Topic: Civil engineering
A bastion fort or trace italienne (a phrase improperly derived from French, literally meaning Italian outline), is a fortification in a style that evolved during the early modern period of gunpowder when the cannon came to dominate the battlefield. It was first seen in the mid-15th century in Italy. Some types, especially when combined with ravelins and other outworks, resembled the related star fort of the same era.
The design of the fort is normally a polygon with bastions at the corners of the walls. These outcroppings eliminated protected blind spots, called "dead zones", and allowed fire along the curtain from positions protected from direct fire. Many bastion forts also feature cavaliers, which are raised secondary structures based entirely inside the primary structure.
The Dujiangyan (Chinese: 都江堰; pinyin: Dūjiāngyàn) is an ancient irrigation system in Dujiangyan City, Sichuan, China. Originally constructed around 256 BC by the State of Qin as an irrigation and flood control project, it is still in use today. The system's infrastructure develops on the Min River (Minjiang), the longest tributary of the Yangtze. The area is in the west part of the Chengdu Plain, between the Sichuan basin and the Tibetan plateau. Originally, the Min would rush down from the Min Mountains and slow down abruptly after reaching the Chengdu Plain, filling the watercourse with silt, thus making the nearby areas extremely prone to floods. Li Bing, then governor of Shu for the state of Qin, and his son headed the construction of the Dujiangyan, which harnessed the river using a new method of channeling and dividing the water rather than simply damming it. The water management scheme is still in use today to irrigate over 5,300 square kilometres (2,000 sq mi) of land in the region. The Dujiangyan, the Zhengguo Canal in Shaanxi and the Lingqu Canal in Guangxi are collectively known as the "three great hydraulic engineering projects of the Qin."
- "Dujiangyan irrigation system" | 2014-04-22 | 66 Upvotes 12 Comments
Fazlur Rahman Khan (Bengali: ফজলুর রহমান খান, Fozlur Rôhman Khan) (3 April 1929 – 27 March 1982) was a Bangladeshi-American structural engineer and architect, who initiated important structural systems for skyscrapers. Considered the "father of tubular designs" for high-rises, Khan was also a pioneer in computer-aided design (CAD). He was the structural engineer of the Sears Tower working with Architect Bruce Graham, since renamed Willis Tower, the tallest building in the world from 1973 until 1998, and the 100-story John Hancock Center.
Khan, more than any other individual, ushered in a renaissance in skyscraper construction during the second half of the 20th century. He has been called the "Einstein of structural engineering" and the "Greatest Structural Engineer of the 20th Century" for his innovative use of structural systems that remain fundamental to modern skyscraper design and construction. In his honor, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat established the Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal, as one of their CTBUH Skyscraper Awards.
Although best known for skyscrapers, Khan was also an active designer of other kinds of structures, including the Hajj airport terminal, the McMath–Pierce solar telescope, and several stadium structures.
- "Fazlur Khan: The engineer who made it possible to live in the sky" | 2014-06-12 | 86 Upvotes 9 Comments
A green wave occurs when a series of traffic lights (usually three or more) are coordinated to allow continuous traffic flow over several intersections in one main direction.
Any vehicle travelling along with the green wave (at an approximate speed decided upon by the traffic engineers) will see a progressive cascade of green lights, and not have to stop at intersections. This allows higher traffic loads, and reduces noise and energy use (because less acceleration and braking is needed). In practical use, only a group of cars (known as a "platoon", the size of which is defined by the signal times) can use the green wave before the time band is interrupted to give way to other traffic flows.
The coordination of the signals is sometimes done dynamically, according to sensor data of currently existing traffic flows - otherwise it is done statically, by the use of timers. Under certain circumstances, green waves can be interwoven with each other, but this increases their complexity and reduces usability, so in conventional set-ups only the roads and directions with the heaviest loads get this preferential treatment.
In 2011, a study modeled the implementation of green waves during the night in a busy Manchester suburb (Chorlton-cum-Hardy) using S-Paramics microsimulation and the AIRE emissions module. The results showed using green wave signal setups on a network have the potential to:
- Reduce CO2, NOx and PM10 emissions from traffic.
- Reduce fuel consumption of vehicles.
- Be used on roads that intersect with other green waves.
- Reduce the time cars wait at side roads.
- Give pedestrians more time to cross at crossings and help them to cross streets as vehicles travel in platoons
- Control the speed of traffic in urban areas.
- Reduce component wear of vehicles and indirect energy consumption through their manufacture
A green wave in both directions may be possible with different speed recommendations for each direction, otherwise traffic coming from one direction may reach the traffic light faster than from the other direction if the distance from the previous traffic light is not mathematically a multiple of the opposite direction. Alternatively a dual carriageway may be suitable for green waves in both directions if there is sufficient space in the central reservation to allow pedestrians to wait and separate pedestrian crossing stages for each side of the road.
Green waves are sometimes used to facilitate bicycle traffic. Copenhagen, Amsterdam, San Francisco, and other cities may synchronize traffic signals to provide a green light for a flow of cyclists. On San Francisco's Valencia Street, the signals were retimed in early 2009 to provide a green wave in both directions, possibly the first street in the world with a two-way green wave for cyclists. In Copenhagen, a green wave on the arterial street Nørrebrogade facilitates 30,000 cyclists to maintain a 12 mph (19.3 km/h) speed for 2.5 kilometers. In Amsterdam, cyclists riding at a speed of 15 to 18 km/h will be able to travel without being stopped by a red signal. Tests show that public transport can benefit as well and cars may travel slightly slower.
In Vienna, Austria a stretch of cycle path on Lassellestrasse in the 2nd district has a display that tells cyclists their speed and the speed they must maintain to make the next green light.
Frederiksberg, a part of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, has implemented a green wave for emergency vehicles to improve the public services.
In the UK, in 2009, it was revealed that the Department for Transport had previously discouraged green waves as they reduced fuel usage, and thus less revenue was raised from fuel taxes. Despite this government Webtag documents were only updated in 2011. It is still unclear if the economic appraisal software used to apply these guidelines has also been updated and if the new guidelines are being applied to new projects.
In a more limited sense, the term Green wave has also been applied to railroad travel. For several years starting in the 1960s, the German Federal Railway maintained an advertising campaign featuring the slogan garantiert grüne Welle (Guaranteed Green Wave), which communicated the notion of speed, limited delays and open track blocks to potential customers choosing between train and automobile travel, and was featured prominently in promotional materials ranging from posters to radio jingles.
- "Green Wave" | 2020-01-28 | 68 Upvotes 54 Comments
Isambard Kingdom Brunel (; 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859) was a British civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history", "one of the 19th-century engineering giants", and "one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions". Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway (GWR), a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.
Though Brunel's projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and the development of SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going, iron ship, which, when launched in 1843, was the largest ship ever built.
On the GWR, Brunel set standards for a well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimise gradients and curves. This necessitated expensive construction techniques, new bridges, new viaducts, and the two-mile (3.2 km) long Box Tunnel. One controversial feature was the wide gauge, a "broad gauge" of 7 ft 1⁄4 in (2,140 mm), instead of what was later to be known as "standard gauge" of 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm). He astonished Britain by proposing to extend the GWR westward to North America by building steam-powered, iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering: the SS Great Western (1838), the SS Great Britain (1843), and the SS Great Eastern (1859).
In 2002, Brunel was placed second in a BBC public poll to determine the "100 Greatest Britons". In 2006, the bicentenary of his birth, a major programme of events celebrated his life and work under the name Brunel 200.
Pykrete is a frozen ice alloy , originally made of approximately 14 percent sawdust or some other form of wood pulp (such as paper) and 86 percent ice by weight (6 to 1 by weight). During World War II, Geoffrey Pyke proposed it as a candidate material for a supersized aircraft carrier for the British Royal Navy. Pykrete features unusual properties, including a relatively slow melting rate due to its low thermal conductivity, as well as a vastly improved strength and toughness compared to ordinary ice. These physical properties can make the material comparable to concrete, as long as the material is kept frozen.
Pykrete is slightly more difficult to form than concrete, as it expands during the freezing process. However, it can be repaired and maintained using seawater as a raw material. The mixture can be moulded into any shape and frozen, and it will be tough and durable, as long as it is kept at or below freezing temperature. Resistance to gradual creep or sagging is improved by lowering the temperature further, to −15 °C (5 °F).
- "Pykrete" | 2015-07-07 | 114 Upvotes 41 Comments
A qanat or kariz is a gently sloping underground channel to transport water from an aquifer or water well to surface for irrigation and drinking, acting as an underground aqueduct. This is an old system of water supply from a deep well with a series of vertical access shafts. The qanats still create a reliable supply of water for human settlements and irrigation in hot, arid, and semi-arid climates, but the value of this system is directly related to the quality, volume, and regularity of the water flow. Traditionally qanats are built by a group of skilled laborers, muqannīs, with hand labor. The profession historically paid well and was typically handed down from father to son. According to most sources, the qanat technology was developed in ancient Iran by the Persian people sometime in the early 1st millennium BCE, and spread from there slowly westward and eastward. However, some other sources suggest a Southeast Arabian origin.
- "Qanat" | 2016-05-18 | 186 Upvotes 69 Comments
Hobby tunneling (or tunnelling) is tunnel construction as a diversion. Usually, hobby tunnelers dig their tunnels by hand, using little equipment, and some can spend years or even decades to achieve any degree of completion. In some cases tunnels have been dug secretly, and only discovered by chance.
Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions. Used at both the building and city-scale, it is argued that this idea has health, environmental, and economic benefits for building occupants and urban environments, with few drawbacks. Although its name was coined in recent history, indicators of biophilic design have been seen in architecture from as far back as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.