Hmmm, imagine how cool it would be if you could build a house with a skatepark inside…
Instead of stairs you could have a ramp and you could use the half pipe as a bedroom!
It’s certainly an interesting idea – and thinking about better ways to build buildings and the cities around us is something a particular type of engineer get very excited about – they’re called Civil and Structural Engineers.
Whenever you play with LEGO bricks or build incredible structures in Minecraft, then you’re a civil or structural engineer! Choosing the right bricks or materials for the job and experimenting with different designs to see what works best.
Civil and Structural engineers know how to make different kinds of structures in a way that makes them safe, steady and energy efficient… and able to do all the jobs that are needed.
After all, if they’re building a tall tower block, they’ll need to make sure the foundations are strong enough to support its weight.
If it’s a bridge, then they’ll think about how many people might be using it and how heavy the loads on it will be.
They need to understand how building materials behave so that they can choose the best ones for the job. It’s a role which involves a lot of computer technology, although civil engineers often go out to the sites too, to check the building works for themselves.
They can give advice to people about the best way to adapt existing buildings, like converting an unused warehouse into flats.
Even more exciting is that civil and structural engineers use technology in incredible ways to make smart cities.
To create a smart city, civil engineers use technology to collect data about what’s going on.
This data can be used to help make things run more smoothly. Maybe they can make traffic lights go green to speed traffic up… or help planners devise better timetables for buses and trains… or turn street lights off when there’s no one around.
Leaving lights on when they’re not being used not only wastes money, but also consumes electricity – and the more power we use the more harm there is to the environment. Smart Cities are more energy efficient.
Techno Mum: Technology & Engineering for Kids
The tech podcast taking a look at the engineering behind the gadgets we use everyday!