Alumni Hall of Fame

Washington A. Roebling
Washington A. Roebling
Inducted September 1998

Washington A. Roebling

Class of 1857
Engineer, Bridge Builder, Industrialist

Following distinguished service in the Civil War, Washington Roebling returned to his profession of civil engineering with the firm of his father, John Roebling.

Having studied the principles of caisson foundations in Europe, he prepared the detailed plans and specifications for the Brooklyn Bridge.

When John Roebling died, Washington succeeded him as chief engineer of the great bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world.

After he was afflicted with the “bends,” his wife, Emily, stepped in as his unofficial aide-de-camp and exerted a profound influence over the construction of the bridge. She carried out all written communication and face-to-face interviews with contractors with a thorough grasp of the engineering.

Among the first women leaders in the management of technology, Emily earned a law degree and championed women's suffrage.