Careers Opportunities in Civil & Structural Engineering | Development Advice Guidance - Information & News From Your Career Guide

Floating island city

Floating island city sees professor on idea shortlist


A floating island city fuelled entirely by green energy has landed a
University of Portsmouth Professor of engineering a place on the shortlist
of a national competition.

Professor Carl Ross from the Department of Mechanical and Design Engineering
has reached the final five of the 'Britain's Bright Ideas' competition which
launched a national search for energy efficient ideas led by energy company
npower.  

His idea to design a floating island city was the result of his passion for
finding a solution to the problems of an overcrowded planet made worse by
the threats posed by climate change.  He believes that without drastic
measures, by the year 2050 humankind is likely to suffer a disaster of
biblical proportions.  He has written a paper in which he suggests that
floating islands could provide extra space and produce enough
environmentally friendly energy from waves, wind and the sun to support
their needs.  

He said: "There are many islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans which are
only a few feet above sea level.  If global warming continues and the sea
level rises by about 6.7 metres as predicted, millions of people will be
displaced, together with their means of food supply.

"Some 71% of the Earth¿s surface is covered in water so it makes sense for
humankind to colonise the oceans for their benefit.  If scientists and
engineers are given the tools we can find a solution."

The professor's plan is for a city above sea level, supported on several
concrete tubular pillars with a platform resting on the top made of glass
fibre which is 50 times stronger than concrete under compression.  Each
island is designed to accommodate a population of around 150,000 and would
incorporate all the facilities of a regular city such as schools, a
hospital, leisure facilities, services, industrial complexes and shops.

Professor Ross said: "I'm thrilled to have reached this far in the Bright
Ideas contest. I've always wanted to transform one of my ideas into a
full-blown invention so it's great to have the support of some real experts.
Maybe in ten years everyone will be living on a floating island city."

Professor Ross joins a shortlist of ideas from garden shed inventors up and
down the country and his competition includes a bicycle powered USB charger
and a domestic water wheel.
 
The winner of the 'Bright Ideas' competition will be announced on October
21st and the idea will be brought to life in a Wallace & Gromit-style sketch
which will go on display at the Science Museum in London.

The judges loved the idea's originality.  Npower spokesperson Kevin Peake
said: "The idea has all of the essential elements of a Bright Idea - it's
bold, effective and captures Wallace & Gromit's have-a-go approach to
innovation!"