According to USA Today, Pittsburgh Steeler Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt credits his degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech with helping him call plays. "There are a lot of people who are glad I didn’t put my degree into practice on all those bridges and roads out there," Whisenhunt said. "But the school was difficult, and you have to be creative in how you solve problems in civil engineering. So that’s where my degree has translated well for me in play calling."
A recent National Science Foundation (NSF) survey found that people who earned a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering (S&E) generally report that their science and engineering knowledge is important to their job, even if it’s non-technical work.
According to the survey, among those workers whose only degree was an S&E bachelor’s degree, 27 percent had S&E occupations. Sixty-three percent working in non-technical fields still said their jobs were related to their S&E degree.
Of those who went on to receive advanced degrees, the largest proportion, almost 29 percent, took those degrees in non-S&E fields, namely business, law, or medicine. "S&E knowledge remained important to the jobs of most S&E bachelor’s holders with advanced degrees, being reported as necessary by a majority of both those with master’s degrees in business and those with other non-S&E advanced degrees," the NSF report said.
September software launches
Bentley Systems, Inc., released WaterGEMS V8 XM Edition, which the company says is the only water distribution modeling solution to unify modeling across MicroStation, ArcGIS, AutoCAD, and stand-alone platforms. New features include a utility that helps identify critical assets in water distribution infrastructure and evaluate the risk associated with their failure; addition of hydrants, isolation valves, and variable-speed pump batteries to the framework to support asset management and hydraulic modeling workflows; user-defined demands as a function of pressure to model intermittent water supply scenarios, sprinkler heads, and unaccounted-for water; and new geospatial demand allocation methods, unit demand engineering libraries, and global management for estimating simple, composite, and pressure-dependent demands. For more information, visit www.bentley.com/watergems.
Autodesk launched an online community site (http://civilcommunity.autodesk.com) to help engineers stay informed about the latest developments to its Civil 3D software, including its use on interesting projects. The site is intended for professionals who want to network with peers and stay abreast of the industry’s trends and news, the company says. Users can share templates, participate in discussion groups, access training materials, and receive invitations to participate in webcasts. Additionally, Autodesk is presenting a four-part webcast series following Sitelines, a real, 10-person civil engineering firm based in Maine, as it migrates to Civil 3D. Called The Chronicles of Civil 3D, the series follows the firm’s first use of Civil 3D for a commercial subdivision project. The third part of the series will be webcast on Friday, Sept. 29, from noon to 1:00 p.m. EST. Register for the webcast and follow Sitelines Technician Darlene Estabrook’s blog about the migration process at www.deploy3d.com/news.php.
Adobe Systems, Inc., introduced its upgraded and extended Acrobat software family, which includes Acrobat 8 (Professional, Standard, Elements, 3D, and Reader) and Acrobat Connect and Connect Professional (formerly known as Breeze Express and Breeze 5.5). Acrobat 8 enables users to convert Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, and Autodesk AutoCAD files, among others, into Adobe PDF files and to share them for review and comment, including with users of the free Acrobat Reader 8. Related but separate documents can be grouped together in a single Adobe PDF package. By clicking a "Start Meeting" button in any Acrobat 8 program, users can take advantage of Acrobat Connect software for real-time, web conferencing and collaboration. Connect is a hosted service (monthly subscription) that provides screen sharing, whiteboarding, chat, and video and audio conferencing between anyone with Flash software-enabled web browsers. Acrobat Connect is expected to be available in November as a free trial version through the end of 2006. More information about the Acrobat family is available at www.adobe.com/acrobat.
Erosion control training
The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) now offers hour-long webinars to meet a wide range of training needs, from water harvesting to low-impact development and illicit discharge detection programs. Some topics, such as stormwater BMP maintenance and stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) assessment, inspection, and maintenance, are conducted as a multi-part series to allow participants a more in-depth look at the subject.
Later this fall, IECA will partner with CPESC, Inc., to provide review courses and training for individuals seeking to become Certified Professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) or Certified Professionals in Storm Water Quality (CPSWQ).
Each one-hour session is $65, with discounts available for IECA members. Each session earns a participant 1.0 Professional Development Hour or 0.1 Continuing Education Credit. IECA says that all webinar material is peer reviewed to assure quality and accuracy. For more information about IECA webinars or to view a list of upcoming courses, visit http://ieca.webex.com.
Steel design seminar series
CMC Steel Products, in cooperation with AISC Marketing and RAM International, A Bentley Solution Center, is presenting its 2006-2007 Structural Engineering Seminar Series, SMART Steel Design in Today’s Market, in 23 cities nationwide. This half-day seminar covers advancements in the steel industry, including current market conditions and how successful structural engineers are adapting to the current marketplace dynamics; the SmartBeam System for long-span composite floors and long-span, curved, architecturally exposed roofs; designing efficient long-span office buildings; and the RAM Structural System version 11, showcasing steel building design. The program is accredited, and engineers who attend can receive a certificate for 4.0 PDHs. Register for the free seminar by calling 800-308-9925, or online at www.cmcsteelproducts.com.
LRFD bridge design webinar
A one-hour, web-based seminar from the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) explains how to analyze a conventionally reinforced concrete slab bridge design to meet new Load Resistance Factor Design requirements. Attendees will learn the features and functions, inputs, and outputs of Slab Bridge Designer 2.1 (SBD2.1), a Windows-based software application available from CRSI. The presenter, Matthew Peavy of BridgeTech, Inc., is the lead developer of SBD2.1 and will demonstrate the software in real time as he analyzes a slab bridge design. Information about SBD2.1 is available online at www.crsi.org/transportation/bridge_design.html (scroll down to the "must-have resources" box).
BIM forum launched at GoStructural.com
Building information modeling (BIM) is a hot topic this year at structural
engineering conferences, in journals and magazines, and in software
developers’ advertisements. But the truth is, according to Structural
Engineer research, only 29 percent of structural engineers are familiar with
the term building information modeling. What’s more, the definition of BIM
varies, depending upon who you ask. Yet, according to Structural Engineer‘s
findings, while familiarity is still low, structural engineers who have used
BIM overwhelmingly agree that it is beneficial.
Share your comments, ask your questions, and learn what people are saying
about BIM at the GoStructural.com Building Information Modeling Forum,
sponsored by Autodesk. Also, you can check out the complete report of the
Structural Engineer research in Editor Jennifer Goupil, P.E.’s September
article, "Building information modeling: The state of practice within
Click here to visit the forum, and post your opinions and questions about