The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

New York City officials unveiled an emergency housing unit prototype at a parking lot in Brooklyn on Tuesday. The prototype was developed in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. All available apartments in the city were rented shortly after the storm ended by people whose homes were damaged by the storm.  However there was not nearly enough vacant apartments to handle the demand and many people became sick of living in hotel rooms. Many New Yorkers had no other choice except to remain in their damaged, water-logged homes.

Thursday, 12 June 2014 10:43

2014 FIFA World Cup Stadium Photo Gallery

After waiting four years since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, soccer fans around the world today will celebrate the kickoff to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.  While the players and fans are ready to get the tournament underway, the same cannot be said about the entire Brazilian infrastructure.  Brazil spent $3.6 billion building or renovating 12 stadiums to be used for the tournament’s 64 matches.  As with many recent international sporting events, there has been a lot of controversy about building high capacity, expensive stadiums that will not be needed once the World Cup finishes. Anthony Boadle from Reuters recently wrote an article detailing the finished and unfinished parts of Brazilian infrastructure projects that were promised to be ready for the tournament kick-off. He found that three stadiums are not finished, six will not have wi-fi inside of the stadiums, and many upgrades to the country’s airports, ports, and urban transit were not completely finished. Some journalists are saying Brazil is the least prepared host of any of the previous 16 world cup host nations.

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The following infograph was created by Masters students from Norwich University's Civil Engineering Department.  The top ten projects have a wide range of completion dates from as recently as 2011 and as far back as 2504 B.C.  

A bridge crossing the Pont Des Arts in Paris was evacuated briefly yesterday after the bridge’s railing collapsed.  The 2.4-meter section of collapsed railing failed due the weight of the “love locks” that were attached to the railing.  The bridge is famous for the “locks of love,” and each year thousands of couples from across the world demonstrate their love for one another by locking a lock to the bridge and throwing the key into the water.  The tradition started in 2008 and now the bridge’s entire 150-meter span is covered in locks.  Similar bridges with “locks of love” can be found in China, Germany and Russia.  There were roughly 700,000 love locks attached to the footbridge railing when it collapsed.

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Construction is underway on a 1.5-kilometer long ice wall surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan. The ice wall will prevent ground water flowing from nearby hills from mixing with the polluted soil beneath the nuclear plant. It is estimated that 400 tons of groundwater passes underneath the reactor’s basement each day. The chemicals used to cool the reactor have seeped through cracks into the basement walls and pipes and have contaminated the soil. The project, which began on Monday, will be completed in March 2015. The Japanese government is funding the project, which is expected to cost $313 million to construct. The owner and operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power, will conduct several months of testing on the ice wall once it is completed to ensure that it is working properly.  Tokyo Electric Power plans to maintain the ice wall for over a hundred years.

Cylinder molds weight little but take up space, therefore shipping costs are expensive, commonly leading you to have large orders of cylinder molds shipped by truck. But what if you need extra molds and cannot afford to wait?  

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There is an app in the Apple App Store that allows users of all ages and experience level, play the role of a structural engineer. TrussMe!, created by Scientific Monkey, provides players with a load and several structural members. The user must design a truss to support the load using the supplied members and supports.  Each member has a different cross sectional area, and thus a different weight.