Archive for the ‘Civil Engineering’ Category


March 14, 2013

On Tuesday, March 12th, I performed land surveying on a project site where a new elementary school is to be built.  The land area is on the order of 50 acres and is nearly full of very dense, very tall grass.


This grass makes surveying difficult.  Fortunately there are several hills that were built by termites, upon one of which a water storage tank has been placed.


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I used an instruction manual to figure out how to use the total station unit to tie in about 20 points from four instrument setups.

Then I returned to the house in which my EMI associates and I have been staying and I built a spreadsheet with another engineer to convert angles to decimal degrees and changed the elevations differences to absolute elevations (relative to an assumed datum).  Having no survey data reduction software, I then drew these angles and distances in AutoCAD and added elevation coordinates and description labels.


The architects are using the survey information and also ground water percolation measurement information about this very flat land to build something called a Master Plan which seems to be a site plan based on hours of consultation regarding proposed uses and schedules and personnel and vehicle loads.







May 1, 2008

I think that my official title at my place of employment is Project Engineer, but I got to go surveying a bit today because I needed an as-built drawing of a site with an accurate bottom elevation for a particular pond that has a significant depth of stormwater in it already. When the official company surveyors did the as-built surveying, they forgot to bring a boat and waders, so my boss found me a boat and I went to the field to help finish the job. On the downside, I couldn’t get the boat to go very fast. On the upside, I managed not to tip the boat over (like the previous time that I was in a small boat) and I should have the numbers that I need.

Work Pictures

August 31, 2007

This is a picture of my shoes and my blue jeans and my shoelaces which match my bluejeans. I selected the shoelaces at Target where there was minimal lighting because said Target store was not being provided with electricity. I was able to go shopping that morning because my place of employment was not being provided with electricity either. Fortunately, my home was being provided with electricity, so I sat at home for most of the rest of that day.

This is an image of me and the piece of watermelon which I ate yesterday afternoon. It tasted kind of nice and I didn’t spill too much of it on the drawings or on the desk.


June 15, 2007

I passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is also called the Engineer In Training Exam!

I had to take this exam twice. I do not particularly think that I did any better the second time than I did the first time, but during my second examination, I did manage to accurately indicate which module of the exam I was going to take in the afternoon so that my exam key was graded correctly.

Now that I have finished with this exam, I won’t have to explain the last paragraph to any employers ever again! Isn’t this nice? Praise Jesus!

Civil Engineering

June 1, 2007

I have been working as a civil engineer for more than a year now and I have decided to share with you some of the things that I have learned during that time.

  1. Always use some sort of interface between your body and a manhole cover when moving the manhole cover. I am sure that you all remember reading about how I got my finger stuck directly beneath a manhole cover.
  2. When topographical maps created from data gathered by your company’s survey team conflicts with the opinion of a property owner who says “your survey doesn’t show how the land really is,” believe the survey. One property owner entered the office of my company because he claimed that my design assumed that water would flow uphill. He dragged myself and my boss out to his property where he had to apologize for his ignorance which he had forced upon us in arrogance. He brought us flowers later that day. Job 38:2
  3. Sometimes people invent problems. Like Professor Hill in The Music Man musical, people call engineers to tell them things like, “Oh we’ve got trouble, yes, we’re in terrible, terrible trouble. We’ve got trouble and that starts with T and stands for Tank. The tank you designed is full of water! I visited the site along with a county inspector and a county engineer who immediately determined with me that the tank would begin to drain immediately following the installation of a tank outlet (which was included in my design). My boss’s wife said that it was a good thing that they sent pokerface (that’s me) for the site visit because my boss would have died laughing if he had been there.
  4. Don’t change your analysis just to please a client. I recently analyzed an existing detention system to determine whether or not it would be sufficient to mitigate the increased runoff that would be expected to flow from a newly planned development. I determined that one part of that system needed to be expanded. Because this expansion would cost money, I had multiple people calling me and telling me that I was wrong and that I had missed something and that this would have to be discussed with my boss and so on. Just last week, the most persistent of those people admitted that he wrong and all but apologized for questioning my work.
  5. When a man and a woman disagree regarding the location of a property corner, the woman is right. I don’t know how this works and it has never been shown to me, but my boss tells me that women remember these things best.
  6. Never back the company truck off of the stabilized construction entrance.