Mallet, Robert

Robert Mallet FRS (1810-81)

Robert Mallet was born in Dublin and graduated in science and mathematics from the University of Dublin in 1830. He entered his father's iron foundry business and built the firm into one of the most important engineering works in Ireland supplying the ironwork for the railway companies, the Fastnet lighthouse and swivel bridges over the River Shannon.

Mallet researched the properties and strengths of materials and attempted a scientific explanation of fracture in terms of the molecular structure of the metal. He patented the "buckled plate", which combined maximum strength and minimum weight.

Mallet's paper to the Royal Irish Academy in 1846 is considered to be one of the foundations of modern seismology. With his son he compiled a catalogue of the World's Earthquakes (1852-54) and a seismographic Map of the World (1857) both of which were published by the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

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