Michael Faraday, who was born over two hundred years ago, is chiefly remembered for his scientific discoveries in electricity
which are seen as laying the basis for modern electrical engineering.
His discoveries, made in the basement laboratories of the Royal Institution, include electro-magnetic rotations
(the principle behind the electric motor) and electro-magnetic induction (the principle behind the electric generator and transformer). They had a few practical applications during his life but from the late 19th century onwards, electricity came to be used ever more-widely.
A second crucial feature of Faraday's work was in providing scientific advice to the state and its agencies. For instance, he was scientific adviser to Trinity House (the English and Welsh lighthouse authority) from 1836 to 1865 in which role he oversaw many innovations in lighthouse technology.
Finally, Faraday was the supreme scientific communicator of his time, using the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution to popularise science and engineering to his audience and to the print media beyond. In the 1820s he played a role in founding the Christmas lectures for young people, which continue to this day and have been televised since the mid 1960s.