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CAMPBELL, Robert Archibald (1881-1955)

R.A Campbell

R. A. Campbell. IPENZ, Past Presidents Album, 1914-1966


A leading Christchurch civil engineer, ROBERT ABCHIBALD CAMPBELL, BSc (Eng.), MICE, MNZIE, died on Sept 7, 1955, at the age of 74. As a consulting engineer in the firm of Campbell and Morrison, later Campbell and Hamann, he was concerned with the design of a number of buildings in Christchurch.

Mr Campbell was born at Wanganui, and was trained at Canterbury University College, where he gained an exhibition and graduated BSc, in mechanical engineering in 1902.

Later Mr Campbell was an assistant engineer to the Grand Junction Gold Company at Waihi from 1905 to 1907. After further experience in England he served as a civil engineer on the Bengal and North-western Railway from 1908 to 1912, and with the Public Works Department in New South Wales from 1912 to 1919.

During the First World War Mr Campbell joined the Australian Imperial Forces. He served in the Palestine campaign as a lieutenant of engineers.

After a further short term with the Public Works Department in New South Wales, Mr Campbell accepted a lectureship in the National School of Engineering at Canterbury University College in 1920, and in 1922 became the first Professor of Civil Engineering.

At the end of 1928 Mr Campbell resigned the professorship to devote his time wholly to private practice. He acted as consulting engineer and designer for many important works throughout New Zealand.

He was a member of the Canterbury University College Council for two years, and later of the Senate of the University of New Zealand, a member of the Engineers Registration Board and of the Council of the New Zealand Institution of Engineers. In 1947 he was president of the Institution.

Extract from New Zealand Engineering, December 1955, p 470