How Do We Plan for the Next Flood?

We are at a crossroads. For several years now, we have been aware of the fast-declining state of our country’s roads, bridges and other elements of our country’s infrastructure. The ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) issues a report every four years on the state of our nation’s infrastructure. According to ASCE, the GPA for […]

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, […]

The Making of the First Digital Computer

In a scene from the 2014 movie The Imitation Game, the brilliant Alan Turing is urged by his colleague at Bletchley Park, Joan Clarke (played by Keira Knightley), to be more of a team player. Turing reluctantly agrees to try, and the next scene shows Turing stiffly sharing a bag of apples with his colleagues at Bletchley. […]

‘The Water Will Come’ Examines the Science, Politics and Humanitarian Crises Posed by Rising Sea Levels

Although rarely the topic of mainstream media reports, in many coastal communities planners, engineers and other municipal officials are hard at work on a very particular mission: how to keep the sea out of the city. In many parts of the world, the ocean regularly laps at people’s doors and pushes into the streets during […]

Bridge Construction on the Fly?

Back in early July I posted a short commentary on the state of highways and bridges in the U.S. The American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) comprehensive 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure offers an in-depth analysis as well. But wouldn’t you know? There may be hope. The classic entrepreneurial American spirit has hatched an idea that […]

The Unhappy State of Bridges and Highways in the U.S.

An interesting article ran in ASCE’s (American Society of Civil Engineers) Journal of Leadership and Management in Engineering in 2008. Robert W. Clark, P.E., authored a piece about two well used bridges in Stuyvesant, New York. One of the bridges had passed safety inspections by the State DOT every year. The other bridge, owned by […]