My association with the design of the Falkirk Wheel was only in respect of some design details (NCE 18 April). Your project study covers only the final phase of the concept and does not acknowledge work as the scheme evolved.
The final design has similarities with the early studies undertaken by Pell Frischmann. The main development was by Binnie Black & Veatch with Kenneth Grubb Associates. They demonstrated the wheel was practical, could be constructed and would meet all of British Waterways' requirements.
Rethinking of the embodiment was initiated by cost considerations. In the process of reducing the requirements, such as two gondolas instead of four, new design possibilities were opened up which also allowed the transformation of the wheel into a visual experience.
Like all pioneering engineering, the first practitioners deserve credit, and the engineers who bring the project to completion have the advantage of a base which can be improved.
Professor Jack Lewin (F), 2 Beechrow, Ham Common, Richmond TW10 5HE