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

The question Greatest Briton?

This week the BBC launched a 10 week quest to find the greatest Briton in history, starting with none other than Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Who will you be voting for?

I'll be voting for Brunel on behalf of the profession, but I do think that Telford and Smeaton were more influential in the development of society. I think that had Brunel not carried out the work then one of his contemporaries could have done as good a job if not better - Brunel was notoriously adversarial.

Sir Isaac Newton is probably more deserving of the title, as he was more of a radical thinker and had such a major influence on the advancement of scientific knowledge. Again though, he was said to be very arrogant and not well liked within the scientific community.

So I think Churchill has to be the most deserving for being such an awe inspiring leader in the most difficult of times, someone who still represents the fight for freedom in which so many of our relatives lost their lives protecting our future: a truly Great Briton.

Jason Hibbert, 26, assistant bridge engineer, Cardiff Although not on the list, the engineers of London's Millennium bridge are great Britons because of the way they made a complete mess of it in the first place but still managed to look good in the public eye after the refurbishment.

Jon Goddard, graduate engineer, Manchester He came 11th, but my nomination still goes to Ernest Shackleton.

Any man who could lead an expedition into the unknown such as he did must be great. He kept a group together and functioning through thick and thin, and to me, it was either a miracle or the greatest example of leadership ever known. Despite being forced to separate, every man survived.

You could do as much management training as you like, but still would not learn these skills!

Rob Andrew, 37, policy development manager, Cornwall I will probably vote for Sir Isaac Newton. Although Brunel is very important, he pales in comparison to Newton in his impact on the world and Brunel's achievement relied a lot on Newton's. Charles Darwin also had a lot of impact but his theory has not been proved to the same extent as Newton's law.

Andrew Chan, reader in computational engineering, University of Birmingham I would have voted for birth control pioneer Marie Stopes (Ranked 100). Brunel was undoubtedly a great engineer, but Marie Stopes allowed women to take charge of their lives and not be tied to childbirth, sink, cooker and house.

As a result a significant number of engineers will have Marie to thank for allowing them to follow their yearnings.

Dan Hooper, 40, senior engineer, Taunton Anyone who could get the man who lives in the flat upstairs to stop playing the drums constantly all day and night while I'm trying to prepare for my Professional Review would definitely get my vote. But if I had to vote for one of the Britons in the BBC series, it would be Brunel. If we are supposed to be raising civil engineering's profile, how could I choose anyone else?

Nic Luker, 28, engineer, London Not on the list, but what about Sam Torrance, a modest Scot, for giving a team of European 'no hopers' the confidence and self belief to destroy the mighty Yanks.

Keith Aiston, regional planning manager, Midlands Enjoy the series and don't forget to vote for Brunel. Visit www. programmes/greatbritons/

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.

Related Jobs