A Look at 3 Innovative Forms of Engineering We Never Knew Existed
The great minds of engineers have given us many marvels and wonders over the years, from the Hoover Dam to the Channel Tunnel. While there are plenty of engineering forms that we are aware of and regularly see in action, there are also plenty more that are often hidden and working behind the scenes to ensure that exciting and innovative projects are possible.
We’ve been thinking about these projects and how they have been transformative, creating the perfect solutions in order to drive the projects.
Finding Solutions with Sheet Piling
Sheet piling may not be a term that you recognise. However, it is used in countless applications, so you are sure to have come into contact with it at some point. Steel piling is the process by which sheet piles are driven down into the earth, creating a barrier of some kind.
One innovative project involved Thames Water, the Eight₂O Alliance and Sheet Piling UK who needed to conduct work to repair leaks in a Surrey reservoir. The process of sheet piling allowed these repairs to be made by creating a barrier between the water and embankment. However, when faced with issues regarding how to put the sheet piles into place, an innovative solution was proposed. Rather than using the embankment which was not suitable for the heavy plant needed, a bespoke floating platform was created to be used as a mobile construction site.
Building with Sand
With populations steadily growing, the issue of how to accommodate them is very real. However, innovative solutions have been proposed and created to find ways to deal with the demand for space.
The Palm Islands are three archipelagos which were created in Dubai, hosting luxury homes, shopping centres and other attractions. The engineering behind these man-made islands is incredible in this project which began in 2001. In order to create the islands, huge amounts of rock and sand were used, building up the land itself, creating brand new, man-made islands.
One of the most impressive parts of the project is the way in which dredges used GPS technology to map out where to deposit sand and rock. This was done using the only privately owned satellite in the world, and ensured that the design of the islands was followed accurately.
Creating Arable Land in Egypt
Egypt is known for its dry deserts and arid land which presents a huge range of problems, particularly in terms of agriculture. This means that only a small area of the country is able to support human habitation.
To combat this, a pumping station was built next to Lake Nasser with a canal constructed, winding through the desert. The Mubarak Pumping Station pumps water out into this canal, bringing water to land which was previously barren. In fact, the original objective of the project was to make up to 25% of the land habitable. This innovative project uses resources that already exist, but simply distributes them to areas that need them more, using a relatively simple solution.
Engineering is consistently showing us that simple solutions can be found to the problems felt in different parts of the world. However, these solutions can be innovative and creative despite their simplicity.