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University of Glasgow :: Story :: Biography of Alexander Kirk
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Alexander Kirk

Biography of Alexander Kirk

The marine engineer Alexander Carnegie Kirk (1830-1892) was awarded an honorary LLD by the University in 1888. The Kirk Memorial Prize, founded in 1893, is named in his honour.

Born in Barry in Angus, Kirk became an apprentice with the shipbuilders Robert Napier & Sons. He went to England to work in the drawing office of Maudsley Sons & Field and then returned to Scotland as manager of James Young's shale oil extraction operations in Bathgate. He was employed as manager of John Elder & Co's engineering works for seven years until 1876, when he acquired the business of Robert Napier & Sons, with two partners, after the death of the company's founder.

During the early 1870s, Kirk developed the triple expansion engine. His innovations permitted huge improvements in the performance of marine engines, and enabled the Clydeside shipbuilders to establish their position as world leaders in the industry.

Kirk was President of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland from 1887 to 1889.

Summary

Alexander Kirk
Marine Engineer

Born 16 July 1830, Scotland.
Died 5 October 1892.
University Link: Honorary Graduate
GU Degree: LLD, 1888;
Occupation categories: marine engineers
Record last updated: 28th Jul 2008

University Connections

University Roles

  • Honorary Graduate

Awards

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