Downing, Samuel

Downing, Samuel
SUBJECT AREA: Civil engineering
b. 19 July 1811 Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, Ireland
d. 21 April 1882
Irish engineer and teacher.
Samuel Downing had a formative influence on the development of engineering education in Ireland. He was educated at Kilkenny College and Trinity College, Dublin, where he took a BA in 1834. He subsequently attended courses in natural philosophy at Edinburgh, before taking up work as a railway and bridge engineer. Amongst structures on which he worked were the timber viaduct connecting Portland Island to the mainland in Dorset, England, and the curved viaduct at Coed-re-Coed on the Taff Vale Railway, Wales. In 1847 he was persuaded to return to Trinity College, Dublin, as Assistant to Sir John MacNeill, who had been appointed Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering on its establishment in 1842. MacNeill always found it difficult to give up time on his engineering practice to spend on his teaching duties, so the addition of Downing to the staff gave a great impetus to the effectiveness of the School. When MacNeill retired from the Chair in 1852, Downing was his obvious successor and held the post until his death. For thirty years Downing devoted his engineering expertise and the energy of his warm personality to the School of Engineering and its students, of whom almost four hundred passed through the School in the years when he was responsible for it.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
Associate Member, Institution of Civil Engineers 1852.
Elements of Practical Hydraulics Elements of Practical Construction
Further Reading
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 72:310–11.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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