The ASCE body of knowledge (BOK) is a laudable initiative, currently stimulating new ways of thinking.
During the recent workshop on capacity building of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, in conjunction with the World Engineering Congress in Brazil, speakers and participants discussed various topics, and one of the speakers used a series of slides to illustrate the world that never was.
"When I read through the profiles of other people in Civil Engineering magazine I can think of absolutely nothing interesting about myself. I do such mundane things." This may be 2009 SAICE President Elsabé Kearsley's self-styled opinion, but once the 45-year old bundle of compacted energy starts recounting some of her choice experiences and observations, her life sounds anything but humdrum. Swamped by exam papers, Elsabé made time to speak to Lorraine Fourie toward the end of the academic year of the University of Pretoria (UP) where she heads the Department of Civil Engineering.
The paper refers to the increased costs of construction materials and to the consequent need for improved understanding of material properties in order to make the most economic use of available materials. Developments in the structural design of pavements, particularly the effects of temperature and the sensitivity of design to certain input data, are discussed.
Timely project execution has, however, been no mean feat with engineers receiving significant scope changes, including the addition of four floors to the building, at an advanced stage of the structural design phase. Productivity enhancing building information modelling (BIM) technology accelerated and coordinated drawing production, enabling engineers to stay on top of the project, keeping it on track for its pre-2010 opening.