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KIERBEDŹ, Stanisław

* 10. 3. 1810, Nowy Dwór, Lithuania
† 19. 4. 1899, Warsaw, Poland

civil engineer, railway engineer

After graduating from Vilnius University, Kierbedź enrolled in the Institute of Traffic Engineers in St. Petersburg in 1828, completed his studies in 1831, and became an engineer and first lieutenant. During his studies in Kurland, he participated in a project that aimed to make sea traffic possible by using the waterfall over the Dvina River (near the city Koknese), at the location of the outfall of the Perse. After he completed his training at the Institute of Traffic Engineers, he held lectures on construction at the Institute. From 1835 onwards he taught practical mechanics at the School of Civil Military Engineering in St. Petersburg, and from 1836 onwards theoretical mechanics at the Mining Institute. Kierbedź and M. Jastrzębsky gave the initiative to found the first mechanical laboratory (1834). In 1842 he outlined and built the first bridge over the river Neva in St. Petersburg, the first large multilayered metal bridge in Russia. The bridge was not rebuilt until 1937/1938, when bigger ships had to be loaded.
From 1841 to 1843 Kierbedź taught practical mechanics at the university in St. Petersburg. In 1842 he was appointed professor of practical mechanics at the Institute of Traffic Engineers. The subject was expanded to include the construction of locomotives, cranes and transport devices.
He was also a member of different construction committees, among others of the Committee for Transport and Public Institutions’ Projects (1842), and a committee that determines the rules for new geodesic devices. In 1882 he was in charge of a committee at the Ministry of Transport that was assigned to put together a school programme for the subject ‘’Construction and the Use of Railways’’ for the Institute of Traffic Engineers.
In 1852, Kierbedź became the vice-president of the construction of the St. Petersburg-Warsaw railway. On his initiative, steel, beam and lattice cantilevers were used for bridge building in Russia for the very first time. From 1853 to 1857 a bridge that Kierbedź constructed was being built over Luga. He also worked on projects using an upper parabolic arch (which was an unfamiliar type of construction in Russia at that time): a triple beam bridge over the Dvina River, and a single beam bridge over Welikaja. The iron, required to complete this project, had to be brought from England, but the Crimean War prevented that and the bridges were never built. Work on the St. Petersburg-Warsaw railway was interrupted and Kierbedź was authorised to do new projects, however, he was also building the bridge over the Luga River. In 1854 he was in charge of building the Wierzbolowski track, which was supposed to connect the St. Petersburg-Warsaw railway with Königsberg in East Prussia. In 1856/1857 he supervised the construction of the railway between St. Petersburg and Petrodworec, 28 km long; there he built a drumstick steel bridge over the Srielka River in Strzeln.
Kierbedź also worked on a project of a sextuple beam bridge, and a road bridge over Wisla in Warsav; he was also appointed chief engineer and chairman of the project’s administration board. When the foundations were being built, condensed air was used for its construction for the first time in Poland. Kierbedź was the first to conduct research on riveting. The construction work took 5 years and in 1864 the bridge was opened for traffic. In 1858 the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg awarded him with honorary membership. In 1889, Kierbedź became the honorary member of the Institute of Traffic Engineers in St. Petersburg. He was also the honorary member of the Association of Traffic Engineers. In 1891 he moved to Warsaw. Just before he died, he donated his technical library to the Technical College in Lemberg.

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