Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

DODWELL, Charles Edwards Willoughby , b. 17 Oct. 1853, Gloucestershire, Eng.; d. 29 Dec. 1930, Halifax. Educated at New College School, Oxford, Bishopís College School, Lennoxville, Que., and Kingís College, Windsor, N.S., he was graduated with a BA in 1873. He worked as an assistant engineer on the construction of principal railways in N.S., (1874-1877), becoming an assistant provincial engineer in 1877. He joined the Canadian Pacific Railway in Montreal (1881), making the first plans for the St. Lawrence Bridge at Lachine (with G.H. Massey), and then worked on the construction of the Ontarian and Quebec Railway between Toronto and Smith Falls until 1884. He constructed the main line from Montreal to Vaudreuil (1885-1889), including an arched stone viaduct and the bridges at Ste. Anneís, Stockerís Creek and Vaudreuil. In private practice after 1889, he was then district engineer of the Department of Public Works of Canada at Halifax in 1891, and, in 1922 was promoted to supervising district engineer for the Maritimes. He was a major figure in the professionalization of Canadian engineers. In 1887, he helped found the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (renamed Engineering Institute of Canada, 1918), served nearly continuously on its council from 1890 to 1911, was elected vice president in 1904 and 1911, and was instrumental in organizing the Halifax Branch, which he chaired for two years. He was the foremost advocate of improving the status of engineers in the public service, and, in 1919, chaired an EIC committee that drafted a model licensing act which formed the basis of provincial engineering licensing authorities, including the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia (1922). He was its first president. He was also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain. An Anglican, he married Alice M. Dimock and they had six children.

April Wagner