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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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?

By Marshall Brain

Safe, professional building implosions combine mathematics, intuition and sheer explosive power. Find out how the experts bring down huge structures without damaging the buildings nearby.

By Tom Harris

When the heat sets in, there's nothing like a day at the water park to cool things down -- water parks and their massive wave pools are a huge weekend attraction. Ever wonder what kind of machinery it takes to produce a wave? Learn exactly how an oce

By Tom Harris


It's a leap of faith onto a curvy steep wet chute... Discover how water slides work and what draws thrill-seekers to them.

By Tom Harris

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

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

By Kate Kershner

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


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?

By Gallagher Flinn

Pisa without its precariously tilted landmark is like San Francisco without the Golden Gate or London without Buckingham Palace. Will the peculiarly enduring tower ever vanish from the Italian skyline?

By William Harris

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

Uncover the impact of the Bessemer process, which revolutionized steel production and shaped modern society.

By Desiree Bowie


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

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

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

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


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

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.

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

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


Until 2022, the longest suspension bridge in the world was in Japan. Now, the 1915 Canakkale Bridge in Türkiye has taken the title

By Austin Henderson

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

It's always been a dilemma for humans: how to move that super-heavy object to a new place. But we always seem to find a way, don't we?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Sometimes it seems as though Earth has been hitting the caffeine a little too hard, with all the shakes from earthquakes. So, how do structures stand strong amid all those quakes?

By William Harris


The Bay Bridge is a wonder of structural engineering. Find out how multiple architectural styles were incorporated into the bridge that unites Oakland with San Francisco.

By Wesley Fenlon

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?

By Jonathan Atteberry