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William Gordon

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DR. William Gordon (1874-1932)

1932 Obituary [1]

Dr. WILLIAM GORDON, who had been lecturer on the strength of materials in the University of Edinburgh since 1919, was born in Edinburgh in 1874.

He attended classes at the University of Edinburgh, and served his apprenticeship with Messrs. James Milne and Sons, general engineers.

He joined the staff of Leith Technical College, where he became chief lecturer in mechanical engineering, in the days of Principal Bolam. Returning to Edinburgh University somewhat late in life he graduated in 1911, and was then associated with Dr. Gulliver, under whom he carried out research on the strength of materials, until 1913.

He then became assistant in engineering, and lecturer in forest engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

On his return from a visit to Germany in 1914, just before the outbreak of war, although unfit for active service, he was granted a commission in the Royal Field Artillery (T.F.), and in addition to his University duties, he did valuable work with the University Battery of the Officers' Training Corps.

In 1919 the University engineering department was extended, and Mr. Gordon received his appointment as lecturer on the strength of materials. He gained the degree Ph.D. in 1925. When the engineering department of the University was transferred to its present site near Liberton, Dr. Gordon was in charge of the arrangements for the new strength of materials laboratory. He never relinquished his work at Leith Technical College, but continued his evening classes there for over thirty years, while his days were devoted to his University appointment. He was thus in a position to compare the engineering work of a University with that of a technical college, and he held strongly that they had different aims, and that the one should not attempt to cover the ground of the other.

Dr. Gordon was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1911 and transferred to Membership in 1931.

His death occurred on 22nd May 1932, in his fifty-seventh year.

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