17.3.1847 Stepney/UK - 1.11.1928 London/UK
Sir Alexander B.W. Kennedy was trained as a marine engineer and educated at the London City School. He was then apprenticed in a firm of marine engineers and he went on as a draughtsman to Marsh Palmer of Jarrow, with whom he took part in the development of the compound steam engine. Kennedy was appointed professor of engineering at University College, London in 1874. He was the first in England to integrate laboratory work as a regular feature of instruction. Experiments were conducted from 1878 on the strength and elasticity of materials, and boiler resistance. He followed the researches of Franz Reuleux in Germany.
While breaking new educational ground at University College, Kennedy concurrently established a thriving private practice as a consultant engineer in partnership with Jenkin, to pursue which he relinquished his academic posts in 1889. He also was the senior partner of the engineering firm Kennedy and Donkin, later continued by Sydney Bryan Donkin (1871-1952). Kennedy planned and installed the whole electricity system for the Westminster Electric Supply Corporation. He was also heavily involved in the development of the electrically powered transport systems. Towards the end of his life, he pursued his interest in archeology with the exploration of Petra, recorded in his 1925 monograph. He also joined the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1879, becoming its president in 1894. Kennedy was thus a polymath as well as being an outstanding engineering educationalist. He was from 1887 a Fellow of the Royal Society; he was knighted in 1907 and presided over the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1906.
Anonymous (1907). Sir Alexander Blackie William Kennedy. Minutes Proc. Institution of Civil Engineers 167: Frontispiece. P
Anonymous (1928). The late Sir A.B.W. Kennedy. Engineering 126: 591-594. P
Anonymous (1996). Kennedy, Sir Alexander Blackie William. Biographical dictionary of the history of technology: 397-398, L. Day, I. McNeil, eds. Routledge: London.
Gibb, A. (1939). Sir Alexander B.W. Kennedy. Obituary Notices of FRS 2: 213-223. P Kennedy, A.B.W. (1876). Kinematic models. Victoria and Albert Science Museum: London. Kennedy, A.B.W. (1878). The kinematics of machinery. Victoria Science Museum: London. Kennedy, A.B.W. (1887). The use and equipment of engineering laboratories. Minutes Institution of Civil Engineers 88: 1-153.
Kennedy, A.B.W. (1907). Mechanics of machinery. Macmillan: London.
Kennedy, A.B.W. (1925). Petra: Its history and monuments. Country Life: London.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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