The emergence of engineering has led to many achievements, which have eased the way of life of several individuals. In fact, the use of technologies in daily lives has promoted good health. This is evident in the use of clean and safe water for drinking as well as the reliance on electricity to perform various tasks. It is important to state that the use of modern technology has eased traveling and transportation of goods. Evidently, computer and communication technologies have opened up enormous stores of knowledge and entertainment (Slaton 97). However, as more improvements are realized, more challenges continue to be encountered in the engineering technology. What should be realized is that the evidently improved quality of life is as a result of improved technologies in principal areas, such as farming and manufacturing, which contribute significantly to the advancement in the quality of life. Notably, although there are several grand challenges that are facing engineering, individuals have formed clubs and organizations to mitigate the problems because some of them may result in adverse effects on the life of the people. In this context, this paper focuses on discussing the challenge of restoring and improving urban infrastructure as one of the grand challenges faced by the engineering and how Soda Club addresses it. To understand how restoring and improving infrastructure is a challenge it is vital to define. The term is used to connote a combination of the basic systems that supports a community, region or state (Slaton 98). It is inclusive of water, sewerage systems, roads and rail networks, national and power gas grids. The current state of infrastructure shows that it is aging, and there is insufficient funding to support repairing or replacing it. According to Slaton (100), engineers in the twenty-first century encounter a challenge of modernizing the fundamental structures that support civilization. The situation is worse in urban areas because of the increase in population that stresses the limited structures that are available. The natural disasters, accidents, as well as terrorist attacks are some of the factors behind the worsening conditions of the urban infrastructure. In many parts of the world, the population is more in urban areas compared with the ones in the rural set ups. Engineers encounter the challenge of designing the infrastructure and giving the due attention to the concerns of the aesthetic elements that result in the improved quality of life. According to the author, maintaining infrastructure is not only a problem for the engineers, but also to many authorities (Slaton 100). Designing systems for offering clean waters and disposing of sewage is a problem. The expansions of the systems that are critical for transmitting information and providing energy have complicated the infrastructure networks, all types of communication included. It is vital to underscore that most of the current infrastructure that are in place are buried, something that poses many challenges in maintaining and upgrading it. In fact, it is not easy to fix the wires or pipes because a majority of them were not graphed during placement, implying that they cannot be seen. The situation is made harder by the unavailability of the records that contains the data regarding the underground pipes and cables that are incomplete.
It is imperative to state that transportation faces major problems. This is explicit in the critical conditions of streets and highways, implying that their maintenance remains a challenge. The primary challenges of engineering in this area are making integrated transportation systems, designing personal vehicle travel, mass transit, as well as bicycling. Therefore, Ahern (1204) suggests that it is crucial for authorities to provide engineers with the required materials to try and use a combined integrated approach that uses energy, water, wastes to improve the urban condition. As a result, sustainability will be increased, and pressure will be relieved to meet citizens’ needs.
To address the challenge, Soda Club is a computer engineering club that focuses on teaching and discussing computing as well as computing industry. The club focuses on improving the quality and proliferation of computer science education industry. The club brings representatives from software firms to accept resumes and recruits their employees. The club also teaches computing skills and collaboratively aims at providing new approaches to problems. Besides, Soda broadens horizons past what is taught in the classroom in addition to career development and technical training. It is important to state that the club advocates the use of the integrated approach to mitigating the challenge of restoring and improving urban infrastructure. To improve the quality of water taken by people, the club has developed the use of soda maker in the drinking water, which is kept in the refrigeration before it is soda maker is put. The new technologies that have been developed by the Soda Club are critical to improving the infrastructure. This is because they contribute to the aesthetic value of the infrastructure. The projects started by this society do not only focus on the restoration and improvement of the infrastructure, but also the promotion of beauty in all aspects of engineering, reduction of carbon (iv) oxide included. Notably, the many representatives from diverse software play significant roles in passing the knowledge they obtain from the club.
In conclusion, the benefits of engineering can only be realized if all the stakeholders play their part well. This is because engineering skills without the relevant requirements, such as equipment, materials, and funds might not achieve the best. For example, the government should address the different challenges and political barriers that interfere with the restoration and improvement of infrastructure.
- Ahern, Jack. “Urban landscape sustainability and resilience: the promise and challenges of
integrating ecology with urban planning and design.” Landscape Ecology 28.6 (2013):
- Slaton, Amy. “Engineering Improvement: Social and Historical Perspectives on the NAE’s
“Grand Challenges.”” International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace
1.2 (2012): 95-108. Print.