Tallest building! Longest bridge! Fastest train! Behold, the next engineering marvels to dazzle the world.
Give a kid a beach and he’ll MAKE a sandcastle; give a man a billion dollars and he’ll build the world’s tallest building. The urge to engineer big is elemental. “The same aspirations to celebrate and uplift the spirit that drove the Egyptians to build the pyramids are still driving us,” says Henry Petroski, a professor of history and civil engineering at Duke University and the author of To Engineer Is Human. “The things we’re doing differ only in magnitude.”
But new technology always ups the magnitude ante.