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Statuette of Brunel, Parian Ware 1860 by Joseph Durham (1814 – 1877) © Private Collection
Statuette of Brunel, Parian Ware 1860 by Joseph Durham (1814 – 1877) © Private Collection

Internal News - 09 May 2006

Public lecture: Isambard Kingdom Brunel - the greatest engineer?

The achievements of Brunel, both in relation to those of his contemporaries and in the broader context of engineering history, will be discussed in a public lecture given by Professor Angus Buchanan, Emeritus Professor in the History of Technology, at the Holburne Museum this week (7pm, Thursday 11 May).

Whether or not Brunel is regarded as 'the greatest engineer', Professor Buchanan believes there are certainly strong grounds for placing him amongst the outstanding British engineers of all times.

Only a few engineers had the good fortune to receive major railway-building commissions, and Brunel was one of those who rose magnificently to the challenges presented by a new transforming technology.

Professor Buchanan notes: “Since Brunel's death in 1859, the engineering profession has grown enormously, but it has also become more highly specialised so that there are not the same opportunities for individual brilliance as those of which Brunel took advantage”.

Professor Buchanan’s lecture is part of a series celebrating Brunel and the free exhibition Brunel in Bath, supported by Brunel 200 and the Heritage Lottery Fund, which runs until 2 July 2006.

Angus Buchanan is Emeritus Professor in the History of Technology at the University of Bath and author of Brunel: The Life and Times of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Tickets £10 / Concessions £7.50 from the Museum (to include a glass of wine on arrival – doors open 6.30pm, lecture begins at 7pm).