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British Industrial History

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Maurice Frederick FitzGerald

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Professor Maurice Frederick FitzGerald (1850-1927), Professor of Engineering, Queen's College, Belfast.

1927 Obituary [1]

Professor MAURICE FREDERICK FITZGERALD, D.Sc., belonged to a family greatly distinguished in science.

He was born in 1850 and entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1867.

He graduated with honours in 1871 and then because a pupil with Messrs. Easton and Anderson, of Erith ironworks.

In 1875 he went to Russia to install pumping machinery at the Cronstadt graving docks. He was afterwards employed by the Russian Government on work at Riga and Odessa, and on his return to Ireland was resident engineer at the Shannon sluices.

After a short experience as a consulting engineer, he was appointed Professor of Engineering at Queen's College, Belfast, in 1884.

Before his retirement in 1910 he had the satisfaction of planning the modern engineering school and laboratories in the reconstituted Queen's University. His death occurred on 4th May 1927. Professor FitzGerald was the author of several papers on rotating disks and whirling shafts.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1888.

1927 Obituary[2]


Professor Maurice Frederick Fitzgerald, who died on the 4th instant, aged 76, was the eldest son of the late Rt. Rev. William Fitzgerald, Bishop of Killaloe. In 1867 he entered Trinity College, Dublin, specialising in mathematics, and gaining a scholarship. In 1872 he became a pupil of Messrs. Easton and Anderson, Erith, gaining experience on the sewerage of Doncaster, and subsequently having charge of the erection of pumping plant for graving docks at home and abroad.

For many years he was Professor of Engineering in Belfast, and endeared himself to a long succession of students by his careful teaching and unfailing kindness. His character was one of charming simplicity and modesty, but he quietly exerted a great influence on the progress of technical education in the capital of Ulster. He held the B.A. degree of Dublin, and was a D.Sc. of Belfast.

His only son, who joined the Royal Flying Corps at the beginning of the Great War, was killed on service in France. His brother, the late Professor George Francis Fitzgerald, T.C.D., was for many years a leader in physical research, and discovered and indicated some of the main facts and theories, the development of which has secured for later scholars a world-wide fame."

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