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Nuts & Bolts 


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Nuts & Bolts




How Was That Built?

NUTS & BOLTS: Seven small inventions that changed the world (in a big way)

Agrawal is an engineer who is known for her work designing The Shard. In Nuts and Bolts, she will explore seven building-blocks of engineering that have come to underpin the world: the nail, spring, wheel, lens, magnet, string and pump. Agrawal will also explore how these inventions led to more intricate technologies, from dishwashers to spacesuits to breast pumps. In addition, the book will tell the stories of scientists and engineers from all over the world. 


Shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2022

Best-seller on

The world is full of incredible structures. Skyscrapers soaring up to the clouds, bridges reaching across the widest, deepest rivers, tunnels boring deep into the earth … But have you ever stopped to wonder how they were built?

Join Roma Agrawal, the award-winning young structural engineer who worked on The Shard, for an exciting behind-the-scenes look at some of the world's most amazing landmarks.

Meet the extraordinary people who challenged our beliefs about what's possible, pioneering remarkable inventions that helped build the Brooklyn Bridge in the US, the Pantheon in Italy, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Shard in England and the Sapporo Dome in Japan. Discover the ingenious methods engineers have come up with to enable us to build underground, underwater, on ice and even in space. And learn about the impact different forces and materials can have on a structure by carrying out your own engineering experiments from the 'Try it at Home' sections.

Beautiful and detailed illustrations by Katie Hickey, including cross-sections, skylines and close-ups of engineering techniques in action, provide unique and illuminating perspectives of our most awe-inspiring constructions.

Get ready to see the built world around you like never before!

"Not only is Roma Agrawal extremely clever and a wonderfully engaging writer, she is a brilliant advocate for her profession" - A Word about Books

BUILT: The Hidden Stories Behind our Structures

Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize

In BUILT, structural engineer Roma Agrawal takes a unique look at how construction has evolved from the mud huts of our ancestors to towers of steel that reach into the sky. She unearths how humans have tunnelled through kilometres of solid mountain, bridged the widest and deepest of rivers, and tamed Nature’s precious – and elusive – water resources. She tells vivid tales of the pioneers behind landmark builds such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the Burj Khalifa, and examines, from an engineering perspective, tragedies like the collapse of the Twin Towers. She reveals how she designs a building so it will stand strong – even in the face of gales, fire, earthquakes and explosions.

With colourful stories of her life-long fascination with buildings – and her own hand-drawn illustrations – Roma uncovers the extraordinary secret lives of structures.

"The Shard engineer has long been fascinated by the technical ingenuity of  design. Now she wants to help us see the built environment with similar  wonder" - The Observer

"She weaves accessible explanations of scientific principles together with engaging historical stories and personal anecdotes." - The Guardian 

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