Innovative engineers are vital to the UK’s future prosperity, said a leading figure in the field when he received an award from the University of Huddersfield.
Sir David McMurtry, an engineer, inventor and founder of the multi-national company Renishaw – which has long-standing links with the University of Huddersfield – received his Honorary Doctorate of the University for services to design and innovation.
After receiving his award, Sir David paid tribute to the quality of the academic staff and students and stated: “This University has played a great part in the development of the science of measurement in this country. Not many universities have taken on this challenge.”
Sir David is a visiting professor at Huddersfield, with Renishaw a key industrial partner in the University’s EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Advanced Metrology. He now holds the same role with its successor, the EPSRC-funded Future Metrology Hub, a £40 million research centre.
The oration for Sir David was delivered by the University’s Professor Liam Blunt, who described a career that began in 1958 at Bristol Aero Engines – now part of Rolls-Royce. Sir David had a talent for engineering design and made a major breakthrough when he invented the “touch trigger probe” that solved a problem with the measurement of fuel pipes in the supersonic Concorde aircraft.
The invention was a “roaring success,” said orator Professor Blunt, and would lead to the creation of Renishaw, now a major multi-national with a turnover of over £500 million.
“The School of Computing and Engineering at the University of Huddersfield has been proud to work with Sir David and Renishaw since 1992,” said Professor Blunt.
The collaboration led to research projects in the areas of machine tool accuracy, laser metrology systems and optical probes and gauging instruments.
“The University is honoured that Renishaw is collaborating with the Royal Academy of Engineering to sponsor a chair in Precision Metrology within the School,” said Professor Blunt. “It is inspiring to see such a world-leading and cutting-edge company as Renishaw led by an outstanding and acclaimed engineer.”