Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Emeritus Professor David Whitehouse receives 'WOW' award

Our Emeritus Professor David Whitehouse who, through his internationally recognised work, promoting women has been promoting the name of University of Warwick, has recently won a ‘Wow’ Award – the first of three such awards given to him by the Vice-Chancellor, Stuart Croft, in December 2022.

David is a world authority on surface characterisation and nano-metrology, and a truly inspirational figure, with a very lively mind. Over the years, he has been encouraging women into science and engineering, and serves as a role-model for younger academics who benefit from his advice on publishing in highly prestigious journals, such as Proceedings of the Royal Society, or Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London.

Having just reached his 85th birthday, David continues to develop new theories that are of interest to various sectors of industry. For example, building a mathematical model for assessing risk, which is of interest to insurance industry and finance. Having started to think that engineering mathematics could be of use in these sectors, he has now come to the conclusion that finance mathematics could be applied in engineering, specifically to the field of additive manufacturing. A true pioneer, while working for Taylor Hobson Ltd, UK (the world famous ultra-precision instrument company in Leicester, UK), he was behind the development of early computing and the development of the ‘byte’ concept that we use nowadays without even knowing what it means. While at Warwick, he was responsible for developing both the Mechanical Engineering and the Production Engineering Divisions in the Department of Engineering, as well as fulfilling his duties on University Council and Senate. In 1979 he started the first ‘Centre for Micro- Engineering and Metrology’ in the UK Funded by SRC, which attracted over £2M funding between 1980-1990. In 1990 he initiated the world’s first Journal of Nanotechnology (Institute of Physics UK), and became its first Editor in Chief. David’s graphical details can be found on his web page:

He has supervised more than 30 Ph.D. students, published over 250 papers generating around 10,000 citations, obtained 28 patents, and has written 8 books.
David lectured in 37 countries and has received many honours and prizes, including: the Joseph Whitworth Prize from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers; The James Clayton Prize, also from Institution of Mechanical Engineers; the Commemorative Medallion for Advanced Technology, from Mendeleev Institute of Metrology St Petersburg; the Callendar Prize ‘For Outstanding Contribution to Metrology’ from the Institute of Measurement and Control, and a five-year SERC Research Professor Fellowship at the University of Warwick.

He has three lifetime achievement honours: a UK Lifetime Achievement Award for World Class Metrology: ‘Champion of Metrology’ from the National Physical Laboratory, ‘A Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the American Society of Precision Engineers describing him as the ‘Father of digital metrology’, and General Pierre Nicolau Award from the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP) in Paris regarded as the Premier Award in Production Engineering in the world. David was the first ever Briton given this award.

Stuart Croft and David Whitehouse