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Talk to Civil/Site staff

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Unless you want them to be too sleepy to throw
tomatoes at you I'd keep the Code History brief.

Make a list of all the problems you've had on projects
over the last couple years.  Find the ones that can be
attributed to lack of knowledge or coordination across
department lines or expertises (typically, at least
half of them in my experience).  Try to convey the
knowledge you have which they need and which can be
explained in one sitting.  Then, in the interest of
fairness, and in reducing your ignorance along with
theirs, ask them what they would explain to you to
help prevent further problems between trades, as it

As an example, I used to design a lot of bridge
replacements.  The highway people would always set the
profile just a little bit higher than the existing,
and then we'd end up revising it and re-doing a lot of
work, every time.  When we explained a few of the
factors that contributed to the bridges being much
deeper than before (much wider bridges with
corresponding crown runouts, higher design loads and
elimination of shoulder piers resulting in deeper
beams, flatter vertical curves for better sight
distance, etc.), they understood and started to ask us
before they set the profile.  Saved us no end of


Mike Hemstad, P.E., S.E.
St. Paul, Minnesota

Andy Richardson wrote:
"I am slated to be giving a 20-30 minute talk next
Thursday to discuss
some structural issues with the staff here.  Only one
problem... ...I
have no topic :)  I am one of two structural engineers
here in a staff
of about 50 (site/ civil engineering).  Hence the
topic needs to be more
informative than technical.  I thought we may discuss
some history of
code development and the new international codes are
requiring more
engineering in our (high wind) area for residential
construction.  I
would like to briefly discuss some basic design
concepts for
residential/ light framing design, especially lateral
force systems.  If
anyone has any ideas, resources, topics, power point
slides (humorous
slides welcome) web links, etc. that I could be
directed to, I would
appreciate the input. Thanks in advance for your


Andy Richardson, P.E.

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