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.