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.