Engineering to the Future

Series 2/3: Space Time Continuum – This series reflects on the then and the now, the old and the new, on how we connect with an ever evolving urban landscape.

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Photo by Ramunas Geciauskas

As an engineer I am passionate about innovation, innovation in technology, materials, process, ect. Innovation allows us to meet new challenges, build to new heights and work better together. I get excited about the newest and latest and how it can revolutionise our industry. The use of drones to inspect bridges, the use of tablets and integrated software on site; these technologies allow us to work to higher standard and increase health and safety on site. Which innovation in the engineering industry are are helping us to meet the challenge of engineering design for social innovation?

  • BIM (Building Information Modelling) has taken the construction industry by storm. Its system enables a 3D rendering of large, varied and complex data. This has led to a revolution in the way we communicate allowing different disciplines to access the information they require. This has the potential to improve partnership in between industry allowing different disciplines to work in a cohesive manner. The possibilities with new technology such as 3D printing are limitless.
  • GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) is a light weight and strong materiel. It is being used in property level flood defence. The materiel is perfectly suited for flood defence and can easily be lifted in and out of place. This has the capacity to replace the archaic sand bag and provide a cost effective solution for properties at risk. New materials and a different use of old materials are constantly challenging and improving the way engineers design.

How do we differentiate innovation and social innovation? The two examples above present a range of innovative ideas with a positive impact on society. However small or ground breaking an idea is the important factor is how it is used and for what purpose. Engineers will always innovate and meet new challenges, how we meet these challenges and move forward with these innovative ideas will define us. It will define us as great designers, social innovators and leaders.

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