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Thomas Francis Pigot

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Thomas Francis Pigot (1837-1910)

Professor of Engineering, Royal College of Science for Ireland, Dublin

1910 Obituary [1]

THOMAS FRANCIS PIGOT, born in Dublin on 31st August 1837, was the youngest son of the late Right Hon. David R. Pigot, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland.

He was educated, at first in Dublin, by private tuition, and afterwards at the College St. Genevieve of the Jesuit Fathers, Paris. In 1855 he obtained the degree of Bachelier es Sciences of the University of France, and in the following year he studied at the University of Bonn. In 1856 he entered Trinity College, Dublin, and obtained Honours in Science and Classics. During the same year he attended the Engineering School, and passed the final examination of the first year.

Acting on the advice of Sir William Fairbairn and others, he left Trinity College and in 1858 entered the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees, Paris. After three years' course of study, he received the diploma of that school, and then spent nearly a year at Fairbairn's Engineering Works in Manchester.

In the same year he commenced work as a Civil Engineer, and was engaged during the next five years in laying out and constructing railways, namely, the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway, under Messrs. Brereton and Richardson, the Mid Wales Railway and connecting lines, the Royal Sardinian Railway, and La Vendee Railway, under Mr. Benjamin Piercy.

At the close of 1867 he became Professor of the new Chair of Descriptive Geometry, Mechanical Drawing and Surveying, at the Royal College of Science for Ireland, and undertook a course of Civil Engineering and Building Construction. This course having proved successful, the title of the Professorship was altered so as to include Engineering, in addition to its original subjects.

He retained that post for twenty-three years, retiring in 1892 in consequence of weakness of sight and general ill-health caused by overwork. His resignation was received with great regret by the Council of the Royal College of Science, who passed a resolution of appreciation of his valuable services in creating the School of Engineering.

Immediately upon his resignation in 1892, he was appointed one of the two Chief Examiners in Science (Practical Plane and Solid Geometry) under the Department of Science and Art, which appointment was continued yearly up to 1900, when he resigned owing to weakened eyesight. As President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in Ireland for 1892, he delivered an Address in which he dealt at length with the subjects of Fishery Harbours and of Inland Navigation in Ireland.

His death took place at his residence in Dublin, on 20th May 1910, in his seventy-third year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1877.

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