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Renishaw founder named as one of Ireland’s greatest inventors

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Sir David McMurtry, co-founder of Gloucestershire-based engineering technologies company, Renishaw, has been named as one of Ireland’s greatest inventors. Born in Dublin, Sir David McMurtry’s recognition is a result of his hard work and impressive achievements throughout his career. The Business podcast, by Irish broadcaster RTÉ, dedicated an episode to discussing Ireland’s greatest inventors, selecting Sir David as one of the top four.

 RTÉ’s podcast identified four of the greatest Irish inventors from throughout history including, Charles Parsons, best known for his invention of the compound steam turbine. Also on the list was Vincent Barry, the scientist who developed the cure for leprosy, Kay McNulty a computer programmer, who developed one of the first electronic digital computers and Sir David.

Sir David grew up in Dublin and moved to England at 18 to become an apprentice for Bristol Aero Engines that ultimately became Rolls-Royce. He rapidly progressed to become the company’s youngest ever Assistant Chief of Engine Design. At Rolls-Royce Sir David was named as an inventor or co-inventor on 47 patents. Notably, these patents include the invention of the touch-trigger probe, a device designed to measure small diameter instrumentation pipes for the Concorde’s Olympus engine.

Following this invention, Renishaw was co-founded in 1973 by Sir David and his colleague John Deer. The pair commercialised the touch-trigger probe and then grew Renishaw into the global, 5,000-people strong engineering business it is today. Sir David is currently the Executive Chairman of Renishaw and holds responsibility for group innovation and product strategy.

“Sir David’s achievements are a real inspiration,” explained Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw. “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.”

Alongside John Deer, Sir David McMurtry has been recognised for his work with numerous industry awards. In February the two Renishaw founders received an Outstanding Contribution to British Engineering Award from the Manufacturing Technologies Association and in 2012 they also received the prestigious Swan Medal from the Institute of Physics.

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