The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Fuertes, Estevan Antonio

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FUERTES, Estevan Antonio, American civil engineer: b. San Juan, Porto Rico, 1838; d. 1903. He received his education at Salamanca, Spain, and at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N. Y. In 1861-63 he was assistant engineer in the Department of Public Works, Porto Rico, and subsequently served as director of public works for the western district of that island. Coming to the United States in 1864 he was successively assistant engineer and engineer to the Croton Aqueduct Board, and in 1870-71 was chief engineer of the American Isthmian Canal expeditions to Tehuantepec and Nicaragua to investigate and report on the practicability of a ship canal connecting the Caribbean and the Pacific. In 1873 he was appointed dean of the civil engineering department of Cornell, and in 1890-1902 directed the college of civil engineering there and brought the equipment of that department up to modern standard. In 1902 he became professor of astronomy at Cornell and supervised the construction of the Barnes Observatory. He planned a drainage system for Santos, Brazil. He was a member of many scientific societies, American, and foreign.