First World War (1914-1918)

1914 also brought about the start of what became the First World War, a war seen as a trial of technology and military hardware and one whose requirement for innovation and manufacturing capacity directly affected mechanical engineers. For a more in-depth look at the impacts of mechanical engineering on the First World War visit our Engineers at War online exhibition.

Members joined up in their thousands, including many to an engineer section of the newly formed Naval Brigade.

Our Honour Roll, honouring the Institution’s Members and staff who lost their lives during the First World War can be accessed here.

One Birdcage Walk also had a role to play during the First World War as the Institution’s headquarters were taken over by the Office of Works, Ministry of Munitions and the National Relief Fund.

The First World War also led to a shift in preconceptions. In 1918 Olive Monkhouse became the first woman to speak at an IMechE meeting delivering a paper on ‘The employment of women in munition factories’. This was also the first paper delivered on labour and employment matters.


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