Famous 20th Century Civil Engineers

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 1 
Gustave Eiffel
(French Civil Engineer Known for His Contribution to Building the ‘Statue of Liberty’ and ‘Eiffel Tower’)
Gustave Eiffel
15
Birthdate: December 15, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dijon, France
Died: December 27, 1923
The man behind the jewel that adorns Paris, the Eiffel Tower, French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel later earned the nickname “the magician of iron.” He revolutionized bridge-building by using compressed-air caissons, designed the Statue of Liberty, and built the first aerodynamic laboratory. He died while listening to Beethoven's 5th symphony.
 2 
E. Sreedharan
(Metro Man)
E. Sreedharan
6
Birthdate: June 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Palakkad, Kerala

E. Sreedharan is an Indian politician and engineer who played a key role in the construction of the Delhi Metro and the Konkan Railway. Nicknamed the Metro Man, Sreedharan was honored with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan Award for changing the face of Indian public transport. In 2003, E. Sreedharan was included in Time magazine's list of Asia's Heroes.

 3 
Fazlur Rahman Khan
(Structural Engineer and Architect Known for His Innovations in High-Rise Building Construction)
Fazlur Rahman Khan
8
Birthdate: April 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Died: March 27, 1982

Fazlur Rahman Khan was a Bangladeshi-American architect and structural engineer. Regarded as the father of tubular designs, Khan is credited with designing several skyscrapers, including the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center. Thanks to his ingenious use of structural systems, Khan is often referred to as the 20th century's greatest structural engineer and the Einstein of structural engineering.

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 4 
John Monash
(One of the Best Allied Generals of the First World War & the Most Famous Commander in Australian History)
John Monash
6
Birthdate: June 27, 1865
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Died: October 8, 1931

John Monash was an Australian military commander during World War I. He played a major role in the Gallipoli campaign, which took place from February 1915 to January 1916 on the Gallipoli peninsula. John Monash is widely regarded as the most popular commander in Australian history and one of the most prominent allied generals of World War I.

 5 
Joseph Strauss
(American Structural Engineer Who Revolutionized the Design of 'Bascule Bridges')
Joseph Strauss
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1870
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: May 16, 1938

Best known for designing the Golden Gate Bridge, engineer Joseph Strauss specialized in movable bridges and developed the concepts of the bascule bridge and the vertical-lift bridge. Born to a pianist mother and a painter-writer father, he later also penned poems such as The Mighty Task is Done.

 6 
Fritz Todt
(Engineer, Politician, Civil engineer, Architect)
Fritz Todt
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1891
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pforzheim
Died: February 8, 1942

Fritz Todt was a German civil engineer and architect. A senior Nazi, Todt oversaw the construction of Reichsautobahnen, a controlled-access highway, and also served as the Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition. Before the start of the Second World War, Todt initiated a military-engineering company called Organisation Todt that oversaw the construction of many Nazi concentration camps. 

 7 
Washington Roebling
(American Civil Engineer Who Supervised the Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge)
Washington Roebling
5
Birthdate: May 26, 1837
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 21, 1926

Engineer Washington Roebling is largely remembered for co-designing the Brooklyn Bridge with his father, John Augustus. He also worked as part of the Union Army during the Civil War. A perfectionist, he was once found unconscious in a compressed-air chamber at work, and that affected him permanently.

 8 
Harold Camping
(Radio personality, Civil engineer)
Harold Camping
4
Birthdate: July 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boulder
Died: December 15, 2013

Californian evangelist and preacher Harold Camping made headlines when he incorrectly predicted the date of the Rapture, or the end of the world, to be May 21, 2011. Initially a civil engineer, Camping later came to be known for leading Family Radio, a Christian broadcast station, in its peak.

 9 
Ren Zhengfei
(CEO of Huawei)
Ren Zhengfei
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zhenning Buyei and Miao Autonomous County, Anshun, China

Ren Zhengfei is a Chinese engineer and entrepreneur. He is credited with founding Huawei, the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones and the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the world. He also serves as the CEO of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. In 2005, Ren Zhengfei was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list.

 10 
Leslie Groves
(United States Army Officer in Charge of the Construction of 'The Pentagon' and Director of 'The Manhattan Project')
Leslie Groves
4
Birthdate: August 17, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States
Died: July 13, 1970

US Army officer Leslie Groves is best remembered for his association with the Manhattan Project, which was aimed at developing atom bombs during World War II. He was also in-charge of building a place to house the War Department’s staff in a structure that later became the Pentagon.

 11 
William Mulholland
(Irish-American Self-Taught Civil Engineer Known for Building the Water System of Los Angeles)
William Mulholland
4
Birthdate: September 11, 1855
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belfast, Ireland
Died: July 22, 1935

William Mulholland was initially hailed as a hero for building the first aqueduct system of Los Angeles, as the first chief engineer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He later resigned taking responsibility for the collapse of the St. Francis Dam, which had caused countless deaths.

 12 
George Washington Goethals
(Former 1st Governor of Panama Canal Zone (1914 - 1917))
George Washington Goethals
3
Birthdate: June 29, 1858
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 21, 1928

George Washington Goethals was an American civil engineer and US-Army General remembered for his role as an overseer of the construction of the Panama Canal. He also served as the first Governor of the Panama Canal Zone from 1914 to 1917. Goethals has been honored with several tributes, including the Society of American Military Engineers' establishment of the Goethals Medal.

 13 
Süleyman Demirel
(The 9th President and 12th Prime Minister of Turkey)
Süleyman Demirel
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Isparta Province
Died: June 17, 2015

The 9th president of Turkey, Süleyman Demirel, was also the country’s 12th and youngest prime minister. He had led both the Justice Party and the True Path Party. The civil engineer and politician hailed from a peasant family. Amid extremist violence, he was once barred from participating in politics.

 14 
Othmar Ammann
(Swiss-American Civil Engineer)
Othmar Ammann
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1879
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Died: September 22, 1965

Swiss-American engineer Othmar Herman Ammann is best remembered for designing long suspension bridges, such as the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the George Washington Bridge. He also owned a firm in New York and had a long stint with the Port of New York Authority. He also designed part of the Lincoln Center.

 15 
Henry Ossian Flipper
(Military Leader)
Henry Ossian Flipper
3
Birthdate: March 21, 1856
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thomasville, Georgia, United States
Died: April 26, 1940

Then first Black to have graduated from West Point’s Military Academy, Henry Ossian Flipper was born to slave parents. He also became the first African-American to command US Army troops. He was dismissed unjustly on embezzlement charges and later worked as a civil engineer. His name was cleared posthumously.

 16 
Milutin Milanković
(Serbian Climatologist Who Gave the Explanation of Earth's Climate Changes, Which Partly Explained the Ice Ages)
Milutin Milanković
3
Birthdate: May 28, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dalj, Croatia
Died: December 12, 1958

Milutin Milanković was a Serbian astronomer, mathematician, geophysicist, climatologist, and civil engineer. He is best remembered for his explanation of Earth's climate changes, which partly explained the ice ages. Milutin Milankovitch's biography inspired a 2007 documentary film titled A Traveler Through Distant Worlds and Times.

 17 
Alexis Tsipras
(Politician, Civil engineer)
Alexis Tsipras
6
Birthdate: July 28, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Athens

Alexis Tsipras is a Greek politician who served as the Prime Minister of the country from 2015 to 2019. From 2018 to 2019, he served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The current Leader of the Opposition, Alexis Tsipras has also been serving as the president of Syriza, the left wing political party in Greece . In 2015, he was named among 100 most influential people by Time.

 18 
Virgilio Barco Vargas
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cúcuta, Colombia
Died: May 20, 1997
 19 
John Frank Stevens
(Civil Engineer)
John Frank Stevens
2
Birthdate: April 25, 1853
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: West Gardiner, Maine, United States
Died: June 2, 1943

John Frank Stevens, who was mostly a self-taught engineer, worked on the Panama Canal as its chief engineer. Initially associated with the Great Northern Railway, he was later also sent to Russia as part of a team working on the Trans-Siberian Railway. He won awards such as the Hoover Medal.

 20 
Abu Hamza al-Masri
(Civil engineer, Engineer, Preacher)
Abu Hamza al-Masri
8
Birthdate: April 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Alexandria

Abu Hamza al-Masri is an Egyptian cleric who served as the imam of London's Finsbury Park Mosque. He was accused by the British authorities for inciting racial hatred and violence and the court found him guilty in 2006. In 2012, Hamza was extradited to the USA to face terrorism charges. In 2014, he was found guilty of 11 terrorism charges.

 21 
Campbell Newman
(Civil engineer, Engineer, Politician)
Campbell Newman
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Canberra

Liberal National Party leader and former Premier of Queensland Campbell Newman was born into a family of politicians and senators from Tasmania. After serving the Australian Army for 13 years, he bagged civil engineering and MBA degrees. As the mayor of Brisbane, he was named the world’s fifth-best mayor.

 22 
José Napoleón Duarte
(Salvadoran Political figure)
José Napoleón Duarte
3
Birthdate: November 23, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santa Ana
Died: February 23, 1990

José Napoleón Duarte was the president of El Salvador during the tumultuous years of the Salvadoran Civil War and had witnessed mass killings of civilians by the army. Though he was supported by the U.S., he failed to remove poverty from his country and ended up being ousted by ARENA.

 23 
Jorge Salcedo Cabrera
(Civil engineer)
Jorge Salcedo Cabrera
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bogotá, Colombia
 24 
Chris Sununu
(82nd Governor of New Hampshire)
Chris Sununu
0
Birthdate: November 5, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salem, New Hampshire, United States
 25 
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
(31st President of Chile (1994 - 2000))
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
5
Birthdate: June 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santiago

Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle served as the President of Chile from 1994 to 2000. Under his presidency, poverty in Chile decreased and improvements were made in education and health sectors. An important politician, Frei also served as the President of the Senate of Chile from 2006 to 2008.

 26 
William F. Baker
(Structural engineer)
William F. Baker
0
Birthdate: October 9, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fulton, Missouri, United States

William F. Baker is an American structural engineer best known for working as an engineer in several important projects, including the famous Burj Khalifa in Dubai. In 2011, he was invited by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to lead a project aimed at developing innovative structures for high-rise buildings. Baker has received several honors and awards throughout his career.

 27 
Ivar Kreuger
(Businessperson, Civil engineer)
Ivar Kreuger
3
Birthdate: March 2, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kalmar, Sweden
Died: March 12, 1932

Ivar Kreuger was a Swedish civil engineer, entrepreneur, industrialist, and financier. He is best remembered for building a global match empire and controlling almost three quarters of worldwide match production which earned him the nickname, Match King. Ivar Kreuger also founded and owned many other companies including Kreuger & Toll Byggnads AB. 

 28 
Karl von Terzaghi
(Best Known as the 'Father of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering')
Karl von Terzaghi
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: October 25, 1963

The pioneer of soil mechanics, Karl Terzaghi was the son of an army lieutenant-colonel and studied in a military boarding school, where he developed his passion for geography. He eventually graduated as a mechanical engineer. He later also taught at MIT and penned iconic works such as Erdbaumechanik.

 29 
Gottfried Feder
(One of the Early Key Members of the Nazi Party)
Gottfried Feder
3
Birthdate: January 27, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: September 24, 1941

Gottfried Feder was a German economist and civil engineer. One of the most important members of the Nazi Party, Feder served as the party's economic theoretician during its formative years. In 1919, Gottfried Feder delivered one of his most famous lectures that lured Adolf Hitler into the Nazi Party.

 30 
Octave Chanute
(American Civil Engineer and Aviation Pioneer Known for Designing and Building the 'Hannibal Bridge')
Octave Chanute
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 23, 1910

Octave Chanute was a French-American aviation pioneer and civil engineer. He is credited with helping budding enthusiasts like the Wright brothers by providing them with help and advice. He also helped publicize their flying experiments. At the time of his death, Octave Chanute was referred to as the father of aviation.

Juan de la Cierva, 1st Count of la Cierva
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1895
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Murcia, Spain
Died: December 9, 1936
 32 
Ralph Modjeski
(Civil Engineer)
Ralph Modjeski
2
Birthdate: January 27, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bochnia, Poland
Died: June 26, 1940

Born to actor Helena Modjeska, Polish-American engineer Ralph Modjeski was a talented pianist in his younger days. He later worked on the railroad bridge across the Mississippi and also re-designed the Quebec Bridge after a major disaster. Over his illustrious career, he had designed over 50 major bridges.

 33 
John C. H. Lee
(American Army Engineer)
John C. H. Lee
2
Birthdate: August 1, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Junction City, Kansas, United States
Died: August 30, 1958

An army engineer, John C. H. Lee eventually became a lieutenant-general and presided over the ComZ during World War II. He also prepared the US troops for the Normandy Invasion. However, critics often accused him of leading a lavish lifestyle, splurging on hotels and food, amid war.

 34 
Bob Christo
(Australian-Indian civil engineer and actor in Hindi films)
Bob Christo
0
Birthdate: 1938 AD
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: March 20, 2011
 35 
Leonardo Torres y Quevedo
(Spanish Mathematician and Civil Engineer Who Was a Pioneer in the Development of the Automated Calculation Machines)
Leonardo Torres y Quevedo
2
Birthdate: December 28, 1852
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Santa Cruz de Iguña, Spain
Died: December 18, 1936

Leonardo Torres y Quevedo was a Spanish mathematician and civil engineer. He was a pioneer in the development of the automated calculation machines and radio control. Torres is also credited with inventing a chess automaton and the Whirlpool Aero Car, which is located in Niagara Falls. 

 36 
Claire Barratt
(Archaeologist, Mechanical Engineer)
Claire Barratt
0
Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: England

While she initially studied engineering, Claire Barratt later gained fame as an industrial archaeologist. She has a degree in conservation of industrial heritage. She also has a parallel career as a TV presenter and has been part of shows such as Salvage Squad and Britain's Secret Treasures.

Nicholas Ridley, Baron Ridley of Liddesdale
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Died: March 4, 1993

British Conservative Nicholas Ridley, or Baron Ridley of Liddesdale, was born into aristocracy and received an elite education at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. He held several significant posts, such as the secretary of state for the environment and was a major supporter of Thatcherism.

 38 
Mahmoud Mohammed Taha
(Sudanese Political Leader and Religious Thinker)
Mahmoud Mohammed Taha
0
Birthdate: 1909 AD
Birthplace: Rufaa, Sudan
Died: January 18, 1985
Mahmoud Mohammed Taha was a Sudanese political leader, religious thinker, and trained engineer. He is best remembered for developing the Second Message of Islam, for which he was arrested and executed by the Jaafar Muhammad an-Nimeiry government; Mahmoud Mohammed Taha was found guilty for apostasy.
 39 
David B. Steinman
(Civil Engineer)
David B. Steinman
2
Birthdate: June 11, 1886
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: August 21, 1960

Engineer David B. Steinman is remembered for his extensive study on aerodynamics and wind velocity, which resulted in stable bridges. He was responsible for designing around 400 bridges, which included the Mackinac Bridge. His work also took him to cities such as Lisbon and Istanbul.

 40 
Raymond Aubrac
(French Civil Engineer and the Leader of the French Resistance During the Second World War)
Raymond Aubrac
2
Birthdate: July 31, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vesoul, France
Died: April 10, 2012
Raymond Aubrac was a leader of French Resistance during World War II. He was later appointed to a senior post by the Ministry of Reconstruction. He also served as a technical adviser to the government of Morocco in 1996. His ilife inspired two French films -  Claude Berri’s Lucie Aubrac and Boulevard des hirondelles. Aubrac published his autobiography, Where the Memory Lingers, in 1996. 
 41 
Oğuz Atay
(Turkish Novelist)
Oğuz Atay
2
Birthdate: October 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: İnebolu
Died: December 13, 1977

Oğuz Atay was a Turkish novelist best remembered for his best-selling and controversial novel, Tutunamayanlar. The book has been translated into English, Dutch, and German so far. The novel has inspired many Turkish authors who have broken away from traditional styles since its initial publication in 1972. 

 42 
Dankmar Adler
(Architect)
Dankmar Adler
2
Birthdate: July 3, 1844
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stadtlengsfeld, Germany
Died: April 16, 1900

Dankmar Adler was a German-born American civil engineer and architect best remembered for his 15-year association with Louis Sullivan. Along with Sullivan, Adler is credited with designing important edifices, such as the Chicago Stock Exchange Building, the Wainwright Building in Missouri, and the Guaranty Building in New York.

 43 
Laureano Gómez
(President of Colombia)
Laureano Gómez
2
Birthdate: February 20, 1889
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bogotá, Colombia
Died: July 13, 1965
 44 
Benjamin Baker
(Civil Engineer)
Benjamin Baker
2
Birthdate: March 31, 1840
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frome, Somerset, England
Died: May 19, 1907

Victorian-era civil engineer Benjamin Baker initially assisted John Fowler and later became his partner. His best-known work had been the bridge on the Firth of Forth in Scotland. He had also contributed to the first Aswan dam. Knighted for his achievements, he had also penned several papers on engineering.

 45 
Juan Carlos Wasmosy
(First Freely Elected President of Paraguay and First Civilian President of Paraguay in 39 years)
Juan Carlos Wasmosy
2
Birthdate: December 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Asunción, Paraguay
 46 
Hideo Shima
(Engineer)
Hideo Shima
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1901
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Died: March 18, 1998
 47 
Eugène Freyssinet
(French Structural and Civil Engineer Who Was the Major Pioneer of 'Prestressed Concrete')
Eugène Freyssinet
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1879
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Objat, Corrèze, France
Died: June 8, 1962

Remembered for designing numerous reinforced-concrete bridges across France, Eugène Freyssinet, an early twentieth century structural and civil engineer, was also one of the pioneers in the use of prestressed concrete. Among his most prestigious projects was the Plougastel Bridge over the Elorn River. With a total length of 888 meter, this was the largest reinforced-concrete bridge constructed till that time.  

 48 
Abul Hayat
(Actor)
Abul Hayat
2
Birthdate: September 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Murshidabad, West Bengal, India

Abul Hayat is a Bangladeshi actor, writer, director, and civil engineer. He is best known for his performance in the 2007 Bengali-language film Daruchini Dwip, which earned him the Bangladesh National Film Award under the Best Supporting Actor category. In 2015, his contributions to Bangladeshi cinema were honored with the Ekushey Padak by the Government of Bangladesh.

 49 
Donald Bailey
(Civil engineer)
Donald Bailey
2
Birthdate: September 15, 1901
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rotherham, England
Died: May 5, 1985

Donald Bailey is largely remembered as the man behind the formation of the Bailey Bridge, which played a major role in World War II. He received many awards, including a knighthood, for his contribution. The University of Sheffield alumnus initially worked in railroading before joining the Ministry of Supply’s bridging department.

 50 
Arthur Casagrande
(Civil engineer, Geotechnician)
Arthur Casagrande
0
Birthdate: August 28, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ajdovščina, Slovenia
Died: September 6, 1981

Arthur Casagrande was an American civil engineer best remembered for making significant contributions to the fields of geotechnical engineering and engineering geology during its infancy. Casagrande is also credited with influencing teaching programs at prestigious institutions like Harvard University during the 1930s. Several awards, such as the Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award, have been named in his honor.