Jerzy Wojciech Doerffer Poland

Biography of Jerzy Wojciech Doerffer

Jerzy Doerffer, 2002
Jerzy Doerffer, 2002

Jerzy Doerffer graduated BSc in Naval Architecture in 1942. He was born in Wielka Łęka, near Poznań, son of Stefan, a farmer. Doerffer studied naval architecture at Gdańsk University of Technology before undertaking an internship at the J Samuel White shipyard on the Isle of Wight. After serving from January to April 1940 in the Polish Navy on the ORP Błyskawica, Doerffer was officially instructed to continue his studies in the UK, and in April 1940, aged 21, Doerffer matriculated at the University of Glasgow. He attended courses in Naval Architecture, Hydraulics, Technical Dynamics, Heat Engines, Applied Mechanics and Engineering Economics, and was awarded the Class Prize in Naval Architecture and a Second-Class Certificate in Applied Physics in his final year.

After his studies, Doerffer worked at the Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd. shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, before returning to work at the Gdańsk shipyards in 1945. In 1950, Doerffer received a second degree in shipbuilding from the Gdańsk University of Technology, where he later became a Professor, Vice-Rector and subsequently Rector. He also established the Department of Naval Technology, which he directed until his retirement in 1988.

In addition to his work with the University, Doerffer contributed to projects for the Polish Navy and was chairman of the Forum of Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Industry from 1993 to 2003. Among Doerffer’s numerous accolades were honorary doctorates from the University of Glasgow (1983), the Polish Naval Academy, and the Technical University of Szczecin (2003); the William Froude Gold Medal of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, London (1989); the International Maritime Prize by the International Maritime Organisation, London; and the Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta, awarded in 1998 by the Polish government for distinguished services in the field of the development of shipbuilding and maritime economy, the second highest distinction that can be awarded to a civilian by the Polish government.

After his death in 2006, a foundation was established in Jerzy Doerffer’s honour to improve and promote the education of young engineers.


Other Online Resources

Archival Materials

  • DC183/11/104 Register of Members of the General Council of the University of Glasgow Jan. 1, 1980
  • DC183/11/75 Register of Members of the General Council of the University of Glasgow 1st January 1950
  • DC183/11/90 Register of Members of the General Council of the University of Glasgow January 1st, 1965
  • R7/3/13 Class Prize Lists 1941-43
  • R8/5/60/3 Matriculation Slips D-F 1939-1940 (Men)
  • R8/5/61/3 Matriculation Slips D-F 1940-1941 (Men)
  • R8/5/62/3 Matriculation Slips D-F 1941-42 (Men)
  • SEN 10/ 83 Glasgow University Calendar 1941-1942, pg. 542.



Jerzy Wojciech Doerffer
Born 21 April 1918.
Died 9 August 2006.
GU Degrees: BSc, 1942; Science and Engineering, DSc, 1983;
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate, Honorary Graduate
Occupation categories: engineers, naval
English snippet: Engineering and Honorary graduate of the University of Glasgow
Record last updated: 26th Jun 2013

Country Associations

Poland Poland, Poznań, Wielka Łęka
Place of Birth

Poland Poland, Sopot, Sopot
Place of Death

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus
  • Graduate
  • Honorary Graduate