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Edward Hopkinson (1859-1922)
35th President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Hopkinson was born in Manchester, England in May 1859, into a family of engineers. He was educated at Owens College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In 1881 he was awarded a first-class honours in the mathematical tripos, scoring the tenth highest mark. In the same year he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science from the University of London. In 1883 he was elected Fellow of his College.
He was personal scientific assistant to Sir William Siemens, and, therefore, gained early practical experience of the electrification of railways. His first employment in this area was the electrification of the railway from Bessbrook to Newry, which supplied flax from the wharves to the mills. It was opened to traffic in 1885, and was supplied with electricity from a hydroelectric station. The machinery in the power station was manufactured by Mather and Platt, whose electrical department was run by Hopkinson.
He continued to work for Mather and Platt for the rest of his career. He was made a partner, and when the firm became a limited company, he became managing director. He was appointed vice chairman in 1899. He was also a keen mountaineer.
He served as President in 1919.
He died on 15 January 1922.