“Catastrophe” is a greek word that means “disaster”. Last Friday night, at the European Research in Cyprus Event (also known as “The Researcher’s Night” an FP7 Marie Curie Action), Catastrophe was no way near being a disaster but rather a great success. I used Expedition Workshed Catastrophe on a Promethean Interactive board with speakers in order to show structural behaviour and challenged participants to play the game. I represented the Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics of the Cyprus University of Technology, showcasing research in Structural Engineering. The participation from the crowd was overwhelming (visitors were there from 18.00 till midnight) queueing to play on Catastrophe, which even more addictive being played on the interactive board (especially the sound was a hit with everyone!). At the same event we also used Catastrophe design function to create a model wind turbine tower which was later tested for lateral deflection.
The interest of the public did not stop there, as they kept asking whether they could get Catastrophe from somewhere and were delighted to hear about the website (I am sure google analytics will be observing quite a bit of activity from Cyprus) while a few teachers came along to ask whether we could run workshops at schools.
To finish off “Catastrophe” as well as many of the other tools found on EW, have a reach beyond their main target audience and can be used at events for the general public to explain the work of a structural engineer. Also its compatibility with Interactive boards (which are now becoming mainstream even at schools), can streamline its use in the the class room.