10 World’s Biggest Engineering Projects | Man-made Heaven

We live in an era where anything can be imagined and can be built. Advanced satellites, Floating hotels, massive underwater bridges and tunnels, skyscrapers are some compelling creatures made by human. But these projects were never easy to finish, they all gone through a great compilation including, accident, failure, cost overruns and even complete disaster. Today we are going to explore the few biggest engineering projects, some of which will take you to sub-zero temperature and few of them transport you miles away above the earth. Mega engineering is a form of beautiful art and these projects proved that size really matters.  Just have a look at the amazing list of 10 Biggest Engineering Projects.

10. The Millennium Dome

Millennium DomePhoto credit: Wikipedia

The Millennium Dome is the dome shaped building used to house the millennium experience located at Greenwich Peninsula, South East London, England. The exhibition was opened to public from 1 January 2000 and was the subject of political controversy as it failed to attract the number of visitors. The Dome still exists and now it is the key exterior feature to the O2. However then it is awarded with Royal Academy of Engineering and on our list because of its construction cost i.e. $1.27 billion.

9. Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa.Photo credit: flickr

Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper in Dubai and is the tallest man made structure in the world till now. The project began in 2002 and completed by October 2009. The building is 829.8 meters high, architecture and engineering were performed by Owings, Merrill and Skidmore of Chicago. It contains 163 floors plus 46 maintenance level and 2 parking levels in 309,472 sq meter area and the overall construction cost was $1.5 billion.

8. Iridium satellite

Iridium satellite 1Photo credit: Wikimedia commons

Iridium satellite constellation is a network of 66 satellites providing voice and data coverage to other satellite, pagers and transceivers on the earth’s surface. It was conceived in 1987 by the engineers of Motorola and the system became operational and commercially available in 1998. The project includes the tremendous initial cost i.e. $5 billion for launching the satellites into low Earth’s orbit.

7. FIA Satellites

Biggest Engineering Projects- FIA SatellitesPhoto credit: Wikimedia commons

FIA-Future Imaginary Architecture was a program to design a new generation of radar and optical imaging US satellite that would be capable of operating at night and peering through poor weather. But the project was finally cancelled by the director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte in September 2005. Over $10 billion had been spent on FIA by American Government. This project is the most spectacular and expensive failure in 50 years of history of U.S spy satellite project.

6. Arabian Canal

Suez CanalPhoto credit: Wikimedia commons

If it’s come to engineering, most of the projects are dedicated to Dubai only and it’s no surprise that the Arabian Canal is one them. It is the longest man made canal which is 75 kilometers in length. It was originally planned to be completed in 2012 but has been on hold since 2009. It would require the excavation of 1.1 billion cubic meter of soil and the projected cost is around $11 billion.

5. The Big Dig

big diggPhoto credit: Wikimedia commons

Early in 80s, traffic in Central Artery (Boston) lasted 10 hours a day which leads to a mega project named Central Artery/Tunnel also known as the Big Dig. It’s a 5.6 km tunnel, also included the construction of Ted Williams Tunnel. It was the most expensive highway project in U.S which was plagued by design flaws, cost overruns, charges of poor execution, leaks, criminal arrests and 1 death. However, it was completed on December, 2007 spending a total cost of $18 billion.

4. Channel Tunnel

Channel Tunnel 1Photo credit: Wikimedia commons

The Channel Tunnel (Sometimes called Chunnel) is 50.5 kilometer long train tunnel linking France and United Kingdom. It has 2 single track tunnels and single service tunnel electrified with 25k a.c volt, with operating speed of 160 kilometers per hour. The project was completed by 1994 and the overall budget was around $21 billion. Building the Chunnel took 6 years and the construction involved 13k workers and engineers, 250k engineering drawing and unfortunately 10 deaths.

3. The International Space Station

International Space Station 1Photo credit: Wikimedia commons

The International Space Station (ISS for short) has been the largest object ever sent into the space. It is an artificial satellite in low earth orbit. It is 450,000 kg in weight and 72.8m long which is revolving around the earth at an average speed of 7.66 km per second. The cost of construction was around $100 billion. In fact it’s such a large project that can often be seen with the naked eye at the appropriate time from the earth.

2. Sky Cities

sky citiesPhoto credit: Wikimedia commons

Need more space, here come sky cities, futuristic building above the sky. Sky Cities will reduce overcrowding in urban areas and a challenging structure to be made for engineers and architects. In 1989, an engineering firm proposed structure of a mixed – use tower for various purposes called Sky City 1000. The plan consist of a building 1 km tall, 400 m wide and total floor area of 8 km sq that would house around 36,000 people and 100,000 workers. If completed, Sky city 1000 will be the tallest man made structure edging out the Burj Khalifa.

Also read: 10 Futuristic Building Designs

1. Transatlantic tunnel

Transatlantic tunnel Photo credit: Wikimedia commons

Do you want to have a brunch in New York and be back in London in an hour? It’s not a joke, this can be possible after the construction of Transatlantic tunnel. Well, it’s a theoretical tunnel that would connect Europe and North America. Some proposal envisions technologically advanced trains reaching speeds up to 8,000 km per hour. If successfully done, it will become an efficient and fast way of transport, even could be compared with air travel. The overall estimated construction cost of the tunnel is $200 billion to $12 trillion.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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