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Sir David Anderson graduated Associate in Mechanical Engineering of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow in 1921, following service in the Royal Air Force, with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, in 1918. He obtained engineering experience with the North British Locomotive Company and with Fullerton, Hodgart and Barclay, then held several higher academic posts in Derby Technical College and Birmingham College of Technology, before becoming Director or Principal of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow from 1946 to 1959. During his term of office, discussions took place on the expansion of technological education in Britain, and the future development of the Royal College, which led eventually to the award of University Charter and the establishment of the University of Strathclyde in 1964.
Sir David was knighted in 1957 and received honorary degrees from Glasgow University in 1961 and from Strathclyde in 1965. He served as a member of the Robbins Committee on Higher Education and on many other professional bodies. He died on 18 January 1981.
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Obituary in Glasgow Herald, 20 January 1981.
Death notice in The Times, 23 January 1981.