The ‘wibbly-wobbly’ world of engineering

Christchurch-based structural engineer Phil Wilkins combined his passion for engineering and education – to write ‘Christchurch – Our Underground Story’. The vibrant, interactive children’s book tells the story of the amazing work SCIRT has done to rebuild Christchurch’s underground infrastructure, and is helping raise money for the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) South Island.

The book was officially launched last weekend at the Margaret Mahy Family Playground in Christchurch.

Phil hopes the book will inspire young inquisitive minds about the world of engineering and also to encourage a wider understanding of the work engineers did during the rebuild, and how important underground infrastructure is to our day-to-day lives.

Contracted to the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) after the 2011 Canterbury earthquake, Phil said that the book was a great way to remember how far we’ve come after the earthquakes.

“The work we did at SCIRT was just phenomenal. It was one of those very rare projects where clients, consultants and contractors all pulled together for a common cause of getting Christchurch back on its feet.”

“Engineers have a key role and responsibility in shaping our wibbly-wobbly world” he says. “As an engineer I’m in a privileged position to shape the world around us, influencing change and making it a better place for future generations.” 

Phil worked closely with chemical engineer Martin Coates who illustrated the book. Martin who has a special talent for turning complex engineering-speak into pictures helped bring the book’s messages to life.

Thanks to the generosity of various Christchurch engineering firms, 1000 copies of the book were published ­ – nearly all of which have been sold – raising almost $20,000 so far for RMH South Island.

A huge thank you to everyone who purchased a copy. Your donation will help support RMH South Island’s facilities which provide accommodation to families with children in hospital.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the book, or making a donation, visit the RMH fundraising page.