William John Macquorn Rankine (1820-1872) was one of the greatest engineers of his generation and the first president of the Institution of Engineers in Scotland.
Born and educated in Edinburgh, Rankine became a railway engineer and then built a reputation for his research in molecular physics and thermodynamics. In 1855 he became Professor of Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Glasgow where he was largely responsible for the introduction of the certificate of Proficiency in Engineering Science and campaigned for the introduction of a BSc degree for engineers.
An admired teacher and author of practical text books and more than 150 highly-regarded science papers, Rankine was described as "the father of enginering science in this country."
Reference: Memorials of the Old College of Glasgow, Glasgow, 1871
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow University Archive Services
engineering and mechanics, engineers, Institution of Engineers in Scotland, molecular physics, professors, thermodynamics, University of Glasgow