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Brunel's career spanned civil, structural, mechanical and marine engineering, architecture, art and design

Press Release - 22 August 2006

Works of genius: Brunel's engineering achievements and their legacy

Engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, born 200 years ago, helped transform rural Britain into a leader in industry. Famous for his adventurous designs for bridges, his breath-taking railways and his spectacular ships, his legacy still shapes engineering today. On 15 September, the anniversary of his death, an international symposium in Swindon will consider the findings of recent research into the man and his work.

Angus Buchanan, Professor Emeritus in the History of Technology, University of Bath, who will be speaking at the conference, said: "Coming at the end of six months celebrating the 200th anniversary of Brunel, this symposium provides an excellent opportunity to take stock and

make an assessment of what we have learnt about him. I am confident that we will be able to present a fuller and more accurate analysis of his achievements than any that has been made before.”

Speakers will include experts in civil engineering, the history of engineering and technology and the author Stephen Jones, who wrote Brunel in South Wales Volume 1: In Trevithick's Tracks.

The symposium, jointly organised by English Heritage, the University of Bath and Brunel 200, is one of a series organised by the University as part of its research into the problems of the heritage environment. Themes have included the need for conservation in architectural education, the conservation of historic ruins in England and how to gain World Heritage status for GWR. The University will continue to organise events of this kind and to seek funding for specific projects.

The symposium will take place at STEAM: Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon. Tickets cost £50 (£25 with student discount) which includes coffee and tea, lunch, a free copy of Brunel: in love with the impossible (RRP £17.95) and the English Heritage consultation document The Great Western World Heritage site: the genesis of modern transport, plus admission to the STEAM Museum exhibition.

For further information about the symposium, including the programme and registration information see or contact Marion Harney on 07796 68601 or email

The weekend of 15-17 September, marks the official finale of Bristol’s Brunel 200 celebrations. For more information see

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