Sir George Beilby, (1850-1924) is renowned as one of the leading applied scientists of his age.
After graduating from the University of Edinburgh at 19, Beilby began his professional life in the oil shale industry in 1869. His pioneering work greatly increased yields, breathing new life into this area of the energy industry. He then focused on, and enjoyed equal success in, finding new processes to recover gold by the cyanide process.
Sir George Beilby's long and remarkable career as scientist and industrialist was marked by an enduring interest in the twin concerns of fuel economy and smoke abatement. His dedication and energetic research had great significance for the fuel and metal industries, and produced far-reaching advantages for society.
Coupled with this, his commitment to education was a driving force behind the development of the practical scientific training in an industrial context, enlisting the support of fellow industrial leaders. For many years he served as Chairman of Governors of what is now the University of Strathclyde.
He was SCI World President in 1898 and contributed greatly to SCI's growth in Scotland. A Beilby Memorial Fund to reward exceptional research was raised in his honour by subscription.