Construction

Engineers build the structures that are essential to our lives: from the buildings where we live, learn, and work to the roads that we travel to go between them.

Consider all the different kinds of structures you encounter or use in a day: buildings, roads, bridges, power lines, pipelines, sewer systems, and waterworks. Within each of those categories there could be hundreds of different kinds of construction projects. Engineers work them all with professionals from many different fields.

Engineers are often the ones called upon to solve the problems that surface when a bold, new design meets real world limitations. As our population grows and available raw materials change, engineers have to get creative to build structures that are functional, cost-effective, and look nice.

  • Egirl   Team Posted on April 10, 2012 by Egirl Team
    Alaskan Pipeline
    The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System was the largest private construction project of its time. The pipeline is 800 miles long and has a diameter of four feet. The zigzagging pipeline carries crude oil from 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle to the terminal at Valdez.
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    Resource Added: April 10, 2012

    Latest Update: September 21, 2012

  • Egirl   Team Posted on July 3, 2012 by Egirl Team
    Emily Roebling
    A woman named Emily Roebling supervised construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. When her husband became ill in 1872 Emily took over day-to-day supervision of bridge construction. Emily had studied many engineering topics related to bridge construction including mathematics, strength of materials, and cable construction. Her name is included on the plaque dedicating the bridge - recognizing her role in creating one of her era's great engineering achievements.
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    Resource Added: July 3, 2012

    Latest Update: September 5, 2012

  • Egirl   Team Posted on May 11, 2012 by Egirl Team
    Ferris Wheel
    Did you know the Ferris Wheel is considered an engineering wonder? The Ferris Wheel was designed by George W. Ferris in 1893. It was designed to be the landmark of the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. The wheel is supported by two 140-foot steel towers. The towers are connected by a 45-foot axle, making the axle the largest single piece of forged steel made at that time.
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    Resource Added: May 11, 2012

    Latest Update: September 21, 2012

  • Egirl   Team Posted on March 27, 2012 by Egirl Team
    Galveston Seawall
    On September 8, 1900, a hurricane sent an 8-foot high wave crashing into the city of Galveston, Texas. This hurricane killed 6,000-8,000 people and is considered to be the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. After the hurricane, the city asked retired Army engineer Henry Robert to design a seawall that would be seven miles long and seventeen feet high. Robert designed the wall as asked and also raised the city by pumping sand underneath the buildings. In 1915, the seawall was tested by another hurricane. This time, all but 8 people survived.
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    Resource Added: March 27, 2012

    Latest Update: September 21, 2012

  • Simil  Raghavan Posted on March 27, 2012 by Simil Raghavan
    Hoover Dam
    The Hoover Dam is one of the tallest concrete dams ever built and it created one of the largest manmade lakes in the United States. At 726.4 feet tall, it took 200 engineers from several consulting firms and the Bureau of Reclamation to design the dam. It has 3,125,000 cubic yards of concrete and weighs more than 6.6 million tons! Construction of the dam, power plant, and related works took five years to build and was finished two years ahead of schedule. The reservoir created can hold enough water to cover the entire state of Pennsylvania with water one foot deep.
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    Resource Added: March 27, 2012

    Latest Update: September 6, 2012

  • Egirl   Team Posted on March 27, 2012 by Egirl Team
    Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
    The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is the world's steepest passenger railway. Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee had been made famous in the "Battle of the Clouds" during the Civil War. But since it was a four hour trip on a two-dollar toll road to get to the top of the mountain, few people visited during the 1870's. Once at the top, however, visitors would see what could only be called a breathtaking view. After the railroad boom, speculators decided to build a hotel on the mountaintop, accessible by a service railroad. In 1885, John Crass and his company, the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway Company, built a steam-powered incline railway up the steepest part of the mountain. The incline has a 72.7% slope near the top of the mountain, making it the world's steepest passenger railway. Known as "America's Most Amazing Mile" the railway still carries passengers up and down the mountain much as it did when it was built.
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    Resource Added: March 27, 2012

    Latest Update: September 5, 2012

  • Egirl   Team Posted on March 27, 2012 by Egirl Team
    Millennium Force Roller Coaster
    When it opened in May 2000, Millennium Force broke or helped to break twelve world records. The Millennium Force Roller Coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio was an engineering marvel at the time it was built, and it still continues to dazzle amusement park visitors. Not only was it the fastest but also the world's largest and tallest steel roller coaster at the time. It was the first coaster to use an elevator cable system to get it up the first hill, and it used a magnetic braking system instead of friction. At 310 feet, it was the first coaster to top 300 feet, and it travels at speeds up to 92 miles per hour! The coaster has 226 footers, which contain 9400 yards of concrete. The best thing about the coaster is that it takes riders up at a 45 degree angle and they go down at an 80 degree angle - almost straight down!
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    Resource Added: March 27, 2012

    Latest Update: September 5, 2012

  • Egirl   Team Posted on March 27, 2012 by Egirl Team
    Mormon Tabernacle
    The Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah is an amazing engineering and acoustic accomplishment. The Mormon Tabernacle's unique shape is so acoustically sensitive that a pin dropped in the pulpit can be clearly heard at the back of the hall - 170 feet away! The 150-foot-wide domed roof was created by using steam to bend the wood planks, which were then lashed together with rawhide thongs and wooden pegs.
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    Resource Added: March 27, 2012

    Latest Update: September 5, 2012

  • Egirl   Team Posted on March 27, 2012 by Egirl Team
    On the Road...
    There are enough roads in the U.S. to stretch from the earth to the moon 8 times! The U.S. interstate system has a total length of over 46,000 miles, but that is only a small fraction of the total number of roads in the country. Transportation engineers have helped to build almost 4 million miles of road in the United States. That's enough to stretch from the earth to the moon 8 times. And the concrete used to construct the Interstate System alone could build a wall nine feet thick and 50 feet high around the world’s equator.
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    Resource Added: March 27, 2012

    Latest Update: September 5, 2012

  • Egirl   Team Posted on March 27, 2012 by Egirl Team
    Savannah, Georgia
    Savannah, Georgia is considered to be the first planned city in the United States. Savannah has one of the largest urban registered historic landmark districts in the country. The city was founded by James Oglethorpe in 1733. The city plan is credited to Oglethorpe, although the orthogonal (a repetitive, modular grid of 24 squares) design was more likely based on a design by Oglethorpe's friend, Robert Castell. The city plan of Savannah has been named a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, in recognition of its unique artistic achievement and widespread influence on urban planning.
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    Resource Added: March 27, 2012

    Latest Update: September 5, 2012

  • Egirl   Team Posted on March 27, 2012 by Egirl Team
    Willis Tower
    The Willis Tower in Chicago is the tallest building in the western hemisphere. In 1973, the then tallest building in the world opened its doors. At 1,454 feet tall (110 stories), the Sears Tower took three years to build and more than $150 million. Although it is still commonly known as the Sears Tower, it was renamed the Willis Tower in 2009 after Willis Group Holdings leased a large part of the building. From the Skydeck, on a clear day, you can see four states - Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The building contains enough steel to build 50,000 cars and enough telephone wiring to wrap around the world 1.75 times! And how do they keep the over 16,000 windows clean? There are six roof-mounted window washing machines.
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    Resource Added: March 27, 2012

    Latest Update: September 5, 2012

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