Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Civil engineer, of Belfast. Robert Ferguson, a son of ACHESON C. FERGUSON ACHESON C. FERGUSON , was born in Belfast in 1887 and educated at Methodist College, Campbell College and Queen's College, Belfast, where he took the BA degree in 1906 and the BE degree in 1908. As the result of a competitive examination, he was appointed an assistant inspector for the Congested Districts Board and was later promoted to inspector. After about eight years with the Board he resigned to take up the appointment of engineering inspector in the drainage section of the Department of Agriculture. In 1919 he set up in independent practice as an architect and engineer, and in 1922 or early in 1923 he formed a partnership with the architect SAMUEL MCILVEEN SAMUEL MCILVEEN , practising as FERGUSON & MCILVEEN. FERGUSON & MCILVEEN. (1) In 1942 he was appointed acting surveyor for Lisburn, Co. Antrim, in the absence of ROBERT EDMUND LEAR CLARKE  ROBERT EDMUND LEAR CLARKE on military service.(2)

Ferguson retired from practice in 1965 but remained active as a consultant. He served on many government and professional committees and his advice was sought by public authorities and private interests. In his spare time he was a keen angler. He was awarded an OBE in 1970 for his services to the engineering profession and to the community. He died on 9 July 1981.

Inst.CE: member; founder member of Northern Ireland Association of Inst.CE, 1933; treasurer 1934-65; chairman, 1939; awarded Telford Premium for paper on Newry Ship Canal Improvement Scheme, 1937.(3)
RIBA: elected licentiate, 19 June 1956, proposed by ROBERT HANNA GIBSON  ROBERT HANNA GIBSON and president and secretary of RSUA.(4)
RSUA: member and subsequently fellow.

Addresses: Home: Mulroy, 33 The Green, Dunmurray, Co. Antrim, <=1956(5)-1972; 33 Maryville Park, Belfast, 1973 until death.(6)



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the biographical notes on Ferguson in IB 75, 17 Jun 1933, 517 and IB 80, 14 May 1938, 392, and from his obituary in RSUA Yearbook & Directory 1982, 16. There is a photograph of Ferguson in IB 80, 29 Oct 1938, 900.

(1) The biographical note in IB 75 says that he entered into partnership with McIlveen early in 1923, but his obituary says that he did so in 1922.The first mention of the partnership in IB is on 3 Nov 1923.
(2) IB 84, 3 Jan 1942, 12.
(3) Journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers 7 (Nov 1937), 23; IB 79, 11 Dec 1937, 1104.
(4) RIBAJ 63 (1955-56), 310.
(5) RIBAJ 63 (1955-56), 310; RSUA Year Book (1972).
(6) RSUA Year Book (1973) and succeeding editions.

Author Title Date Details
Ferguson, Robert 'Filtration of water' 1934 IB 76, 7 Apr 1934, 290. (Summary of lecture given in Belfast.)
Ferguson, Robert 'Newry Ship-Canal improvement scheme' 1936 Journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers 4 (Nov 1936), 51.
Ferguson, Robert 'The effect of registration' 1938 IB 80, 29 Oct 1938, 900. (Summary of chairman's address to Northern Ireland Association of the Institution of Civil Engineers.)