Published: 23 December 2015

Who's missing?


Google “famous structural engineers” and the first entry returned is a Wikipedia “list of notable structural engineers”. Visit the page and you discover around forty names, some of whom are world famous - like Gustave Eiffel and Edmund Happold - while others are lesser known.

It’s a fairly international list, with German, Russian, Spanish, Uruguayan, Argentinian, Swiss, Chinese and Norwegian engineers included (alongside some names that don’t seem to be structural engineers at all!) but we thought there were one or two gaps that might need filling.

For instance, some great engineers, like Alan Harris, (the structural engineer behind the Mulberry Harbour) are yet to have a Wikipedia entry. Others, like Ove Arup (Highpoint One, Kingsgate Bridge) and Peter Rice (Sydney Opera House and the Pompidou Centre) simply fail to make an appearance.

Also, with the exception of Margot Taulé, a pioneering Dominican architect/ engineer, there are no women listed. What other women might deserve a place here? (We can think of a few from our membership who are serious contenders!)

Are there any other glaring omissions? Some nations are well represented –America, France, Britain and Italy – while engineers from Australasia and Africa fail to make the list. Should we also consider other names further back in history? Or is it a perfectly good list?

Let us know what you think below, we’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas from everyone at the Institution!


Fiona Gleed
The Women's Engineering Society website has links to list of pioneering women (including "1770-1852 Sarah Guppy (bridge patentee) She was an inventor who contributed to the design of Britain's infrastructure and developed several domestic products. In 1811 she patented the first of her inventions, a method of making safe piling for bridges. 1770-1852") and role models including Dr. Sarah Buck and Jane Wernick.

As part of NWED 2014, the RAEng hosted a "wiki editathon". A similar event could be used to upgrade content on structural engineers, perhaps with regional groups across the world helping to ensure a diverse selection of international structural engineers :-)
05/01/2016 10:05:55

Colin Riches
It's easy to add names to the list - I've just added Ove Arup and Peter Rice for instance.
24/12/2015 10:30:44

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