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Arch ABC County Bridge Concept – Coffee Break Style

So I was thinking, how could I use high strength concrete in a ABC county bridge? Concrete in the range of 30,000 psi compressive strength. (206,842,718 N/sq.M)

Well I thought, an arch system, is the way to go, because arches are in compression, and concrete loves compression. So, on break, I came up with a really shallow precast thin arch panel bridge, which I think could be built quickly in the field.

Two problems (well lots of problems), one, the panels are the deck so you would have a “hump” on a road which could cause a fun jump at high speeds and two, I think you would need to post-tension parts of the bridge to keep the panels in compression. (Integral abutments can flex losing some of the compression forces)

I placed some tensioning strands on the outside of the bridge, so you could get at them and see when they need re-tightening. The panels would also have to have cross strands and shear keys to keep the deck working as a whole system. The railing could be the typical county rail that gets bolted on or you could place a slip formed rail, tied into the panels.

Okay here it is, and remember it might not work…….

Some more images……
Continue reading Arch ABC County Bridge Concept – Coffee Break Style

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Kickstarter is an interesting website geared toward funding creative projects. I am not sure how kickstarter makes money but I assume they take a percentage of the pledges.

Here is one cool project. Floating swimming pool.

Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.

I also like this small greenhouse, that achieved funding.

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I’m losing! – bridge concept update

See post below about being stuck on a concept. I didn’t get one “like” on my bridge submission to!

I know my idea is boring but really……none of my loyal fans have bothered to “like” my concept so that an engineer can win. Yes, thats it, do it for engineers! Engineers forever! Did I mention architects hate engineers and they often go out of their way to disparage our profession. (or so I have heard.)

So to recap, if you vote for me, I’m not winning, engineers are winning!

Don’t you want engineers to win?

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Stuck on a concept / 2D world – random blather

I have been discussing concepts with an engineering friend and one of the things I have learned is how much I get stuck on an idea. Engineers have to devise concepts all the time for projects but my problem is accepting a solution from someone else or even redefining my idea.

For example, I came up with a building to building bridge concept in my last post. Okay, it is not the most original idea, but can’t people see it is the only submitted idea that actually works. (a bit of sarcasm there.)

My first thought is typically, “can’t you see my idea is the best!” Am I the only engineer that thinks that way?

On another subject, I tried to get our local university to sponsor some classes in Sketchup / 3D visualizations for engineers. The comment I received was something like “I have not heard of any firm requiring an engineer to draw in 3D.”

That is completely true, engineers live in a 2D, line diagram world. But why do we accept that? In our office engineers barely draw in cadd, preferring to leave that to technicians. I know I am a broken record on digital drawing but I have to believe at some point engineers will be forced into the BIM world.

Finally, I am suffering from Calatrava withdrawal. Why hasn’t he put out a new idea lately?

A short video on our aging nuclear reactors…and rule changes. (hat tip David)

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Automatic Sketchup – 3D Models in Ruby

You can download a free pdf of the book, “Automatic Sketchup: Creating 3-D Models in Ruby,” here. The author of the book is Matthew Scarpino, a software consultant in the San Francisco Bay area.

Plugins use the Ruby language to turbo charge Sketchup and makes good software into great software.

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Think Big

I like this post on a very liberal blog. Try to ignore the politics of the blog and look at the idea. How would you fix our infrastructure? Me, I would force innovation. We need to stop thinking in old ways.

But our transportation infrastructure is not merely plagued with antique equipment and battered pavement. Shaky old ideas predominate as well. In spite of the obvious purpose of transportation—connecting human beings, goods and services—we have allowed inefficiency, gridlock, lethal pollution and fiscal insustainability to rule the day.

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I found this blog, Engineering-Chic, which is based in South Africa. Looks interesting!

I’m a young woman who’s just got a degree in Mechanical Engineering… You may say I’m crazy for wanting to work in this field, but I’m having an awesome time! I see mountains of opportunity all around me- despite the very real problems faced in my country, South Africa. Join me on my sometimes crazy, often clumsy but always fabulous journey as I travel the world for my profession, work in shantytowns with Engineers Without Borders, fall to pieces and have loads of fun along the way!

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Innovation for Engineers

I am sitting in a two day seminar on railroad design. Right now I am looking at a handwritten PowerPoint slide. Sigh, it is going to be a long day.

So I thought I would try and post from my iPhone.

I was in a meeting where I advocated for the adoption of the FHWA sustainability guidelines. These guidelines are in the form of a project rating system. The system is purely voluntary.

So your asking why would you want to adopt a voluntary system that may tie your hands or increase costs on a project.

My hope was the rating system would spur some competition amongst designers in pursuit of a high rating number.

Then competition would lead to the pursuit of innovation.
I look at the Leeds system. I have to give it credit for the way it has accelerated competition for new materials and techniques across the whole building industry.

I look to the rating system to help competition because now we are keeping score and rating the best design by a designer!

I know we hate grades but without some kind of assessment how do we know we are doing a good job?
What do you think?

And a bonus doodle!


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Engineering Insults

Its been a weird day, where I essentially lost on two fronts. Sooo, I was thinking I need some clever engineering insults to hurl at them. (monkey poo being hard to come by….)

With props to Monty Python,

You Mother wears a pocket protector and and your father smelt of elderberries!

With regards to a certain congressman. (would an engineer do that?)

Hey did I see your sliderule on twitter?

With kudos to Dilbert.

Don’t be such a Wally!

With enormous admiration to Star Trek,

I think Scotty gave you too much power!

Okay so mine are lame, help me out with some cool insults.

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Friday Ted Talks

Some youtube videos you can listen to in the background while you crunch those numbers. Me, I wear headphones and blast old music! Are you allowed to wear headphones….?