Famous Engineers #2 – Gustave Eiffel

3년 전

If you have ever travelled around Europe, chances of a stopover in Paris are pretty high. France received over eighty nine million tourist back in 2017 and it is not hard to see why the country is renowned as the hottest destination for travellers. Filled with culture, history and of course genius architecture. Perhaps one of the most famous bits of architecture most people will know is the Eiffel Tower. This is a genius work of Engineering and comes from the man named Gustave Eiffel. His speciality was structural and steel works and the tower is just one of the testaments of his excellence.

The brilliant Engineer was born in France, Dijon in the early 1830’s and built his career locally by working on various projects, most notable railway bridges. It was from here that Eiffel made a name for himself and was recognised for a number of designs that would go on to be renowned all over. He was even the secondary designer of the Stature of Liberty that still stands today in the US. It shows that Eiffel had the ambition as an entrepreneur to develop and travel the world.

Eiffel’s career wasn’t totally smooth however, he would later go on to take on the construction works of the Panama Canals. Unfortunately a number of things went wrong, mostly down to management by Ferdinand Lesseps and ending with a series of liquidation and fraud charges. This was a crushing blow for the prestigious engineer and he was faced with a two year prison sentence. Fortunately, the high court deemed his involvement and actions could be held for the failure of this huge financial fiasco. He was annulled and walked free. This would however be the last of his business ventures and would then turn to scientific research towards the end of his brilliant career.

It was at this stage of his career that Eiffel would find some redemption in the darkness as he explored a number of research areas with significant advancements in these particular fields. This included Aerodynamics and meteorology (atmospheric sciences). These areas of interest had actually been influenced by the problems that Eiffel had faced over his career, structural loading against wind force was a particular problem he wished to focus on. He would then go on to build his first wind tunnel which still stands to this very day.

Gustave Eiffel was a brilliant man and was a great example of what Engineer should strive to be. He acted with integrity and focused his energy in the most positive directions to realise great things throughout his life.

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