28.5.1864 Loughill (Limerick)/IE - 12.10.1934 San Francisco/USA
Michael Maurice O'Shaughnessy graduated as a civil engineer from the Dublin Royal University in 1884 and shortly later moved to the USA. From 1886 to 1890 he was engaged with railroad projects and then was in general engineering practice in San Francisco CA. From 1896 to 1898 he contributed to the Spring Valley Water Company in California. From 1899 to 1906 O'Shaughnessy designed and executed the water supply of sugar plantations in Hawaii. He acted then as chief engineer of the Southern California Mountain Water Company in San Diego, constructing the 80 m high Morena dam and 20 km of pipes with 17 tunnels for the city. In 1912 O'Shaughnessy was appointed city engineer of San Francisco, a position he held for the following twenty years.
"Chief" O'Shaughnessy's work was related to the new infrastructure for San Francisco after the disastrous 1906 earthquake. It included the Twin Peaks tunnel, the famous Seashore Wall, the Streetcar system and the San Francisco water supply and electric power project, involving dams, pipelines and tunnels from the O'Shaughnessy Dam named to his honor in the Sierra Nevada. A difficult task was to obtain from the US Congress to grant for the enormous water supply scheme. The approvals were signed by President Wilson in 1913, and O'Shaughnessy stated that he had never handled any proposition where the engineering problems were so simple and the political so complex. The site chosen for the O'Shaughnessy Dam were ideal for its purpose. The mountains are largely granite and thus made the distance of some 250 km from San Francisco unbeatable. O'Shaughnessy was awarded the ASCE James Laurie Prize in 1913 for his 1912 paper. He was a Member of the New England Water Works Association, and ASCE, thereby serving as president of the San Francisco section.
Anonymous (1915). The municipal engineering works of San Francisco. Engineering News
73(7): 289. P
Anonymous (1935). Michael Maurice O'Shaughnessy. Trans. ASCE 100: 1710-1713. O'Shaughnessy, M.M. (1912). Construction of the Morena rock fill Dam, San Diego County, California. Trans. ASCE 75: 27-67.
O'Shaughnessy, M.M. (1922). Construction progress of the Hetch Hetchy water supply of San Francisco, California. Trans. ASCE 85: 869-909.
Paullin, C.O. (1944). O'Shaughnessy. Dictionary of American Biography 21: 587-588. http://www.realizedvision.com/mos.htm P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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