News + Features within the Civil and Structural Engineering world

President Obama and Transportation Secretary LaHood have announced that $27 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds are headed to states to provide critical repairs to our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. The site provides information about how the funds are allocated.

Troubled AEC firms present opportunities for ready buyers

The economic crisis has hit the AEC industry hard, but companies that are ready to invest will find opportunities this year in their struggling counterparts. An increasing number of firms will be at risk for closing their doors over the next few years, which means buyers are in a great position to expand and eliminate competition. That’s the latest prediction from Steve Gido, CFA, a principal with ZweigWhite [] and leader of the firm’s Merger & Acquisition Advisory Services group.

Single-story house tested on shake table

SAN DIEGO—Engineers at the University of California at San Diego put a single-story house to the test on January 26 via a series of strong simulated earthquake shakes. The first jolt to the wood-stud structure with brick veneer measured a 6.6 magnitude, with the final one coming in at 7.2.

Apply now for the Best Firms To Work For ranking

CHICAGO—Applications are now being accepted for the 2009 Best Firms To Work For rankings. Civil engineering, structural engineering, environmental service, architecture, and multidiscipline A/E service firms have opportunity to participate in the newly expanded program hosted by CE News [] and Structural Engineer []. The application deadline is April 3, 2009. New this year, an early-bird deadline of March 6, 2009 will offer participating firms a discount on the application fee. Details are available at

Pinnacle Awards go to top firms

CHICAGO—Last year, ZweigWhite named 21 firms as 2008 Pinnacle Award winners—a distinction that honors a firm’s ability achieve to a great work environment and to grow revenues significantly. Firms earn the Pinnacle Award for being listed on two prestigious rankings: either the 2008 Best Civil Engineering Firms To Work For or the 2008 Best Structural Engineering Firms To Work For list—which both recognize excellent workplaces and high levels of employee satisfaction—and The Zweig Letter Hot Firm 2008 List—which honors tremendous revenues growth.

ABC notes slump in private non-residential construction

Washington, D.C.—Last year ended on a down note for private nonresidential construction spending with December coming in 0.4 percent lower than November, according to the Feb. 2 report by the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite the decline, private nonresidential construction spending finished up 8.9 percent for the year. Total nonresidential construction spending is $726.8 billion, down 0.6 percent on a monthly basis and up 8.1 percent from last December.

ACI eLearning enables concrete training

Farmington Hills, Mich.—The American Concrete Institute (ACI), in partnership with Elsevier, Inc., announced the launch of its new online training program, ACI eLearning. Through ACI eLearning, concrete industry professionals have the opportunity to participate in widely-respected ACI training programs on a variety of industry-critical topics and to earn CEUs online.

ASCC publishes tolerances book

St. Louis, Mo.—The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) has published Tolerances for Cast-In-Place Concrete Buildings: A Guide for Specifiers, Contractors and Inspectors, written by Bruce Suprenant, Ph.D., P.E., and Ward Malisch, Ph.D., P.E. The authors suggest tolerances that are based on as-built measurements of buildings and other structures that have performed satisfactorily.

CIM raises $300,000 at fourth annual auction

Las Vegas—The National Steering Committee for the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program—a business intensive program that awards students with a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Concrete Industry Management—raised $300,000 at its fourth annual auction, held in conjunction with the World of Concrete on Thurs., Feb. 5, 2009.