After a billiant carreer at the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, Gustave Eiffel specialized in metal structures, becoming a world expert.
In1858, he managed the construction of the metal bridge in Bordeaux and then built the bridge over the Nive in Bayonne and the Capdenac and Florac bridges .
In 1868, built two long metal pier viaducts over the Sioule and the Neuvial which was followed by a series of bridges and viaducts in France and abroad. The most famous of these was the Garabit viaduct (1882 - 1884) which remains to this day one of the most daring structures of the type. At the same period he developed the incremental launching technique for bridge decks and worked on many other projects such as the locks on the Panama canal.
In 1886, he designed the iron framework for Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty and, from 1887 to 1889, built the tower that bears his name for the Paris Universal Exhibition.
The design work for the tower stimulated an interest in aerodynamics, and once complete he used the tower for scientific research.
In 1912, set up the first aerodynamics laboratory in Auteuil which made an important contribution to the early stages of aircraft design.
During the First World War he continued his experiments on aircraft wings, streamlined bodies, propellors, projectiles etc. and in 1921 gave his laboratory to the State.