Art by Design
The University of Iowa’s Visual Arts Building opened last fall on a campus that is still recovering from flooding in 2008 that caused nearly $800 million in damage. The structure houses the university’s...

The Ups and Downs of Drone Inspections
Minnesota recently completed a trial using unmanned aircraft systems to inspect bridges. They found that the drones have their advantages—and disadvantages....

Inventive Venue
One of the largest construction projects in the United States this year, Mercedes-Benz Stadium features many groundbreaking design elements, including an eight-panel cantilevered retractable roof, a single-skin...

Sky High In Shenzhen
At 599 m tall, the Ping An Finance Center in the Chinese city of Shenzhen is the tallest office building in the world. Given all the challenges the project had to overcome, the structure also stands out...

Bridge Inspections Come of Age
Arising from the tragic collapse of a West Virginia bridge 50 years ago this month, the National Bridge Inspection Program has helped keep bridges in the United States safe for motorists for decades. The...

Innovation Powers Wastewater Treatment
The U.S. wastewater sector faces formidable challenges in the form of aging infrastructure, funding shortfalls, anticipated demands for additional treatment capacity, and even the prospect of more extreme...

Built from Below
The $95-million effort to first widen and then replace the 1,315 ft long Fox River Bridge, in Elgin, Illinois, faced myriad obstacles, including the need to avoid causing traffic delays on a busy stretch...

Airports on the Rise
As air traffic continues to grow, the nation’s airports face a number of challenges, including ensuring passenger safety and comfort, overcoming limitations on expansion, speeding passenger throughput,...

Musical Masterpiece
La Seine Musicale, a world-class concert hall on a redeveloping island west of Paris, is a masterpiece of structural, acoustic, and mechanical engineering. Resembling a ship at sea, the concrete structure...

Faithful Rehabilitation
History, culture, religion, and engineering all intertwined in a recent project in Jerusalem to rehabilitate and strengthen the site believed to be the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. Modern methods, including...

A Greater Wonder
Often considered the eighth wonder of the world, the Panama Canal now has a third lane with its own set of locks that has doubled the waterway’s capacity and increased the size of vessels that the canal...

Seismic Data from Smartphones: MyShake: Building a Global Smartphone Seismic Network
Increasing the density of earthquake-monitoring instruments at a fast rate and at a low cost is a dream for many researchers who study earthquakes. MyShake, a smartphone application developed by the Berkeley...

Canals, Cutoffs, and the Vicksburg Campaign
During the American Civil War, the term “Union” was used to refer to the United States of America, and specifically to the national government and the 20 free states and five border slave states that supported...

Military Geotechnics in the Ancient World: Geo-Innovating the Hard Way
The technical expertise that is now part of geotechnical engineering was of paramount importance in the ancient worlds. This is because before, but also after, the invention of siege equipment, nearly...

Cracking the Nuclear Code: Finding an Alternative to the Nuclear Density Gauge
Two of the most basic quality control tests made in the field during soil construction are the soil’s moisture content and density. The establishment of a uniform procedure to compare the performance of...

Translating the Language of Soils: Developing a Soil Classification System for International Engineering Projects
Soil classification systems are used to help predict soil behavior and provide information to farmers, engineers, builders, agricultural extension agents, homeowners, community planners, and government...

Remote Sensing: A New Revolution in Geotechnical Engineering
Remote sensing in the form of satellite imagery has become part of our everyday life—from displaying boring locations at a job site to the various mapping apps on our smart phones that help us get there....

A Faculty Internship: Reconnecting with the Profession
After spending eight years as a full-time academic administrator at Lafayette College in Easton, PA – one of only a handful of institutions where discipline-specific engineering programs are embedded in...

Nature Sides with the Hidden Flaw: Lessons Learned from Failures of Earth-Support Systems
In recent years, the demand for excavations and fills of significant height has increased due to many factors, including requirements for below-grade parking for urban buildings and the need to construct...

Soil Nailing in the 2010s: Its Evolution and Coming of Age
While the early 2000s witnessed soil nailing as a well-established method in the U.S. for providing temporary and permanent support of excavation (SOE), the technique has since continued to evolve thanks...

 

 

 

 

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