DURLEY, Richard John (1868-1948), engineer. Science and Art Department. Queen's Medal. Bronze medal awarded for Proficiency in Science, engraved on the rim " Richard J. Durley, Steam, 1893." 39mm. EF.
Richard John Durley was born in Bierton, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in 1868, the son of Richard and Elizabeth Durley. His father (descended from a long line of yeoman farmers) died in the year of his birth, and his mother became a schoolteacher. Richard attended Bedford Modern School and went on to study at Bristol University and University College London. After graduating from university he worked for Earle’s Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. in Hull, and in 1893 (the year this medal was awarded) he won a Whitworth Scholarship. In the following year he was appointed chief lecturer in engineering at the Municipal Technical College, Hull, and then emigrated to Canada in 1896 to take up an assistant professorship at McGill University in Montreal. He worked his way up to become Professor of Mechanical Engineering there. Over and above many engineering papers, Durley published the standard text for students Kinematics of Machines 1903, and in that same year married Elizabeth Schevill of New York, by whom he had a son and a daughter. During the First World War he was Officer-in-Charge of Gauges and Standards in the Canadian Ministry of Munitions, and his services were recognized in the award of an MBE in 1918. He died in 1948.