Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer. John Harben, who came from Liverpool, was born on 31 August 1892. He attended Liscard High School, Wallasey, before studying engineering for four years at Liverpool University, from which he graduated B.Eng. in 1914. After serving with the Royal Engineers in France during World War I, he worked in England, Spain and Argentina, before joining the Department of Public Works and Buildings in Belfast in 1929 as a first-class assistant engineer under Major PERCY EDWARD SHEPHERD PERCY EDWARD SHEPHERD . He left Belfast at the beginning of 1938 on having been appointed to the post of chief engineering assistant to the Somerset Rivers Catchment Board.

During his time in Belfast, Harben was engaged in the Bann, Quaile, Blackwater and Claudy drainage schemes. He was largely responsible for setting up the Northern Ireland Association of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1933 and served as its first honorary secretary from 1934 until 1937. He died on 23 October 1961, survived by a son and a daughter.

Inst.CE: elected associate member, 1918; transferred to class of members, 1934; member of council; author of a number of papers.


All information in this entry is from IB 79, 25 Dec 1937, IB 80, 22 Jan 1938, 55, and from the obituary of Harben in Proc.Inst.CE 22 (Jul 1962), 343-4.