Emily was doubting herself. “How can I lose weight quickly?” she thought as she looked first at her design for the concert screen and then at the stacks of now useless parts. Beyoncé started rehearsing her final song “Remember those walls I built…” in the background, Emily felt sick. To be able to lift the screen into place, she would have to use all her engineering skill to lose weight from the structure with only six hours left.
Dan, the construction manager, wasn’t helping. He always thought he knew best, and he just couldn’t bring himself to accept that the crane wasn’t going to start again. He had his eyes closed, phone pressed to his ear and was talking passive aggressively as he rubbed his shaved head “Just try and start the crane engine one more time. We really need this”.
She tried to think of happier things to calm herself down. She thought of Thomas, then her mind wandered to the camping holiday they were planning. Then she had a brainwave.
Guy ropes! The structure wouldn’t need to be so strong and heavy if we stabilised it with guy ropes! She’d seen a drum of wire outside for the lighting rigs that she could use. It wasn’t perfect but if she re-designed it carefully, the wires wouldn’t block people’s views. She crouched down, and flipped her drawings over, sketching the new design in biro on the back, while resting them on her knee. To check that it was strong enough, she did some quick calculations on her phone, while talking softly out loud and jotting things down “1kN/m2… 6mm diameter wire.. cos theta.. tension force.. bending moments.. expected deflection..”. There that should do it. She’d write it up properly later.
Dan was shouting into his phone “Come on, it has to work! Try again! Switch it off and then back on again!” She took the phone out of his hand, and handed him her new design.
“Here you go, all sorted”
Dan looked like Emily had cast a stupefy spell over him.
“No need to thank me, just some VIP tickets for that box over there will do it. I’ll see you in five hours, I need to go and get changed!”