Structures, water, computers, languages and people (not necessarily in this order)

You cannot handle the truth

After the latest meeting of the Institution of Civil Engineers in Spain one of the colleagues sent me by e-mail this funny adaptation of the confrontation between Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in the film A Few Good Men.

It made me laugh and remember the definition of Rui Wamba: structural engineering implies calculating loads whose magnitude and exact position we do not know for materials whose behaviour we barely understand with a simplified physical model which is plenty of false assumptions in such a sophisticated way that the general public cannot have the slightest suspicion of our degree of ignorance.


  1. I´ve been keeping on mind to comment this post since last year, just for one reason: I almost cryed as this reading sent me back to those days in 1999 when we lost the war. :) I mean, all the protests against the LOE (Ley Orgánica de la Edificación)we made to finally get kicked out of civil building by architects. I never spected to work on civil engineering, but I felt insuted and angry as they devaluated our status without reason.

  2. Well, I must confess that once upon a time I wanted to be an architect but then I figured out that I was better at calculations than I was at drawings. I think I chose the right option: architecture can seem more appealing than engineering to the general public but working as an architect involves spending lots of unpaid hours at the office discussing useless things.