Ergonomics pioneer Dr Hudson Slatt has slammed critics of his work arranging deckchairs on the Titanic, saying the task was “hugely worthwhile”.

On his retirement, Dr Slatt lamented that his entire life’s work had become a byword for futility.

After the disaster, which claimed the life of more than 1,500 passengers, he developed the Slatt Spatial Conjecture, squeezing more theoretical deckchairs into an imaginary ellipsoid than had ever seemed necessary.

Oh, sit down

“These are the priceless benefits of blue-sky thinking,” said Dr Slatt, who wrote the definite work on the subject, Deckchair, My Deckchair.

“Because the ship was tapered, I was forced to experiment with conical shapes,” he said. “Later, I became a key part of the team for the Apollo 11 moon landing after NASA encountered difficulties accommodating Buzz Aldrin.”

Asked about his own lucky escape from the 1912 tragedy, Dr Slatt said he was placed in a lifeboat after wrapping himself in pink deckchair material and claiming he was “L’il Winnie Pearl, the ice cream girl”.

The real Winnie Pearl died in 1912.