• Audio
  • 20 minutes

Materials: Sustainability and structure

Updated Monday, 18th August 2014
Whether it's outlining the world's attitude to plastic bags or admiring the Pont de Normandie, Ian Johnston and Bernie Clark discuss sustainability, the future of materials and iconic structures in these short podcasts. 

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bright recycling bins for plastics, cans and paper The breakthroughs in material science and engineering during the past 100 years or so has been phenomenal, or, as the BBC title suggests, a series of 'Everyday Miracles'. However, while on the surface these may indeed seem miraculous, the Earth's natural resourses are being used up at an extraordinary rate by 'disposable society'.

In these three podcasts below, Bernie Clark and Ian Johnston put the world of engineering to rights and deliberate about what can be done to make production more sustainable while also celebrating some of the most majestic structures of our time.

Listen to the experts' insight 

What is disposable society? Mass production, disposable items, recycling and the role of young people are discussed. 

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What materials can we continue using or are there sustainable alternatives? Artificial and grown materials are reviewed.

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What are the most iconic structures? The Firth of Forth, the Angel of the North and the Pont de Normandie are all considered.

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