Henry Ford- NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

Henry Ford

Henry Ford

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Henry Ford who was born on July 30, 1863 in Michigan. He is known for creating the Ford Model T car in 1908. He is also famously known for developing the assembly line. This was instrumental in the automobile industry allowing production to increase rapidly.

Ford grew up a farmer but left home at the age of 16 to explore a machinist job position in Detroit. His interests continued to expand and in 1903, Henry Ford started up the Ford Motor Company. This company was a huge success allowing him to develop the assembly line further and move into mass production of inexpensive automobiles.

Although Henry Ford passed away in 1947, he is still considered one of America’s leading businessmen is history. He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame and won several other honors during his lifetime.

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John Logie Baird- NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

John Logie Baird

John Logie Baird

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the Week features John Logie Baird, born on August 14, 1888 in Helensburgh, Scotland. He was an engineer and an innovator known for being one of the inventors of the mechanical television.

While working with his television experiments, Baird was credited for producing the first live, moving, greyscale television image from reflected light. He followed with many demonstrations to the public regarding how his technology worked. In 1927, Baird transmitted a long-distance television signal between London and Glasgow and demonstrated the first color transmission in 1928. After making significant contributions to the mechanical television systems he moved onto the electronic televisions. He invented the “Telechrome” around 1940 which was a total electronic system.

Baird was an intelligent businessman and left his mark being named one of the 10 greatest Scottish scientists in history. He is also listed in the National Library of Scotland’s Scottish Science Hall of Fame. Baird passed away in June of 1946.

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Alexander Graham Bell- NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

Alexandar Graham Bell

Alexandar Graham Bell

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Alexander Graham Bell who was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a scientist, an inventor, an engineer, and an innovator. Bell is best known for being the first person to patent a practical telephone.

Bell initially pursued teaching as a profession. There were several generations in his family who were involved in education and speech. In addition, Bell’s mother and wife were deaf which influenced his work. He had a passion for this area and started to research hearing devices which led to experimentation and later his development of the telephone in 1876. He founded the Bell Telephone Company in 1877. Just under ten years later, over 150,000 people in the United States owned telephones.

Later in life, Bell worked in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics. He created one of the first metal detectors in 1881. He also made significant contributions to the National Geographic Society while serving there as their second president. Bell left a legacy behind when he passed away in 1922. The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada which also houses a museum dedicated to him is the only museum in the world that contains original artifacts and documents from his life.

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel- NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Isambard Kingdom Brunel, born on April 9, 1806 in Portsmouth, England. He was a civil and mechanical engineer known as “one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history.”

Brunel was known for his work and construction with tunnels, bridges, and viaducts for the Great Western Railway. He is best recognized for building the first tunnel under a navigable river. Brunel was also a part of the design of many famous ships including the The Great Western in 1837 and The SS Great Britain’ in 1843. The Great Western ship was the first steamship to use transatlantic service and the SS Great Britain was the world’s first iron-hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam-powered passenger liner. In addition to these projects, Brunel constructed many of Britain’s major docks.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a successful career and was admired by many. He passed away in 1859 at the age of 53. People continued to show admiration for him after his death in the form of several statues and monuments dedicated to him.

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George Stephenson- NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

George Stephenson

George Stephenson

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features George Stephenson who was born on June 9, 1781 in Wylam, Northumberland, England. He was a civil and mechanical engineer known for building the first public intercity railway line in the world to use steam locomotives. This railway is known as the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and opened in 1830.

In his earlier years, Stephenson designed his first locomotive. It had a traveling engine designed for hauling coal. Victorians were very fond of Stephenson and considered him a diligent worker with a thirst for improvement. His own development of a rail gauge of 4 feet 8.5 inches is often referred to as the “Stephenson gauge” and is a standard unit for most railways.

In his later years, Stephenson was well-known for his many successful projects and accomplishments. He became the first president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1847. After his death, he was still honored in the Chesterfield Museum with a gallery of memorabilia. Also, George Stephenson College was founded in 2001 on the University of Durham’s Queen’s Campus in an English market town called Stockton-on-Tees.

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George Westinghouse- NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

George Westinghouse

George Westinghouse

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features George Westinghouse, an American entrepreneur and engineer. He was born on October 6, 1846 in Central Bridge, New York.  Westinghouse invented the railway air brake, the rotary steam engine, and was a pioneer in the electrical industry.

During his time, he was a major rival with Thomas Edison and lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The two were involved in the early implementation of the American electricity system. Ultimately, Westinghouse’s use of an alternating current electricity distribution system succeeded over Edison’s direct current idea.

Westinghouse received two notable awards during his time, the John Fritz Medal in 1906 and AIEE’s Edison Medal in 1911 “For meritorious achievement in connection with the development of the alternating current system”. His employees and fellow engineers continued to honor him after his death in 1914. The Westinghouse Park which houses the Westinghouse Memorial built in 1930 can be found in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh.

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George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.- NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.

George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. who was an American civil engineer, born on February 14, 1859 in Galesburg, Illinois. He is best known for creating the Ferris wheel.

Ferris graduated RPI in 1881 with a degree in engineering and began to work in NYC designing bridges and tunnels. Shortly after, he moved to Pittsburgh and founded his own company, G.W.G. Ferris & Co. In 1891, the directors of the World’s Columbian Exposition challenged Americans to produce a structure that rivaled the Eiffel tower. Ferris took on the challenge with a vision to create a giant wheel ride inspired by a waterwheel that he had admired as a child.

In 1983 the wheel made its debut at the Exposition and was a huge success. However, the excitement about the wheel died down after the Exposition was over and Ferris passed away before the Ferris wheel design spread around the world.

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Gustave Eiffel – NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

Gustave Eiffel

Gustave Eiffel

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Gustave Eiffel, born on December 15, 1832 in Dijon, Côte-d’Or, France. He was a civil engineer and architect. During his time, Gustave was involved in various bridges for the French railway network.

In his early career, Eiffel specialized in metal construction. One of his first projects was brought to him in 1858 when he oversaw the building of the iron bridge at Bordeaux in France. Eiffel is best known for the design of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France which began in 1887. This complex tower with a unique design is admired by the Parisians and many tourists that visit to see the structure.
After Eiffel decided to retire, he researched meteorology and aerodynamics. This interest was sparked by the previous challenges he ran into with wind force effects on the structures he built. Eiffel passed away on December 27, 1923. His life can be remembered as one of great influence. [Read more…]

Nikola Tesla- NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week is Nikola Tesla, a Serbian American inventor, mechanical and electrical engineer, a physicist, and a futurist. Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia). After moving to the United States in 1884, he worked for Thomas Edison in telephony and electrical engineering. George Westinghouse also hired Tesla for a short period of time and helped him patent his AC induction motor. 

Tesla had many achievements during his life and was also involved in projects using alternating current, high voltage, and high-frequency power experiments. Like many other scientists, not all of Tesla’s experiments were successful. He was however, still recognized for his impressive accomplishments and was later called an archetypal “mad scientist” by many.

In Tesla’s later years, he was able to fund many of his own projects in wireless lighting and electricity distribution from the considerable amount of money that his patents brought in. He passed away at the age of 86 on January 7, 1943 but in an effort to honor his life, the General Conference on Weights and Measures named the SI unit of magnetic flux density the tesla in 1960. To this day, this measurement is often referred to.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_TeslaPhoto Reference: https://historyrat.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/lighting-the-1893-worlds-fair-the-race-to-light-the-world

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Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical. NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.

 

John A. Roebling – NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

John A. Roebling

John A. Roebling

This week’s NYSSPE’s Engineer of the Week is John A. Roebling. Roebling was born on June 12, 1806 in Mühlhausen, Prussia. He was a civil engineer and best known for leading the design of the Brooklyn Bridge which connects Manhattan with Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Bridge is still a key feature of New York City’s urban landscape today.

At a young age, John A. Roebling studied at Berlin’s Royal Polytechnic Institute and later emigrated to the United States in 1831. He specialized in canal systems that served as a means of statewide travel at the time. Additionally, Roebling worked with incline planes that were used to move barges along railway tracks. While involved in this work, he invented a durable wire rope as an alternative to the weak hemp rope being used. He received a patent for this invention in 1842.

Several years later, Roebling and his family moved to Trenton, New Jersey. They started a successful business called John A. Roebling’s Sons Company which produced twisted wire cable that could be used for many different engineering applications.This business continued through the mid-twentieth century. Roebling passed away on July 22, 1869 at the age of 63 in his home after an accident on the job.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Roebling
Photo Reference: Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006, x882_PS1.jpg

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Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical. NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.