A lot has changed and advanced since the beginning of the 21st century, and engineering has been a major part of the progress. Scroll down to see if you knew about these achievements and tell us if you think they should be so high up on this list!
- Large Hadron Collider
The scope and size of this machine does not even come close to any other global projects of the 21st century. Built in 10 years, between 1998 and 2008, by hundreds of bright-minded engineers from all over the world, the LHC was made in order to prove (or disprove) the existence of a Higgs boson particle. Engineers accelerate two high-energy particles in opposite directions to make them collide in a 27-kilometre ring and analyse the outcomes.
- 3D visualisations
Most engineers use either AutoCAD or SketchUp in their work. And let us stop you right there – yes, 3D modelling software has existed for about 30 years but it only became efficient in the 21st century. Compared to the 80s, now the high resolution of 3D models allows for a much clearer visualisation of the intended object and eliminates many mistakes that could have taken place.
- Driverless cars on the highway
Some time has already passed since Google started developing driverless cars and now other automobile brands, such as Toyota, Volvo and Audi, are exploring the driverless, or as they prefer calling it – autonomous, limits. Driverless cars have a number of sensors, a radar and a camera to identify the lane markings, vehicles nearby, including their size, and any other obstacles on the way. These cars have already been tested on the highway, although with a driver present inside in case of an unforeseen situation. This unaccountable situation is exactly the reason driverless cars are banned from being on the highway without anyone inside – the car can only respond to the pre-programmed scenarios and would not react to people running through the highway or birds landing on the car.
- Mars visitors
The first rover, called Opportunity, landed on Mars in 2004 and was programmed to last for a few months but has been there for years now. The second one, called Curiosity, joined his robotic brother eight years later in 2012 to study soil, rocks and atmosphere. Both rovers are a brilliant example of advanced engineering work.
- The tallest building
Every time there is a talk about a new skyscraper it will probably be built in United Arab Emirates. The tallest building to this day is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is almost 830cm tall! Upon construction completion in 2010 the building broke all the records: it has more stories than any other building in the world, highest elevator service and longest elevator travel distance, highest occupied floor and a few other ‘highests’ and ‘longests’.