Yep, I know it sounds nerdy, but there is wonder in engineering. I don’t mean the wonder of how engineers go grey by the end of a four year degree, or how we are still alive despite walking around campus like extras from 'Shaun of the Dead'. I mean the wonder of designs and projects that the everyday person takes for granted.
As a Civil Engineer, I have developed a real appreciation as to how difficult it is to make a building (even if China make it look easy by smashing one out in a week). Without my degree I have to admit that this appreciation wouldn't exist in the way it does. While I always liked the look of many old buildings, or could marvel at skyscrapers in cities, I never fully appreciated the work that went into undertaking a construction project (that's right, those people in high-vis jackets do more than sit around sunbathing on site).
Even during monotonous tasks like driving along vast expanses of tar and concrete, I am able to appreciate the momentous task of building something like a motorway. There is not just difficulty in physically smacking a road over a river, but a massive challenge in managing people who think that a new road might kill everything in its path - people who don't think that any one of the 50 engineers on a project might consider wildlife or social aspects.
I walk through streets of glass monsters with overhangs and odd shapes and can't help but think how difficult they must have been to design and construct. I can't help but get a bit excited when I see a skyscraper loom over buildings below, taking the force of more wind than a lactose intolerant person after four cheese pizza from Dominos. I can't say if it is the same for other disciplines and even other courses but I know that without this degree I would not have this appreciation or awe, and I know that I like having it in my life. It gives the world a little bit more magic.
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