This year’s ICE Engineering Summer photo competition demonstrated the value of the work of civil engineers.
Civil engineers provide society with the infrastructure it needs to thrive.
Because some of these structures are part of our everyday life, sometimes they get taken for granted.
So, for this year’s Engineering Summer photo competition we asked the public to send in photos of civil engineering that changed their lives for the better.
'Quietly but spectacularly providing an everyday essential'
With his entries, James Birchall highlighted infrastructure that provides very important services, like the hydroelectric scheme on the River Wharfe in Otley, Yorkshire.
He writes about the Fewston and Swinsty reservoir in Yorkshire, which “quietly but spectacularly provid[es] an everyday essential,” as another example.
Yuantan Cao chose to depict the Luoping Wind Farm in the Yunnan province in China.
A striking image in black and white that came in at joint third place in the competition, it portrays a giant excavator and a background full of wind turbines.
Cao says: “The farm not only generates a massive amount of renewable electricity but also blazes roads connecting rural areas.”
This entry demonstrates how civil engineering projects often offer multiple benefits at once!
'A delightful and urban space for people to meet'
Civil engineering covers a lot of our daily needs, but it also creates the structures in which we may have once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Qais Abumwais chose to highlight the Lusail Stadium in Qatar as engineering that may provide such an experience for the thousands that will come to watch the World Cup 2022 final at the stadium.
But having a place to get together isn’t just nice - it’s a necessity.
Hazel Millington sent us a beautiful photograph of the Winter Gardens in Sheffield, UK.
It’s one of the largest temperate glasshouses in the area.
“It has created a stunning green area in the heart of the city for people to enjoy all year round and has created a delightful and attractive urban space for people to meet,” she says.
These spaces can also help boost tourism, and with that, the local economy.
Nurul Fadzlina Yahya chose to highlight the Furzey Garden Centenary Timber Footbridge as a structure that provides access to such a place.
She explains that the bridge “will enhance the flower meadow, a site which conserves rare plants and insects, and which is open to visitors to Furzey Gardens.”
'Connecting communities, promoting active travel, placemaking’
Connecting communities, promoting active travel and placemaking were reasons given as to why Stockingfield Bridge in Glasgow, Scotland is improving people’s lives.
The bridge is also celebrating the accolade of being named the 2022 People’s Choice Award winner!
George McBurnie, who won the Engineering Summer photo competition with this photo, highlighted that the team also held a community arts project.
Bridges were a common feature in the contest submissions.
Ver-se Abudar sent us a striking photograph of the Clyde Arc Bridge in Glasgow, a structure that his dad had a hand in creating.
It showed him “how an engineer’s work can impact a city, how it can bring together communities and how it can inspire younger people to do the same and go into a profession they'll love, even if that person is just your 9-year-old son”.
Bridges not only connect communities to each other, but to surrounding nature.
Hui Hui Chin entered photos of the Round Island Route (RIR) in Singapore, which will loop around the entire island at approximately 150km long.
One of these photos was awarded second place in the competition.
Chin explains: “The [first phase] was launched to connect the community to the nature in the east of Singapore by promoting group activities such as cycling, jogging and skating.”
'Convenience for normal people like you and me'
Civil engineers also create the transport networks that allow us to complete our day-to-day journeys.
They build them to be durable, strong, and able to sustain weather conditions.
As his entry to the photo competition, Melvin Wood sent in a photograph of the Prince of Wales Bridge.
He explains: “This [bridge] has revolutionised road travel between England and Wales because the design of the bridge allows road traffic to use the bridge even in high winds.”
Similarly, Gurinder Singh Bawa highlighted Kachchi Dargah-Bidupur Ganga Bridge in Bihar, India.
He noted that this infrastructure improvement helps road transport be “fully functional during monsoon season.”
Tianchi Wu shared a photo of a bright London Underground sign, with the famous Shard building in the background.
Coming in at joint third place, Wu speaks of how “... the underground is meant to bring convenience for normal people like you and me.”
“No matter how late it is, how tired you are, how far away your house is from the city centre, you could always rely on the underground to take you home...” Wu writes.
'I am loving every minute of real-life experience as a civil engineer'
Teagen Feerick sent us a photo of engineering that has changed her life for the better, as she works on a year in industry placement at Drax Power Station in Yorkshire.
“All of this civil engineering has enabled me to have this opportunity and has definitely changed my life and I am loving every minute of real-life experience as a civil engineer.”