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David McMurtry awarded James Watt Medal

Posted on 13 Dec 2019 and read 1191 times
David McMurtry awarded James Watt MedalThe Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) (www.imeche.org) has awarded the James Watt International Gold Medal for 2019 to David McMurtry, the co-founder and executive chairman of Gloucestershire-based engineering company Renishaw.

At a ceremony held last month at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, Sir David was recognised for his outstanding contribution to mechanical engineering.

The Gold Medal was established in 1936 to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of the inventor James Watt; it is awarded every two years to an engineer who has achieved world-wide recognition for their work, and it is the highest award that a mechanical engineer can receive.

Previous winners of the award include Sir Frank Whittle (the inventor of the turbojet engine), aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky and auto-mobile manufacturer Henry Ford.

Sir David founded Renishaw (www.renishaw.com) with Rolls-Royce colleague John Deer in 1973 to commercialise his invention — the touch-trigger probe.

This revolutionised the measurement industry, and the company grew into a world-leading engineering business.

Sir David has been recognised numerous times for his contributions to engineering and science; his knighthood was awarded for services to design and innovation.

He was named as the inventor or co-inventor on 47 patents or patent applications while at Rolls-Royce, and over 150 at Renishaw.

James Watt died in 1819, and the ceremony in Manchester was one of many events this year that have acknowledged his contributions to engineering, including Glasgow University renaming its engineering school after him.