The University of Huddersfield has awarded an honorary doctorate to Sir David McMurtry, chairman and chief executive of global engineering technologies company, Renishaw.

Sir David is a visiting professor at the University, which is a leading centre for the study and research of metrology, the science of measurement. He will receive the doctorate at a ceremony in November 2017.

Sir David started his career as an apprentice, working his way up to deputy chief designer and assistant chief of engine design at Rolls-Royce in Bristol. Whilst there, he invented the touch trigger probe for coordinate measurement machines, to solve a specific inspection requirement for Concorde’s Olympus engines. This invention led to a revolution in three-dimensional coordinate measurement.

Renishaw was then founded in 1973 by Sir David and John Deer to commercialise the touch-trigger probe. The company is committed to research and development (R&D), investing between 14 and 18 percent of annual sales back into R&D. The company is an expert in precision measurement, but has branched out into products and services used in applications ranging from jet engine and wind turbine manufacture to dentistry and brain surgery.

“At the University of Huddersfield, we have a well-established and highly fruitful relationship with Renishaw and with Sir David McMurtry, who is a long-standing visiting professor,” explains Professor Dame Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang DBE, Renishaw/Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Precision Metrology at the University of Huddersfield.

“The firm was a key industrial partner in our EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Advanced Metrology and now has the same role with its successor, the EPSRC-funded Future Metrology Hub,” continues Professor Dame Jiang.

An Honorary Doctorate is a natural development of this deeply-embedded relationship with Sir David and the world-class firm that he co-founded. We are privileged to offer the award and proud that he has accepted.”

“Sir David is a true innovator and visionary,” explains Chris Pockett, head of communications at Renishaw. “He has an extraordinary technical ability, which he combines with his business and leadership skills to drive the company forward. He also recognises the value of intellectual property, innovation and people to the business.

“We are pleased that his achievements have been recognised by the University of Huddersfield and Renishaw looks forward to the ceremony in November.”

In 2001, Sir David was knighted for services to design and innovation. He is a fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Royal Academy of Engineers and the Royal Society.

Sir David is one of four people selected from the worlds of business, engineering and science to be honoured at the November 2017 awards ceremony, alongside Beth Butterwick, Philip Greenish CBE and Professor Lesley Yellowlees CBE.

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 over 4,000 employees located in the 35 countries where it has wholly owned subsidiary operations.

For the year ended June 2017 Renishaw recorded sales of £536.8 million, of which 95 percent was due to exports. The company’s largest markets are China, the USA, Japan and Germany.

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


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