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๐Ÿ”— Isambard Kingdom Brunel

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— London ๐Ÿ”— Trains ๐Ÿ”— Civil engineering ๐Ÿ”— Ships ๐Ÿ”— River Thames ๐Ÿ”— Wiltshire ๐Ÿ”— Hampshire ๐Ÿ”— Bristol ๐Ÿ”— Trains/UK Railways

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (; 9 April 1806ย โ€“ 15 September 1859) was a British civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history", "one of the 19th-century engineering giants", and "one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions". Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway (GWR), a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.

Though Brunel's projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and the development of SSย Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going, iron ship, which, when launched in 1843, was the largest ship ever built.

On the GWR, Brunel set standards for a well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimise gradients and curves. This necessitated expensive construction techniques, new bridges, new viaducts, and the two-mile (3.2ย km) long Box Tunnel. One controversial feature was the wide gauge, a "broad gauge" of 7ย ftย 1โ„4ย in (2,140ย mm), instead of what was later to be known as "standard gauge" of 4ย ftย 8ย 1โ„2ย in (1,435ย mm). He astonished Britain by proposing to extend the GWR westward to North America by building steam-powered, iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering: the SSย Great Western (1838), the SSย Great Britain (1843), and the SSย Great Eastern (1859).

In 2002, Brunel was placed second in a BBC public poll to determine the "100 Greatest Britons". In 2006, the bicentenary of his birth, a major programme of events celebrated his life and work under the name Brunel 200.

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