Dick Simnel

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The Engineer
The Sliding Rule, which Simnel has the knowing of
Name Dick Simnel
Race Human
Age early twenties
Occupation engineer
Physical appearance usually obscured by grease and soot
Residence Ankh-Morpork / Swine Town
Parents Ned and Elsie Simnel
Marital Status single, perhaps not for long
Books Raising Steam

Dick Simnel, son of Sheepridge blacksmith and general mechanical tinkerer Ned Simnel and his wife, Elsie Simnel, is one of the central characters of Raising Steam. Events in the book are precipitated by him, as he may be viewed as another of those naive child-like hopefuls who arrive in the big city with an idea and a will to make it work. He has learned how to control the steam engine that vaporised his father. With an endowment left by his late ex-pirate grandfather (such Poor-But-Clever-And-Industrious Boys generally need a bit of luck to get a start in the Big City) he develops a practical locomotive and the plan for a continent-spanning rail way.

Dick is a very enthusiastic mechanical engineer who at first appears to have the same naiveté and lack of the grasp of financial and trust issues that caused Reacher Gilt to rub his hands with glee when he met the Dearheart family. However, he is no idiot, which is why he did his research first and approached Sir Harry King for a partnership deal. With the supervision of possibly the only incorruptible and completely honest Lawyer in the Guild and the close supervision of Vetinari acting through the proxy of Moist von Lipwig, probity and honesty - of the sort that matter - are assured from the word "go" for the The New Enterprise.

The young, rural prodigy shows the lack of comfort in social and business situations that we are taught to expect of science-and-technology types, but Sir Harry's niece Emily inspires the thought that there might be more to life than mechanical engineering. With some advice and encouragement from Moist von Lipwig he seems to be on track for matrimony. As Moist points out, Sir Harry will be delighted with his niece's choice, especially as it will keep the whole Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway in the family. Dick is finally knighted (for services to technology?) at the same ceremony that creates Harry King's dukedom...and they all live happily ever after, as far as we will ever know.