|Activity||Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born on 9th April 1806 in Portsmouth. His father was a French engineer and it was for him that Brunel first worked. Together they planned the Thames Tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping, completed in 1843. In 1831 Brunel entered his designs in a competition for the Clifton Suspension Bridge and he won the contract. The bridge was finally completed in 1864.|
Brunel was probably best known for his work on the network of tunnels, bridges and viaducts which make up part of the Great Western Railway including Bristol Temple Meads Station and the Tamar Bridge at Saltash near Plymouth.
He also designed several famous ships. In 1837 the Great Western was launched and was the first steamship to engage in transatlantic service. This was followed in 1843 by the SS Great Britain, the world's first iron-hulled, screw-propeller driven, steam-powered passenger liner. Finally in 1859 the Great Eastern was launched and was the biggest ship ever built up to that time. Unfortunately it was not commercially successful and Brunel died in the same year on 15th September 1859.