Engineering Structures

Are you off on holiday this summer? If so why not look around and engage with some eye-popping  engineering history by checking out some of the world’s most iconic structures and buildings that we are amazed by today and hold special values within the modern world. We have selected a few of our favorites to share from various continents around the world. Will you be seeing any of these sights over the Summer?  


Great Pyramid of Giza – Egypt (Africa)

The Egyptians are famous throughout the modern world and the Pyramid is one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Great Pyramid is one of three in the Giza complex and held the record as the worlds tallest structure for more than 3,800 years, experts have suggested the Great Pyramid was constructed over a period of twenty years that consisted of 5.5 million tonnes of limestone, 500,000 tonnes of mortar and 8,000 tonnes of granite to complete the historical structure that still stands today. 


Great Wall of China – China (Asia)

China has a large history that spans over more than 2,000 years, the Great Wall of China is among the great wonders of the world.  The great wall is one of the most visited tourist attractions globally. The Great Wall stretches from Dandong in the east of China and continues to Lop Lake in Chinas west. The entire distance of the wall measures out at 13,171 miles in length. It isn’t possible to put an exact figure on how much the wall would have cost to build, but calculations say it can be somewhere between $13billion and $65 billion.


The Colosseum – Italy (Europe)

During the Roman Empire the Colosseum was the centre of entertainment for gladiator battles. The Colosseum holds the record for being the largest amphitheatre ever created and was able to accommodate between 50,000 and 80,000 Romans when holding events, a number that is much larger than some of the modern arenas and stadiums that we have today.  The structure is now 2,000 years old and is a key tourist attraction and historical landmark in the city of Rome.


Brooklyn Bridge – New York (United States of America)

Completed in 1883 the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the United States and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge to enter the world.  The Bridge connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning over New York’s East River. The Brooklyn Bridge was designed and completed by two generations of engineers, John August Roebling and his son Washington Roebling, who took over the project when his father became ill and unable to continue the project. The cost of completion was $15.5 million to build and construct. Since the opening, it has become a historic icon and popular tourist attraction of New York City and was designated as a historic landmark in 1964.


Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco (United States of America)

The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic American landmark. The bridge was first opened in 1937 to connect San Francisco to the Marin County. The mile-long suspension bridge held the record for the world’s longest suspension bridge for just under three decades. The Golden Gate Bridge was awarded the status of a Wonder to the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1944.


English Channel Tunnel – Strait of Dover (UK)

The English Channel Tunnel provides a direct connection from the shore of Kent in the UK to Pas-de-Calais in France. At 23.5 miles (37.9km) the tunnel holds the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world. The deepest point of the tunnel is 75 metres (250ft) underneath the English Channel seabed and 115m (380ft) below sea level. The tunnel Was opened in 1994 it was the most expensive project of all time and was designed to carry passengers travelling to and from France on the high-speed Eurostar trains. The tunnel is also used for importing and exporting international goods to mainland Europe as well as acting as a shuttle for road vehicles. This has made the Channel Tunnel the largest transport system of its kind in the entire world and is still considered to be one of the highest-value engineering feats ever to be created.  


Burj Khalifa – Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world’s tallest building and stands at 829.8 meters and broken numerous other world records such as the building with most floors at 211.The incredibly tall design is built around a ‘buttressed core’, which is an engineering structural system that holds a hexagonal core to support higher buildings than ever before. The Burj Khalifa was named in honour of the ruler of Dubai and president of the United States Arab Emirates and it features a design inspired by the patterns and structures of Islamic architecture. The total cost of the structure equals to $1.5 billion on completion. The Burj Khalifa has been a major feature in modern popular culture and contributes to a large amount of tourism to the UAE and Dubai, the building is also the centre piece of New Year’s celebration in the city and it has received Hugh praise from citizens, engineers and architects.


Taj Mahal – India (Asia)

Located at the banks of river Yamuna in Agra, India the Taj Mahal is constructed of white marble making it one of the most iconic buildings in the world. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The project was managed by the architect, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri and took around 22,000 men over seventeen years to complete the construction. The Taj Mahal combines Persian and Mughal architecture and changes colour from a pinkish ambiance in the morning to milky white in the evening and golden under the moonlight. The magnificence of the Taj Mahal attracts around 8 million tourists every year. The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 due to the broad history of the building and to its dazzling beauty.


Petronas Towers – Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

The Petronas Towers are twin skyscrapers found in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Towers are an iconic landmark of the capital city and stand at 452 metres above ground level. The buildings previously held the record of being the tallest in the world between 1998-2004. The building has a skybridge on the 41st and 42nd floors that links the two building together, this is the highest two-story bridge in the world today at 170m (558 Feet).

 By Tom Greaves

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Lee’s latest blog: How Often Have You Lied at Work?

It’s just too easy. I’m sure that we have all done it. The door of “the easy way out” beckons and you tell that little lie. You tell yourself that no one is honest all the time, as you simultaneously hatch a plan to cover it up. There are conflicting views on the value of “white lies”, but for those people whose work lives are ruled by deceit and subterfuge, their lies can only cause harm.

In a piece of research in 2014, Kim Serota, a professor from Oakland, carried out a revealing study on lying. He found that 60% of the subjects reported not telling any lies on any given day and that 5% of the respondents told half the volume of lies. This suggests a tendency towards “prolific lying.” He found that the average number of lies in the UK was four per day, with “prolific liars” telling significantly more than four lies per day.

According to the data, prolific liars are younger, are more likely to be male and have higher occupational status. Senior managers seem to be more likely to be prolific liars than junior managers and non-management employees. This trend opposes the broader finding that people tell fewer lies as they get older.

The collaborative nature of our working life is such that it is easy to get caught up in someone’s web of deceit. If you accept their lie as a truth and then act on it, you are allowing it to become part of your reality and the responsibility for the consequences now partly lies with you. There is also the feeling that if someone has told a white lie to you, it is almost acceptable to lie to them in return. This is an extremely slippery slope. If you are being told a lie, in many cases, the best course of action is to question the facts and get to the truth of the matter.

liar picture.jpg

People lie for various reasons – not all of them are malicious, so be delicate and forgiving when you uncover the lie. “I’m sure that you were mistaken” or “you may not quite have understood” are much better approaches than aggressively accusing them of being deliberately misleading. The liars will often be relieved that their lie has been “rumbled” in such an understanding manner, and they will be unlikely to do it again with you anytime soon.

The dilemma comes if someone’s lie does not directly affect you. It may be seen as “meddling” if you get involved, but everyone has a different view. The fact is that most lies will come to light in the end. Living the life of a fraud is never a long-term option, and once one lie is discovered, all the others will be sure to unravel.

To give a recruitment example, there have been lots of high profile examples where the simple matter of lying on a CV has been discovered decades later, yet the outcome has been the same. Loss of trust, loss of reputation and often loss of employment. That person may have been promoted instead of you. How do you feel about their lie? Would you still tell “little white lies” like this yourself?

All lies catch up with you in the end.

Written by Lee Narraway and Edited by Paul Drury

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me

Lee Narraway