Thomas Stewart (civil engineer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Thomas Stewart
Born (1857-03-30)30 March 1857
Craigend, Perthshire, Scotland
Died 23 October 1942(1942-10-23) (aged 85)
Cape Town, South Africa
Education University of Glasgow
Occupation Engineer
Spouse(s) Mary Mackintosh Young (1902–1921);
Matabele Thmpson (m.1928)
Children 3 sons
Engineering career
Discipline Civil Engineer
Significant design Woodhead Dam

Thomas Stewart (30 March 1857 – 23 October 1942) was a hydraulic engineer, who was born in Scotland and died at Cape Town, South Africa.[1] He designed the Woodhead Dam, which was named an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2008.[2] He was called the "father of consulting engineering in South Africa"[2] and the "first South African consulting engineer."[3]


Stewart was born at Craigend, Perthshire, Scotland on 30 March 1857. At age 16, he became a student of D.H. Halkett in Alyth. In 1876, he was named an assistant at the Glasgow Corporation Waterworks. He studied at the University of Glasgow.[1] In 1881, he was an assistant to John Wolfe-Barry. In 1882, he was named by Crown Agents for the Colonies as an assistant to J.G. Gamble for water supply and irrigation in the Cape Colony.[1]

He resigned from Government Service in 1886, visited Britain, and returned to South Africa as resident engineer for the Cradock waterworks. He designed the waterworks for Wynberg.[1] In 1892, he began a private practice in Cape Town.[3] His early projects included the design and construction of five reservoirs on Table Mountain.[1] These were Woodhead, Hely-Hutchinson, Alexandra, Victoria, and De Villiers.[2] He went on to build other reservoirs, waterworks, and wastewater treatment plants in South Africa.[1][3]

In the Second Boer War, he was a major without pay in the Royal Engineers. He worked in the construction of defence works.[1]

In 1902, he married Mary Mackintosh Young. They had three sons. She died in 1921. In 1928, he married Matabele, widow of F.R. Thompson.[1]

He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the second president of the Cape Society of Engineers, and a president of the Royal Society of South Africa.[3]

Stewart died at Kenilworth, Cape Town at the age of 85.