Engineer Saves Buildings

Riyaz Mehta

The year was 1906. At 5:12 am on a brisk April morning, a 7.9 Magnitude earthquake struck San Francisco lasting 42 seconds, killing approximately 2100 people and causing 400 million dollars in damage. But in the case of this horrific disaster, there is some silver lining to be taken away. Experts estimated John Smith, a Bay Area local, saved around 900 residents and 130 buildings, using his Engineering degree to design a lead-rubber bearing that prevented buildings from tilting to an extent in which they would collapse. The lead-rubber bearing works by diverting energy to heat, causing less tension on buildings. City officials are looking to have his invention implemented on every building after San Francisco recovers from the earthquake and its aftershocks. He may not be the typical hero like a firefighter, but his engineering skills saved hundreds of lives and millions of dollars.


This story is partially false but could have been true had the Lead-Rubber bearing been designed before 1975. Engineers all around the world - which could be you - have saved numerous lives with their inventions which were not around just 100 years ago.

Riyaz Mehta

Riyaz is currently a high school student attending school in Southern California. He loves engineering and hopes to utilize this passion to change the world one day.