NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Washington Augustus Roebling who was an American civil engineer, born on May 26th, 1837 in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania. He was best known for his involvement in the Brooklyn Bridge. Washington Roebling is the son of John A. Roebling who initially designed the bridge. He pursued an education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating in 1860 as a civil engineer.
Washington Roebling worked with his father on many bridges. After a short research based trip to Europe, he returned to the US and became the assistant engineer on the Brooklyn Bridge. He was named chief engineer shortly after his father’s death in 1869. Roebling was able to develop and advance many bridge building techniques while in this position however, he eventually became very sick from working in the large caissons that serve as the bridge towers. This sickness prohibited him from continuing to visit the bridge site.