1939: World War II
Innovation: Computers, Synthetics, Radar
Location: North America, Europe, Asia
By: United States, England, Germany, Japan, Russia
Although World War II is the most infamous war in modern history, it paved the way for some of the most important technical innovations of our time. Originally used for locating and tracking enemy equipment, radar and sonar have proven vital to investigating the geology of strata below. Helpful especially in earthquake engineering, these tools allow us to see what kind of natural materials are under the ground, calling for various types of pads and bases to be laid before construction of buildings can begin. By mid-1942, Japan controlled nearly all of Asia, the world’s main rubber supply. Seeing as how equipment such as boots and tires were in such high demand, the United States was forced to engineer ways of producing quality synthetic rubber. Currently, rubber is fitted into glass, steel, plastics, sealants and all types of construction materials. The greatest innovation to come out of WWII is the computer. While taking up entire rooms, computers were used by the US to calculate artillery firing tables. Allowing us to create building structures and simulate load patterns, engineering would not be what it is today without the use of these super machines.