It is hard to imagine today’s modern world without the great engineering feats that can be seen in every city and dotted around the landscape. From aqueducts to huge hydroelectric dams, skyscrapers and underground transport systems, engineering effects each and every one of us. But who were the forefathers of engineering that helped shape our world and left their legacies to inspire others that followed?
Imhotep is recorded as the first civil engineer that ever existed and he is credited with supervising the building of the Pyramid of Djoser. Later on in his career he was also credited to designing columns which was his biggest legacy to leave future engineers.
One of the forefathers of discovering how to harness electricity and designing the alternating current system was Nikola Tesla. Tesla was not just an electrical engineer; he was a physicist and a mechanical engineer. His biggest projects included working on the formation of X-ray machines and the induction motor.
Another legendary engineer that was involved with electricity was Thomas Edison, and his invention of the light bulb is probably his most famous act. However, Edison was responsible for far more than just the light bulb no matter how important that was. He also invented the phonograph, a battery for an electric car, a movie camera and a stock ticker. Edison was also an incredible businessman and was one of the first to start mass production techniques of his inventions.
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci is a highly interesting character, for most people he will be remembered as a great artist, but his talents far exceeded his painting skills. Da Vinci was also a talented mathematician and he was intrigued by science. He was the first person to invent flying objects and unbelievably one of his early sketches resembles a helicopter. Other engineers used Da Vinci blueprints to construct structures like bridges and roads.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
One of the most famous engineers of all time has to be Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and this British engineer was responsible for the construction of many famous bridges, but mostly for designing and building the first British railway. Not only that, but he was the first engineer to build a tunnel under a river, and it cannot be disputed that Brunel changed the way that public transport functioned in the UK.
Ford will go down as the father of the automobile, and his very first invention was the Quadricycle which was a type of self-propelled carriage. It was Ford’s dream to produce motor vehicles on a mass scale, and in 1901 the famous Ford Motor Company was founded. Ford wanted affordable motor cars for the general public and his tireless devotion to his work finally made his dream a reality. All these engineers helped to forge a better life for us all. Without their ground-breaking inventions many of the things we take for granted today might not even exist.