This is a sponsored article on behalf of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Roads, sewers, buildings, bridges, even the option to scoff a humble slice of toast – we have a lot to thank civil engineering for. Yet although it has transformed the world around us, civil engineering can be a little tricky to wrap your head around, right? Not when you have a game of Jenga or packet of biccies by your side…
Pitch 200 is an exciting competition that challenges engineers’ creativity and invites them to explain a civil engineering principle, idea or concept using everyday objects. The rules? The video must be entertaining, showcase their passion and celebrate the vast impact of civil engineering. Oh, and they have just 200 seconds in which to do it!
Over the past couple of months, engineers across London and South East England have risen to the challenge, turning to board games, digestives and London’s poo-filled past to help bring their chosen topics to (somewhat unusual) life. But which pitch takes the proverbial biscuit and which runs smoother than a London sewer? That’s up to you – enjoy the videos from each of the eight finalists below, learn something new and vote for your winner here.
1. Data and Disease in London
“The world is currently in the midst of a pandemic, and in the 1840s it faced another one”. Cholera claimed the lives of over 10,000 people in London alone, but how was research used to learn more about this disease? What data led to important discoveries? And how did civil engineering provide a solution? Seray Wright GMICE tells all.
2. Health and Safety, Not Just a Game
Tumbling objects, electrocution, falls from height, being caught in something – building structures comes with some rather dangerous hazards. So how does the construction industry assess risk and protect employees? Using an impressive array of games from around her house, Grace Lloyd GMICE demonstrates how the Health and Safety Act 1974 is used in the industry.
3. Civil Engineering: A Poem
Art and civil engineering are closer buddies than you may think. In this video, Joe Miller MICE turns to poetry to express his love for the artistic aspects of civil engineering, the creativity it requires and the unique challenges involved in dreaming up “ideas that translate, from our heads, into blots on the landscape”.
4. Three Steps to a Healthy Bridge
Join Emily Seabrook GMICE to discover an aspect of civil engineering that often flies under the radar: bridge assessments! It may not receive a lot of attention, but by jove it’s important. Not only do these health checks tells us the condition of the bridge, they also inform how natural resources can be used to improve the bridge – a must for reducing carbon emissions.
5. The Potential Power of Plastics
We all know plastics take a long time to break down – some can even last up to 1,000 years! But what if plastics can be used for good? Rui Jian Tee GMICE shares how, if used in the right way for the right purpose, plastic solutions like Geogrid can be beneficial to the safety and longevity of road infrastructure.
6. Buttered Toast for Breakfast
Next time you’re waiting for your bread to pop up out of the toaster, give a moment of thanks to civil engineering for its part in making your favourite breakfast. From ploughing wheat for the bread to the electricity required to power your toaster, Tony Barber FICE lets us in on the processes and infrastructure we may previously have been taking for granted at the breakfast table.
7. Cleaning up London’s ‘Monster Soup’
Step back in time with Claudia Caravello GMICE, to uncover a rather… smelly part of London’s history. In the 1850s the capital’s sewer system left much to be desired with open channels and cesspits used for discarded waste. The Thames was nicknamed ‘Monster Soup’. That was, until The Great Stink of 1858 and Victorian engineer Joseph Bazalgette arrived with a solution we still use today.
8. Cut and Fill (Up on Digestives)
How do engineers combat uneven ground conditions when planning the design of a project? One technique is called ‘Cut and Fill’ and Michal Wojcieszak GMICE has an enviable supply of biscuits on hand to show you, in simple terms, precisely how this solution works.
Vote for your favourite Pitch 200 video here. Voting is free and the poll closes on Friday 10 July 2020.