In terms of loss of life, the Tay Rail Bridge Failure in 1879 was the greatest structural engineering disaster in the UK during the past 200 years. The story about it will not lie down. New theories keep emerging. Books on the subject, there are several of them, tend not to address fundamental structural engineering issues. Iain MacLeod will discuss the findings of an investigation, using modern structural engineering techniques, carried out by Tom Martin and himself. He will analyse the role of the designer, Thomas Bouch in relation to the disaster. Very important lessons were learned from the disaster. Some of these were relevant to the time but there are also lessons to be learned for all time.
Iain Macleod was Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and was President of IESIS 2012-14