In any industry, there are great minds and pioneers who lead the way for all those who follow, and here at European Springs we thought that it would be a good time to look at a few of the heroes of the engineering industry.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Brunel was famous for his innovation; although his projects were not always successful, he achieved many firsts in engineering, and many of his greatest achievements still stand to this day. He is perhaps most famous for the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which had the longest span of any bridge in the world at the time of its construction – however he did not live to see it completed. Alongside work on bridges, he was also the chief engineer of the Great Western Railway and he built the SS Great Britain, the world's first ocean going, propeller-driven iron ship.
This Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer was pivotal in the Industrial Revolution. Although he did not design the first steam engine (or even the first practical one) his improvements transformed it into a much more powerful machine by adding a separate condenser to make use of energy that was otherwise wasted. Before long, the steam engine was used in cars, railways, ships and factories on an unprecedented scale, transforming the face of the world.
Flying in the face of the perception of engineering and mathematics as masculine activities, Ada Lovelace was instrumental in the development of modern computing; her notes on the Analytical Engine developed by Charles Babbage include what is thought to be the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine – making her the world's first computer programmer.
Of course, these are just some of the most well-known names of history; even today there are many heroes of engineering simply going about their day to day jobs. Some will be recognised in their lifetime – the upcoming New Year's Honours list is likely to recognise a few individuals for the services to engineering – but others may not. We would like to take this opportunity to recognise every engineer for their hard work at developing the world of the future as we approach the New Year.