William M. Wallace, British engineer, was the recipient of a Whitworth scholarship to study mechanics and related subjects. He became an associate of the Royal School of Mines, London, and an associate member of the (British) Institution of Civil Engineers. He came to the Cape Colony during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) to take up a position as assistant professor in mathematics and physics at Victoria College, Stellenbosch, which he held from July 1901 to September 1903. Thereafter he remained at the college as an assistant in physics and lecturer in drawing, but during 1904 left for Kimberley, where he appears to have been employed by De Beers Consolidated Mines for some time. However, by 1905 he was the principal of the Kimberley School of Mines, an institution that presented evening classes in technical subjects such as electric lighting and power distribution, telegraphy and telephony, machine construction, mechanical engineering, building construction, mathematics, book-keeping, etc. [This School should not be confused with the South African School of Mines, which was transferred from Kimberley to Johannesburg a few years earlier]. He used the title Professor at this time. During 1905/6 he contributed a paper on "The influence of the size of grains in the strength of mortars and concrete" to the Journal of the Transvaal Institute of Mechanical Engineers (Vol. 4).
Wallace was an early member of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science and in 1907 served as honorary secretary of its local committee for Kimberley. Later in his career he published Engineering problems (London, 1914) and Hydraulics for engineering students and engineers in practice (London, 1914).