Visionary bridge design engineer Dr Michel Virlogeux FREng will next week share his thoughts with an influential audience in Edinburgh on the architecture and aesthetics of some of his most iconic projects, such as the Millau Viaduct, and look forward at the direction of future designs and construction methods.

Speaking at the annual Royal Academy of Engineering/Royal Society of Edinburgh joint lecture on Monday 24 March, Dr Virlogeux will tell Fellows and guests of the two national academies what he has learned from his world-renowned bridge projects, including the spectacular Millau Viaduct - the world's longest bridge at this altitude (343 metres) with piers taller than the Eiffel Tower.

Dr Virlogeux has designed over 100 of his native France's most beloved bridges, including the Ottmarsheim Bridge over the Alsace Canal, the Moulin sur Escaut rail bridge and the Seyssel cable-stayed bridge over the river Rhone. He worked in the Bridge Department of SETRA, the technical service of the French Highway Administration, and later headed up its large bridge division, where he designed the Normandy Bridge, one of Europe's steepest bridges. As an independent consulting engineer, he then went on to design the Millau Viaduct and was also the independent assessor for the Vasco de Gama Bridge in Lisbon.

Dr Virlogeux's latest undertaking, currently under construction, is the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge (the Third Bosphorus Bridge), which he co-designed with Jean-Francois Klein. On completion in 2015 it will, at 59 metres wide, be the widest suspension bridge in the world. With a main span of 1408 metres carrying 8 lanes of motorway and 2 lanes of railway on the same level, it will be the world's longest span carrying a rail system.

Edinburgh is a particularly appropriate place for Dr Virlogeux to be speaking, as the city embarks on construction of its own iconic new bridge over the Forth - the Queensferry Crossing. Scheduled for completion in 2016, the 2.7 km long cable-stayed bridge will have three slender single column towers and carry a two-lane motorway.

Notes for editors

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK's national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK's role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK's world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook. We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.
  2. The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) is a leading educational charity which operates in an independent and non-party-political basis to provide public benefit throughout Scotland. Established by Royal Charter in 1783 by key proponents of the Scottish Enlightenment, the work of the RSE includes awarding research funding, leading on major inquiries, informing public policy and delivering events to inspire knowledge and learning.

For more information please contact:

Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering 
Tel: 020 7766 0636
Email:  Jane Sutton


Jordan Ogg at the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 240 2792
Email:  Jordan Ogg

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