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PEI's Engineering Marvel
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on June 2, 1997. Partner content is not updated.Islanders had never seen anything quite like it. On July 13, 1995, the world's largest floating crane, known as the Svanen, arrived off the coast of Prince Edward Island for work on the $1-billion bridge that has finally linked the province to mainland Canada.
White Pass & Yukon Route
The White Pass & Yukon Route railway was built to meet the demand for transportation to the gold fields of the Yukon River basin during the Klondike Gold Rush. Completed in 1900, it was a feat of engineering and one of the steepest railways in North America. It ran 177 km from Skagway, Alaska, to Whitehorse, Yukon. Today, tourist rail excursions run on a portion of the original line.
To some extent, the history of engineering is the history of humanity's progress in using tools and observations on the nature of matter to overcome physical limitations and to modify, harness and control the natural environment.
History of Engineering
With the beginning of sustained European settlement in what is now Canada, a new set of goals, values, demands and expectations was placed upon the land.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Canada
The term artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the capacity of a machine to simulate or exceed intelligent human activity or behaviour. It also denotes the subfield of computer science and engineering committed to the study of AI technologies. With recent advancements in digital technology, scientists have begun to create systems modelled on the workings of the human mind. Canadian researchers have played an important role in the development of AI. Now a global leader in the field, Canada, like other nations worldwide, faces important societal questions and challenges related to these potentially powerful technologies.
The Canadarm was a remote-controlled mechanical arm, also known as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS). During its 30-year career with NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, the robotic arm deployed, captured and repaired satellites, positioned astronauts, maintained equipment, and moved cargo.
Beartrap (Helicopter Hauldown and Rapid Securing Device)
The “beartrap” was a Canadian innovation designed in the 1960s to enable the safe operation of helicopters from destroyer-size ships. Known formally as the Helicopter Hauldown and Rapid Securing Device (HHRSD), it is now an integral part of all Canadian frigates. The beartrap revolutionized maritime helicopter operations and was adopted by other navies.