Stewart Crichton Miller, a mechanical engineer of great distinction, was the former Director of Engineering and Technology for Rolls-Royce plc, where he worked for over 40 years. Stewart was a foremost contributor to several of the company's most important development projects, chief among them being the RB211-535 engine project, which is used on Boeing 757 aircraft.
Stewart was born on 2 July 1934 to William and Grace Miller in Kirkcaldy, Fife, where he spent his childhood. His primary school education at Kirkcaldy Fife High Primary School started on 4 September 1939, the day after war was declared. A contemporary, with whom he was a close friend during school years, is Archie Howie (F.R.S. 1978), a distinguished physicist and former Head of the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. Professor Howie recalls that he and Stewart vied with each other for school prizes, etc., with Stewart emerging as the Dux of the primary school.
On leaving primary school, Stewart attended Kirkcaldy High School from 1945 to 1951. It was there that he received the Scottish Higher Learning Certificate in 1950 and an award in the Edinburgh University Bursary Competition. He continued his education at the University of Edinburgh from 1951 to 1954, enrolling as an engineering degree candidate. His choice of engineering as a career was considered unusual by others for someone of his high academic abilities. However, this doubt only increased his determination. His research emphasis while studying was on mechanical vibration, which served as useful background for his later work at Rolls-Royce on turbo-machinery. He graduated in 1954 from Edinburgh with a BSc (firstclass honours) in mechanical engineering.
After leaving university, Stewart spent two years completing a graduate apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce that marked the beginning of his extensive career. Spending his first year gaining workshop experience and his second in all the major technical offices, Stewart subsequently qualified to receive the status of Chartered Engineer.