James Arthur Banks

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James Arthur Banks
Born 1897
Died 1 December 1967 (aged 67)
Nationality Scottish
Engineering career
Engineering discipline Civil
Institution memberships Institution of Civil Engineers (president),
Royal Society of Edinburgh (Fellow)

James Arthur Banks CVO OBE FRSE (1897 – 1 December 1967) was a Scottish civil engineer.[1]

Banks was born in Glasgow in 1897. He attended Woodside Higher Grade School in Glasgow. During World War I he served in the Royal Marine Engineers, from 1914 to 1918.[2]

He initially trained as a structural engineer and then joined Babtie, Shaw and Morton in 1921 to train as a civil engineer.[3] He worked in England and the USA and returned to Babtie, Shaw and Morton in 1929. His speciality was the design and construction of dams for water supply and power generation, commencing with Afton Reservoir. He became a partner of the firm in 1931 and was senior partner from 1940 to 1966.

He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1944.[4] He was appointed an officer of the same order in the New Year Honours of 1947 and a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 31 May 1963.[5][6] From 1961 Banks was chairman of the International Commission on Large Dams and was Consulting Engineer to Queen Elizabeth II for the Balmoral Estate and a member of the Court of the University of Strathclyde.[4] He served as president of the Institution of Civil Engineers from November 1965 to November 1966 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 6 March 1967.[1][7]

He died on 1 December 1967.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Royal Society of Edinburgh list of fellows
  2. http://www.royalsoced.org.uk/cms/files/fellows/biographical_index/fells_indexp1.pdf
  3. Babtie 1895-1995: A Century of Achievement. Babtie Group. 1995. p66
  4. 4.0 4.1 ICE biography
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37835. p. 19. 31 December 1946. Retrieved 10 August 2008.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43010. p. 5. 31 May 1963. Retrieved 10 August 2008.
  7. Watson, Garth (1988). The Civils. Thomas Telford. p. 254. ISBN 0-7277-0392-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Robert Wynne-Edwards
President of the Institution of Civil Engineers
November 1965 – November 1966
Succeeded by
Ralph Freeman