Construction near eagles’ nest concerns neighbors
Construction threatens an eagle’s nest with records dating back to the 1940s, according to the Audubon Society. Read more here.
Construction threatens an eagle’s nest with records dating back to the 1940s, according to the Audubon Society. Read more here.
Last month we started a series talking about women that have made Engineering history. Read it here. As a woman-owned-business, this is especially important to us at RDI Structural Engineering. Today we continue the series with stories of more famous women Engineers:
Martha Coston (1826-1904) is a true story of struggle leading to inspiration. As a widow during the Civil War, Martha Coston needed a way to support herself and her family. Her deceased husband had created but never completed a design for ship signaling system, so Martha decided to take it and finish it. She completed the design, secured a patent and sold it to the Navy for $20,000. She then bid on and won the contract to manufacture the signals. Her company remained productive through the 1970’s. (Source: Engineer Girl)
Beatrice Hicks (1919-1979) was the first woman engineer to be hired by Western Electric. She was also the founder o of the Society of Women Engineers and the society’s first President. Beatrice Hicks was an Engineer at a time when it was still not considered an acceptable career for women, yet she built a prestigious career for herself including owning her own Engineering firm. (Source: Wikipedia)
Kate Gleason (1865-1933) was the first woman to enroll in the Mechanical Arts program at Cornell University and the first woman to be awarded membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Concrete Institute. In fact, in 1930, she served as ASME’s representative at the World Power Conference in Germany. (Source: Engineer Girl)
Stay tuned next month when we’ll highlight even more famous Women Engineers. And don’t forget to call or email RDI Structural Engineering, Inc. for all of your central Florida Structural Engineering needs!
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Though the history of engineering is long and storied, it is not without a few blunders. Creating a safe structure requires a precise nature, an ultra-critical eye and very sharp math skills; so choosing a professional, proven Engineer for your project is crucial.
While mistakes can be dangerous and no laughing matter, there are a few that can be very entertaining to look back on. Here are a few interesting blunders in Engineering:
The Paris trains that were too big for the railways and tunnels:
In 2014, a set of 341 new trains were set to launch over a two year period in nearly 1,300 stations in Paris. Unfortunately, they had to be entirely re-done because the railway engineers forgot to measure the actual distance between lines and platforms. The oversight was projected to cost $68 million to correct — not a cheap mistake!
The London bridge that literally made people sick:
In 2000, the Millennium Bridge over the Thames River in London opened and was almost immediately closed again until 2002. The reason: the bridge swayed so much that pedestrians were falling over from dizzy spells while walking over it. Later, experts speculated that it was the synchronicity of the steps on the bridge that caused the swaying. Overlooking those details cost a reported $8 million in repairs over the course of two years!
The sinking Osaka airport built on top of sand:
The Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan is constructed on top of an artificial island. The airport itself rests on a seabed of soft sand, causing the airport to have a notorious sinking problem. Florida Engineers know this one – sand is not a good place to build anything, especially something as expensive as an airport.
When people thought square airplane windows would work:
In two of the first passenger jetliners, the cabin windows shattered due to “metal fatigue” – translation: cracks in the edges of the square cabin windows that caused the airplanes to explode. This is why airplane windows are curved.
The amazing $2 billion sinking submarine from Spain:
After investing $2.7 billion in a program to develop diesel-electric submarines, Engineers had a painful discovery. The original math was wrong – in fact, just one decimal point was out of place – which would cause the 2,200 ton sub to sink right to the bottom if it was sent out to sea. The worst part is that the mistake had been discovered after one of the subs had already been built.
So while these stories can provide a laugh, they are actually an important reminder that when you choose your Central Florida Structural Engineer, make sure you put your trust and your buildings into the hands of a qualified, licensed professional. As you can see, choosing an Engineer that’s not quite as qualified, could lead to very costly mistakes!
“The Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary has been caring for three orphaned otter pups found at a Titusville residential construction site.” Click here to watch the video and read the article
“Real estate was key to Florida Power & Light’s aggressive solar power initiatives. The utility company is building three solar power plants that it says will be among the largest in the United States, each with 74.5 megawatts of solar capacity and a combined 1 million solar panels. Tampa Electric and Duke Energy Florida also have launched solar projects, amid regulatory pressures to cut carbon pollution from power plants and growing consumer demand for clean energy.” Click here to read more.
“Tens of millions of dollars for libraries, museums, parks and theaters in the Tampa Bay area have survived the first cut and are in the initial state budget proposals. Funding for Lowry Park Zoo, the Florida Aquarium, Blind Pass Road in St. Pete Beach, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg and a new transit study to move people from south Hillsborough County to downtown Tampa are all tucked within more than 800 pages of budget documents that passed through House or Senate budget committees this week.” Click here to read more.
Join us in our ongoing series celebrating women in engineering history!
Over the course of science and engineering history, it is undeniable that the field has been mostly male dominated. As a Woman Owned Engineering firm (a registered Florida WBE Engineer), we are proud of women in engineering and role that we have played in history of our field. So, we wanted to share some of the inspiring women in history who have broken the mold in the industry of engineering.
Lillian Gilbreth (1878-1972) is credited with creating the foundation for ergonomics in the workplace over the course of her 80 year career — all while raising a family of 12 children. She also had a profound impact on the business management industry, having earned the nickname, “Mother of Modern Management.” Gilbreth was the first to earn a degree in industrial psychology, getting her doctorate from Brown University in 1915. She became the first female member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1926 and the first female professor at the School of Engineering, Purdue University, in 1935.
Here’s a fun fact about Lillian Gilbreth: The popular 1950 film, “Cheaper by the Dozen,” is an adaptation of a story written by two of Gilbreth’s own children. The story shares the experiences of growing up in a house of 12 children, all raised by parents in efficiency and workplace management.
Marilyn Jorgensen Reece (1926-2004) is someone whose work you’ve probably already seen without even knowing it. Reece fell into engineering because she love math but “didn’t want to be a teacher.” In a time when women in the workplace were often pushed toward a career in education, Reece went on to become the first fully licensed female civil engineer in the state of California in 1954. This earned her the project of the San Diego-Santa Monica freeway interchange in Los Angeles. One thing Reece did say about her career is that she didn’t experience any resistance from males in her industry, only support and help among her colleagues.
Edith Clarke (1883-1959) is unique in that she is among the few women who have contributing to engineering for dams. Clarke was the first woman to earn a master\’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and became the first female chosen as a fellow by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Most of her career was spent at General Electric (GE), where she became a salaried engineer in 1922 — a major milestone for a woman at the time. After retiring from GE, Clarke went on to become the first female professor in the engineering department at the University of Texas, Austin.
We’ll be sharing more women in engineering history in the coming months, so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to read more about these inspiring female leaders!
As a note, RDI Structural Engineering is a Woman Owned Enterprise in Florida; we can serve as a St. Petersburg WBE or DBE; Hillsborough County WBE or DBE; Pinellas County WBE or DBE; Tampa WBE or DBE; Manatee County WBE or DBE; Orange County WBE or DBE; and an Orlando WBE or DBE. Call us to complete your MBE/DBE/WBE team!
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