Jean Rodolphe Perronet, French civil engineer, 1782.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Augustin de St Aubin after a painting by C Cochin. Jean Rodolphe Perronet (1708-1794) was trained as an architect and worked as a civil engineer for the French government. In 1747 he was appointed the first director of the new 'Ecole des ponts et chausees' (School of Bridges and Causeways), a position which he held until his death in 1794. During this time he designed and constructed a number of outstanding arch bridges, including the Pont de la Concorde acros the Seine in Paris (1787-1791).