Father of civil engineering

Father of Civil Engineering: John Smeaton

Articles > Father of Civil Engineering: John Smeaton


Civil engineering is a core branch of design, which encounters style, building and construction and also maintenance of public buildings such as roadways, buildings, bridges, dams, airport, railway, tunnel, and so on. This entire concept of civil engineering started in the time of the primitive era however with the evolution of time brand-new approaches were developed. But this word “Civil Engineer” was initially offered by John Smeaton, therefore he is known as the “Father of Civil Engineering”

About John Smeaton:


Image: John Smeaton

Courtesy: Wikipedia

John Smeaton was an Englishmen born on 8th June 1724, in the United Kingdom. He was blessed through the capacity to think in a different way and also hence laid the foundation for civil engineers through his innovative works. Acomponent from his proficiency in Civil engineering, he was additionally a Mechanical engineer and an eminent physicist. He pioneered the use of hydraulic lime in concrete, utilizing pebbles and powdered brick as accumulation,hence creating a new course in the development of contemporary cement, which led to the development of portland also cement .

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Smeaton likewise played a significant role in the convariation of wind and water power to vapor power. He has likewise obtained the Royal Society’s Copley Medal for an “An Experimental Enquiry Concerning the Natural Powers of Water and Wind to Turn Mills (1759)”. He was likewise a member of the Royal society and a guest member at the meeting of the Lunar culture.

His famous works includes-

Eddyrock Lighthouse

Smeaton’s Lighthouse

Portland also Cement

Forth and Clyde Canal at Scotland

Ramsgate harbour

Perth Bridge

Banff harbour

Aberdeen bridge

Improvements to the River Lee Navigation

Nent force level

Peterhead harbour and so on.

Apart from the over stated functions tright here are at leastern 35 significant civil design associated jobs, even more than 60 mills and over 10 vapor engines.

His other success incorporate the style of huge atmospheric pumping engines for Long Benton colliery in Northumberland also, Chacewater mine in Cornwall, and also the docks of Kronshtadt in Russia. Along with that he enhanced the security of the diving bell by fitting an air pump to the bell.

Smeaton was additionally the member of the first skilled engineering culture, The Society of Civil Engineers (started in 1771), which became recognized as the Smeatonian Society after his fatality. He was likewise a consultant of a 63-year long task at Rye, which is presently recognized as “Smeaton’s Harbour”. He passed away in the year 1792, after having a stroke.

See more: Foundations Of Materials Science And Engineering 5Th Edition


Smeaton’s Lighthouse: Smeaton’s lightresidence is one of the a lot of provided frameworks in the area of civil design. This structure was modelled on the basis of an oak tree. The building started in the year 1756 in Millbay and also was completed in the year 1759. In order to move stonework approximately the site, lumber rails of 3ft 6in were lhelp for straightforward motion of 4 rolled trucks roughly the website. The building and construction was done on an extremely certain basis staying clear of any possibility of press ganging, additionally many type of Cornish tin workers were involved in the construction. After the construction was done 24 candles were lit on 1sixth October in 1759, each candle weighed in between 2 to 5 pounds. This lightresidence was 59feet high and had actually a base diameter of 26feet and also the height diameter of 17feet. This lighthome remained in usage till 1877 after that it was based on erosion to the rocks at the bottom, due to water waves, leading to the framework to shake from side to side. After this, in the year 1882 the upper part of the lighthouse was dismantled and rebuilt on a brand-new base on Plymouth Hoe, which currently serves as Smeaton’s memorial. A replica of Smeaton’s lighthouse(Hoad Monument) was constructed at Cumbria.


Fig: Smeaton's Lighthouse

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Portland Cement: Smeaton discovered the usage of hydraulic lime in concrete for the initially time, after conducting a collection of experiments while structure the Eddyrock lighthouse in the year 1756. The mixture that he created consists of limestone and also clay which could quickly collection under water. Smeaton’s experiment was adjusted by Joseph Aspedin, that designed that heating clay and limerock under extremely high temperature and also then progressively cooling it and then mixing and also grinding it would certainly produce a strong cement which was called as Portland also Cement. This development marked a readjust in the field of civil engineering.


Fig: Portland Cement

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Perth Bridge: Located in the city of Perth,Scotland, this bridge which spans over the river Tay, was designed as Smeaton, therefore known as Smeaton’s Bridge. It is a toll-totally free bridge designed to bring both automotive and also pedestrian website traffic. It was started in the year 1766 and was completed by the year 1772. Smeaton’s bridge was beautitotally designed with 9 arches in pink sandstone. The total size of the bridge was 272m and was the longest bridge at the time of its building in Scotland also. This bridge was designed to resist flood and also was qualified enough to resist the hefty flood in the year 1772. Later due to hefty pedestrian traffic the bridge was widened in the year 1869 by A.D.Stewart, in addition to that the rock parapets were removed and also footpaths were constructed over it.


Fig: Perth Bridge

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Forth and Clyde canal pathway: With a total size of 56kilometres, the canal was opened in the year 1790 and also it runs from the river Carron at Grangemouth to the river Clyde at Bowling. The building was started in the year 1768 and also was completed after many type of years as a result of imcorrect capital in the year 1790. This canal was constructed to connect eastern end of the canal to Edinburgh. Since this canal offered for navigating purposes, it brought brand-new avenues for trade and also manufacture. Later the monitoring of the canal was taken over by the railmeans in 1853. Forth and Clyde was nationalised in the year 1948 yet was later on closed in the year 1963, as a result of the higher prices of the maintenance expense of the bridges crossing the canal.


Fig: Forth and Clyde Canal

Courtesy: Wikipedia


Smeaton was among the extremely regarded civil designers of the moment, having his contribution from bridges to canals to roads, and so on.He is among the six designers depicted in the Stephenboy stained glass window designed by William Wales. He was likewise among the peak 10 technical innovators, that has paved the path for civil engineers in miscellaneous areas. His works have actually led us to understand also the depth and also beauty of civil design.