February 19, 2018

It’s Engineers Week, a one-of-a-kind event dedicated to celebrating how engineers make a difference in our world. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Wonder”, calling attention to today’s awe-inspiring wonders and innovations. We asked some of our engineers about their favorite engineering marvel. Check out their answers below!



My favorite engineering marvel is the Panama Canal. Completed in 1914, it reduced the length of a trip by up to 8,000 nautical miles and it lifts ships up to 85 feet as the travel through the canal’s gates and locks. Not only does it boost world trade, but it’s also a great tourist attraction and hosts several cruise ships. It’s muy bien!

Jody Barksdale, P.E., ENV SP
Senior Vice President
Tampa, FL



My favorite engineering marvel is the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in New Mexico, which I got to visit during our family vacation last year. It was thrilling to drive across and the views were breathtaking!

Amanda Dobbs, P.E.
Water Resources Engineer
Nashville, TN



People tend to think of engineering marvels as something very large and extravagant in design. However, today’s cell phones are my favorite engineering marvel. The amount of computing power that can be held in the palm of your hands while giving you the capability to reach all ends of the word is impressive!

Chase Jones, P.E., LEED AP
Mechanical Engineer
Nashville, TN



My favorite marvel is the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland because it can lift a barge 79 feet in just over five minutes. Since the boats displace their own weight, each side of the wheel always weighs the same and it only takes 1.5 kWh to lift a boat. The wheel was initially constructed off site with 1,200 tons of steel and 15,000 bolts before being dismantled, transported to the canal and reassembled in place.

Click here to check out a time-lapse video of the Falkirk Wheel!

Travis Sayler, P.E.
Civil Engineer
Louisville, KY




One of my favorite engineering marvels is the Tennessee River improvements made by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1930s and 1940s. What they were able to accomplish in just over a decade to generate power, control flooding and provide reliable navigation along the Tennessee River amazes me! The scope of the manpower and ingenuity used to build the multiple dam systems is incredible. This was the catalyst for much of the job and industrial growth we enjoy in the area to this day.

Randy Drake, P.E.
Structural Engineer
Nashville, TN