Person: Girard (2), Pierre-Simon
Pierre-Simon Girard was a French mathematician and engineer. He published works on fluid flow.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Pierre-Simon's early education was in Caen where he showed a strong preference for mathematical and scientific topics.
- Following this, Girard was sent to Le Havre where Lamblardie was in charge of transportation, roads and the enlargement of the harbour.
- It was excellent practical training for Girard, for Lamblardie's successful venture led to Le Havre becoming one of the leading ports in Europe.
- Then Girard was assigned to Paris and, in 1790, saw that the Académie des Sciences had proposed a prize on the theory of locks applied to seaports and canals, and the best methods of construction.
- Girard and de Prony worked on geometrical problems from around 1791.
- Girard had been in charge of planning and construction of the Amiens canal, which explains his reference to time spent in Amiens.
- Another project that Girard and de Prony collaborated on was the Dictionnaire des Ponts et Chaussés Ⓣ(Dictionary of bridges and roads).
- In 1798 Girard published an important work Traité analytique de la résistance des solides Ⓣ(Analytical treatise on the resistance of solids) on the strength of materials in which he described two machines for compression testing long columns of wood.
- Girard joined Napoleon expeditionary force, which landed near Alexandria in July 1798, as Assistant Director of the Ponts et Chaussées.
- When the "Mémoires sur l'Egypte" Ⓣ(Memoir on Egypt) was published it contained many articles by Girard covering all the areas we have mentioned above.
- He appointed Girard, always a staunch supporter, as Divisional Inspector of Ponts et Chaussées during the famous Hundred Days.
- However, when the monarchy was restored after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Girard was stripped of his rank.
- Girard gave a full account of the Ourcq canal project in a two volume treatise Mémoires sur le Canal de l'Ourcq et la distribution de ses eaux: sur le dessèchement et l'assainissement de Paris, et les divers canaux navigables Ⓣ(Memoir on the Ourcq Canal and the distribution of its waters: the drainage and sanitation of Paris, and the various navigable canals) (1831-1840).
- Once he was no longer involved in the Ourcq canal project, Girard was free to undertake other work and in 1819 he was commissioned to direct a project installing gas lighting in large Paris theatres and in various neighborhoods of Paris.
- The canal is estimated by P-S Girard, the engineer who constructed it and had the whole superintendence of distributing the water in Paris, at 4,000 inches of water.
Born 4 November 1765, Caen, France. Died 30 November 1836, Paris, France.
View full biography at MacTutor
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive