Review Category : Outside the Box

Part 3: Engineering Reasoning

The thesis of this series is that engineering reasoning is a practical implementation of what Charles Sanders Peirce described as diagrammatic reasoning. Most people associate the word “diagram” with a picture of some sort, but he viewed it primarily as “a concrete, but possibly changing, mental image of such a thing as it represents.

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A Structural Engineer’s Experience

Engineering is not all WL2/8… or is it? Unless they’ve been to a university with a good cooperative education program where they acquired some good practical work experience, many young engineers leave school with only an academic impression of structural engineering, based mainly on the core university technical curriculum. (To refresh yourself on what the suggested curriculum is today, visit STRUCTURE’s website.)

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NYNJ Rail is the last remaining car float operation in the metropolitan New York area. This shortline railroad operates between Jersey City, NJ and Brooklyn, NY moving freight across New York Harbor, and is one of four remaining car float operations in the United States. The transfer bridge concept originated in the mid 1800s with a ferry between Havre de Grace and Perryville, MD for the Camden & Amboy Railroad and the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad.

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In 2010, promoters and marketers agreed to construct a very visible power-generating project utilizing solar and wind in one of the busiest urban locations in the world – Times Square, New York. The power generated from this installation would provide lighting for the Ricoh billboard in the center of Times Square, with excess power stored in large batteries for periods of no sunlight and calm winds. At the inception of the project, photovoltaic panels had become fairly commonplace, but large vertical turbines utilizing wind resources to generate power had not been undertaken to this magnitude. From an environmental standpoint, the reduction of 52 short tons of carbon dioxide per year was very attractive. When CBI Consulting became involved, the scope of work was simply to confirm compliance of the 40-foot-long structure with the New York State Building Code.

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A nine-story glass building, shaped like a flower bud, is being built in the young scientific and industrial center of Siberia, Novosibirsk (Figure 1).

In such a harsh weather environment – where during five cold days in January the temperature can drop down to -39 degrees (C), and the difference between the day and night temperatures in March can reach 30 degrees (C) (from -15degrees to +15 degrees (C)) – such a building may seem to be very risky and unexpected.

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