The Military Missions, Discoveries and “What If” Moments that Led to the Development of GPS

In 1954, the Soviets launched the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth. Sputnik I was a man-made marvel that made it possible for radio signals to be detected from anywhere on earth with simple radio equipment. George Weiffenbach and William Guier from John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) picked up radio signals transmitted from […]

Alexander von Humboldt and Building a Better Bridge

Today’s scientists, engineers and resource managers know that a project’s success depends on a variety of factors, including the analysis of several environmental parameters. We know that the natural systems we are analyzing are complex. We know that water temperature, flow velocity, substrate type and other variables affect habitat for fish and other organisms. We […]

A Peek at the High-Tech Playbook: Lessons from Software Giants on Creating a Unique Work Space

Milton Hershey of Hershey Chocolate company fame, maker of unremarkable but affordable chocolate, established a company town in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1903, complete with worker lodging, parks for employee enjoyment and other enviable conveniences. As we move into 2019, we learn that Microsoft Corporation is investing $500 million to create affordable housing in Seattle, Washington, […]

LiDAR Makes Waves in Engineering

Out with human surveying teams slogging across a project site to map a floodplain and in with slick UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle or drone) performing photogrammetry and collecting millions of elevation points in a matter of minutes. With the growing sophistication and cost-efficiencies of UAVs, the technologies of photogrammetry, lidar (Light detection and ranging) and […]

Hail to an Engineer Who Did It All

Legend has it that on January 12, 1828 during the construction of the Thames Tunnel in London, England, everything was fine—until it wasn’t. When the water started coming in there was little possibility for escape. This was the first project in the world to attempt to tunnel under a navigable waterway and it was a […]