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Civil & structural

Series

An engineering student giving a talk titled "Diversity & Inclusion in the Built Environment"
  • Civil & structural
  • How I got here

Q&A: John Mosuela

John Mosuela followed his passion for trains to the world of civil engineering. Now, he’s passionate about how engineers can advocate for accessibility and inclusion.

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  • Civil & structural
  • How I got here

Q&A: Fiona Walport

UK Young Academy member and recent RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the Year winner Fiona Walport is inspired by how structural engineers can shape a better future.

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  • Civil & structural
  • Environment & sustainability
  • Opinion
  • Issue 95

Building a greener future

Will Arnold, Head of Climate Action at the IStructE, says we need a total rethink of how we create, maintain and power our buildings to better protect our planet.

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  • Civil & structural
  • How I got here
  • Issue 96

Q&A: Nyasha Mutembwa

A summer school in Shanghai inspired civil engineering student Nyasha Mutembwa to reach for every opportunity on offer.

A photo taken from a drone or helicopter showing most of the Canakkale Bridge's central section, with the middle third of the deck mostly in place.
  • Civil & structural
  • Mechanical
  • Issue 96

Bridging the Eurasian gap

The world’s longest suspension bridge (for now) spans about 5 km. Just how did they build it, and what was the secret to it being a year ahead of schedule?

A lighthouse in the dark, resembling an illustration
  • Civil & structural
  • Maritime & naval
  • Issue 96

Ensuring engineering’s endurance

Offshore lighthouses are constantly getting battered by waves and wind. Rather than replacing them, engineers are looking into clever ways to prolong these (and other) structures.

Four houses pictured on a cliff edge, with a pebble beach below it.
  • Environment & sustainability
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 96

Protecting the UK’s coasts

Settlements on the UK’s coastlines are increasingly at risk of being lost to erosion. How can different engineering approaches protect them?

An artist's impression of a home in the future made using mycelium-based materials, which are represented by hyphae-like white tendrils
  • Civil & structural
  • Environment & sustainability
  • Issue 95

Building with fungi

Materials made from mycelium, the hair-like threads that sustain all fungi, are now finding uses in construction.

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A mirrored graphic of four buildings, coloured in blue and yellow.
  • Civil & structural

Why dyslexia and structural engineering fit together

As a structural engineer, your ideas can change the world. If you’re someone with dyslexia, your vision could be even greater.

  • Civil & structural
  • Technology & robotics
  • Software & computer science
  • Issue 94

3D printing a bridge with a twin

Virtual models of structures could help engineers use less material and save CO2 emissions in future construction projects – like with this 3D-printed bridge in Amsterdam.

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  • Civil & structural
  • Electricals & electronics
  • Innovation Watch

The sensors making cities and structures smarter

UtterBerry’s matchbox-sized sensors form a network, akin to the human body’s sensory system, that provides early warning when maintenance might be needed or damage repaired.

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  • Civil & structural
  • Health & medical
  • Innovation Watch

The startup purifying water in partnership with low-income communities

Access to clean water is a fundamental human need, yet hundreds of millions worldwide go without it. Cambridge-based social enterprise Blue Tap has one solution – a low-cost device that purifies water by precisely injecting chlorine into a local water supply.

A digital rendering of a bridge at a railway station, surrounded by passengers.
  • Civil & structural
  • Transport
  • Issue 92

The ‘flat-pack’ footbridge for train stations

If you thought flat-pack was just for furniture, think again! Find out how this new concept can make building a humble railway bridge take less time, money and carbon.

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A street in a UK village that has been flooded, with floodwaters rising over a metre from the ground.
  • Environment & sustainability
  • Civil & structural
  • Opinion
  • Issue 92

How do we make the UK more resilient to flooding?

Extreme flooding is becoming a regular occurrence across the UK, with flash floods causing significant damage to homes and businesses.

Beech trees lining the road in Dorset.
  • Civil & structural
  • Environment & sustainability
  • Issue 91

Engineering biodiversity

If engineers planning, designing or implementing new infrastructure works are not already familiar with the concepts of natural capital and biodiversity net gain, they will have to learn fast. Under the Environment Act, new developments are required by law to demonstrate ‘biodiversity net gain’, which will require important changes to the way engineers work. Engineer and writer Hugh Ferguson talked to the multidisciplinary teams behind some of the projects already making this gain.

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White-painted ventilation pipework against a white ceiling.
  • Civil & structural
  • Health & medical
  • Opinion
  • Issue 90

Better buildings need a breath of fresh air

Post-COVID-19, how do we stay safe in winter without throwing open all the windows and cranking up the radiators to max?

An aerial photograph of a landslide causing damage to the surrounding area.
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 89

The sound before the slide

Detecting the early warning signs of a landslip by listening for sounds generated within a body of earth at risk of such movement might seem an unlikely proposition. But engineers at Loughborough University think otherwise – and an instrument they’ve developed to do just this is licensed for manufacturing and could also be applied to monitor ground movement around buried infrastructure.

Fallen autumn leaves covering a rail track in a forest.
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 87

Leaves on the line

Slippery layers of wet leaves on railway lines have been causing train delays for years, and numerous attempts have been made to solve the issue. Geoff Watts spoke to the engineers working on innovative solutions to the longstanding problem.

The design of an urban square in Shanghai that can serve to store storm water during flooding.
  • Civil & structural
  • Environment & sustainability
  • Opinion
  • Issue 87

Rethinking the future through design

The coincidence of climate crisis, biodiversity crisis and a global pandemic highlight the fragility of our existence and the complex interdependencies between natural systems, engineered systems, and public health and wellbeing. Dr Mark Fletcher FREng, Global Water Business Leader at Arup, argues that engineers need to rethink design and embrace systems thinking.

A digital rendering of the design for intensive care unit wards, with five beds spaced apart from each other.
  • Civil & structural
  • How I got here
  • Issue 85

Q&A: Eoin O'Loughlin & Philip Turner

Eoin O’Loughlin is a fire safety engineer at Arup. Philip Turner is a mechanical building services engineer at Arup. Together they have been working on CareBox, a series of design guidelines for scalable, modular and rapid solutions to provide additional intensive care and ward beds for COVID-19 patients.

A headshot of Dervilla Mitchell CBE FREng.
  • Civil & structural
  • Profiles
  • Issue 84

Teams that count

Dervilla Mitchell CBE FREng has created engineer and architect teams to work on major projects. The recipient of the 2020 Royal Academy of Engineering President’s Medal- Mitchell has used her engineering skills to help keep Arup’s firm running during COVID-19 and also to chair a decarbonisation project for the National Engineering Policy Centre.

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Rosie Goldrick in Rwanda, standing in a construction area with a colleague.
  • Civil & structural
  • How I got here
  • Issue 83

Q&A: Rosie Goldrick

Rosie Goldrick is Engineering Director at MASS Design Group, a non-profit design collective that builds and designs innovative projects throughout East Africa, with a focus on education, health and justice.

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  • Design & manufacturing
  • Civil & structural
  • Innovation Watch
  • Issue 83

Another brick in the wall

With natural resources running low, Scottish engineers have created a brick that uses more than 90% recycled building materials.

The inside of the underground Elizabeth Line station while it was under construction with glass fibre reinforced concrete cladding panels lining the walls. A blurry worker in construction gear is walking through the tunnel.
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 81

Cladding Crossrail's tunnels

The new tunnels built for London’s huge Crossrail development were coated with a sprayed concrete lining. This resulted in a rough and variable fixing surface that needed an innovative engineering solution to fit the cladding system to the inconsistently-shaped tunnel interiors. Tamar Collins spoke to Board Director Jaimie Johnston and engineers at Bryden Wood about how they overcame the project’s challenges.

The Sagrada Familia under construction works, with three cranes working on it.
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 81

Completing the Sagrada Família

Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Família church in Barcelona, has been under construction for nearly 140 years and is due to be completed by 2026, the centenary of Gaudí’s death. Tristram Carfrae RDI FREng, deputy chairman of Arup, explained to Hugh Ferguson how this is being achieved without compromising Gaudí’s vision or quality standards.

An aerial view of London's skyscraper buildings in the foreground with the River Thames behind them.
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 80

From failed development to efficient office skyscraper

22 Bishopsgate is the tallest building in the City of London and the second tallest in western Europe. However, the most extraordinary feature of this new skyscraper is not its sheer size, but the ingenious structural engineering – or ‘structural gymnastics’ as the team describes it – that has enabled the remains of an earlier, failed development to be transformed into a large efficient modern office block.

Natalie Cheung is pictured with Dame Nancy Rothwell DBE DL FRS FMedSci, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester, being awarded the Medal for Social Responsibility and Alumni Volunteer of the Year 2019.
  • Civil & structural
  • How I got here
  • Issue 80

Q&A: Natalie Cheung

Natalie Cheung is a STEM Ambassador Coordinator in London. She recruits and trains volunteer engineers to engage with young people through hands-on activities, careers events and mentoring. Natalie was a STEM Ambassador herself while working as a railway civil engineer.

Jo da Silva sitting at a table, having a conversation with another person.
  • Civil & structural
  • Environment & sustainability
  • Profiles
  • Issue 80

Structures for a sustainable society

The growth of megacities and factors such as climate change have changed the nature of the challenges engineers face. Jo da Silva OBE FREng warns of the growing need to consider the resilience of the infrastructure that sustains cities and their inhabitants.

The front of Claridge's hotel, with flags such as the British, Irish and American flag hung above the entrance.
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 77

Going underground underneath London’s Claridge’s hotel

Engineers are completing a new five-storey basement underneath London’s Claridge’s, with no interruption to the hotel overhead. This extraordinary achievement has been made possible by a combination of traditional mining techniques and state-of-the-art structural and geotechnical engineering. Hugh Ferguson talked to engineers from McGee and Arup about the project, believed to be a world first for concurrent underground development and occupancy on such a scale.

The empty chairs and football field at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
  • Civil & structural
  • Sports & leisure
  • Issue 77

The football pitch in three pieces

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is part of a regeneration project that has transformed the stadium and surrounding area. As well as being home to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the stadium will host NFL games in the UK, and to accommodate both sports, the stadium boasts the world’s first dividing sliding pitch. Science journalist Richard Gray asked Danny Pickard, lead engineer at SCX, how the pitch was developed.

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The Shard at sunrise.
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 52

Building the Shard

The Shard is one of London's most iconic buildings. The tallest in Western Europe, it was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and dominates the city’s skyline. Ingenia spoke to John Parker, project director for structural engineers WSP, who outlined the engineering decisions made in building the enormous steel and glass structure.