Sir James Holt

Sir James Holt was an engineer and public servant who made major contributions to Australian infrastructure in the early to mid 1900s.

Born in Lithgow, News South Wales in 1899, Sir James was educated in Sydney and obtained a Bachelor of Engineering with first-class honours in civil engineering in 1921. He began his career as a draftsman on the Sydney Harbour Bridge project, and was soon promoted to supervising engineer. Following the opening of the bridge to traffic, Sir James worked as officer-in-charge of the Department of Main Roads office at Narooma.

Throughout his career, Sir James played a key role in the development of a number of major projects including the Story Bridge and the build of UQ’s St Lucia campus. He also served as chief engineer in the coordinator-general’s department, and in 1954 became coordinator-general himself.

Sir James was chairman for various professional bodies, including the Queensland Traffic Commission, the Standards Association of Australia’s Queensland committee, and the Queensland division of the Institution of Engineers Australia.

He became a member of The University of Queensland Senate in 1955. In 1960 he was knighted, and in 1965 received a Doctor of Engineering honoris causa from UQ. Sir James passed away in 1982.


Doctor of Engineering honoris causa