On June 8, 1729, the English civil engineer John Smeaton was born. Smeaton actually refers to having coined the term “civil engineering” to distinguish it from military engineers. He was responsible for the design of bridges, canals, ports and lighthouses. John Smeaton FRS (— October 28, 1979) was a British civil engineer responsible for the design of bridges, canals, ports and lighthouses.
He was also a capable mechanical engineer and an eminent physicist. Smeaton was the first self-proclaimed civil engineer, and is often considered the father of civil engineering. He pioneered the use of hydraulic lime in concrete, using pebbles and powdered bricks as aggregates. Smeaton was associated with the Lunar Society.
Born near Leeds, a builder of bridges, canals and inventor of mechanical equipment, George John Smeaton was an eminent forerunner of his profession. John Smeaton is considered to be the first civil engineer and is often referred to as the “Father of Civil Engineering”. He worked on the creation of windmills and hydraulic wheels during the Industrial Revolution and published an article on the correlation between pressure and speed of objects moving through the air. Smeaton had a wide range of orders for the design of bridges, canals, ports and lighthouses.
In addition to civil engineering, John Smeaton enjoyed conducting scientific experiments, and 18 of his works were published by the Royal Society, the oldest independent scientific academy in the world. Such was the statement of the Society of Civil Engineers in 1812, when the industrial revolution was already transforming much of English society and creating public works on a scale never before imagined. He coined the term civil engineers to distinguish them from military engineers who graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. One of the most versatile civil engineers in history is Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who became famous for designing tunnels, railway lines, bridges and ships.
John founded the world's first engineering society, the Society of Civil Engineers, in 1771, which became the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers after his death. He had just started his career as a civil engineer when he did the work, and the success of the project led him to become one of the busiest consulting civil engineers during the second half of the 18th century. While Smeaton is awarded the title of “Father of Civil Engineering”, Benjamin Wright has been declared the “Father of American Civil Engineering”. He is highly regarded by other engineers, as he contributed to the Lunar Society and founded the Society of Civil Engineers in 1771. Although the modern engineering industry owes hundreds of innovators over time, these are some of the most influential civil engineers in history.
John Smeaton FRS (June 8, 1724 — October 28, 179) was a British civil engineer responsible for the design of bridges, canals, ports and lighthouses. Five of Wright's nine children followed in their father's footsteps and also became civil engineers. As a civil engineer, Mr. Smeaton was not matched by any of the ages in which he lived; perhaps it could be added, by none of any previous age.
The society still meets at the headquarters of the Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, to this day.