Famous 18th Century Civil Engineers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 George Stephenson

George Stephenson.
Famous As: Father of Railways
Birthdate: June 9, 1781
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wylam
Died: August 12, 1848

George Stephenson was a British mechanical and civil engineer. Stephenson is credited with pioneering rail transport which is widely regarded as one of the most prominent inventions of the 19th century. Regarded as the Father of Railways, George Stephenson is also credited with developing the standard rail gauge which is used by several railways around the world.

 2 Thomas Telford

Thomas Telford.
Famous As: Civil Engineer
Birthdate: August 9, 1757
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Eskdale, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Died: September 2, 1834

Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford had begun his career as a mason at 14, having lost his father in infancy. A self-taught architect, he was responsible for building many structures, including the Caledonian Canal and the Menai Suspension Bridge. Named The Colossus of Roads, he symbolized the Scottish Enlightenment.

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 3 John Smeaton

John Smeaton.
Famous As: Civil Engineer
Birthdate: June 8, 1724
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Austhorpe, Leeds, England
Died: October 28, 1792

John Smeaton was the first person to claim to be a civil engineer. One of his best-known creations was the Eddystone Lighthouse. He was also the first to use hydraulic lime in concrete. He not only won the Copley Medal but was also made a Fellow of The Royal Society.

 4 John Loudon McAdam

John Loudon McAdam.
Famous As: Civil engineer, Engineer
Birthdate: September 21, 1756
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ayr, Scotland
Died: November 26, 1836

Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam introduced the world to the macadam road surface, which was more economical and effective than all previous road-construction methods. He suggested that roads should be constructed at an elevated level for better drainage. He also became Britain’s Surveyor-General of Metropolitan Roads.

 5 Robert Stevenson

Robert Stevenson.
Famous As: engineer, civil engineer
Birthdate: June 8, 1772
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Glasgow
Died: July 12, 1850

 6 Joseph Bramah

Joseph Bramah
Famous As: Civil engineer, Engineer
Birthdate: April 13, 1748
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Barnsley
Died: December 9, 1814

 7 Jean-Baptiste Biot

Jean-Baptiste Biot
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, Astronomer, Civil engineer, Engineer, Professor
Birthdate: April 21, 1774
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris
Died: February 3, 1862

Jean-Baptiste Biot was a French physicist, mathematician, and astronomer. He was a co-discoverer of what became known as the Biot-Savart law of magnetostatics. He is also credited with establishing the reality of meteorites. He made major contributions to the fields of optics and magnetism as well. Cape Biot in eastern Greenland is named in his honor. 

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 8 John Rennie the Elder

John Rennie the Elder.
Famous As: Civil Engineer
Birthdate: June 7, 1761
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Phantassie
Died: October 4, 1821

John Rennie the Elder was a Scottish civil engineer considered a pioneer in the use of structural cast iron. He designed many bridges, canals, docks, and warehouses. As a young boy, he spent much time in the workshop of Andrew Meikle, a prominent mechanical engineer, and learned from him. He then went on to establish his own engineering practice.  

 9 Luigi Vanvitelli

Luigi Vanvitelli
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: May 12, 1700
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: March 1, 1773

 10 Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt

Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: November 14, 1668
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Died: November 16, 1745

 11 Pierre-Marie-Jérôme Trésaguet

Pierre-Marie-Jérôme Trésaguet
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: January 15, 1716
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nevers, France
Died: March 11, 1796

 12 Jean-Rodolphe Perronet

Jean-Rodolphe Perronet
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 25, 1708
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Suresnes, France
Died: February 27, 1794

Jean-Rodolphe Perronet was a French structural engineer and architect best remembered for designing several stone arch bridges, including the Pont de la Concorde which is widely regarded as his best-known work. Such was his popularity that Jean-Rodolphe Perronet was appointed as the director of the Royal office of designers in 1747.

 13 Antoine de Chézy

Antoine de Chézy
Famous As: Engineering Technologist
Birthdate: September 1, 1718
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Châlons-en-Champagne, France
Died: October 5, 1798

 14 Émiland Gauthey

Émiland Gauthey
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: December 3, 1732
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chalon-sur-Saône, France
Died: July 14, 1806

French architect Émiland Gauthey was the man behind the creation of many civic buildings, bridges, and theaters. He began his career as a deputy engineer at Chalon-sur-Saône and later took over as the Chief Engineer of the États de Bourgogne. He received the Légion d'honneur for his achievements.

 15 Pierre du Buat

Pierre du Buat
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: April 23, 1734
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tortisambert, France
Died: October 17, 1809

 16 Johannes Grubenmann

Johannes Grubenmann
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: June 15, 1707
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Teufen, Switzerland
Died: June 10, 1771