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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Crinkle crankle walls undulate, mimicking the shape of a snake's slither. But what's the purpose of these wavy walls?

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

SCIFs are spy-proof, highly secure facilities designed for viewing and working with sensitive national security secrets. We talk to a former general counsel for the NSA to find out how they work.

By Patrick J. Kiger

In the last few decades, there's been a sort of arms race to build ever-taller skyscrapers. Which seven currently rank as the world's tallest buildings?

By Alia Hoyt


Smart buildings have technology embedded inside them, allowing unprecedented levels of interaction between a building and its occupants. Some would call it "unprecedented levels of snooping."

By Patrick Lecomte

EPCOT was Walt Disney's "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow." But it didn't actually turn out the way he had envisioned it.

By Alex Krieger

A 12-story building in Surfside, Florida, just outside Miami collapsed, with residents inside. Why would a 40-year-old structure fall from the sky seemingly out of nowhere, and are there other buildings in danger of falling?

By Trivess Moore & David Oswald

This dragon is illuminated every night, spitting out both fire and water on weekends and holidays, as it sways its way over the Han River in Da Nang.

By Jesslyn Shields


Despite what the nursery rhyme says, London Bridge is not falling down — and never really has. But the bridge that spans the Thames has been rebuilt again and again for two millennia.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

It's easy to confuse the Parthenon and the Pantheon. The names are so similar, and they're both ancient ruins. But despite those similarities, the two structures are very different.

By Carrie Dennis

The Panama Canal has been one of the world's biggest engineering feats since it was built nearly by hand in the 1900s.

By John Donovan

Man has been building islands all over the world for centuries using extraordinary feats of engineering. But at what cost to the environment?

By Mark Mancini


Built in 1986, the Wave Organ amplifies the sound of the waves to create beautiful music.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

In 17th century Japan, wealthy citizens built homes with "nightingale floors" that squeaked, warning them of intruders. In fact, the floors squeaked louder when the steps got lighter.

By Nathan Chandler

We may finally know how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids.

By Laurie L. Dove

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is 34 miles (55 kilometers) long and connects the territories of Hong Kong and Macao to mainland China for the first time.

By Laurie L. Dove


Controversy surrounds the removal of public monuments honoring the U.S. Confederacy. But who or what determines which monuments go up or come down?

By Dave Roos

First, there was only mud. Now there’s transparent aluminum, self-healing concrete and a swarm of nanobots to build your home. Meet your dwelling of the future.

By Dave Roos

Architects design buildings. Civil engineers build bridges. Structural engineers keep it all from crumpling and shaking apart. What happens when you mix all three and throw in a green twist?

By Nicholas Gerbis

Some architects and engineers go big. Others get fancy. And yet others aim squarely for the completely bizarre. These imagination-bending, gravity-defying products may induce more than a few OMGs.

By William Harris


Underwater tunnels are so commonplace that we rarely think of the great dangers -- and extreme construction techniques -- these modern wonders require. With the opening of the Marmaray Tunnel in October 2013, it's time to take a second look.

By Nicholas Gerbis

These African American men and women were trailblazers, and in some cases, business leaders in the field of engineering.

By Kate Kershner

In 1950, 60 pioneering American women formed the Society of Women Engineers to support and encourage each other in a field not very welcoming to them. Sixty years on, the fight continues, as women are still underrepresented in engineering.

By Julia Layton

A national tragedy in Japan was the catalyst for the construction of the world's longest suspension bridge. But it took 40 years to build, and required inventing new technologies along the way to make it happen. Do you know its name?

By Laurie L. Dove


Underground mining has come a long way from the days of men with pickaxes and canaries. It relies much more heavily on machinery that makes it much safer than in the past. Which techniques are used in mining today?

By Julia Layton

Why are blueprints blue and not some other color? There's a specific chemical process behind it, and its discovery has all the elements of a dark fairy tale.

By Laurie L. Dove