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Biographical entry Thwaites, William (1853 - 1907)


13 August 1853
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
19 November 1907
San Remo, Victoria, Australia
Civil engineer and Public servant


William Thwaites was engineer-in-chief from 1891 to 1907 of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, which had been established to build the sewerage system.



Education - Certificate of Engineering (CE), University of Melbourne
Education - Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Melbourne
1874 - 1876
Career position - Pupil-draftsman with the Victorian Department of Railways
Education - Master of Art (MA), University of Melbourne
1876 - 1879
Career position - Assistant Draftsman with the South Australian Department of Railways
Career position - Victorian Department of Public Works
1883 - 1890
Career position - Engineer of roads, bridges and reclamation works with the Victorian Department of Public Works
6 December 1887
Career event - Associate Member (AssocMInstCE), Institution of Civil Engineers
5 November 1889
Career event - Member (MInstCE), Institution of Civil Engineers
1890 - 1891
Career position - Engineer-in-charge, Water Supply Branch, Victorian Department of Public Works
1891 - 1907
Career position - Engineer-in-Chief at the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works
Education - Master of Civil Engineering (MCE), University of Melbourne


Related People

Published resources


  • La Nauze, Robert D., Engineer to Marvellous Melbourne: the Life and Times of William Thwaites (North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2011), 217 pp. Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • La Nauze, Robert, 'Who Designed Melbourne's Sewerage System?', Victorian Historical Journal, 182 (2011), 175-93. Details

Newspaper Articles


Resource Sections

  • Rasmussen, Carolyn, 'From the Significant to the Indispensible: The Working Lives of Seventeen Figures in the History of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian National University, 2019, Details

See also

  • Cumming, D. A., Some Public Works Engineers in Victoria in the Nineteenth Century (Melbourne: University of Melbourne, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, 1985), 59 pp. Details
  • Institution of Engineers, Australia. Sydney Division. Engineering Heritage Committee, The Historic Engineering Plaques of Australia (Milsons Point, New South Wales: The Institution of Engineers, Australia, 1994), 38 pp. p.28. Spotswood Pumping Station, Museum of Victoria, Spotswood, VIC. Details

Rosanne Walker