The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Hickson, Robert Rowan Purdon
Hickson, Robert Rowan Purdon, J.P., Mem. Inst. C.E., was born in Sept. 1842, and educated at St. Columba's College, Dublin, and articled to James Burton, Mem. Inst. C.E. He was appointed engineer in charge of the Barrow Harbour Improvement Works in 1872. In 1874 he was elected an associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and transferred to member in 1876, in which year he was nominated by Sir John Coode for the position of Engineer-in-Chief of Harbours and Jetties in South Australia. This post he held until 1881, when he went to New South Wales as engineer in charge of the Northern District under the Harbours and Rivers Department. In 1887 he became acting Engineer-in-Chief of Harbours and Rivers in New South Wales, and on the retirement of the late W. C. Bennett, Mem. Inst. C.E., in 1888, he was appointed Commissioner and Engineer-in-Chief of Roads, Bridges, and Sewerage, and an official member of the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board, Sydney. Mr. Hickson is the son of the Rev. George Hickson and Charlotte Rowan his wife.