Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame

Queensferry Crossing bridgeQueensferry Crossing Cable-Stayed Bridge, Firth of Forth, Scotland, 2017 alongside its neighbours the Forth Road Bridge and the Forth Bridge

Naeem HussainNaeem Hussain (born 1942), civil and structural engineer; designer of Queensferry Crossing bridge

Engineering achievements

Following graduation in 1962, Naeem joined Associated British Consultants in E.Pakistan as a structural engineer and worked on a variety of building structures varying from industrial factories, hospitals to office buildings. In 1964 he transferred to their sister company, Kenchington Little & Partners in London, where he worked on buildings such as the complex comprising of Euston Tower, Camden Library and Shaw Theatre. He then studied architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture London, before joining Christiani & Nielsen Contractors in 1967 as a Section Engineer for construction of viaducts on the M5 Midland Links Motorway, which attracted him to bridge engineering. This led Naeem to join the Arup Bridge Group in 1969.

Naeem's contribution to bridge engineering grew as the nascent Arup bridge group expanded their contribution to bridges worldwide, from short span concrete bridges to very long span cable-stayed and suspension bridges. Naeem always endeavoured to design visually pleasing bridges, an early example of which is the River Ouse Bridge in York with its doubly curved soffit (1973). Between 1973 and 1985, Naeem set up bridge groups in Malaysia, Nigeria and Hong Kong and worked on highway bridges, notably the Numan Bridge across the River Benue which provided much needed access to north-east Nigeria.

He designed the competition winning Hulme Arch Bridge in Manchester (1999), the first bridge in the world with a diagonal arch. It has been described as the 'show-piece for the civil engineering profession' and was awarded Millennium Product Status for its innovation, creativity and pioneering qualities. Naeem was a member of the competition winning design team and project director in London for development of the concept and illustrative design of the Øresund Crossing between Denmark and Sweden which has a combined road and rail cable-stayed bridge of 490m span, then the longest of its kind (2000).

He was the Engineering Manager for the concept and detail design of civil engineering structures on the 106km long High Speed 1 Railway built between London and the Channel Tunnel (2003). The structures included two major underground stations, cut and cover tunnels, and over 170 rail and road bridges, including the 152m main span Medway balanced cantilever bridge.

In 1998 he transferred to Hong Kong to design and project manage West Rail mass transit railway CC2 contract which comprises 7km of rail viaducts and 3 overground stations. Naeem led the concept and detail design for Deep Bay Link Viaducts and Shenzhen Western Corridor Bridge that link Hong Kong to Shenzhen across Deep Bay. The main navigation spans are bridged by single inclined tower cable stay bridges (2004). He was the leader for the detail design of the Hong Kong Stonecutters cable stayed bridge with extensive high level approach viaducts. The bridge has a main span of 1018m and comprises two nearly 300m tall mono towers, a split deck of widely separated twin longitudinal orthotropic boxes and two cable planes in a semi-fan arrangement. It was one of the first cable stay bridges in the world with a span in excess of 1000m (2009).

Naeem was the concept designer and leader for the illustrative design of the 3-tower cable stayed Queensferry Crossing bridge with composite spans of 650m, which he has described as a 'blade of light across the Firth'. It uses stay cables crossed at mid-span to restrain the central tower, and this is the first use in the world of crossed cables at this scale. The design aimed to ensure that it was in scale and a good visual neighbour to the existing road and rail bridges, the latter being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bridge was opened by the Queen on 4th September 2017.

He worked on the concept and tender design on both the Mainland and Hong Kong sides of the 43km long Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge (HKZMB) across the Pearl River Delta. His notable contribution was for the concept and illustrative design of the Jizhou navigation bridge with sail-like towers which has become the visual symbol of HKZMB (2018).

He is the leader for the concept and detail design of the 30km Brunei Temburong Link (2019) which comprises 3km of land viaducts and bored tunnels, 14km of marine viaduct, 2 cable stayed navigation bridges and 12km of innovative viaducts across the Temburong swamp forest. The cable stay bridges have unique Islamic architectural towers.

Naeem has worked on road and rail bridges, viaducts and railway stations in Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Maldives, India, Iran, Qatar, South Africa, Turkey, Canada and USA.

His Life

Age Event Year
Born in Yeotmal India 1942
4 Migrated to Pakistan with parents at time of independence 1947
20 West Pakistan University of Engineering and Technology, Civil Engineering 1962
20 Structural Engineer, Associated British Consultants, Chittagong, E.Pakistan 1962
21 Structural Engineer, Kenchington Little & Partners, London 1964
25 Design Studies, Architectural Association School of Architecture, London 1967
25 Section Engineer, Christiani & Nielsen Contractors 1967
27 Bridge Engineer, Ove Arup and Partners, London 1969
29 Graduated MSc, DIC, Concrete Structures, Imperial College London1971
31 Set up Arup Bridge Group in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 1973
33 Married Moira Elizabeth Dunbar from Whitburn, West Lothian, Scotland 1975
35 Set up Arup Bridge Group in Nigeria 1977
40 Set up Arup Bridge Group in Hong Kong 1982
44 Associate Director, Ove Arup and Partners, London 1986
44 Lecturer, Architectural Association School of Architecture , London 1986
52 Arup's Bridge Leader in London 1994
55 Arup's Bridge Leader in Hong Kong 1998
65 Arup's Global Bridge Leader 2007
67 Fellow, Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences 2010
69 Prince Philip Medal, Royal Academy of Engineering 2012
75 Honorary Fellow, Royal Incorporated Architects of Scotland 2018
75 Inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame on 5 October 2018
75 Honorary Fellow, Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland 5 October 2018

His Legacy

Educated in both engineering and architecture, Naeem is a firm believer in a holistic approach to design which respects the client's budget, combines engineering and architecture in a visually pleasing manner, is sympathetic to the immediate environs and is easily inspectable and maintainable. This concern for holistic and appropriate design led him to chair the drafting of the 'Guidelines for Design Competition for Bridges' published in 2013 by the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering. With the growth of architecturally convoluted and unrealisable designs, it is expected and hoped that the guidelines will help clients and procurement agencies holding bridge design competitions to achieve a successful outcome that fits their aspirations and budget. Naeem has been instrumental in growing with and expanding the small Arup bridge group in 1969 into a large inter-connected bridge group that is located in and provides design services from offices in Australasia, East Asia, Middle East, Europe, UK, Africa, and North America, with an emphasis on quality design in keeping with Sir Ove Arup's vision of delivering appropriate and integrated multi-disciplinary design.

More Information

Arup Fellows: Naeem Hussain
Download: Naeem Hussain's acceptance speech Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame, James Watt Dinner, 5 October 2018

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