The papers of Robert S Silver Saudi Arabia

Robert Silver
Robert Silver

Custodian: University of Glasgow Archive Services

Reference: DC86 & DC138

The University of Glasgow has nurtured many world changers throughout the centuries. Robert Silver invented the Multistage Flash (MSF) Distillation System to desalinate seawater, which made an outstanding contribution to humanitarian and economic progress.

Silver was a graduate of the University, several times over (MA, 1932; BSc, 1934; PhD, 1938; DSc, 1945) and was a professor at the University. In the 1950s he invented the process of MSF to create clean water from sea water. The first MSF plant was sold in Saudi Arabia, and Robert Silver worked tirelessly to bring it on line. That plant established the viability of MSF and its design was duplicated. Without the MSF process, many arid countries in the Middle East would have no water supply.

In 1967, he was awarded a CBE and in 1980 was elected as a Foreign Associate of the US Academy of Engineering. His contribution to engineering and human wellbeing was recognised in 1968 with the award of the Unesco Prize for Science.