It’s been quite a while now since my posts about the Minneapolis bridge collapse last summer, but my closet interest in structural engineering has not gone away. Today Mental Floss had a great list of the biggest recent “oops” moments in Structural Engineering and it’s a lot of fun. London’s infamous wobbly bridge made the list, as did other classics like the Tacoma Narrows bridge.
As long as I’m on the subject so near to my heart, Prism recently had a feature on what is wrong with Engineering in Britain. It’s a fascinating profile and one I would say I find rings true. There is simply not a positive perception associated with the word “Engineer” in Britain compared with in the US. I remember as a geeky child having things with the slogan “Engineers don’t drive trains!” and frankly there needs to be a PR campaign in Britain to forward this same message. The Brits are missing the sexiest parts of engineering right now, they don’t even list bioengineering on the subjects ranked in the Guardian Higher Education rankings. This all caused a colleague of mine (in the states of course) to note “They’re so far behind they don’t even realize they’ve missed the boat” and sadly I find this to be true. We have a lot of work to do to up the profile of engineering in the UK.