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About the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame

The Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame was conceived and developed in 2011 by Gordon Masterton, President of IESIS, 2010-12. With the support of the major engineering academies and institutions, a judging panel of eminent engineers, industrial archaeologists and other specialists was assembled to select inductees. The first seven inductees were announced at the IESIS James Watt Dinner on 30th September 2011. Each year a select few outstanding individuals are added to this pantheon of great Scottish Engineers.

At the inaugural induction, Gordon Masterton said "The life stories of these great engineers are truly inspirational. We need engineers of the same calibre today to stimulate our economic recovery and improve our quality of life. And it's young engineers who will be the key to success. Listen tonight and you'll see how many of the seven inductees made their great steps forward while still in their twenties and thirties. It's young people that create revolutions and change the world. Right now we need young engineers with the flair and ingenuity to help us create a sustainable future for the planet. If even one of those was to be inspired to be an engineer by the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame, that'll do for me."


The judging panel includes representatives from each supporting organisation and forms a robust and authoritative overview of the selection process.

read more about our judges

Selection Criteria

The reasoning behind the judges' deliberations is confidential but decisions will be broadly in line with these criteria.

"Scottish" is taken to be either born in Scotland, predominantly associated with Scotland, or having been responsible for outstanding achievements in Scotland, thus enhancing the reputation of Scotland as a centre of excellence for engineering.

"Engineering" embraces a very broad church of inventors, innovators, applied scientists, entrepreneurs, designers, constructors, researchers, developers, educators, industrialists and professional engineers - anyone who has used exceptional creativity in the great art of engineering to improve the quality of life for others. In the early years, inductees will be sought who represent, collectively, the wide scope of engineering endeavour.

"Fame" might include recognition by peers through national or international honours; subject of biographies; had towns, universities, locomotives or ships named after; buried in Westminster Abbey or St Paul's; featured on a postage stamp or banknote; portrait held in a national gallery; statue erected in a public place; had engineering units named after; responsible for a breakthrough in engineering theory; author of world-renowned engineering textbook; responsible for creating wealth and employment for substantial numbers of people; risen to high status in government; prime mover in an iconic engineering project; included in the Dictionary of National Biography or Who's Who.

But there are also engineers who deserved far greater acclaim than was accorded to them in their lifetime. The Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame also aims to recognise the unsung heroes of engineering, past and present.

Physical Records

The first physical representation of the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame is in the foyer of Scottish Engineering, 105 West George Street, Glasgow, Scotland. A handsome stainless steel plaque records the inductees for posterity.

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