Albert Burnard Geen
Albert Burnard Geen (1882-1966)
1966 Obituary 
ALBERT BURNARD GEEN, who was born on 30 July, 1882, died on 16 March, 1966.
Educated at Thanet College, Margate, and Whitgift Grammar School, Croydon, he studied at the Crystal Palace School of Practical Engineering from 1899 to 1902, and later passed the Associate Membership examination. His early work on the design of bridge and roof structures favourably impressed Sir Benjamin Baker, on whose recommendation he joined the London County Council (Bridges) in 1905, under Mr W. C. Copperthwaite (M). Here he was engaged on tramway bridges, steamboat piers and the Holborn-Strand subway.
In 1907 he became Chief Assistant Engineer to the Patent Indented Steel Bar Company and gained wide experience over the next three years in the design of reinforced concrete structures-reservoirs, water-towers, arch and girder bridges, jetties and retaining walls.
With this background he went into private practice as Consulting Engineer in 1910 and over the next fifty years achieved a remarkable reputation in foundation and structural engineering. He became in 1911 Consulting Engineer to the Festival of Empire Exhibition, and in conjunction with Mr Edward Box (M) reported on a scheme for ship-repairing and for a shipbuilding yard on the Great Lakes of Canada, later negotiating a subsidy with the Dominion Government.
During World War I he was appointed to the Metropolitan Munitions Committee, and in 1918 transferred to the Mechanical Warfare Department (tanks), where he handled the liquidation of all contracts, amounting to some L10 million. Among many major contracts carried out to his design and specification between and after the two world wars were those for three cathedrals (of Liverpool, Guildford and Cairo), Southampton’s Civic Centre, the extension of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, Cambridge University’s new library, and foundations for gasworks, churches and factory buildings of all kinds.
During World War I1 he joined the Ministry of Aircraft Production. A fire at an important factory was put out under his direction by the injection of lime and cement-this, and subsequent underpinning, at a cost of E320 000. In 1952 he became Consulting Engineer to the City Corporation of London for the reconstruction of the Guildhall, including underpinning the north wall.
Six years later he went into association with Messrs W. S. Atkins & Partners, of Westminster. Mr Geen, who had been offered the O.B.E., was a member of the Institution of Structural Engineers and a Fellow and one-time President of the Society of Engineers. Author of Continuous beams in reinforced concrete (Chapman & Hall, London), 1913, he delivered the Chadwick Lecture of 1937 on ‘Modern treatment of foundations on difficult sites’ (Tract 8vo. Vol. 709, London, 1937), and presented the following papers at the Institution: ‘Fire under a factory’, J. 1944, 23 (Dec.), 91, and ‘Guildhall: provision of new foundations to the north wall by underpinning and other means.’ P.1, 1954, 3 (Mar.), 201. Correspondence: P.1, 1954, 3 (Nov.), 745. Generous by nature and an amusing speaker, Mr Geen learned from his wife to paint landscape in watercolour up to exhibition standard. Elected an Associate Member in 1908, he became a Member in 1921. Thus for nearly 60 years he was on the Roll of the Institution. He is survived by his widow.