Bloomsbury to Publish Built The Hidden Stories Behind our Structures by Roma Agrawal

The wonders of engineering revealed – by the inspirational young female engineer behind The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building

A fascinating celebration of the impact that structural engineering has on all our lives…[an] eyeopening book’ The Sunday Times

In BUILT, structural engineer Roma Agrawal takes a unique look at how construction has evolved from the mud huts of our ancestors to skyscrapers of steel that reach hundreds of metres into the sky. She unearths how engineers have tunnelled through kilometres of solid mountains; how they’ve bridged across the widest and deepest of rivers, and tamed Nature’s precious – and elusive – water resources. She tells vivid tales of the visionaries who created the groundbreaking materials in the Pantheon’s
record-holding concrete dome and the frame of the record-breaking Eiffel Tower.

Through the lens of an engineer, Roma examines tragedies like the collapse of the Quebec Bridge, highlighting the precarious task of ensuring people’s safety they hold at every step.

With colourful stories of her lifelong fascination with buildings – and her own handdrawn illustrations – Roma reveals the extraordinary secret lives of structures.

  • This is a major work of popular science, establishing Roma as the modern face of engineering
  • Roma talks about how engineers have x-ray vision when they look at a building – in reading this book you’ll be able to see structures in an entirely new way
  • While intellectuals will enjoy this book, it is not an exclusively intellectual read Roma has a wide reach – she regularly appears on BBC’s The One Show

“[Agrawal] weaves accessible explanations of scientific principles together with engaging historical stories and personal anecdotes…[a] timely and impassioned book” Guardian
“Agrawal has a gift for rendering complex phenomena in simple terms…a real treat” – Financial Times

Author Biography
Roma Agrawal is a structural engineer who builds big. From footbridges and sculptures, to train stations and skyscrapers – including The Shard – she has left an indelible mark on London’s landscape. She is a tireless promoter of engineering and technical careers to young people, particularly under-represented groups such as women. She has advised policymakers and governments on science education, and has given talks to thousands around the world at universities, schools and organisations including two for TEDx.
Roma has been awarded international awards for her technical prowess and success in promoting the profession, including the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering’s Rooke Award. She was awarded an MBE for services to Engineering in 2018. BUILT is her first book.

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