Famous American Civil Engineers

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 1 
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.

 2 
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.

 3 
Emily Warren Roebling
(Lady Who Guided The Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.)
Emily Warren Roebling
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1843
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cold Spring, New York
Died: February 28, 1903

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.

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 4 
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.

 5 
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.

 6 
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.

 7 
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.

 8 
Pierre Charles L'Enfant
(French-American Military Engineer Who Designed the Basic Plan for Washington, D.C.)
Pierre Charles L'Enfant
6
Birthdate: August 2, 1754
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 14, 1825
Born to a famous French painter in Paris, Pierre Charles L'Enfant later joined the rebels in American Revolutionary War. While working as a military engineer in the U.S., he changed his name from Pierre to Peter. He was hired by George Washington to design the L'Enfant Plan for establishing Washington D.C.
 9 
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.

 10 
Othmar Herman Ammann
(Civil engineer)
Othmar Herman 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.

 11 
James Buchanan Eads
(American Civil Engineer and Inventor Best Known for His 'Triple-Arch Steel Bridge' Over the Mississippi River)
James Buchanan Eads
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1820
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lawrenceburg, Indiana, United States
Died: March 8, 1887

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.

 12 
Jorge Salcedo Cabrera
(Civil engineer)
Jorge Salcedo Cabrera
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bogotá, Colombia
 13 
William Mahone
(Former United States Senator from Virginia (1881 - 1887))
William Mahone
3
Birthdate: December 1, 1826
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Southampton County, Virginia, United States
Died: October 8, 1895

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.

 14 
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.

 15 
Chris Sununu
(82nd Governor of New Hampshire)
Chris Sununu
0
Birthdate: November 5, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salem, New Hampshire, United States
 16 
Montgomery C. Meigs
(United States Army Officer and Civil Engineer)
Montgomery C. Meigs
3
Birthdate: May 3, 1816
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States
Died: January 2, 1892

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.    

 17 
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.

 18 
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.

 19 
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.

 20 
Nora Stanton Blatch Barney
(Civil Engineer, Architect, Women’s Rights Activists)
Nora Stanton Blatch Barney
2
Birthdate: September 30, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Basingstoke
Died: January 18, 1971

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.

 21 
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.

 22 
Benjamin Wright
(Civil engineer)
Benjamin Wright
4
Birthdate: October 10, 1770
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wethersfield, Connecticut, United States
Died: August 24, 1842

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).

 23 
Squire Whipple
(Civil Engineer)
Squire Whipple
1
Birthdate: September 16, 1804
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hardwick, Massachusetts, USA
Died: March 15, 1888

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.

 24 
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.

 25 
William Strickland
2
Birthdate: 1788
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Navesink, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 6, 1854

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.

 26 
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.

 27 
James B. Francis
(British-American Civil Engineer, Who Invented the 'Francis Turbine')
James B. Francis
2
Birthdate: May 18, 1815
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oxfordshire, England
Died: September 18, 1892

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.

 28 
Herman Haupt
(American Civil Engineer and Railroad Construction Engineer Known for His Work on the 'Hoosac Tunnel' in Massachusetts)
Herman Haupt
2
Birthdate: March 26, 1817
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: December 14, 1905

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.

 29 
Thomas Ustick Walter
2
Birthdate: September 4, 1804
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 30, 1887

Thomas Ustick Walter was an American architect who worked as the fourth architect of the Capitol, largely overseeing the addition of the north and south wings and the central dome, which can be viewed today. Walter is also revered for his work as one of the founders of the American Institute of Architects where he served as the second president.

 30 
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.

 31 
John Edgar Thomson
(Civil engineer)
John Edgar Thomson
1
Birthdate: February 10, 1808
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Springfield Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 27, 1874

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.

 32 
Robert E. Horton
1
Birthdate: May 18, 1875
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Parma, Michigan, United States
Died: April 22, 1945

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.

 33 
Herbert Saffir
(Civil engineer)
Herbert Saffir
1
Birthdate: March 29, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 21, 2007

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.

 34 
Duff Abrams
(Researcher)
Duff Abrams
0
Birthdate: 1880 AD
Birthplace: Illinois, United States
Died: 1965 AD

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.

 35 
John B. Jervis
(Civil Engineer)
John B. Jervis
1
Birthdate: December 14, 1795
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Huntington, New York, United States
Died: January 12, 1885

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.  

 36 
John Skilling
(Civil engineer)
John Skilling
1
Birthdate: October 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: March 5, 1998

Engineer and architect John Skilling is best remembered for his work as the chief engineer of New York’s World Trade Center, destroyed later in the 9/11 attacks. He was also known for his life-long association with his own firm W.H. Witt Co., which is now known as Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

 37 
Olive Dennis
(Civil Engineer)
Olive Dennis
1
Birthdate: November 20, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: United States of America
Died: November 5, 1957

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.  

 38 
Alexander Parris
(Architect)
Alexander Parris
1
Birthdate: November 24, 1780
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Halifax, Massachusetts, United States
Died: June 16, 1852

Alexander Parris was an American architect-engineer. Parris was one of the members of an influential group of architects that played a key role in founding an institute that would later become the American Institute of Architects. Alexander Parris is also credited with designing several lighthouses along the Northeastern United States coastline.

 39 
Henry Larcom Abbot
(Military Engineer)
Henry Larcom Abbot
0
Birthdate: August 13, 1831
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beverly, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 1, 1927

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.

 40 
Charles Ellet Jr.
(Civil Engineer)
Charles Ellet Jr.
1
Birthdate: January 1, 1810
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 21, 1862

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.

 41 
Albert Fink
(Engineer)
Albert Fink
1
Birthdate: October 27, 1827
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Darmstadt, Germany
Died: April 3, 1897

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.

 42 
James Geddes
(Engineer)
James Geddes
1
Birthdate: July 22, 1763
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Carlisle, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 17, 1838

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.

 43 
Truman H. Aldrich
(Politician, Civil engineer)
Truman H. Aldrich
0
Birthdate: October 17, 1848
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Palmyra, New York, United States
Died: April 28, 1932

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.

 44 
Arthur Newell Talbot
(Civil Engineer)
Arthur Newell Talbot
1
Birthdate: October 21, 1857
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cortland, Illinois, United States
Died: April 3, 1942

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.

 45 
Elmina Wilson
(First Lady of Structural Engineering)
Elmina Wilson
0
Birthdate: September 29, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: June 2, 1918

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.

 46 
Charles Adler Jr.
0
Birthdate: June 20, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: United Sates
Died: October 23, 1980

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.

 47 
Percy Zell Michener
(Civil engineer)
Percy Zell Michener
0
Birthdate: January 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: United States
Died: February 2, 1996

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.

 48 
Albert L. Weimorts
(Engineer)
Albert L. Weimorts
0
Birthdate: March 6, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: DeFuniak Springs, Florida, United States
Died: December 21, 2005

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.