• Question: would you like to be an engineer in roman times ?

    Asked by hannahwilson to Omar, Al, Emma, James on 21 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by sohanaveed.
    • Photo: James Vokes

      James Vokes answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      I like being an engineer now, I like technology too much to leave it but if I was forced back in time and if I hadn’t been instantly killed for my strange clothing and language I think I’d be a great ally to the Roman empire. Let’s see:
      I could show them how to design a wing so that if they’re travelling fast enough the wing will fly.
      Get some iron or other ferromagnetic metal and, after striking it with a flint a few times so its magnetised, mount it or place it on some water so it floats: Boom! Compass.
      Tell them that for small swings of a pendulum the time it takes for a pendulum to swing only depends on the length of the string or rod they’re using. They all use the same length? Boom! Clock.
      Show them some cool designs like Archimedes screws etc.
      Describe how atoms are made up: negative electrons orbiting a positive nucleus made up of protons and neutrons.

      I could probably go further but I’m not sure what kind of materials they have at that time or how to discover them.

    • Photo: Emma Bould

      Emma Bould answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      I think being an engineer in Roman times would have been amazing (although other parts of Roman life might not have been so much fun!). A huge amount of progress in engineering occurred during the Roman times, things like bringing running water to cities in a sustainable way.

      On the flip side, I can’t imagine there were many women engineers back then, so from that perspective, I prefer being an engineer in the time we live in now!

    • Photo: Al Bartlett

      Al Bartlett answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Hello Hannahwilson and Sohanaveed,

      Good question – The Romans were incredibly skilled engineers and probably responsible for many o the basic techniques we use today. I think engineering in roman times would have been easier on the brain because there was so much scope for inventing things to solve problems – as the world has become more advanced we are seeing most of our everyday problems are alread solved or worked around with other devices.

      I think my aircraft would have been great for taking Roman soldiers around the world as they conquered new lands but this said, they wouldn’t have designed the famous Roman roads that acheaologists still find today – they would have invented the Roman Runway though!!…….What an odd thought!!

      I hope you like the answer hannahwilson and sohanaveed

    • Photo: Omar Mustufvi

      Omar Mustufvi answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      It would have been a great time because there was still so much engineers could invent back then, they are responsible for the roads we have today and also as Emma said they created clever ways of transporting water to cities- they were even some of the first eco-friendly engineers as they invented water mills for getting power from rivers!