Reddy Kancharla has been teaching civil engineering for over 20 years now and throughout that tie, he has also had the chance to study some of the finest engineering projects which the world has ever seen. Reddy says that when he sees these structures he is reminded at the might of humans and just what we can achieve when we work together for a common goal. In the main most of the world’s greatest engineering projects have been carried out by people of different races and nationalities, proving how well we can work together as humans.
Reddy and I have been discussing at great length what we think are some of the engineering wonders of the world, and to be honest we haven’t really disagreed yet. Humans have been engineering for centuries and you only need to look at the likes of the Great Wall of China or the pyramids of Giza to see that we have always been able to create greatness with the tools and materials that we find. Reddy detailed his list of the engineering wonders of the modern world, take a look and see if you agree.
Three Gorges Dam, Sandouping
China is often at the forefront of engineering and some of the structures and the ideas that they have built have been simply astonishing. The Three Gorges Dam certainly falls into that category, a hydroelectric dam which spans the Yangtze river near the town of Sandouping. This is the world’s largest power station that has ever been contracted and it provides electricity for the entire area. Not only this, the dam provides flood storage space and has increased shipping capacity in the area. The project took 14 years to complete and it is a true marvel of modern engineering.
Palm Islands, Dubai
Dubai is known for being ostentatious and they have a huge budget for novel and innovative engineering projects. After all, this is the city that has constructed the highest structure on the planet, and they have even found a way of constructing a ski slope of real snow, despite being in the middle of the desert. We really shouldn’t be surprised then at the construction of their very own islands, an archipelago called the Palm Islands. Consisting of 3 islands, the Palm Jumeirah, Jebel Ali and Deira, this impressive feat was completed using massive sand dredges which deposited thousands of tons of sand to build the ground up above sea level. There are over 1500 villas placed on these islands and they have added 350km of beach to the city of Dubai.
Gas Pipeline, Northern Europe
This massive gas pipeline runs from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany. This project actually features two gas pipes which have been laid, the most recent of which was completed in 2011. The gas pipeline stretches a massive 1,222 kilometers and it is the longest sub-sea level pipeline that has been built anywhere in the world.
Millau Viaduct, France
The world’s tallest bridge can be found in Millau, France, which was built in order to help minimize congestion from tourists who were traveling between Paris and Barcelona, this hotspot used to see the very worst of the traffic. The bridge, at its highest point, stands at 1,125 feet, and it stretches across the River Tarn. The bridge was completed in 2006 and during its construction, the designers were forced to think up new techniques that could be used in order to lay the road at such a height. this is truly an astonishing feat of modern-day engineering which helped the designers to win the Outstanding Structure Award from IABSE.
The largest underwater tunnel in the world is the Channel Tunnel which stretches between France and England. The tunnel is 31 miles long and took 6 years and $21 billion to complete. The tunnel features 3 main tubes, two of which have railway tracks inside and the third is a smaller emergency tunnel. The train journey between the two countries is 23.5 miles and the Eurostar which is the train that goes from station to station is able to tolerate at a speed of 100mph, thus making the journey time just 20 minutes. This is the perfect example of engineers solving a problem and the Channel Tunnel has seen millions of people make the journey at breakneck speed between the two countries. The American Society of Engineers considers this to be one of the Seven Wonders of The Modern World, a truly remarkable achievement for the designers and the engineers who worked on it.
What do you make of Reddy’s selections? Which do you think is the most impressive of all these engineering projects? Let us know in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you.