Institution news

University of Glasgow’s Stirling engine receives prestigious heritage award

Institution News Team

Stuart Cameron MBE, FREng, presents the Engineering Heritage Award to Professor David Gaimster
Stuart Cameron MBE, FREng, presents the Engineering Heritage Award to Professor David Gaimster

The Stirling engine, presented to the University of Glasgow in 1827, has received an Engineering Heritage Award.

The Institution awarded an Engineering Heritage Award to the Rev. Robert Stirling’s Stirling engine on Monday 7 December.

The award is in recognition of the engine’s ability to save fuel as well as create a safer alternative to steam engines. Rev. Robert Stirling invented the engine in 1816 before presenting it to the University of Glasgow in 1827. The heat engine operates by cyclic compression and expansion of air, or another gas at different temperatures.

The Engineering Heritage Awards recognise artefacts of special engineering significance. Previous award winners include Concorde 101, Tower Bridge and the Jaguar E-type.

The award was presented by Stuart Cameron MBE, FREng, past Vice President of the Institution, to Professor David Gaimster, Director of The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, at a special ceremony.

The Stirling engine

Stuart Cameron MBE, FREng, former Vice President of the Institution, said: “The Stirling engine was a fantastic bit of innovation because of its ability to run directly on any available heat source, not just one that has been produced by combustion. 

“It was invented two hundred years ago and although initially the utilisation tended to be relatively low, it is now being used extensively worldwide on marine engines, along with micro combined heat and power plants, which confirms its legacy. 

“This invention is deserving of the award due to its significant impact on engineering, and society as a whole.” 

Professor David Gaimster, Director of The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award from the Institution. The effect the Stirling engine has had on society is evident for all to see and is still being used in many capacities today.”
Share:

PE Magazine

PE app

  • Industry features and content
  • Engineering and Institution news
  • News and features exclusive to app users

Download the PE app

PE newsletter

A weekly round-up of the most popular and topical stories featured on our website, so you won't miss anything

Subscribe to the PE newsletter

Opt into your industry sector newsletter

Related articles