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.
Glasgow-born civil engineer Robert Stevenson initially built lighthouses as part of the Scottish Lighthouse Board. Apart from constructing the Bell Rock Lighthouse in Scotland, he also invented the hydrophore and flashing lights. He was also the grandfather of writer Robert Louis Stevenson. He is part of the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.
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.
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.
William Fairbairn is remembered for his pioneering use of wrought iron for building bridges, ship hulls, and beams. Apart from inventing the Lancashire boiler, he also served as the president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He also introduced proper and systematic investigations of the collapse of structures.
Edinburgh-born civil engineer Adam Clark was best known for building the Széchenyi Chain Bridge over the Danube, between Buda and Pest in Hungary. He once even made adjustments to prevent the Austrian Imperial Army from causing significant damage to the bridge. He also constructed the Buda Tunnel.
Scottish engineer William John Macquorn Rankine is best known as one of the pioneers of thermodynamics, especially the first law of thermodynamics. He is remembered for his studies on the steam-engine theory and for introducing the Rankine cycle. He also contributed to the domain of soil mechanics.
Best remembered for discovering the magnetic property of hysteresis, Alfred Ewing also taught at the University of Tokyo and King’s College, Cambridge. He had also penned papers on subjects such as metallic structure and seismology. He also headed naval education of the British Admiralty and was knighted.
Scottish civil engineer David Anderson initially served the army and then formed the firm Mott Hay and Anderson, along with engineers David Hay and Basil Mott. He was made the president of the Institution of Civil Engineers and was also later knighted. He was a qualified lawyer, too.