Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame

News from IESIS

9th December 2011

These truly are seven Scots who changed the world.

An Engineering Hall of Fame has been launched within the headquarters of Scottish Engineering, the support group for the industry in Scotland by the 3rd Viscount Weir, grandson of one of the first engineers to be so honoured.

At the opening, Lord Weir said: "If this idea of a Hall of Fame inspires just one or two young people to take up engineering as a career then it will have been a success."

In conjunction with the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland (IESIS) the inaugural group of engineers have been etched for posterity on an imposing metal artefact. The first seven people inducted have been chosen by a panel of eminent engineers from Scotland.

Commenting on the iconic presentation, Dr Peter Hughes of Scottish Engineering, says "We are delighted to be hosts to such a worthwhile venture as the 'Hall of Fame' project. Engineers from Scotland have for centuries been at the forefront of engineering innovation and excellence - as they still are at the present time. I am sure that this monument to our engineering greats will continue to grow as iconic figures from our immediate past and the future are added.

"Together, these seven great Scots cover the major fields of engineering activity: research, development, creativity, invention, application, industrialisation, and education. They are inspirational examples to young aspiring engineers. The world needs engineers of the highest calibre to stimulate our economic recovery and improve our quality of life and we need to do this in ways that make efficient use of resources and reduce global emissions. Young engineers will be the key to a successful future."

Gordon Masterton, President of IESIS who conceived the Hall of Fame idea added: "The inaugural list of seven inductees is a magnificent testament to the breadth of Scottish engineering achievement over a period of 250 years. There are some well-known names, but also some that may be a surprise to the general public. We want the public to join in the debate on who deserves to be in the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.

"I'm delighted to see this physical record at Scottish Engineering as a showcase for excellence."

"These seven Scots represent the phenomenal breadth of Scottish engineering's contribution to our civilisation. The magnificent seven cover 250 years of excellence in engineering leading to significant wealth creation and improvements in our quality of life. Without their achievements the world would be a much poorer place. These truly are seven Scots who changed the world."

The first seven engineers inducted are:

Andrew Meikle (1719-1811), engineer and inventor of the threshing machine.
Percy Sinclair Pilcher (1867-1899), engineer and aviation pioneer whose aeronautical work predated the Wright brothers.
Thomas Telford (1757-1834), engineer whose works of infrastructure traverse the United Kingdom.
Sir William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824-1907), engineer and scientist, designer of the electric telegraph.
James Watt (1736-1819), engineer who developed the steam engine.
William Douglas Weir, 1st Viscount Weir (1877-1959), engineer who created the National Grid.
James Young (1811-1883), engineer, shale oil pioneer and founder of the petrochemical industry.

15th March, 2011 - The Professional Engineering website is available at

The Professional Engineering website
has been produced by IESIS to promote professional engineering as a career. It explains the work of professional engineers and gives information about their education It also provides useful links to other websites.

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