Biography of Lewis Gordon
Lewis Brodie Gordon
Lewis Dunbar Brodie Gordon (1815-1876) was the first Regius Professor of Civil Engineering and Mechanics at the University (and the first engineering professor to be appointed in the United Kingdom) from 1840 until 1855.
Born in Edinburgh, Gordon studied at the University of Edinburgh and in France and Germany, and gained wide practical experience of developments in mechanical, civil, chemical and mining engineering in Britain and across Europe. He made a great impact on the development of engineering science at Glasgow, collaborating with William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) on the the study of the mechanical effects of heat, and with Thomson's brother James on the development of turbines. He continued to work as a consultant and inventor during his tenure of the Chair, on such projects as the construction of the "Tennant's Stalk" chimney in Glasgow, on railway and mining schemes, and on the development of electric telegraph lines, establishing a tradition in the Engineering department for the provision of practical training and close collaboration with British industry.
Gordon resigned his Chair in 1855 to pursue his burgeoning business interests. He was succeeded as Regius Professor by his former assistant, Macquorn Rankine.