John Smeaton

SmeatonJohn Smeaton (1725-1792) is the British engineer who published the 1759 paper, “An Experimental Enquiry Concerning the Natural Powers of Water and Wind to Turn Mills and Other Machines Depending on Circular Motion.” The theories Smeaton postulated to explain the relationship between pressure and velocity for objects moving in the air, applied to windmills. Smeaton won the Copley Medal for his work in 1759.

Smeaton also worked with scale models of waterwheels. His research led to greater efficiency in power generation. This efficiency was a factor in the Industrial Revolution. It also turns out that Smeaton’s theories had applications in the field of aerodynamics – they would come into use in the nascent field of flight.

Smeaton was well respected by his peers during his lifetime. He had a long and productive career as a civil and mechanical engineer. He coined the term “civil engineer,” and in 1771 he founded the Society of Civil Engineers.

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Smeaton’s Coefficient
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Need more info: Modeling Ships and Space Craft: The Science and Art of Mastering the Oceans and Sky by Gina Hagler — Part II – Evolution of Theory, Chapter Four – Hydrodynamic Theorists


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