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MACLEAN, Francis William, (1858 - 1951)

Francis Williams Maclean

Francis Williams Maclean (1858-1951). Past Presidents Album, 1914-1966, IPENZ

Born 9 August 1858 at Boston, U.S.A., he was taken to Scotland at an early age and educated there, his engineering studies being at Edinburgh University. His training and early experience was with the North British Railways and soon after his arrival in New Zealand in 1884 he was appointed assistant engineer at Auckland for the New Zealand Railways. He progressed through a number of posts of increasing importance until he reached the position of Chief Engineer in 1916, remaining in that office until his retirement in 1924. Thereafter he spent some years in consulting practice in Wellington.

The period of his service with the New Zealand Railways coincided with an era of rapid expansion, and his ability, coupled with an uncompromising devotion to duty and principle, was an undoubted asset in the development of the country's railway system.

He was a foundation member of the Institution, a member of Council (1916 to 1935) and president (1922). He was a life member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and also gave service to the Engineers Registration Board and the Board of Health.

He was universally respected by the engineering profession, to which his death on 22 May 1951, in his 93rd year, was a very real loss.


This biography comes from Newnham, W L, "Learning Service Achievement" New Zealand Institution of Engineers, 1971, p 352

Refer also to:

  • Furkert, F W, "Early New Zealand Engineers", p 215
  • Obituary, New Zealand Engineering, June 1951, p 240