Alfred Noble (August 7, 1844 - April 19, 1914) was an American civil engineer who was best known for his work on canals, particularly the Soo Locks between the Great Lakes of Huron and Superior, and the Panama Canal. Noble graduated with his University of Michigan class in June 1870, receiving his degree in civil engineering at age 26. After graduation, Noble went to work full-time on harbor surveys and improvements along the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.[1][2][3]

He was chief engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad's New York City East River projects, which built tunnels carrying four lanes of track between Manhattan and Queens. Amtrak, the Long Island Railroad, and New Jersey Transit continue to run trains through these tunnels well into their second century of use..[4]


  1. ^ "Alfred Noble Papers at the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan". quod.lib.umich.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-28. 
  2. ^ Weingardt, Richard G. "Alfred Noble: Special Consultant to Presidents and Governments (ASCE Biography)". Leadership and Management in Engineering. American Society of Civil Engineers. 13 (4): 282–289. doi:10.1061/(asce)lm.1943-5630.0000247. 
  3. ^ McCullough, David (1977). The Path Between the Seas. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. ISBN 978-0671-24409-5. 
  4. ^ Brace, James (1912). "The East River Division". In Couper, William. History of the Engineering Construction and Equipment of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's New York Terminal and Approaches. New York: Isaac H. Blanchard Co. p. 79.