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ReEngineering the Engineer: Celebrate the Clever Things

January 30, 2023 - in Articles, Column

I have worked my entire career at two small firms, and I really enjoy working on a diversity of projects. My previous firm, at that time, had a relatively small band of project types it worked on. When I started out on my own in 2004, my main goal was…

ReEngineering the Engineer: At Some Point, You Could Be the One Asking For Forgiveness

November 28, 2022 - in Articles, Column

Every now and then, I run across a project that seems “snake-bit.” No matter how complete our drawings were or how well we understood existing…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Don’t Just Say No

September 29, 2022 - in Articles, Column

One of my long-time architect colleagues teaches a graduate-level architecture class at a local university. One part of their curriculum requires…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Get the Whole Job Done Right the First Time

August 30, 2022 - in Articles, Column

Modeling and design software has made our design life really simple these days. The ability to add or modify loads and reconfigure framing provides a lot of flexibility in determining the best system for floors and lateral systems. However, at the end…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Getting Started on the Right Foot(ing)

July 29, 2022 - in Articles, Column

As a young engineer, starting on a project always seemed daunting. I’d receive plans and elevations (or a 3D model) from the architect or MEP engineers that typically didn’t have much detailed information. I may have been to a couple preliminary meetings…

ReEngineering the Engineer: The Needle in the Haystack

May 23, 2022 - in Articles, Column

Every now and then, I find myself reminiscing about how we designed buildings back in the “dark ages” when I was a young engineer. Our engineering tools were much less sophisticated, unless you consider a slide rule sophisticated. When you think about…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Seeking ‘Five Reasons’ for Problems

April 28, 2022 - in Articles, Column

One of our integrated project delivery (IPD) projects finished at the end of 2021. It survived a COVID-19 shutdown, reduced productivity due to restrictions of personnel onsite, cost increases and material-procurement challenges. Everyone was looking…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Tips to Survive While Professionally Underwater

March 30, 2022 - in Articles, Column

My brother, sister and I spent a lot of time at the beach when we were younger. We lived about 5 miles from the east coast of New Jersey, so it was very convenient. Although there were several public beaches in the area—Sandy Hook, Long Branch and Asbury…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Do You Hear What I Mean?

January 28, 2022 - in Articles, Column

We’re working on a project that involves the demolition of a multi-story existing building with new construction going back in its place. The programming of the new building requires elevator shafts adjacent to the building that remains. Not only will…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Times Change: Don’t Be the Cranky Old Neighbor

November 29, 2021 - in Articles, Column

My wife and I moved into our current home about two years after we were married and, coincidentally, just as we found out she was pregnant with our first of two daughters. It was located at the end of a street outside Charlotte in a neighborhood of 25 homes.…