Built, Roma Agrawal, 2018

What a terrific book!  Agrawal is a structural engineer who can also write exceptionally clearly and engagingly.  In Built, she takes the reader by the hand and introduces him/her to the work of making sure our buildings, bridges, tunnels, and roads don’t fall down or disintegrate with use and time.  Introducing the concepts of compression, tension, damping, bracing, resonance and many others she draws on her experience designing the Shard to illustrate how engineers have overcome the challenges of building taller, further, and deeper than in the past. She sprinkles wonderful vignettes of historical figures including Archimedes (pulley), Brunelleschi (domes), Bessemer (steel), Otis (elevators), Brunel and Bazalgette (tunnels and sewers), Forget Fazlur Khan (exoskeleton bracing), and Roebling (Brooklyn Bridge suspension cables and caissons) and a major nod to the Romans (concrete, arches, pilings) and the Assyrians (aqueducts and cisterns) throughout the book.  This is fascinating science!