Born 1806. One of the world's great engineers. He is well known in certain circles (generally the same ones that celebrate people like Charles Babbage) for his imaginative and often ahead of his time designs. The only son of Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, who was also an engineer of some note. He joined his father in completing the Thames tunnel after his graduation from College Henri Quatre in Paris. He was seventeen at the time.
After the successful completion of the tunnel he went onto build docks, bridges, and eventually became chief engineer for the Great Western Railway in 1833. In his time with the railroad he built more than one thousand miles of track, designed the terminal stations at Paddington and Temple Meads, and the railway bridge at Chepstow.
He designed the first steamship to cross the Atlantic, also called the Great Western. After another successful ship he started on the largest ship of the time, Great Eastern. Finished in 1858, its size was not exceeded for over 30 years afterwards. The reason why was obvious, it was too big for its time. The ship was never a commercial success and was eventually employed in the laying of the first successful transatlantic cable. Afterward it was eventually scrapped.
Brunel did not live to see this, he died of a stroke in 1859 before Great Eastern’s maiden voyage.