Wednesday, 25 November 2020

What does the future of civil engineering look like? A sustainability perspective

Carys Aspden, SELA Cohort 2019

Skyine photo with sky scrapers against sunset sky
You don’t need to look far to find news on the new tallest building, longest bridge, or thinnest skyscraper (I would highly recommend the B1M YouTube channel). Even though I marvel at these exciting new construction projects being carried out all over the world, this competition between countries and corporations to build the next best thing is unsustainable. After a certain number of storeys, the building of skyscrapers becomes economically unviable, and so whilst these feats of engineering are very impressive, they may be deemed as essentially just boastful displays of wealth.

Perhaps the most prominent consequence of this issue is the impact on the environment. Josh Gabbatiss (2020) explores how the construction and demolition of buildings in China in 2015 accounted for 20% of the country’s carbon emissions. The severity of the so-called “construction fever” (Xinyi Shen, Greenpeace Asia) in China has been clearly demonstrated earlier this year by the country’s ban on building skyscrapers taller than 500m.

Monday, 16 November 2020

Finding and Managing Opportunity

Matthew Bate, SELA Cohort 2018

Hands together around single buttercup flower on stem
If I were to give you one piece of advice, I’d say remember this: opportunity doesn’t just come to you, it’s something you’ve got to find.

In September 2019, myself and a team of five began work on a new form of Assistive Technology: we called it U Calm.

As we began the year, we were coming off the back of our success at Workwise’s Get Up to Speed Event and we had the drive to make a difference.