Lifting the curtain on corrosion at Broadway’s oldest theater: The renovation of New York’s Lyceum Theatre
Many historic buildings are subject to deterioration from water penetration through. This article demonstrates the importance of a comprehensive approach to building envelope and structural repairs to existing buildings.
Communicating risk and risk understanding to the public
Attention civil engineers: Communicating risk and risk understanding to the public is still a challenge for our profession.
At last month’s Geo-Denver’s plenary session, "Hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans Levees: what went wrong & why?", David E. Daniel, Ph.D., P.E., president of the University of Texas, Dallas, and chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ External Review Panel, highlighted that those most affected in New Orleans’ recent catastrophes did not fully understand the impact a 120-mph+ hurricane with an increased water surge would have on their residences and infrastructure. Most were not knowledgeable about the historical swamp conditions or the potential impacts that living in the Gulf of Mexico hurricane belt could have on their lives. Further, their understanding of risk terminology, such as probability of exceedance and 100-year level of protection, was limited to a detached idea that the natural hazards will likely not happen during their lifetimes. This does-not-affect-me attitude likely led to false senses of security, low-cost mentality, and complacency about infrequent, extreme events. The life and financial risks associated with the same were not properly evaluated by many who lost property and, tragically, loved ones.
How do we communicate risk and risk understanding to the public?
Residential sector continues drag on construction activity
The on-going correction in residential construction is expected to drag down overall 2007 construction activity, according to the most recent forecast from the Economic Research department at the Portland Cement Association (PCA). PCA’s spring forecast by Chief Economist Ed Sullivan anticipates gradual gains throughout the second half of 2007, but not large enough to offset the year’s first half weaknesses. The increased construction activity that is expected to begin mid-year, however, will carryover to 2008, says Sullivan.
Construction materials prices continue to climb
"Construction materials costs are rising faster than today’s producer price report suggests," claims Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). "Steel is getting especially hot and diesel is adding fuel to the inflation fire." Simonson was commenting on the March 15 producer price index (PPI) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Comparison of Professional Standards: Part II
In my last column, I introduced an apparent difference between the legal and engineering professions in terms of public service and the weight of a professional’s testimony. Is there a factual or historical basis for this difference in approaches to public welfare? Are there other similarities or differences among the legal, engineering, and even medical fields that can shed some light on the situation? Being curious about how the respective ethical guidelines of each profession compare, I found that there are some expected similarities, but also some very surprising differences.
As engineers work to expand the public’s awareness of their work and attract new students to engineering universities, I urge you to explore for yourselves why other professions may be more highly regarded.
Eight steps to effective internship programs
Summer internship programs can provide an excellent return on employers’ recruiting investment, according to an article in the December 2006 NACE Journal, published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Author Sherri Gong Taguchi, principal of Career Inspirations, says that well-planned programs are most effective in helping employers identify and attract interns who will eventually become full-time employees. She outlined the following eight steps employers can take to develop a new internship program or strengthen an existing one:
Call for Hot Firms
A call for entries was issued for The Zweig Letter 2007 Hot Firm List, which recognizes the 200 fastest-growing architecture, engineering, and environmental firms. The list is based on a survey of industry firms conducted by The Zweig Letter. Rankings are based on percentage and dollar revenue growth during the past three years. The deadline to enter is June 1, 2007.