Andrew McCance (1889-1983) was born at Cadder, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 30 March 1889 the son of an East India merchant. Educated at Morrison's Academy, Crieff, Perth & Kinross, Scotland; Allan Glen's School, Glasgow, Scotland; and the Royal School of Mines, London, England, he returned to Scotland in 1910 . He entered the steel industry as an assistant chemist with William Beardmore & Co Ltd, steel manufacturers, Parkhead Forge, Glasgow. His discovery of how to prevent cracks in armour plate resulted in his being made assistant armour manager. The University of London awarded him the degree of Doctor of Science in 1916 . Unable to enlist during the 1914-1918 World War because of injuries sustained in a crushing accident in the Armour Shop, he continued his work at Parkhead Forge until 1919 . With the end of the war, and seeing little future in armour steel, he decided to launch his own manufacturing business, taking advantage of what he saw as a growing market for alloy and special steels. He joined forces with T M Service, manager at William Beardmore & Co Ltd , and approached John Craig, chairman of David Colville & Sons Ltd , iron and steel manufacturers, Motherwell, Scotland, with a view to leasing the derelict Inshaw Works for conversion into a steel foundry. Colvilles welcomed the suggestion and the Clyde Alloy Steel Co Ltd was created in November 1919 as a subsidiary of David Colville & Sons Ltd. David Colville & Sons Ltd held 80 per cent of the shares, 16 per cent of which were held for sale to Andrew McCance and T M Service when they were in a position to purchase them.
In 1920, T M Service returned to William Beardmore & Co Ltd, and Andrew McCance bore the major responsibility of nurturing the fledgling company, in the midst of a difficult economic climate. It was the mid-1920s before the company began to cover costs and expansion became possible. However, during this time the value of Andrew McCance 's work, in particular his technical expertise, had come to be recognised by David & Colville & Sons Ltd. On the formation of Colvilles Ltd in 1930 , he was offered a place on the board of directors and he soon became a key figure in the rationalisation process that brought together the various works and companies that formed the Colville Group. In 1944, he was appointed chairman and joint managing director of Colvilles Ltd. He was awarded a knighthood in 1947 . He was President of the British Iron & Steel Federation, 1957-1958 , and served on numerous committees associated with the iron and steel industry. He was Chairman of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, at the time when it became the Royal College of Science & Technology. He opposed proposals for the college to be absorbed into the University of Glasgow, advocating that it should become an independent degree awarding institution. This was achieved in 1964 , when the Royal College became the University of Strathclyde. Sir Andrew McCance was awarded an honorary doctorate at the first full graduation ceremony. The McCance Building at the University is named after him. Sir Andrew McCance died at Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland on 11 June 1983 .
Slaven, A and Checkland, S (eds), Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography 1860-1960 vol 1 (Aberdeen, 1986)