Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Issues in engineering – Natural Disasters

SELA wishes to demonstrate how engineering could have an impact in tackling the myriad of sustainability issues which plague our society before irreparable damage is done.

Over the last 100 years the average number of Natural Disasters per year has increased from 15 in 1910 to 393 in 2010 and because of this, there is more damage caused per year. As the population of the earth is increasing, so is the demand for housing. This means more people are having to build houses in natural disaster prone areas. This means that more damage will be caused per disaster if something is not done. 

We want to convey the importance of minimising damage caused by natural disasters on housing and other buildings, while also exploring what could be done to help. More natural disaster proof housing needs to be designed, to create safer and more sustainable houses so that less damage will be caused per disaster. 

In addition, there could be a game where students work alone or compete against each other to design, build, and attempt to destroy a natural disaster proof building. They would be provided with a collection of different building materials, as well as some important design ideas adapted specifically for earthquakes and hurricanes. After they had finished building, then it would be placed on an earthquake simulator and be put to the test. If it can survive 30 seconds of increasing earthquake intensities, it will face a hurricane simulator. If your building survives you would get a reward/sticker.

Through this we are hoping to educate the students on the importance of improved housing and the role that engineers would have in it and how engineering was used to create the earthquake simulators themselves. In this way, we hope to inspire the next wave of disaster defying engineers and ensure that housing in 2050 is truly next generation.

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