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Biographies

COODE, Sir John, (1816 - 1892)

John Coode was born in Cornwall on 11th November 1816, and trained under James M. Rendel.

From 1837 to 1844 he was engaged on the Great Western and Euston-Exeter Railways. From 1844 to 1847 he was in private practice in London. He explored Northern Spain to select a route for the Royal North Spain Railway.

From 1847 to 1882 he was on Portland Harbour, for 16 years as Engineer-in-Chief, and was knighted on completion of this work. In 1858 he made a comprehensive report on thirty important harbours in Great Britain and Ireland and was also Engineer-in-Chief for Capetown Harbour. He was engaged on many other harbour projects and reports.

He won the competition for St. Helier's Harbour in January, 1867, and was also engaged on lighthouse work. In 1870 and again in 1876 he advised South Africa concerning harbours, e.g., Port Elizabeth and Durban. In 1873 he designed Colombo Harbour. In 1875 he reported on Timaru Harbour on evidence collected by his assistant. He did not visit the site but recommended an island breakwater 1,240 feet long and wharf connected to the shore by 900 feet of open viaduct. In 1878 he reported on Port Melbourne and designed extensive improvements; also on Warnambool Estuary and other ports. He then proceeded to New Zealand and reported on Westport, Greymouth, Bluff, Dunedin, Napier, Hokitika, Milford, Patea, New Plymouth, Tauranga, etc.

In 1880 he reported on Oporto and Lisbon for the Portuguese Government.. From 1882 to 1884 he was a member of the Royal Commission on Metropolitan Sewage Discharge. He made a return trip to Australia and other British Colonies. He designed a new large harbour for Dover, but did not live to see it. He was also much involved with iron mining. He was elected M.I.C.E. in 1849. In 1872 he was a member of the Council of the I.C.E., and from 1889 to 1891 was President.

He died in Brighton on 2nd March, 1892.

Extract from Furkert, F W; "Early New Zealand Engineers". p 143