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The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami that destroyed many lives and communities in Southeast Asia prompted Secretary of State Colin Powell to reflect, I have been in war and I have been through a number of hurricanes, tornadoes, and other relief operations, but I have never seen anything like this.”
Letters to the Editor
I disagree with Carter Romero’s letter in the December 2004 issue of Structural Engineer. Romero said, Part of the outsourcing problem is that you don’t need to be smart anymore to be an engineer. With software programs simplifying designs, we (engineers) have essentially worked ourselves right out of a job.” Just because structural engineering software is getting easier to use does not mean that any untrained individual can design a safe structure. The designer has to understand all the underlying assumptions, boundary conditions, loading conditions, and combinations. The engineer does indeed have to be smart to realize if the data that the structural software spits out is correct. The old sayi n g, garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO), is true today more than ever. If your structural model does not mimic the actual structural behavior under load, then the design is indeed a huge pile of garbage.
Potable Water System Products
Solenoid actuation valvesParker Fluid Control Division offers the Valve Actuation Series of solenoid valves for applications in which solenoid valves must actuate the movement of larger process valves to control the flow of liquids or gases. The valves are available in pipe- and Namurmounted models, have a pressure range of 30 to 150 psi, and […]
Military advances in civil engineering
During the movie Apollo 13, I love the scene when the engineers and scientists gather the equipment and supplies available to the spacecraft crew and set to work on building an adapter. They must develop a solution for their compromised colleagues as quickly as possible. It’s the ultimate think tank scenario, with life or death consequences.
What lies beneath?
Advances in remote sensing technologies, namely groundpenetrating imaging radar (GPiR) and electromagnetometry (EM), have created invaluable solutions for engineering and construction. They are useful for sensing and mapping underground conditions, detecting underground objects, and differentiating between man-made and natural components and conditions. When underground investigation is needed, time, money, and danger top the list of why these new technologies may be more desirable than traditional investigative methods. Additionally, no area is too small or too large to take advantage of these technologies.
Dear Dave, My partner and I are both in our late 50s. We have shared a fruitful and enjoyable business relationship. In anticipation of someday retiring, and not wishing to see the firm sold to outsiders, we designed a strategy to transfer leadership and ownership gradually to five key individuals who are now in their late 30s to early 40s. We took the first step of our transition plan a little over a year ago when we reorganized the day-to-day operations of the firm into four project teams and one administrative team, each led by one of our hand-picked successors. The idea was for me and my partner to step back from the details, focus on big-picture issues, and coach and support our second generation as they took over the reins.
FedBizOpps: Gateway to a $3-billion market
How much would you be willing to pay to access a database of detailed information about substantial, forthcoming business opportunities for your firm? What if the database consisted exclusively of clients who are required by law to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to pay for your services before they sign a contract? What if these clients agree to pay your invoices “promptly,” usually within 30 days of receipt? And what if the clients select design and engineering professionals on the basis of qualifications, not on price? Such a resource — FedBizOpps — is available to you now, at no cost. FedBizOpps (www.fedbizopps.gov) is the only government point-of-entry for federal government procurement opportunities greater than $25,000.
Project Case Study: Simplified stormwater solutions
From its conception, the Metro Air Park project in Sacramento, Calif., presented many challenges. The project, on a site adjoining Sacramento International Airport, involves development of 20 million square feet of warehouse, retail, office, and hotel space with related infrastructure at a cost of $2 billion. A championship golf course will be included.