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.
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.
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.
Apart from being a socialite, Emily Warren Roebling was also a skilled engineer. She took over the reins of designing the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband, the chief engineer of the project, Washington Augustus Roebling, was rendered bedridden. She went against the grain and earned a law certificate, too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Engineer William Mahone wasn’t just a railway tycoon associated with the Norfolk–Petersburg Railroad but was also part of the Confederate Army. He was one of the major leaders of Virginia’s Readjusters, a coalition of African-Americans and financially backward whites. The US senator later sided with the Republican Party.
Engineer James B. Eads spent most of his early life marine-salvaging along the Mississippi. Apart from building submarines, he also owned over 50 patents. He is best remembered for his triple-arch steel bridge over the Mississippi. He was the first American engineer to win the Royal Society of Arts’s Albert Medal.
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.
Montgomery C. Meigs was an American civil engineer and US Army officer who played an important role during and after the Civil War, serving as Quartermaster General of the US Army. His work as Quartermaster General is widely regarded as an important factor in the Union victory in the Civil War. Meigs is also credited with masterminding Arlington National Cemetery.
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.
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.
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.
One of the first female engineers in the US, Nora Stanton Blatch Barney was also a leading suffragist and the granddaughter of women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She was also the first woman to graduate in engineering from Cornell and sued the ASCE for denying her a full-membership.
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.
Benjamin Wright was an American civil engineer best remembered for his work as a chief engineer. He is credited with overseeing the design and construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Erie Canal. In 1969, Benjamin Wright was declared the Father of American Civil Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Squire Whipple is remembered for introducing the first scientific bridge construction rules. Initially a surveyor, he later invented truss designs using iron and timber. His treatise An Elementary and Practical Treatise on Bridge Building was a seminal text in railroad engineering for many years and helped in wrought and cast-iron designs.
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.
Known for his pioneering written work on railroad construction, engineer and architect William Strickland was also one of the leaders of the 19th-century Greek Revival style of architecture. He designed structures such as the US Mint, contributed to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and was also one of the first American lecturers of architecture.
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.
Best remembered as the inventor of the Francis turbine, civil engineer James B. Francis initially helped build the Stonington Railway. At 22, he became the chief engineer of Proprietors of the Locks and Canals on the Merrimack River, and stayed with it for 40 years, as a prominent waterpower engineer.
Civil and railroad engineer Herman Haupt is best remembered for constructing the Hoosac Tunnel in Massachusetts. After losing his father at 12, he worked part-time to pay for his education and later joined the Military Academy. One of his best-known works is General Theory of Bridge Construction.
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.
John Edgar Thomson was an American industrialist and civil engineer best remembered for his headship of the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1852 to 1874. Thomson is credited with making the railroad the world's largest business enterprise and a fine model for managerial and technological innovation. In 1975, he was made an inductee of the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame.
Herbert Saffir co-created the five-category hurricane scale known as the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale. As a civil engineer, his first main job was to develop the building codes of Dade County in Florida. He was on board the SS Morro Castle, which caught fire and killed over a hundred passengers, but escaped unharmed.
Robert E. Horton was an American soil scientist and civil engineer. He is widely regarded as the father of modern hydrology. Horton is best remembered for his study of maximum flood and runoff generation. For his contribution to the field of hydrological geophysics, Horton was honored by the American Geophysical Union with the establishment of the Robert E. Horton Medal.
John B. Jervis was an American civil engineer best remembered for his work during the antebellum era. Jervis is credited with designing and overseeing the construction of five of the country's earliest railroads. Apart from designing America's first locomotive, Jervis also contributed as the chief engineer of three important canal projects.
Duff Abrams was an American researcher who developed the fundamental methods for testing the characteristics of concrete which is still used to this day. Abrams, who was associated with the Lewis Institute where he served as a professor, studied concrete's component materials in the early 20th century. In 1942, he was honored with the prestigious Frank P. Brown Medal.
Olive Dennis was an American engineer whose innovations played a huge role in making railways what it is today. The first female member to become a part of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA), Olive Dennis is credited with introducing comforts, such as stain-resistant upholstery, ceiling lights, and air-conditioned compartments in passenger cars.
Henry Larcom Abbot was a military engineer and a member of the US Army. Abbot played an important role in the Civil War where he contributed to the field of engineering and artillery. In 1865, he was promoted to major post which he became an influential figure and contributed to the development of the coast defense systems of the USA.
Charles Ellet Jr. was an American civil engineer who is credited with designing and constructing several major canals, railroads, and suspension bridges. He also played an important role in the American Civil War; Ellet's ram ships were largely responsible for the victory of the Union Army at the First Battle of Memphis.
Albert Fink was a German-American civil engineer best known for designing the railroad bridge that helped transform the use of iron for constructing railroad bridges in the United States. Albert Fink is credited with conceiving the popular Fink-Type Truss Bridge.
James Geddes was an American engineer, surveyor, and U.S. Congressman. Geddes is credited with conceiving many canals in the United States, including the Erie Canal. He also played a key role in the development of Syracuse's salt industry at Onondaga Lake. Salina, New York, where James Geddes passed away, was renamed the Town of Geddes in his honor.
Elmina Wilson was an American civil engineer best known as the first American female to successfully complete a four-year degree in civil engineering. Wilson then went on to become the first female professor to work and teach engineering at the prestigious Iowa State University (ISU) after receiving the first master's degree in civil engineering.
Apart from being a civil engineer and a mining executive who established the Cahaba Coal Mining Co., Truman H. Aldrich was also a paleontologist who had received an honorary doctorate and had served as a museum curator. He was also a US Congress representative from Alabama.
Arthur Newell Talbot was an American civil engineer who made several contributions to many important engineering fields, such as sewage management, structures, and education. Talbot is widely regarded as a pioneer of reinforced concrete. Over the course of his career, Arthur Newell Talbot received several awards, such as the George Henderson Medal and the John Fritz Medal.
Charles Adler Jr. was an American engineer and inventor best remembered for developing devices that helped improve transportation safety. Among the devices that he developed were colorblind road signals, sonically actuated traffic lights, flashing aircraft lights, and pedestrian push-buttons.
Albert L. Weimorts was an American civil engineer who worked for the American Air Force. Weimorts is credited with devising some of the most powerful and biggest nonnuclear bombs ever made. The bombs were specially made for targets in Iraq.
Percy Zell Michener was an American civil engineer whose career spanned more than four decades. Michener is credited with designing and constructing the popular Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. After his demise on February 2, 1996, Percy Zell Michener was praised and honored by governing bodies like the American Society of Civil Engineers.