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Great Engineers & Scientists

In 1676, Sir Isaac Newton wrote "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants." In this blog, we take Newton's words to heart, and recognize the many great engineers and scientists upon whose shoulders we stand.

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Peter Rice: Structural Engineer Who Worked on the Sydney Opera House

Posted July 19, 2012 12:00 AM by SavvyExacta

Peter Rice was an Irish structural engineer who worked on famous buildings including the Sydney Opera House, Lloyd's of London, the Louvre Pyramid, and several airports.

Rice was born in Dundalk, County Louth on June 16, 1935. He graduated from the Queen's University of Belfast and was also educated at Imperial College and Cornell University. His degree was in civil engineering but he originally studied aeronautical engineering.

The first job Rice had was with Ove Arup & Partners. He assisted with the roof of the Sydney Opera House by working on the geometry of the design. He wrote a computer program to locate the segments of the shells. When his supervisor Ian MacKenzie was hospitalized, Rice was in charge of the project at age 28 with one month of experience. Rice worked on the project for seven years.

In his work Rice wanted to help create buildings that made people feel good. He felt that the industrialization of the building process led to a lack of expression in the buildings. To counteract this, Rice favored ordinary building materials as well as new ones used in a rationally considered context. He was careful not to allow rational argument to kill creativity and innovation; he considered projects from all angles.

Rice was praised for his close work with architects and contributions to design when he received the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture. It is the highest accolade offered in the architecture profession. He died on October 25, 1991, shortly after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Resources:

Engineers on the Web: Peter Rice (1935-1992)

The Independent - Architecture: Genius expressed in nuts and bolts: Peter Rice is an engineer revered by the world's top architects. Jonathan Glancey met him

Wikipedia - Peter Rice

http://www.architecturetoday.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/peter_rice-400x266.jpg [image]

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