He began his engineering career with road and hydraulic engineering in Venice. Among other things he contributed to the building of the road over Cortina d'Ampezzo to Toblach. From 1836 to 1840 he was a construction supervisor for the railway track from Brno to Břeclav, the so called Emperor Ferdinand North Railway. During this time, in 1836 and 37 he studied also the railways in England and other European countries. In 1842, entrusted with the entire planning of the future state railway, he made a study trip to North America.
After his return to the state railway he began with the planning of the railway line to the south, from Mürzzuschlag to Graz and Trieste. The crossing of the Semmering was not believed possible, but as early as 1844 he submitted a plan for the crossing of the Semmering. Construction of the Semmeringbahn was begun in 1848, and in 1851, before its completion in 1854, he was knighted by the emperor.
The Semmering Railway today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.