Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Professor of Engineering at University College, Galway, 1910-1946. Frank Rishworth, the eldest son of John Rishworth of Tuam, Co. Galway, was born in Tuam on 5 April 1876. He attended Ranelagh School, Athlone, and entered Queen's College, Galway, in 1894. After taking first place in the science and engineering examinations each year, he received the BA and BE degrees of the Royal University of Ireland in 1898. On graduating he went to England, where he worked as an assistant engineer with the Great Northern Railway in Derbyshire and at King's Cross until 1902. He next went to Egypt to take up the the post of Lecturer in Civil Engineering at the School of Engineering at Giza, under the Egyptian Ministry of Education. While he was in Egypt he took part in early experiments in connection with the Aswan Dam and other irrigation projects and was decorated by the Khedive with the Order of Medjidieh (3rd class) for his services to the country.

Rishworth returned to Ireland in 1910 to become Professor of Civil Engineering at University College, Galway. He held in the post until 1946,(1) but for a five-year period from 1925 to 1930 was seconded to the position of Chief Engineer on the Shannon Hydro-electric Development Scheme. He sat on the governing body of the college from 1912 to 1937 and was a member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland from 1939 to 1949. He served on the Drainage Commission from 1938 to 1940 and acted as consulting engineer to several local authorities and public bodies. He received an honorary MAI from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1932, and an honorary LL.D.(2) from the National University of Ireland in 1942.

Rishworth lived in Dublin at the end of his life. He died at his house, 29 Leeson Park, on 31 March 1960 and was buried in the churchyard at Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. He was married to Mary, daughter of William Beacroft of Keighley, Yorkshire, but had no children.

ICEI: elected member, 1912; member of council, 1929-1960; president, 1936-1938.
Inst.CE: elected associate member, 4 March 1902.(3)



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary in TICEI 86 (1959-1960), 175-7, and from Who was Who 1951-1960, 927. Other obituaries are in IB 102, 16 Apr 1960, 258, and ICE Proceedings 17 (Dec 1960), 474-5 (not read). A portrait photograph of Rishworth forms the frontispiece to TICEI 63 (1936-37).

(1) IB 88, 23 Feb 1946, 102, reports his intention of retiring in June 1946, following his 70th birthday; according to Who was Who he did not retire until 1947.
(2) IB 84, 1 Aug 1942, 274 (where degree is wrongly described as D.Litt.).
(3) Information from Mrs Carol Morgan, archivist, Institution of Civil Engineers, London.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for RISHWORTH, FRANK SHARMAN

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Date: 1925-1930
Nature: FSR chief engineer (on secondment from UCG).
Refs: Obituary of FSR in TICEI 86 (1959-1960), 176

Date: 1941;1942;1946;
Nature: Sterilization plant; extensions; new reservoir.
Refs: IB 83, 24 May 1941, 266; 84, 14 Feb 1942, 74; 88, 13 Jul 1946, 426; 92, 2 Sep 1950, 940

Author Title Date Details
Rishworth, Frank Sharman 'Shannon Hydro-Electric Development. Model experiments on the design for the weir near Parteen Villa' 1928 TICEI 54 (1927-28), 123-146.
Rishworth, Frank Sharman [Presidential address to ICEI] 1937 TICEI 63 (1936-37), 1-17.