SMITH, Dempster



6th February 1874 to 21st March 1953


Biographical Text

Smith was an engineer who spent many years with Manchester College of Technology.

Smith was born in Perth on 6 February 1874. He was educated at the English School in Perth and then the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. He spent a five-year apprenticeship at boilermakers Sharp, Stewart & Co. in Glasgow and then continued with the firm for several years, becoming head draughtsman in the machine tool department. He then spent three years as a designer with Armstrong Whitworth before becoming chief designer at Hulse and Co., toolmakers and engineers in Salford.

In 1902 Smith became a lecturer in mechanical engineering at the Manchester College of Technology. In 1913 he became a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. During the First World War he served as works manager at Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day, makers of marine engines, and also advisor to the Royal Navy Training Establishment at HMS Vernon. He was awarded the MBE for his wartime service.

Returning to the college, from 1924-6 Smith was director of the newly established department of industrial administration, and then in 1926 became professor of mechanical engineering. When he retired in 1939 he was appointed professor emeritus.

Smith worked with the Air Ministry during the Second World War, serving as senior production officer for the Northwest Region. He continued to be prominent in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and also the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and was part of the effort to expand the educational services of both institutions. He was also an active member of the Manchester Association of Engineers, serving as president from 1938-9. Smith died on 21 March 1953.


‘Dempster Smith’, Grace’s Guide,

‘Professor Dempster Smith (1874-1953)’, University of Manchester School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering,

Who Was Who.


“SMITH, Dempster,” The Rowntree Business Lectures and the Interwar British Management Movement, accessed June 1, 2020,