Renishaw’s Sir David McMurtry awarded James Watt Gold Medal

November 26th, 2019 9:04 am | by admin

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has awarded the James Watt International Gold Medal for 2019 to Sir David McMurtry, the co-founder and executive chairman of global engineering company, Renishaw.  At a ceremony at The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, UK, on November 21st, 2019, Sir David was recognised for his outstanding contribution to mechanical engineering.

First established in 1936 to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of the inventor James Watt, the Gold Medal is awarded every two years to an engineer who has achieved worldwide recognition for their work. It is the highest award that the industry can bestow and that a mechanical engineer can receive. Previous winners of the award include the inventor of the turbojet engine Sir Frank Whittle, aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky and automobile manufacturer Henry Ford.

Sir David founded Renishaw with Rolls-Royce colleague John Deer in 1973, to commercialise his invention, the touch-trigger probe. The product revolutionised the measurement industry and the company grew into a world-leading engineering business.

During his career, Sir David has been globally recognised numerous times for his contributions to engineering and science, including his Knighthood which was awarded for services to Design and Innovation. Whilst at Rolls-Royce Sir David was named as inventor or co-inventor on 47 patents or patent applications, and over 150 at Renishaw.

“The highest honour in mechanical engineering is fantastic recognition for Sir David,” explained Chris Pockett, head of communications at Renishaw. “He’s always been a visionary, and his leadership skills and innovation have driven the company forwards. It’s to his credit that Renishaw is now at the forefront of automated metrology and supplying industries around the world, from semiconductor manufacturing to medical and aerospace.”

2019 marks the 200th anniversary of James Watt’s death. The ceremony in Manchester was one of many events that have recognised the inventor’s contributions to engineering, including Glasgow University renaming its engineering school after him.

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UK-based Renishaw is a world leading engineering technologies company, supplying products used for applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery. It has 5,000 employees located in the 36 countries where it has wholly owned subsidiary operations.

For the year ended June 2019 Renishaw recorded sales of £574 million of which 94 percent was due to exports. The company’s largest markets are the USA, China, Japan and Germany.

Throughout its history Renishaw has made a significant commitment to research and development, with historically between 13 and 18 percent of annual sales invested in R&D and engineering, with the majority of this R&D and manufacturing of the company’s products carried out in the UK.

The company’s success has been recognised with numerous international awards, including eighteen Queen’s Awards recognising achievements in technology, export and innovation.

Renishaw plc
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