A while ago, professors from civil engineering department organized a site visit to Queensferry Crossing, which is expected to be the longest three-tower cable-stayed bridge. It started with presentation by Sarah Breen, senior engineer at ARUP, who has worked on this project from its start. The presentation provided us with an insight into the major stages of the project from initiation until execution. We discovered that new bridge will complement existing cantilever rail and suspension road bridges. You might think why another bridge is needed, but the decision to construct a new bridge has been made after suspension cables of the Forth road bridge showed the signs of severe corrosion. So, you can see three iconic bridges, representing the advancements in civil engineering, in one place. Along with elegant design, the new bridge will have better wind shielding and corrosion resistant features due to dehumidification system. Moreover, deteriorated cables can be easily replaced without closing the bridge unlike on the Forth road bridge. The visit was continued with a bus tour, where we were able to have a closer look on the bridge. The new bridge is scheduled to open in May 2017 after almost six years of construction. As a civil engineer, I really enjoyed the trip since I saw the real-world application of the complicated construction methods and technologies on such a large-scale project.
Recently, we also had a chance to discover a Costa Rican cuisine. Monica put a lot of effort, and cooked for us a delicious dinner with several dishes. First, we started with tortilla chips with smashed beans and salsa sauce, then had a black bean soup with a hard-cooked egg, followed by rice with chicken, beans, and salad and finished with a sweet plantain as a dessert. As you can see, it was a ‘bean night’, and, fortunately, nobody was allergic to them. Again, we had one more delightful dinner and great time together.
I want to end my blog with a bit random,but philosophical stuff inspired by a fortune cookie that Ain brought us for the dinner. Quote inside of mine was: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”. I was surprised to see what a real life wisdom lives inside a crisp cookie. In fact, there is no success without dealing with problems. Only by challenging ourselves, our skills and abilities, we can achieve something. So, let’s try follow the advice of a wise fortune cookie, and not overlook our opportunities in difficulties we face with.