Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard


DURLEY, Richard Jones, b. 11 Feb. 1868, Bierton, Buckinghamshire, England; d. 13 Aug. 1948, Montreal. Educated at University College, Bristol and University College, London (B Sc 1887), he was apprenticed to Earle’s Shipbuilding and Engineering, Hull as a mechanical engineer. He won a Whitworth Scholarship (1893), and lectured at the Municipal Technical School, Hull. Appointed assistant professor of mechanical engineering at McGill University in 1896, he wrote a widely-used textbook, Kinematics of Machines (1903). From 1911 to 1915, he was a consulting engineer in Montreal. During the First World War, he was responsible for the production and maintenance of gauges and standards for the Imperial Munitions Board, thereby contributing to the efficient production of munitions in Canada. He was awarded an MBE in 1918. His reputation established, he became secretary, Canadian Engineering Standards Association (1919). In 1925, he was appointed general secretary, Engineering Institute of Canada (formerly Canadian Society of Civil Engineers) resigning in 1938. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 1941, he received the EIC's Julian C. Smith Medal. He married Elizabeth Schvill and they had a daughter and a son (Thomas Richard) who became an engineer).

Mark Billing