The company was founded by Managing Director, Rod Smith in 1979. He has over 55 years experience in technology development. He was a metallurgical chemist in laboratories at the Moss Bay Steelworks from 1961 to 1970 and worked in R&D at the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Sellafield for 5 years before joining Leyland Bus in 1974 as Materials Engineer, solving technical problems at UK contractors.
Rod left Leyland in 1979 to start his own business - R. Smith Engineering - from his home near Cockermouth in Cumbria. His experience in materials testing and R&D labs has been invaluable to the development of our firm and seeing it grow into a successful problem solving company.
1979 Rod Smith founds R. Smith Engineering
1980 Develop facility for treating 400 tons of aluminium extrusions for Leyland Bus
1983 Move to new premises at Grasslot Industrial Estate, Maryport
1983 Begin manufacture of new product - the ‘computer trolley’.
1985 Move to 10,000 sq ft premises at Solway Industrial Estate, Maryport
1992 Design and manufacture of locomotive tender for Northern Rock 2, exported to Tokyo, Japan
1994 Design and manufacture of 12 ton boat hoist for Maryport Marina
1994 Begin manufacture of cementitious absorber blocks for low level and PCM waste
1995 Undertake complete refit of Windermere Car Ferry ‘Mallard’
1999 Design and build first MoonBuggy all terrain vehicle
2001 Design and development of MoonBuggy anti-personnel mine detection platform, exported to France
2005 Becomes limited company, changing its name to Smith Engineering (GB) Ltd
2006 Complete refit of Elizabeth Dock Gates, Maryport
2006 Design and build TANTRA mine clearance flail vehicle, exported to Namibia
2009 Waste encapsulation trials for Sellafield
2009 Winners of the Orange Best Use of Technology in Business Award - North of England & Northern Ireland - at the National Business Awards.
2010 Develop sample collection tool for WallRover climbing robot
2011 Design and build small-scale electricity generating waterwheel for University of Cumbria trials
2013 Begin development of innovative electricity generating tidal device
2014 Design and build 6kW electricity generating waterwheel for Langdale Hotel in the English Lakes
2015 Design and build 4kW electricity generating waterwheel for Eskdale Mill in the English Lakes
2017 Refit of the underground waterwheel at Killhope Lead Mining Museum, County Durham