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Robert Julian Scott

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Professor Robert Julian Scott (1861-1930)

1930 Obituary[1]


A recent message from Wellington, New Zealand, announces the death of Professor Robert Julian Scott, for many years director of the School of Engineering, Canterbury University College, Christchurch, New Zealand. A son of Rear-Admiral R. A. E. Scott, R.N., and cousin of Captain Scott, R.N., the famous Antarctic explorer, Robert Julian Scott was born at Plymouth on September 14, 1861. He received his general education at Abbey School, Beckenham, Kent, and afterwards passed on to King’s College, London, and to the Royal School of Mines, South Kensington. After serving a pupilage under Mr. W. Stroudley, the Locomotive Superintendent of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, he proceeded to New Zealand, and, on September 21, 1881, took up the appointment of draughtsman in the New Zealand Railways’ Administration. Soon afterwards he was appointed locomotive draughtsman, and, in 1887, acting locomotive superintendent of the New Zealand Government Railways. On January 1, 1887, he was also invited to become part-time lecturer in engineering and applied mechanics at Canterbury College. In this connection he was deputed, along with Mr. E. Dobson and Professor Cook, to draw up a course of engineering instruction. In July, 1889, he was appointed manager of the Dunedin railway workshops, but in November of the same year he resigned this position to take charge of the Engineering Department of Canterbury College. He remained head of this Department until his retirement in 1923, a period of 34 years.

Professor Scott designed and equipped the College engineering laboratories. In adidtion to his professorial duties, he accepted the position of consulting engineer to various industrial undertakings. He was, for instance, responsible for the gas-electric pumping plant of the Christchurch Drainage Board, for pumping plant installed by the Lyttelton Borough Council, and for the lighting and power plant of the Lincoln Agricultural College. In 1894 he was elected President of the Engineering Section of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Science (Adelaide Meeting). He also acted as Chairman of the Royal Commission on Government Railway Workshops, and served on the Royal Commission on Government Railway Rolling Stock and on the Royal Commission on Tramway Brakes. During the war he was Chairman of the New Zealand Munitions Committee. Professor Scott undertook many investigations, and presented numerous reports, on various engineering and allied matters, to the New Zealand Railways Administration, and to the New Zealand Government. He retired in 1923, and was made Emeritus Professor. A former student member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, he became an associate member on January 10, 1888, was made a full member on December 12, 1899, and, until a few months ago, was a member of the Council. Professor Scott was also a member of the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers and a fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers."

1930 Obituary [2]

Professor ROBERT JULIAN SCOTT was director of the Canterbury College School of Engineering, New Zealand, from the time of its foundation in 1890 until his retirement in 1923. He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1891 and was a member of the first New Zealand Advisory Committee. He had also been a Member of Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

He was born at Plymouth in 1861 and was a cousin of Captain R. F. Scott, the South Pole explorer.

He received his technical education at King's College, London, and at the Royal School of Mines.

After gaining railway experience in England he joined the New Zealand railway service in 1881 and eventually became acting locomotive superintendent. He was first appointed part-time lecturer in engineering at Canterbury College in 1888 and he was appointed Professor in the School of Engineering in 1894.

In 1880 he designed and operated the first motor-car in New Zealand and Australia, a 35 h.p. steam-buggy.

In 1881 he designed for the New Zealand railways the first insulated wagon for frozen meat and he prepared the drawings and specification for the first locomotive built in New Zealand, whilst he also designed and built at Addington the first locomotive made by the New Zealand Government Railways.

He originated the "Prairie" type of locomotive which was formerly called in America the "Scott" type. The first oil-engines made in New Zealand by Andersons were also designed by him. He was a great helmsman and had considerable success as a designer of racing yachts.

The culmination of his work was the recognition by the New Zealand Government of the Canterbury College School of Engineering as the National School of Engineering in the Dominion. Professor Scott died on 8th November 1930.

1931 Obituary [3]

ROBERT JULIAN SCOTT, son of Rear-Admiral R. A. G. Scott, and a cousin of Captain R. F. Scott, R.N., the Antarctic explorer, was born at Plymouth on the 14th September, 1861.

He was educated at King’s College, London, and the Royal School of Mines, and served a pupilage in the locomotive department of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, under Mr. W. Stroudley, M. Inst. C.E.

In 1881 he went to New Zealand as draughhman in the locomotive department of the New Zealand Railways, and later became manager of workshops at Hillside and Addington. He designed several types of locomotives for the department, including a six-coupled tender engine with front and back trucks, a number of which were used for many years on passenger and mixed trains in the South Island.

In 1888 he was appointed a part-time lecturer in Engineering at Canterbury College, Christchurch, and in 1889 took up the position of Professor and Director of Engineering in the College, which he held until his retirement in 1923 with the title of Professor Emeritus. He directed the Engineering School with marked ability and success, and to him is due the credit for placing engineering education in New Zealand on a sound basis. Professor Scott was recognized as an authority on locomotive and rolling stock design, and served as Chairman of Committees on Railway Rolling Stock, Tramway Brakes, and Munitions. He made reports to the New Zealand Government on power installations and new processes of iron and steel manufacture, and he also investigated the properties of cement and timbers. Professor Scott was a keen yachtsman and one of the founders of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.

He became a Student of The Institution in 1879, was elected an Associate Member in 1888, and was transferred to the class of Members in 1899. He was a Member of the Council from 1926 to 1929. He died at Christchurch, New Zealand, on the 9th November, 1930, having been predeceased by his wife Gertrude, daughter of Sir Christopher Bowen, whom he married in 1889.

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