Famous Scottish 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.

Vote for Your Favourite Scottish Civil Engineers

 1 
Thomas Telford
(Civil Engineer)

Thomas Telford
6
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.

 2 
John Loudon McAdam
(Civil engineer, Engineer)

John Loudon McAdam
3
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.

 3 
Robert Stevenson
(Civil engineer)

Robert Stevenson
3
Birthdate: June 8, 1772
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: July 12, 1850

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.

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 4 
John Rennie the Elder
(Civil Engineer)

John Rennie the Elder
2
Birthdate: June 7, 1761
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Phantassie, Scotland
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.  

 5 

John Scott Russell
2
Birthdate: May 9, 1808
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Parkhead, Glasgow, Scotland
Died: June 8, 1882

Glasgow-born civil engineer John Scott Russell is best remembered for his contribution to naval architecture. He was the first to build a naval battleship entirely made of iron, the HMS Warrior. His written works include the 3-volume The Modern System of Naval Architecture. He also discovered Russell's solitary wave.

 6 
William Fairbairn
(Civil engineer)

William Fairbairn
2
Birthdate: February 19, 1789
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kelso, Scotland
Died: August 18, 1874

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.

 7 
Adam Clark
(Civil Engineer)

Adam Clark
2
Birthdate: August 14, 1811
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: June 23, 1866

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.

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 8 
William John Macquorn Rankine
(Engineer, Physicist, Civil engineer, University teacher)

William John Macquorn Rankine
1
Birthdate: July 5, 1820
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: December 24, 1872

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.

 9 
Alfred Ewing
(Physicist)

Alfred Ewing
0
Birthdate: March 27, 1855
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland
Died: January 7, 1935

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.

 10 
David Anderson
(Civil engineer)

David Anderson
0
Birthdate: July 6, 1880
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leven, Scotland
Died: March 27, 1953

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.