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Final Thoughts: The Joy of Witnessing Engineering’s Evolution

October 13, 2016 - in Column

I consider myself lucky to have begun my career when I did, seeing firsthand so many dramatic changes in engineering. Let’s take a quick look back at how different things were in 1971, when I started, and how the work environment has changed during the 45…

Executive Corner: Does the Valuation of Your Company’s Stock Reflect ALL its Risk?

October 13, 2016 - in Column

Whether a business valuation is done for purposes of transferring ownership internally from one employee to another, or for meeting the regulatory requirements…

Structural Solutions: We’re All Busy….

October 12, 2016 - in Column

As a business owner, you have to deal with a lot of things. Some are simple: Where to order copier paper? Where should we have the Christmas party this…

From The Editor: An Honor and Privilege to Serve Our AEC Community

October 12, 2016 - in Column

Ten years ago, I gave a presentation at the Trimble Dimensions annual training and networking seminar. The session was focused on the interoperability between Trimble’s data collection and reduction software, and Autodesk’s CAD modeling software, so it…

Engineer Spotlight: The Unhappy State of U.S. Bridges and Highways

October 10, 2016 - in Articles, Column

An interesting article ran in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Journal of Leadership and Management in Engineering in 2008: “A Tale of Two Bridges: Dangerous and Still Standing.” Robert W. Clark, P.E., authored the piece about two well-used…

Code Update: Change the Oil to Avoid Paying More Later

October 3, 2016 - in Column

I often ask audiences if they’ve read the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Code of Standard Practice. As I do so, I picture the oil-filter commercial Fram used to run, with one mechanic who changes oil and another who rebuilds engines. “You…

Final Thoughts: Looking Backwards and Forwards

August 1, 2016 - in Column

With 45 years in civil engineering behind me, I have the experience (or at least the tenure) to look back and reflect—as long as my memory doesn’t fail me. But I want to start by looking back even further than I can remember. Lasting Structures My wife…

Oversite: What Do We Learn from Sensors?

August 1, 2016 - in Column

The engineering mind may answer the title question with details on what each specific sensor is tuned to measure, along with figures from specification sheets with limits, resolution, response time and other characteristics. The more artistic mind, say that…

Code Update: New Los Angeles Seismic Ordinance Will Save Lives … and a City

August 1, 2016 - in Column

As a structural engineer working with governments and communities worldwide as they struggle to face earthquake disasters, I’ve repeatedly seen tragedies unfold after catastrophic earthquakes. Most often, these cities were not ready. From the loss of historic…

Executive Corner: Is the End Near for Traditional Management/Ownership Structures?

August 1, 2016 - in Column

There’s no doubt about it; attitudes regarding ownership, particularly among younger generations, are changing. Why own a car when, with the touch of your iPhone, you can summon an Uber or Lyft driver to take you where you want to go? Why own a house or…