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Engineers Week: Time to reflect on the many engineering achievements around us

Great Wall of China

[Image above] The Great Wall of China is a major engineering feat. Credit: Craig Nagy; Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

We salute the engineers!

If you’re an engineer, you are probably aware this week (Feb. 19–25) is Engineers Week —a week that recognizes the significant impact engineers have in the world around us.

Engineers have solved many of the world’s problems in the 20th century. The National Academy of Engineering identified what they consider “grand challenges” for the 21st century, such as restoring and improving urban infrastructures, providing access to clean water, and creating better security for computer systems.

Engineers also serve a major purpose in the developing world. An infographic from Norwich University explains how civil engineers solve many of the problems developing countries face—including clean drinking water, rural development, and transportation. And some of the potential future engineering projects are incredibly innovative, including a bicycle-based water purification system that has the potential to provide 150 people with clean drinking water every hour.

To celebrate Engineers Week, Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB) created a contest called “I spy something engineered” to create awareness of the many examples of great engineering around us. Participants are challenged to snap photos during their daily routines of what they consider to be amazing feats of engineering, and post them to the EWB website and social networks with the hashtag #EWBUSA.

EWB picks three winners per day, based on “creativity, ingenuity and downright fun.” Below are a few of the submissions. The last day of the contest is Friday, so you still have time to participate. As you go about your daily routine, take note of your surroundings—perhaps you’ll discover a great engineering marvel that the rest of the world takes for granted!

Guy West bridge

911 Memorial and Roman aqueduct


[Images above] Credit: Engineers Without Borders USA