Samuel Haughton Lecture 1998
21/02/1998 in Ballymascanlon HouseHotel, Dundalk, Co. Louth
In Haughton’s Footsteps: Mathematical Insights into Bioengineering
Annraoi de Paor, DSc, MRIA, Professor of Electrical Engineering, National University of Ireland, Dublin. Introduction
It is really a very deeply appreciated honour for me to be invited to deliver this lecture as a tribute to the memory of Samuel Haughton (1821-1897), one of the truly great Irish polymaths of the 19th century. He was a mathematician, geologist, anatomist, medical doctor and in his later years chemist of international stature. I was interested to note the comment by Dr. Paul McCullagh in a recent issue of ESEM NEWS (where ESEM means European Society for Engineering and Medicine) that Haughton has been claimed posthumously as Ireland’s first Bioengineer is little doubt in my mind that his modes of thought and action justify such a claim. It is interesting to reflect that in his capacity of Professor of Geology he played a prominent role in the foundation of the Engineering School at Trinity College Dublin, and was involved in the education of its first graduates. While musing on this, I cannot but be reminded of one of those most famous early graduates, Percy French (1854-1920), who achieved fame as a songwriter, entertainer and painter, but who wrote on engineering topics too. The timing was probably right for Haughton to have taught Geology to French, but not with great success, as the latter recalled: “I think taking up the banjo, lawn tennis and water-colour painting instead of chemistry, geology, and the theory of strains, must have retarded my progress a great deal. But eventually I was allowed to take my C.E. degree. I believe the Board were afraid I should apply for a pension, if I stayed any longer in T.C.D.”
The Fourth Samuel Haughton Lecture presented to the joint meeting of the RAMI Section of Bioengineering and the Ulster Biomedical Engineering Society, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
This being the fourth Samuel Haughton Lecture since its beginnings in 1995.
Meeting chaired by Patrick Prendergast, Glenn Dickson
Bronze Medal Winner: David Taylor (TCD)