Edward Townsend
Professor of Civil Engineering

Edward Townsend graduated from Trinity College in 1852. This remarkable individual held the chair of Civil Engineering for fifty years until he retired in 1910. He was also registrar of the University during the period 1877-1910.

He had a strong interest in railways and played an active part in their development in the West of Ireland. In particular, he was a key individual in the design of the Galway-Clifden railway.

He was a keen student of architecture and was also responsible for arterial drainage schemes in Galway and Mayo.

Despite these wide-ranging activities, he always maintained a strong interest in teaching and it was always a source of personal delight when his students performed well in their examinations.
His son, Sir John Townsend, became professor of Physics at Oxford and possibly through his father's influence he was an important figure in the founding of the Engineering School at that University.