The design of the bridge was originally submitted among other in a competition, all entries were rejected, however, it was in a second competition that Brunel's entry won.
Interestingly, Robert Stephenson's famous Rocket, manufacture in 1829 was also a winner in a competition.
"Robert Stephenson and Company at Newcastle’s Forth Street Works, close to today’s Newcastle Central railway station, Rocket won the famous Rainhill Trials the same year to become the fastest locomotive ever built up to that point. The Rainhill Trails were a major public competition held in October 1829 by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world’s first main-line railway, to find a new, more efficient form of locomotion.
When Rocket’s turn came it completed the trials at an average speed of 15 miles per hour. It later made celebratory runs in front of the crowds at Rainhill that set a world speed record of 35 miles per hour, three times Rocket’s design speed.
In his attempt to win the prize of £500 (worth approximately £50,000 today) the 25-year-old Robert Stephenson combined several innovations with his new locomotive Rocket to improve efficiency and performance. As Rocket was built as a prototype, the production models made soon after were more refined. But Rocket had already secured its place in history: the basic design was ground-breaking and paved the way for subsequent main-line steam locomotive design."