Engineering isn’t just physics and mathematics. It’s a discipline that covers almost every aspect of modern life and every industry: sports, medicine, architecture, theme parks and anything you can think of in between. So reach for your set-rulers as we present to you six tasty engineering nuggets of truth. Enjoy!
- Engineers are ingenious devisors. Really.
Ever wondered where the word engineering comes from? Well, it evolved from Old French as a compound of the words “ingenious” and “devise.” So, engineers are IQ-rich builders, creators and inventors. How apt!
- Star Wars wouldn’t exist without engineers.
It’s true! Without highly skilled individuals rationalising the adventures in another galaxy far, far away, there would be no lightsaber battles, no droids battling giant monsters and certainly no Millennium Falcon dogfights. You’d probably just be watching pajama-clad actors looking bored in a desert. See, even the Dark Side needs engineers! In fact, it’s safe to say that without the skills of mechanical, chemical, lighting or software engineers, no moderately budgeted action or sci-fi film would get made at all. You need all those people to make props, light props, blow the props up safely and then render them digitally just for added measure. So it’s thanks to engineering’s multi-faceted and flexible skills reach that we even have Hollywood blockbusters.
- Engineering aspires to break records.
Mega-tall atmosphere-busters, such as the Burj Khalifa in United Arab Emirates, aren’t knocked up overnight by your local builders and a team of fearless scaffolders. It’s construction that’s taken years of painstakingly precise planning by ruthlessly efficient engineers. And guess what? Ambition doesn’t stop at 828 metres. Blueprints for a moon-tickling kilometre high rival have been drawn up and prepped already. Thanks to an inherently curious nature, engineers are learning and discovering faster than record books can be written.
4. Isambard Kingdom Brunel never got to see the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
One of history’s most prolific and accomplished engineers (and the UK’s second favourite Briton), Isambard Kingdom Brunel achieved a serious amount during his relatively short lifetime, but arguably one of his most impressive achievements is the majestic wonder of Bristol’s engineering masterpiece, the Clifton Suspension Bridge. A technical marvel and landmark in both historical and literal sense, Brunel’s chasm-straddling stunner was something his eyes never got to see during his lifetime. Sadly, he died five years prior to its completion.
- Engineers are really, really good at building really, really strange bridges.
Whilst we’re on structures that stretch across bodies of water, have you seen what engineering is capable of when it puts its sums to it? With bridges that resemble roller coasters and viaducts that look like they’ve just tumbled out of implausible science fiction, engineering often defies not only water, but belief too.
- Money, money, money is everywhere.
Or, to put it less crudely, engineering is a sector of economic prosperity. It’s a skill highly sought after in the job market, demands lucrative salaries and contributes a whopping 27% of the UK’s total GDP. An engineering career is no park stroll, but it can be a wallet-stretcher if you’re prepared to put in the graft.