Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer. Conal Alexander, a son of Joseph Alexander, J.P. of Imlick, Co. Donegal, was born on. 6 Jun 1879. He was educated at Foyle College, Derry, and Friar's School, Bangor, and from 1897 to 1898 served a year's apprenticeship with Combe, Barbour & Combe, mechanical engineers of Belfast. He entered Queen's College, Belfast, to study engineering in 1898, graduating with honours in 1901; after a post-graduate year at Birmingham University, he obtained the M.Sc. degree and was also awarded the university's Heslop gold medal. He then spent four years on the staff of the Birmingham city engineers, John Price and Henry Stilgoe. From 1905 to 1906 he also taught at the Birmingham Technical School. In 1906, when he was only twenty-seven, he was appointed Professor of Civil engineering at University College, Cork.

Alexander remained at University College, Cork, for the rest of his career. He reorganised the engineering department, and between 1910 and 1916 largely devoted his energies to designing and equipping the laboratories. He became honorary secretary of the buildings committee, a member of the governing body and deputy president. From 1909 to 1920 he was a member of the board of studies of the National University of Ireland. Overwork precipitated an illness in the winter of 1916-17 from which he never recovered. He died on 15 December 1920 at the early age of forty-one. He had married Hilda Barbara, dauighter of J.W. Bennett of Birmingham, on 22 July 1907 and had two sons and two daughters. He is said to have been one of the first in Ireland to perceive the possibilities of ferro-concrete construction. He was a keen footballer and was President of Irish Rugby Football Union in 1909-10.

ICEI: elected associate, 1904; awarded Millar Scholarship, 1904, and James Forrest Medal, 1904; elected member, 1913, and awarded Mullins Gold Medal for paper on 'Design of Water Pipes and Culverts for Maximum Efficiency'.
Inst.CE:(1) elected associate member, 6 December 1904; winner of Miller Scholarship and James Forrest Medal.

Address: 20 Connaught Avenue, Cork, 1911.(2)



All information in this entry not otherwise attributed is from the biography of Alexander in Richard J. Hodges, Cork and County Cork in the Twentieth Century (1911), 153 (which is illustrated with a portrait photograph), from ICEI membership applications, IV, 144, and from the obituaries in TICEI 47, 74-76, and IB 63,1 Jan 1921, ?. See also the entry on Alexander in Dictionary of Irish Biography, ed. by James McGuire and James Quinn, 9 vols. (Cambridge University Press, 2009), I, 71.

(1) Charter…and list of members of the Institution of Civil Engineers (1914), 145.
(2) 1911 census of Ireland, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ (last visited Oct 2009).

1 work entries listed in chronological order for ALEXANDER, CONAL WILLIAM O'DONAL LONG

Sort by date | Sort alphabetically

Date: 1911
Nature: New.
Refs: IB 53, 19 Aug 1911, 562

Author Title Date Details
Alexander, C.w. O'd.l. 'Reinforced concrete' 1907 TICEI 33 (1905-1907), 137-180.
Alexander, C.w. O'd.l. 'The design of water pipes and culverts for maximum efficiency' 1913 TICEI 39 (1912-1913), 105-142.
Alexander, C.w.o'd.l. 'The resistance offered to the flow of water… by bends and elbows' 1904? Min.Proc.Inst.CE 159 (1904-05, Pt. 1), 341.