Sir Marc Brunel 250th Anniversary Lecture

Thursday 16th May 2019 |British Tunnelling Society Annual General Meeting 6:00pm, followed by Sir Marc Brunel 250th Anniversary Lecture, Brunel’s Original Thames Tunnel Drawings: What They Reveal with speaker; Bryn Bird (M ret) from the Brunel Museum

This meeting will look at the collection of original Thames Tunnel drawings. In the Autumn of 2017 the drawings, held by a branch of the Brunel family, came up for auction and were acquired by the Brunel Museum, Rotherhithe. They cover the period when Marc Isambard Brunel was developing and executing (with the help of his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel) the construction of his tunnel under the River Thames, the first in the world under a navigable waterway.

They reveal how his ideas started and evolved, pulling in and then discarding other contemporary inventions; how he won the conviction of his shareholders, then won them over, time and time again; how his audacious self-confidence and patience was challenged from all directions yet was finally rewarded. His achievement gave others the confidence to tunnel in soft grounds everywhere and laid the foundations for urban Metro systems throughout the world. Pictorially and conceptually, it seems just a few short steps from the Brunel tunnelling shield to a modern tunnel boring machine.

*Please note that advance booking is not required, and the event is free of charge to attend.

The BTS AGM (Annual General Meeting) will take place at 18:00 followed by the evening lecture at 18:15.


Institution of Civil Engineers One Great George Street Westminster London SW1P 3AA United Kingdom

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This is a free event – advance booking not required. Tea and biscuits will be available at 5:30pm

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