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French engineer.

Biographical Information

Name: André Coyne
Born on 10 February 1891 in , Ile-de-France, France, Europe
Deceased on 21 July 1960 in , Hauts-de-Seine (92), Ile-de-France, France, Europe
Place(s) of activity:

Studies at the Ecole polytechnique, then Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées


Works in Brest;
Oversees the design competition and the construction of the Plougastel Bridge (Pont Albert Louppe)


Engineer in Dordogne

1929 - 1935

Construction of the Marèges Dam

1935 - 1946

Construction of the L'Aigle Dam


Founds his own office Coyne et Bellier

Structures and Projects

Participation in the following structures & large-scale projects:


Biography from Wikipedia

André Coyne (10 February 1891, Paris – 21 July 1960, Neuilly-sur-Seine) was a French civil engineer who designed 70 dams in 14 countries. He received his education at École Polytechnique and its School of Civil Engineering afterwards.

He worked on the Plougastel Bridge and in 1928 was appointed as the chief engineer of dams in the Upper Dordogne River. While in that position, he designed the Marèges Dam which incorporated several innovative advancements in dam design. In 1935 he became the head of France's Large Dam Engineering Department and between 1945 and 1953 he served as President of the International Commission on Large Dams. In 1947 he departed civil service and started his own consulting firm, Coyne et Bellier.

Other dams he later designed in France include the Grandval and Roselend Dams. Overseas he designed the Kariba Dam on the Zimbabwe-Zambia border and the Daniel-Johnson Dam in Quebec.

Coyne also designed the Malpasset Dam in Southern France. Nearly immediately after construction was completed on the dam, cracks were noticed at the base. A few years later, on 2 December 1959, the dam abruptly swung open and released a 50-meter-high (160 ft) wall of water that reached the nearby town of Fréjus, killing 423 people. It was said that Coyne was deeply affected by the dam's failure, and immediately blamed himself, claiming he was solely responsible. Indeed, Coyne did not implement the advice of Georges Corroy, a geologist, to build the dam 650 ft upstream, nor did he adapt the spillway gate to the flood flow. He died half a year later.

A study later found that the design of the dam was probably not the reason for its failure. Other factors were blamed instead, including the location of the dam, the stability of the rock material, the fact that a geological fault was found on the site, and heavy rain that had raised the water level by 15 feet that year. Also, intense mining for a new highway nearby downstream is suspected to have weakened the dam site.

The company that André Coyne started is still operating under the name Coyne et Bellier.

Text imported from Wikipedia article "André Coyne" and modified on 22 July 2019 under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.


  1. Coyne, André (1933): Perfectionnement aux évacuateurs de crues souterrains. In: Annales des Ponts et Chaussées, n. 6 ( 1933), pp. 346.
  2. Coyne, André (1936): La catastrophe de Molare. In: Annales des Ponts et Chaussées, n. 2 ( 1936), pp. 133.
  3. Coyne, André / Escande, L. (1956): Les Laboratoires d'Hydraulique de l'Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Electrotechnique et d'Hudraulique de Toulouse. In: Travaux, n. 266 (December 1956), pp. 643.
  4. Coyne, André (1959): Le barrage de Kariba. In: Travaux, n. 297 (July 1959), pp. 395.
  5. Coyne, André (1950): Barrages-usines de l'Aigle et de Saint-Cantalès. In: Travaux, n. 185 (March 1950), pp. 195.
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