Robert Maximilian Kenedi Hungary Scotland Hong Kong

Biography of Robert Maximilian Kenedi

Kenedi (right) at visit of Duke of Edinburgh to engineering laboratories of Strathclyde University in 1961
Kenedi (right) at visit of Duke of Edinburgh to engineering laboratories of Strathclyde University in 1961

Robert Maximilian Kenedi graduated BSc from the University in 1941 and PhD in 1949. He was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1921.

Kenedi came to study Civil Engineering at the University in 1938, receiving a first class honours degree in 1941. Classified as an 'enemy alien' by the Axis powers from 1940, Kenedi remained in Scotland and obtained British naturalisation in 1947. In 1943 Kenedi was offered a temporary position as a research assistant in mechanical engineering at the Royal Technical College in 1943 (modern day Strathclyde University), after which he was appointed to a series of lecturing, research, and consultancy positions related to civil, structural and mechanical engineering.

At the same time, Kenedi continued his studies at the University of Glasgow, obtaining a PhD in Structural Engineering in 1949 for his thesis "Elastic buckling of latticed and thin walled columns."

At the start of 1960s, Kenedi's focus shifted to bioengineering. In collaboration with the distinguished Glasgow plastic surgeon Thomas Gibson (1915-1993), he developed an internationally renowned programme in biological tissue mechanics. In 1963, the Medical Research Council made a grant to the Bioengineering Unit of Strathclyde and Kenedi was appointed Professor and Head of the Unit. A subsequent donation by the Wolfson Foundation provided for the creation of Wolfson Centre which houses the Bioengineering Unit to the present day.

Upon early retirement in 1980, Kenedi left for Hong Kong to assume the position of Associate Director (Engineering) of the Hong Kong Polytechnic for four years, after which he returned to Glasgow and continued as a Professor Emeritus and consultant at Strathclyde University until his death in 1998.


Other Online Resources

  • (1948) Naturalization. The Edinburgh Gazette, 20.Jan. p. 34a
  • Paul, P. John. (n.d) Robert M Kenedi [internet] Available from: [Accessed 5th July 2012].
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh (2006) Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002 [internet] Available from: [Accessed 5th July 2012].

Printed Materials

  • Murphy, Eugene F., (2001) Robert M. Kenedi. In: National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences (2001) Memorial Tributes: v. 9: National Academy of Engineering. Washington DC: National Academies Press, pp. 157-160.

Archival Materials

  • DC183/11/75 General Council Register of Members 1950
  • DC183/11/85 General Council Register of Members 1960
  • R8/5/59/5 Matriculation Slips 1938-1939, Men I - L
  • R8/5/61/5 Matriculation Slips 1940-1941, Men I - L


  • Levine, Sumner, L. (1974) Perspectives in Biomedical Engineering by R. M. Kenedi. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 49 (3), pp. 283-284.


Robert Maximilian Kenedi
Born 13 March 1921.
Died 7 September 1998.
GU Degrees: BSc, 1941; Science and Engineering, PhD, 1949; Science and Engineering,
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate, Researcher
Occupation categories: engineers, bioengineering
English snippet: PhD in Engineering and Professor of Bioengineering
Record last updated: 26th Jun 2013

Country Associations

Hungary Hungary, Budapest
Place of Birth

Scotland Scotland, Glasgow
Place of Death

Hong Kong Hong Kong, No Region

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus
  • Graduate
  • Researcher