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Smeaton Lecture 2019

Event organised by ICE

23 July 2019

This event has now ended

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Smeaton and Watt: unleashing the power that changed the world

The 18th century saw unprecedented advances in our ability to harness power. Much of this was down to James Watt whose invention of the separate condenser and other improvements to the Newcomen engine was the key that unlocked the full potential of the power of steam. Watt then mastered rotative power for factories, accelerating the industrial revolution. Smeaton had also made improvements to the Newcomen engine and he and Watt shared a mutual respect.

This year’s Smeaton lecture will explore this relationship with the help of some letters, not previously published or archived, and uses engineering hindsight to explore the factors influencing successful innovation – then and now.

Delegates will:

  • Get an improved understanding of the context and conditions for innovation in the 18th century
  • Hear new insights into 18th century support networks and communities of practice for engineering
  • Better understand the incentives for transformational change to infrastructure
  • Learn about the value of engineering hindsight and why hindsight remains important today

Tony Gee

Tony Gee

Consulting Engineers, Tony Gee is renowned for delivering complex, competitive permanent and temporary infrastructure design solutions.

For more information please contact:

ICE Events Team