STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING

Buildings and structures take careful planning in order to ensure that they don't collapse or fail in any way. Structural engineers analyze and study the way in which buildings support loads.
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10 Cool Engineering Tricks the Romans Taught Us

When it came to building or improving things, the ancient Romans really knew their stuff. Which cool engineering tricks did they pass along to us?

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  • What caused the World Trade Center towers to collapse on 9/11?

    What caused the World Trade Center towers to collapse on 9/11?

    It took years to construct the 110-story World Trade Center towers and less than an hour to bring them down to rubble. What ultimately caused the towers to collapse on Sept. 11, 2001? See more »

  • What grade of steel was used in the World Trade Center?

    What grade of steel was used in the World Trade Center?

    The materials used to build the World Trade Center's twin towers have been heavily scrutinized since the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- including the steel that formed the frames of the skyscrapers. See more »

  • What happens to abandoned mines?

    What happens to abandoned mines?

    Abandoned mine shafts may look romantic with their clapboarded entrances and rusting pickaxes, but they can be deadly. So who ensures that these dangerous sites are properly closed up? You may find the answer a little unsettling. See more »

  • What if I wanted to build a Great Pyramid today?

    What if I wanted to build a Great Pyramid today?

    If you wanted to build a Great Pyramid in today's market, you would need to take into consideration a lot of factors. How much labor would you need? What about materials? And how much would it cost you? See more »

  • What if the Alaska Pipeline blew up?

    What if the Alaska Pipeline blew up?

    The Alaska Pipeline carries oil from wells in the far north of Alaska down to the the port in Valdez, Alaska. If that pipeline blew up, what would happen to all that oil, and how much damage would it do? See more »

  • What if the Hoover Dam broke?

    What if the Hoover Dam broke?

    The Hoover Dam holds back 10 trillion gallons of water. That's enough to cover the state of Connecticut 10 feet deep. How much damage would be done if the dam broke? See more »

  • What if we covered a city in a giant glass dome?

    What if we covered a city in a giant glass dome?

    Domed cities would provide the same temperature year-round, no rain or snow, and the ability to go outside without worrying about a sunburn. Have they been tried before, and what about the people who enjoy their seasons? See more »

  • What is a levee?

    What is a levee?

    Whether they make you think of Hurricane Katrina or Led Zeppelin, levees are a critical safety feature for low-lying areas located near water. Why do they break? See more »

  • What is soft-story seismic retrofitting?

    What is soft-story seismic retrofitting?

    A soft-story building has a first floor that's more flexible than the ones above -- think apartments over a department store that's mostly open space. How does soft-story retrofitting keep such buildings from collapsing in a quake? See more »

  • What was the first steel-framed skyscraper?

    What was the first steel-framed skyscraper?

    Steel-framed skyscrapers are common sights in any city skyline these days. But someone had to be the first to build up, up, up. Find out where this architectural standard was born. See more »

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