Our digital landscape is invisible. Muscle and machinery have been replaced with qubits and quantum mechanics. Take the large Hadron collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider and experimental facility ever built, which will allow physicists to test the predictions of different theories of particle physics and advance human understanding of physical laws. Or France’sInternational Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) – a collaboration between 35 nations to build a magnetic fusion device that will explore the feasibility of harnessing the same carbon-free energy that powers the stars. These projects and others hold galactic implications to usher in a completely new technological age.
The mind of the engineer has always been central to a nation-building story – blending creativity with discipline, project management with imagination. Systems without substance are dangerous or uninspiring, at best . The two have always danced in sync.
The arduous forgings of the Suez and Panama Canals were the most magnificent concatenations of engineering, design and human resource management in their time. Now, several decades later, our tools for managing mega projects are exceedingly more sophisticated, reaching targets within an inch of their “time, cost, quality” parameters, all in real-time live-streaming dashboards. What will it then take for projects such as Space X and Hyperloop to launch successfully? Certainly, more refined technology and streamlined project management systems – agreed. But on a more fundamental level, perhaps it remains the timeless recipe of daring determination and good leadership. Stories as audacious as halting global warming still wait to be written. Every time social responsibility rises to meet the resources, greatness is up for grabs .