A little self-reflection never hurt anyone. In an industry that speaks a different language than your average civilian (note the blank looks you get when you bring up dead loads, ductility and deflection at a party), it’s worth asking: what does a structural engineer do?
Engineers can be romantics. They can play the role of Cupid more often than not. Sounds too good to be true? Structural and civil engineers are frequently called into action when iconic symbols of love require maintenance or renovation. What would we do if there are no engineers to maintain the Eiffel Tower or rebuild the walkway at Niagara Falls every year? There would be many disappointed couples during Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. Lovers would need to find alternative locations for that first kiss together, a marriage proposal, or a memorable wedding.
The Next Generation of Engineers - The Value of STEM Education to the AEC Industry
You’d think an engineer who spends his days thinking in terms of thousands of pounds, dozens of stories and millions of dollars would find the prospect of designing the structural support for a set of dinosaur bones a bit blasé. But small doesn’t always mean simple; engineering for exhibit work offers a unique set of challenges that sometimes require unconventional design solutions.
One of the first kids’ books I remember was Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. The story is about an equipment operator and his steam shovel named Mary Anne who are driven away from the city to find work in a smaller town. When they reached Popperville, the pair promised the townspeople they could “dig a cellar in one day” for the new town hall.
It’s that time of the year again – a slight chill in the air, autumn colors on the trees and more school busses on the roads. Thousands of students around the country are heading back to schools that bear the fingerprints of DCI Engineers and their innovative design approach.
Here are a few examples of school facilities designed by DCI Engineers, including some that are currently in the works:
A community or city is in constant change when it comes to population growth, job availability, and living situations. Structural engineers are often faced with generating designs that accommodate those changes through urban expanse and maximizing tenant space. As dense neighborhood living grows in popularity, what should structural engineers consider in their designs? More importantly, how will structural engineers improve their services to their clients as the market demands change?
In celebration of Engineering Week 2014, DCI Engineers had the pleasure of being a part of the Greater Spokane Incorporated’s, Business AfterSchool program. This program introduces area students to high-demand industries and demonstrates to them what skills and educational paths will be required. We had the opportunity to give the students a tour of one of our project sites, the Convention Center Hotel located in Spokane, Washington and illustrate to them the scope of planning and cooperation that goes into building a 716-key hotel.
An engineer’s perspective is an invaluable tool when it comes to designing a building that is not only useful, but aesthetically pleasing and safe. We thought it would be fun to get a group of our engineers to look at a picture of Drai’s Nightclub at the W Hotel in LA to see what they pick up on as important elements.
It has been a very busy year for DCI Engineers. With new projects, new hires, and even a new office, the expansion of our operations in the past year is a testament to the great work that our employees do and the wonderful industry that surrounds us.
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