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Biographical entry Francis, Arthur James (1914 - 2008)

8 February 1914
Newport, England
12 August 2008
Civil engineer


Arthur James Francis and colleagues at the University of Melbourne developed composite piles for bridge supports. These were incorporated into the design for the Captain Cook Bridge in Sydney by John Holland Constructions. With an overall length of 220 ft, they consisted of 20 inch square pre-stressed concrete upper sections joined to 14 x 14 1/2 inch steel H piles. At the time (1962), they were claimed to be the longest driven piles in the world; they may well remain the most slender.


Born Newport, England, 8 February 1914. Educated Birmingham University (MSc, PhD). Civil engineer, design & construction 1935-45; Lecturer, Civil Engineering Department, Birmingham University 1945-50; Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Melbourne from 1951.

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Rosanne Walker