DAVID Gemmell McKinlay, Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at Strathclyde University, was born in Riddrie on August 23, 1924, and spent most of his lifetime working and living in the West of Scotland.

He died suddenly at his home in Drysdale, Victoria, Australia, in March, having emigrated five months previously, so that he and his wife could be near their daughter, and husband.

David was a pupil at Allan Glen's School from 1935 to 1941. During the wartime he undertook the compressed course in civil engineering and graduated in 1944 with an honours degree in civil engineering from Glasgow University and the associateship of the Royal Technical College.

While at Allan Glen's, David developed a lifetime's interest in sailing. In the wartime this, combined with his engineering training, led him to join the Royal Navy, in which he saw service at home and in the Pacific as an Air Engineer Officer.

On his return to this country in 1946 he undertook professional training with Dumfries County Council. however, note had been taken of David's potential as an educationalist by his mentor at the Royal Technical College, Dr William Hunter. He invited David to join the teaching staff in 1947 and this led to over 40 years' service as a member of staff at the Royal Technical College, now Strathclyde University.

His areas of specialisation were hydraulics and soil mechanics, and in 1964 he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering by Glasgow University for his studies in sediment transport.

David always maintained a wide interest and involvement in the general practice of civil engineering. This diversity stood him in good stead as editor of the Collins' Civil Engineer's Diary, the widely used pocket handbook for civil engineers.

During his early career he was seconded to Babtie, Shaw, and Morton, consulting engineers in Glasgow, to gain practical experience for membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Following this he became a member, then fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was chairman of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Local Association of the institution and served as member of council in London. In 1972 he was appointed first to the chair of Soil Mechanics at Strathclyde University, then to a Chair of Civil Engineering, becoming chairman of the department of civil engineering and then dean of the School of Civil and Mining Engineering and Applied Geology in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was an external examiner on many occasions, including several years with the developing University of Technology in Malaysia. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

David had a great capacity for representing, leading, and helping people. He always devoted a great deal of his spare time to the young, old, and underprivileged. With the family living in Bearsden in the sixties and seventies, he was an elder of Bearsden South Parish Church.

He went on to be District Governor for the West of Scotland in session 1987-88 and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Club for his work on behalf of India and Malawi.

Until 1994 he continued to practise his profession, acting as a consultant to the Glasgow firm Crouch Hogg Waterman.

He had many technical publications and contributed to a number of standard and advanced text books, which exemplified his gift of simply presenting complex data.

Professor McKinlay is survived by his wife Muriel, his children Hamish and Shona, his daughter-in-law Joan, son-in-law John, and grandchildren Calum and Alistair.