Whitworth Memorial Medal
Whitworth Memorial Medal. A Whitworth Memorial Medal presented to William A.Bond “Scholar” in 1931
Obverse representation of Sir Joseph Whitworth bust profile to L, reverse relief of millionth measuring machinery. By J.S. & A.B. Wyon. Diameter 56mm, ht 5mm, in black case 95x95x20mm
On 18 March 1868, Joseph Whitworth wrote to then Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli to fund 30 scholarships for the value of £100 for young men in the United Kingdom. This was met favourably by the Government at the time as minuted on 27 March 1868 by the council. After the adoption of this by Government, Whitworth presented a memorandum setting out the requirements of the awards which included examinations in mathematics, mechanics, physics, and chemistry, including metallurgy and in the following handicrafts: Smith’s Work, turning, filing, fitting, pattern making and moulding.
Whitworth’s intent was to support those individuals with practical skills, training, typically those who today have completed an apprenticeship who had the desire to continue onto further, higher education, university degree courses. The Scholarships continue over 150-years after inception of the idea. In 2018 the prize money awarded is up to £5,450 per annum for an undergraduate programme and £8,250 per annum for a post graduate research programme. The prize money is still funded by the original money provided in Trust by Joseph Whitworth.
The criteria for a scholarship remains consistent with the original mandate of 1868, practical skills with aptitude for science and mathematics based academia. In 2018, the conditions for application for a scholarship are to:
- Have pursued a vocational training route (i.e. apprenticeship) in an engineering discipline typically for at least 2 years after having left full-time education (generally UK secondary education or college based study) and before entering a degree-level engineering course.
- Have obtained or will obtain an appropriate qualification for admission to the planned engineering degree-level programme of any engineering discipline.
- Be British, Commonwealth or European Union Citizen, and resident in the UK for at least 3 consecutive years immediately prior to undertaking study in the UK at a College of FE/HE or university
In 1984, as a result of consultation with the Whitworth Society, the administration of the Awards and Scholarship programmes was transferred from the Department of Education & Science (at the time) to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
The Whitworth Society was founded in 1923 by Henry Selby Hele-Shaw, then president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Its purposes are to promote engineering in the United Kingdom, and more specifically to support all Whitworth Scholars, the recipients of a scholarship funded by Joseph Whitworth’s scholarship scheme, which started in 1868. A Whitworth Scholar is the result of completing a successful Whitworth Scholarship. Membership of the Society is limited to Whitworth Scholars, Senior Scholars, Fellows, Exhibitioners and Prizemen. The Society is a way for making contact with all successful “Whitworth’s” and provides a way for making information contacts and connections from more senior members to recently successful Scholars. The Society also serves as a way to commemorate Joseph Whitworth and acknowledge his contributions to engineering education.