John Smeaton, English engineer

John Smeaton, English engineer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: John Smeaton (1724-1792), English engineer. Smeaton, who is considered the father of civil engineering, was educated in Leeds. His early work on mathematical instruments was followed by work on waterwheels. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1753, and was recommended for the job of designing the third Eddystone Lighthouse (seen in the background), off the coast near Plymouth, England. He was awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal Society in 1759. His other work included canals, harbours and bridges. In 1771, he founded the Society of Civil Engineers, a forerunner of the Institution of Civil Engineers (1818).

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