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Clever engineering

11 May 2016

Ambitious and innovative engineering projects symbolise achievement, endeavour and ingenuity – think the Hoover Dam, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the large Hadron Collider. These are engineering icons that were created – not just by engineers – but by savvy leaders with the skills to realise grand visions. Here are a few more examples.

Australia comes of age

A nation came of age when Australia completed the Snowy Mountain’s scheme – a sprawling hydro-electric system featuring 16 major dams, seven power stations and 225 kilometres of tunnels, pipelines and aqueducts. The diverted water generates electricity for New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, as well as irrigating vast tracts of farmland in the nation’s food bowl. It is the largest and most ambitious engineering project in Australia and remains one of the most advanced in the world.

Scottish pride

In Scotland, prior to the 1930s, boats needing to travel from the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal needed to descend a 35 metre drop. This was made possible by an ancient system of 11 locks that took almost an entire day for boats to pass.

In 2002, engineers created a new solution: a huge mechanical lift by which boats ascend and descend the drop in minutes. Dubbed ‘The Falkirk Wheel’, it’s the world’s only rotational boat transporter. It’s a visually striking structure that melds 21st century engineering technology with the nostalgia of the UK’s centuries old canal system.

China takes on the world

Engineering projects of unprecedented scale continue to propel China’s status as an emerging superpower, from the world’s fastest trains to its largest airport, but it’s Beijing’s National Stadium that is perhaps the most recognisable. Affectionately dubbed ‘The Bird’s Nest’, it’s the world’s largest steel structure, combining unforgettable aesthetics with environmentally sustainable features – during winter, the stadium draws heat from geothermal sources deep underground, while rainwater is collected to supply restrooms.

Realising the vision

Realising the world’s most ambitious engineering projects requires diverse abilities ranging from risk management and communication, to applied knowledge of state-of-the-art engineering techniques. Engineering managers embody this skillset – they marry critical thinking and technical problem-solving, with highly-developed abilities in leadership and management.

Become an engineering leader

SCU Online’s Masters in Engineering Management will arm you with the skills to operate at the very top tiers of the engineering profession. Students build on their grounding in engineering through diverse subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and marketing, to project management and leadership.

Our postgraduate programs are designed for professionals who need to fit study around work and lifestyle. To chat with our enrolment advisors and find out more, call 1300 589 882.