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British Industrial History

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William Robinson

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Professor William Robinson (1858-1931), professor of engineering at the University College, Nottingham

1931 Obituary [1]

Professor WILLIAM ROBINSON was for thirty-four years professor of engineering at the University College, Nottingham. He was appointed in 1890, and upon his retirement in 1924 was elected Emeritus Professor in recognition of his services. He was responsible for the arrangement and equipment of apparatus and machinery, and instrumental in bringing about the foundation of a separate department of mining at the University. He contributed several important papers on gas- and oil-engines to scientific societies.

Professor Robinson was born in 1858 at Londonderry, and graduated with honours at Queen's College, Belfast. He spent the following two years at the University of Geneva, and subsequently was appointed assistant to Professor Perry at Finsbury Technical College. At this time he was engaged on the testing of electrical measuring apparatus at the works of Messrs. Ayrton and Perry.

Professor Robinson then went to the Gold Coast on a submarine cable ship, and upon his return to London in 1887 he became chief assistant to Professor Sylvanus Thompson at Finsbury Technical College. He retained this position until his appointment as professor at Nottingham.

During the War he was in close touch with new developments in connexion with aeroplane and tractor-motor construction, and the method of extracting fuel-oil and by-products from coal.

Professor Robinson had been a Member of the Institution since 1895, and he was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

His death occurred at his home in Ireland on 11th December 1931.

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