart, killing all 35 people on board.
Months later there was another disaster, this time a Comet crashed near Naples during a flight between Rome and Cairo.
The two crashes in such short succession prompted an investigation.
It was eventually discovered, through a series of tests, that metal fatigue had been the cause of both accidents.
Testing had been carried out by building a replica aircraft in a tank of water before exposing it to high pressures - similar to the conditions it would experience in mid-air.
This required carrying out some intricate calculations - a task perfect for the Pilot ACE, the predecessor to English computer scientist Alan Turing's computer, the ACE.
Although work on the machine started in 1946, it was not until 1950 that the Pilot ACE ran its first programme.
After showing that the machine could be used to solve practical problems, the Pilot ACE went into public production.
Based at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, one of its first customers, the Royal Aircraft Establishment, was quick to use it when running tests on the metal-fatigued Comet airliners to see where the metal would crack.
"This led to an enormous amount of calculation and masses of data were collected."
Text from DIGITAL PLANET, BBC World Service
Alan Turing's Pilot Ace Computer
Alan Turing by Horizon documentaries