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

2018 Design and build 2kW electricity generating waterwheel for private customer in Hampshire