24 February, 2024

Presentation of IMechE Joseph Bramah Medal Award

23 August, 2022

At the British Fluid Power Association’s 2022 AGM held in Warwick on 12 May, industry veteran David Phillips was presented with the 2020 Bramah Medal.


David Phillips was awarded a BSc in Chemistry by the University of Manchester in 1964 and spent most of his career in the development and marketing of fire-resistant hydraulic fluids and additives for the oil industry.

Working for Geigy Chemicals from 1964 through to 1992, he was initially involved as a chemist in the Geigy/BP project developing the first commercial jet engine lubricant for Concorde. Later, as Laboratory Manager he was responsible for hydraulic fluid product approvals working with equipment manufacturers, particularly in power generation. He continued his career for seven years with FMC Corporation in the role as Technical Marketing Manager responsible for new product development of turbine hydraulic fluids and lubricants.

Great Lakes Chemicals acquired FMC’s oil chemical interests in 1999, and a further merger led to the formation of Chemtura in 2005. For both organisations he continued, in the role of Technical and Marketing Manager, to develop the market for fire-resistant hydraulic fluids, increasing his standing and reputation as a market leader in this field.

Throughout his career, Phillips was both contributor to, and Chairman of, many national and international technical committees as an expert on hydraulic fluids. He lectured on a number of courses, authored many books and technical papers, contributed to industry publications and held a number of patents on hydraulic fluids, additives, electrical insulating fluids and antioxidants.

Phillips is a long-time colleague and friend of the BFPA, having served on its technical committees for many years and is a past Chair of BSI MCE 18/16 Hydraulic Fluids.

After a long and illustrious career, Phillips retired in 2005 to become an independent consultant providing valuable advice on complex hydraulic system issues.

Joseph Bramah Medal

The Joseph Bramah Medal is awarded annually by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) for outstanding achievement tending to advance the science of mechanical engineering, particularly in the field of hydraulic engineering.

The 2020 Joseph Bramah Medal was presented to Phillips on behalf of the IMechE by Professor Andrew Plummer, Head of Department and Director of the Centre for Power Transmission & Motion Control, University of Bath, at the BFPA’s AGM. All delegates present on the day, and everyone at the BFPA warmly congratulated Phillips on his significant achievement.

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