Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Be civil to John


The recent tribute to Thomas Telford (NCE 11 January) was well deserved, however, I disagree with the opening statement that he 'was the original civil engineer'.

This accolade is surely reserved for John Smeaton FRS (1724-92) who designed and supervised the building of the Eddystone Lighthouse, as well as many other signicant projects. He was also William Jessop's mentor.

Smeaton was said to be the first to adopt the phrase 'civil engineer' and his pre-eminence in this field as the founding father of civil engineering as a profession was recognised by the establishment of the Smeaton Room at the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Chris Watson (M), 1 Sadlers Close, Merrow, Guildford, Surrey GU4 7DA

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.