Working in engineering is a rewarding career path. It allows you to make a difference in the world by using problem-solving skills to overcome seemingly impossible challenges. Major infrastructure projects can improve the lives of thousands and even millions of people through improved access to clean water, better transport links, and a more aesthetically pleasing environment.
If you are considering becoming an engineer and you want to leave your mark on the world, then these are some of the most prestigious projects you could aspire to work on.
Bridges have been a part of civilization for all of recorded history. It’s likely the bridges created by early humans were very primitive in nature, using a felled tree to provide a path across rivers and streams. However, we very quickly refined our techniques to build better bridges.
The most prestigious bridges are those that connect multiple countries or push the boundaries of human ability. For example, the Øresund Bridge connects Sweden and Denmark, crossing the Øresund strait. This 8 kilometers (5 miles) cable-stayed bridge carries four lanes of cars and two railway tracks between the two countries.
To allow ships to pass through, the bridge needed 57 meters of clearance but also needed to be low enough to not affect the flight paths of the nearby Copenhagen Airport. To achieve this, engineers designed a solution that saw the bridge descend into a tunnel, creating an artificial island for the transition between the two.
The finished product is an impressive feat of engineering, and those who worked on it can be proud of.
The giant casinos that we are familiar with today have been around for the best part of a century, although “gaming houses” can be traced back much further. Today, customers can play countless online slots and other casino games online, without the need to visit a physical building.
However, unlike high street shops, online casinos have not negatively affected the prosperity of their land-based alternatives. Instead, the two appear to complement each other. Besides, the modern “integrated resort”, which sees giant casinos with hotels, swimming pools, shopping malls, restaurants, entertainment facilities and even theme park rides, offer much more to their customers.
The sheer size of these integrated resorts makes them prestigious projects for engineers to be involved in. Casinos often dominate the skyline of their cities, so architects often look to create unique and innovative designs. This can create engineering challenges that need to be overcome.
An example of this is the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore. This integrated resort is comprised of three towers, each connected at the top by a boat-shaped sky garden, a large portion of which overhangs the side of the third tower.
Like a casino, skyscrapers often present unique engineering challenges, as conflicting forces need to be balanced. Tall buildings need to be strong enough to hold up their huge weight but flexible enough to interact with the wind. Without the flexibility, many would simply snap during storms.
It’s important to get all these calculations right, as the consequences can be embarrassing at best, and fatal at worst.
In London, The Walkie-Talkie Tower (officially known as 20 Fenchurch Street) is a glass skyscraper with a concave shape on one side. Miscalculations by the architects and engineers resulted in an embarrassing problem shortly after it opened in 2013, when a car was melted by the sun’s rays that were reflected from the building.
Major cities around the world use metropolitan railways that run trains through tunnels deep underground to transport thousands of passengers to and from work each day. These underground networks require huge amounts of engineering work to make them practical and safe.
One of the biggest projects in modern times is London’s Crossrail project. This new line, which will be added to the London Underground network, runs from East to West across the city, and to the towns and cities that fall outside of the city.
It adds new capacity and will help improve journey times for millions of Londoners.
The project required care when designing it due to the cramped conditions under the city. London has a labyrinth of underground tunnels that includes sewers, the London Underground, utility tunnels, bunkers, and a disused network of tunnels once used to transport mail. It was also important to protect the historic buildings above the surface and to be careful when working near known mass graves of plague victims.
Unfortunately, the new line has been delayed due to problems with the signaling equipment and testing which hadn’t been properly accounted for.