Though the history of engineering is long and storied, it is not without a few blunders. Creating a safe structure requires a precise nature, an ultra-critical eye and very sharp math skills; so choosing a professional, proven Engineer for your project is crucial.
While mistakes can be dangerous and no laughing matter, there are a few that can be very entertaining to look back on. Here are a few interesting blunders in Engineering:
The Paris trains that were too big for the railways and tunnels:
In 2014, a set of 341 new trains were set to launch over a two year period in nearly 1,300 stations in Paris. Unfortunately, they had to be entirely re-done because the railway engineers forgot to measure the actual distance between lines and platforms. The oversight was projected to cost $68 million to correct — not a cheap mistake!
The London bridge that literally made people sick:
In 2000, the Millennium Bridge over the Thames River in London opened and was almost immediately closed again until 2002. The reason: the bridge swayed so much that pedestrians were falling over from dizzy spells while walking over it. Later, experts speculated that it was the synchronicity of the steps on the bridge that caused the swaying. Overlooking those details cost a reported $8 million in repairs over the course of two years!
The sinking Osaka airport built on top of sand:
The Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan is constructed on top of an artificial island. The airport itself rests on a seabed of soft sand, causing the airport to have a notorious sinking problem. Florida Engineers know this one – sand is not a good place to build anything, especially something as expensive as an airport.
When people thought square airplane windows would work:
In two of the first passenger jetliners, the cabin windows shattered due to “metal fatigue” – translation: cracks in the edges of the square cabin windows that caused the airplanes to explode. This is why airplane windows are curved.
The amazing $2 billion sinking submarine from Spain:
After investing $2.7 billion in a program to develop diesel-electric submarines, Engineers had a painful discovery. The original math was wrong – in fact, just one decimal point was out of place – which would cause the 2,200 ton sub to sink right to the bottom if it was sent out to sea. The worst part is that the mistake had been discovered after one of the subs had already been built.
So while these stories can provide a laugh, they are actually an important reminder that when you choose your Central Florida Structural Engineer, make sure you put your trust and your buildings into the hands of a qualified, licensed professional. As you can see, choosing an Engineer that’s not quite as qualified, could lead to very costly mistakes!