Renishaw co-founder hailed as one of Ireland’s great inventors
29 Mar 2019
Renishaw co-founder Sir David McMurtry might be associated with his company’s Gloucestershire home but he’s recently been named as one of Ireland’s greatest inventors.
State broadcaster RTE included Dublin-born Sir David as one of four notable pioneers, in recognition for his decades of work with the top international engineering technologies firm.
Chris Pockett, head of communications at Renishaw said: “His name is now featured on around 200 patents at Renishaw and his dedication to innovation is one of the reasons why we place so much value on the research and development (R&D) of future technologies.”
It is estimated that the company, founded in 1973 by McMurtry and his colleague John Deer, devotes between 13 and 18% of annual sales in R&D and engineering.
Since pioneering the touch-trigger probe for measuring small diameter instrumentation pipes for the Concorde’s Olympus engine, it has expanded into a global business employing 5,000 people in nearly 40 countries. Of its £0.6 billion-plus sales, 95% was due to exports – the largest markets being China, the USA, Germany and Japan.
The firm has won numerous accolades, including an Outstanding Contribution to British Engineering Award from the Manufacturing Technologies Association and, in 2012, the prestigious Swan Medal from the Institute of Physics, which were both awarded to McMurtry and Deer.
His dedication to innovation is one of the reasons why we place so much value on the research and development (R&D) of future technologies
Chris Pockett, head of communications, Renishaw
Renishaw has also received a total of 18 Queen’s Awards for Industry for its achievements in technology, exports and innovation.
David McMurtry’s career in the UK began at the age of 18 when he left Ireland for an apprenticeship with Bristol Aero Engines, later Rolls-Royce. He went on to become the company’s youngest ever assistant chief of engine design and inventor or co-inventor on 47 patents.
Currently Renishaw executive chairman, he was named as one of four great Irish inventors by RTE’s The Business podcast. His fellow greats included: compound steam turbine inventor Charles Parsons; scientist Vincent Barry who developed the cure for leprosy; and Kay McNulty who developed one of the first electronic digital computers.