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Stanley Livingston Smith

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Stanley Livingston Smith (1889-1958), Director of Research of the British Shipbuilding Research Association


1958 Obituary [1]

ALL those connected with British shipbuilding and shipbuilding research throughout the world will have heard with deep regret that Dr. S. Livingston Smith died at his home at Kingswood, Surrey, on Monday last.

Dr. Smith, who was in his seventieth year, was the Director of Research of the British Shipbuilding Research Association and was the first holder of that office, being appointed in 1944. In the following years, the Association, under his direction, has been established as the central research organisation of the shipbuilding, ship repairing and marine engineering industries, and a large programme of research covering a wide range of subjects has been carried on.

Dr. Smith received his technical education at the City and Guilds Engineering College, South Kensington, and after taking his degree of B.Sc. and A.C.G.I. in 1909, he obtained his practical training with the Thames Ironworks, Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Ltd.

After a year spent as inspecting engineer with the Crown Agents for the Colonies he became a lecturer in the mechanical engineering department of the City and Guilds College and then from 1915 to 1918 was engaged in secret experimental work for the Royal Society war committee.

In the following year Dr. Smith served as an officer in the R.A.F., being in charge of the engineering section of the marine training depot, and he then returned to the mechanical engineering department of the City and Guilds College where he worked under Professor W. E. Dalby. He was appointed Assistant Professor in 1926 and in 1931 became Reader in Mechanical Engineering, University of London, and his research work was recognised by the award of the degrees of M.Sc. in 1921 and of D.Sc. in 1923. The University also appointed him as the Chief Engineering Inspector of Technical Institutions.

From 1939 to 1944 Dr. Smith was Superintendent of the Engineering Department of the N.P.L. and carried out research for the Defence Services.

In 1944, as already recorded, Dr. Smith became Director of Research of the British Shipbuilding Research Association and presented many papers on the work of that Association before various learned societies both at home and abroad. Perhaps particular reference may be made to the resistance experiments on the "Lucy Ashton" and work on nuclear propulsion of ships. Papers on the latter subject were presented, in association with Dr. Richards, at the centenary meetings of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland in 1957 and this year at the Second United Nations International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy.

Dr. Smith, who was a vice-president of the Institution of Naval Architects and a past vice-president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, was also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Institute of Marine Engineers and a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute. His knowledge and experience were widely used and he served on a number of committees including: the Executive Committee and the Froude Ship Research Sub Committee of the N.P.L.; the Admiralty Committee on the Application of Nuclear power to Marine Purposes; the Admiralty Advisory Committee on Structural Steel; the Research Board of Pametrada; and the Main Corrosion Committee of the British Iron and Steel Research Association.


1959 Obituary [2]

Stanley Livingston Smith, C.B.E., D.Sc.(Eng.), whose death occurred at his home at Kingswood, Surrey, on 27th October 1958, was Director of Research for the British Shipbuilding Research Association, Vice-President of the Institution of Naval Architects, and a Past Vice-President of this Institution.

Dr. Livingston Smith, who was born on 9th September 1889 at Southend-on-Sea, where he received his early education, entered the City and Guilds College, South Kensington, in 1906 and graduated in 1909 with the degree of B.Sc.(Eng.).

He received his practical training with Thames Ironworks, Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Ltd.; he was later an inspecting engineer with the Crown Agents for the Colonies, subsequently joining the Mechanical Engineering Department of the City and Guilds College.

From 1915 to 1918 he was engaged in secret experimental work for The Royal Society war committee, subsequently serving in the R.A.F. as an Engineer Officer.

He then returned to the City and Guilds College where he worked under Professor W. E. Dalby, being appointed Assistant Professor in 1926 and Reader in Mechanical Engineering, University of London, in 1931; in recognition of his research work the degree of M.Sc.(Eng.) was conferred on him in 1921 and that of D.Sc.(Eng.) in 1923.

In 1939 he was appointed Superintendent of the Engineering Department of the National Physical Laboratory where during the 1939-45 war he carried out research for the Defence Services. He became Director of Research of the British Shipbuilding Research Association in 1944, being the first holder of that office in which he remained until his death.

Dr. Livingston Smith has presented many papers on the work of that Association before various learned societies both in Britain and overseas, and in January 1952 he delivered the Twenty-fourth Thomas Lowe Gray Lecture on 'Ship Research' before a meeting of this Institution.

He served on a number of committees including the Executive Committee and the Froude Ship Research Subcommittee of the National Physical Laboratory, the Admiralty Advisory Committee on Structural Steel, the Admiralty Committee on the Application of Nuclear Power to Marine Purposes, the Research Board of Pametrada, and the Main Corrosion Committee of the British Iron and Steel Research Association. He was also a member of the Technical Committee of Lloyd's Register of Shipping and a Director of Power Jets, Ltd.

It was in 1920 that he was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and in 1927 he was transferred to Member. His election to Council took place in 1944 and he became a Vice-President in 1951. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Institute of Marine Engineers and a Fellow both of the City and Guilds Institute and the Imperial College of Science and Technology.

In recognition of his great contribution to engineering in general and to shipbuilding in particular he was awarded the C.B.E. in the 1951 New Year Honours List.

During the years under his direction the British Shipbuilding Research Association became established as the national research organization of the shipbuilding and marine engineering industry and this will rank in the memories of his fellow engineers as the principal among Dr. Livingston Smith's many notable achievements.


1958 Obituary [3]



1958 Obituary [4]




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