Isambard Kingdom Brunel, FRS (9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859), was a leading "british" civil engineer, famed for his bridges and dockyards, and especially for the construction of the first major "british" railway, the Great Western Railway, a series of famous steamships, including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering. Though Brunel's projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his short career, Brunel achieved many engineering "firsts", including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and development of SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven ocean-going iron ship, which was at the time (1843) also the largest ship ever built. Brunel set the standard for a very well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimize grades and curves. That necessitated expensive construction techniques and new bridges and viaducts, and the famous two-mile-long Box Tunnel. One controversial feature was the wide gauge (7 feet ¼", instead of the normal 4'8½"), which added to passenger comfort but made construction much more expensive and caused difficulties when eventually it had to interconnect with other railways using standard gauge; after his death the gauge was changed to 4'8½". Brunel astonished Britain by proposing to extend the GWR westward to North America by building steam-powered iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionized naval engineering.