When thinking about Structural Engineering, the first structure that comes to my mind is the Eiffel Tower. Its construction began in the 18th century, and still, it is standing as a rigid structure that attracts thousands of visitors every day. In my opinion, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most breath-taking Structural Engineering wonders of the world. Anyway, the history of engineering reveals to us a lot more. It is a well-known fact that the world can’t survive without engineering and engineers.
According to Wikipedia, people began to incorporate Structural Engineering to their lives during the times when they build world-famous pyramids (2700 BC, or even before.) Well, this article wouldn’t be a complete one, if I don’t talk about pyramids in details. These giant structures tell us a lot about Structural Engineering in ancient days. Many civilizations across the world have built these giant structures that show us the engineering knowledge our people had in ancient times. The largest pyramid, The Great Pyramid of Cholula; is the largest monument ever constructed in the world.
Since the time of pyramids, Structural Engineering, along with structural engineers have changed the world to a greater extent. In today’s world, we have heavy machinery to lift stones and concrete blocks, but in ancient times; what did they have? And some says that aliens have created these giant structures. So, was Structural Engineering a gift for us from an alien nation? Who knows? Thanks to this engineering field, we can drive on bridges safely. And we can go to the shopping mall every weekend, but the shopping mall will not collapse onto your head.
Structural Engineering is all about calculating stresses and forces that a structure will undergo throughout its lifetime. The main character in this engineering field is the structural engineer. He is the professional who analyses the structural design and so on. Professionals in the construction field seek advice from a structural engineer on the design, forces, and stresses. Thanks to the new technology, modern engineers have managed to create marvelous structural creations such as the London Eye, Burj Khalifa, and so on.
Another one of my favorite Structural Engineering wonder of the 18th century is the Forth Bridge that had ended construction in 1890. I go crazy when I see the view of its structure. This 2.5-km railway bridge is a great example of what the engineers in the 18th century could do, even without advanced computer software that we have today. The whole structure weighs over 60,000 tonnes. And about 200 trains cross the bridge daily. It is one of the greatest examples of what Structural Engineering can do for the world. The Shukhov radio tower in Russia is another great creation of the engineers in the early 19th century. Sadly, the tower is under the threat of demolition. I hope that the Russian government will save it as a monument that reflects us the greatness of Structural Engineering.
Some final words: It is safe to assume that the new technology will change everything, including Structural Engineering over the coming few decades. More and more skyscrapers will take over our cities as the world keeps on developing. Anyway, I don’t want the world to be a concrete jungle in the future. Sadly, it is happening now. Let’s pray that engineers will focus on that fact too when they create more and more skyscrapers in every city in the world.