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British Industrial History

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James William Donaldson

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James William Donaldson ( -1947), chief metallurgist and chemist in Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Co

1947 Obituary [1]

James W. Donaldson, D.Sc., died suddenly at his home in Gourock on 12 January 1947.

Dr. Donaldson started his career at the Carron Iron Works, Falkirk, in 1902. Subsequently, he studied at the University of Edinburgh and graduated B.Sc., in chemistry.

From 1912 to 1914 he was chief assistant chemist at David Colville and Sons, Motherwell. He then obtained a Carnegie Research Scholarship, and a year later was placed in charge of the experimental and research laboratory at Wm. Beardmore and Company, Parkhead.

In 1918 he was appointed chief metallurgist and chemist in Scotts' Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Ltd., Greenock, a post which he held until the time of his death.

Dr. Donaldson made a number of valuable contributions, mainly on the properties of cast irons, to the Institute of British Foundrymen, the Iron and Steel Institute, the Institute of Metals, and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and, in so doing, gained several awards, notable among them being the Oliver Stubbs Gold Medal in 1938. In that year also, as a result of his work on cast iron, he was awarded the D.Sc. degree of the University of Edinburgh. He was a frequent contributor of articles to various technical papers and journals.

Dr. Donaldson had a variety of interests; he was a member of the Royal Gourock Yacht Club, and was a keen philatelist. Those who have been closely associated with him experienced his unfailing courtesy and charm of manner - attributes which gained him many friends and which engendered a profound personal regard for him in all who met him.

He was a member of the Institute of British Foundrymen and a joint member of the Institute of Metals and the Iron and Steel Institute. He was a member of the Committee of the Scottish Local Section of the Institute of Metals from 1929 to 1931, and was Chairman of the Section and ex-officio Member of the Council of the Institute from 1934 to 1936. He also served as a Member of Council from 1938 to 1941. E. A. FOWLER.

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