Civil Engineering (CE)
Links to sections below:
When I decided to take an honorable discharge from the military in spring 2001, vs retraining, I decided on a 4 year civil engineering degree as it returned the greatest income for the shortest duration in class. I assumed then and was right that I’d earn my Professional Engineering (PE) license. I studied job descriptions, college prestige, wage charts, where to live (clean air and water), and since I had lots of metal in my body I knew I’d need a VA hospital often for surgeries. I suggest you think about grey hairs you’ve seen, or people grown old in careers. Not just grown old, but their jobs are satisfying and they common. Common meaning don’t envy or lust after the movie stars or people on TV as they’re being paid to smile and rarer than diamonds in apples. Focus on now and what you see now. Civil engineering, I settled on. Lots of possibilities for different jobs, locations, and I could live in healthy places. Before any deep engineering classes I was using equations with weighted factors to help make big decisions. This is opposite of impulsive decision making. Please end as much impulsive behavior as you possibly can before you have a kid with a TBI red head like I did. Email me if you want help about any big decisions and how weighted equations can help you too. Life as an Air Force pilot changed to civil engineering and PE, and I’m happy with my choice. I graduated college in 2005. Got my PE in 2011.
This page is under construction, subject to change.
I graduated from Carroll College with a Bachelors of “ARTS” in Civil Engineering. Arts because more classes were required than a bachelors of science. Carroll didn’t have ABET Accreditation until half way through my 4 year degree. Due to the college’s prestigious status and regional location I guessed it would work out for me. And it did! I love what I do and who I work for. I plan to leave my employer out of this website, my personal life in general, and I have given presentations to young students from my Alma mater about life in college vs life at work. In no way am I anything other than public citizen Dave. I’ll attach my PowerPoint I gave on student to work life, soon.
To earn my Engineer Intern (EI) license I had to take an 8 hour exam within one year of college graduation covering 18 disciplines of engineering. To say it was a little difficult is like calling a marathon hard. It has a low pass rate for the brilliant people who study for years. Only portions pass by bell curve minimums directed by test makers. I passed my first attempt. According to the NCEES testing board it contained:
- Probability and Statistics,
- Computational Tools,
- Ethics and Professional Practice,
- Engineering economics,
- Mechanics of Materials,
- Fluid Mechanics,
- Hydraulics and Hydrologic Systems,
- Structural Analysis,
- Structural Design,
- Geotechnical Engineering,
- Transportation Engineering,
- Environmental Engineering,
What this means is a civil engineer gets electricity to your outlet, clean drinking water to your faucet, takes care of what you flush down the toilet, helps keep the air clean, designs everything inside your vehicle, understands refrigeration, heating, plumbing, how tall buildings stand (in wind or quakes), how flooding and drainage works, chemistry in every facet from atoms to plants, In general, everything. No exageration.
I find my humbleness, and overly helpfulness (People Pleaser), attitude about my engineering skill with friends, lovers or aquantances, was my detriment. The life skill I’m learning now is that there are people I SHOULD NOT HELP. Engineers are in short supply therefore valuable. We are needed now more than ever. People who lie, are vein, are addicts, or just bad people should be left alone so they don’t prosper by people like me who can solve their problems. Some peoples problems should not be helped because they’re bad people and should not get help, which then creates legitimate problems for people with good ethics. I had ethics training in college but didn’t know until a decade after graduation how important it is.
I still have all my notes, books, projects and literature from college. Also my entire encyclopedia Britannica. I also kept all my notes since college related to engineering of work or private interest. I’ve build over 10 PC’s spanning two decades and unfortunately recycled many of them due to naively trusting a bad female. I also sold all my furniture for this female who was going to be my roommate, and we’d use her furniture. She helped me put my furniture on the lawn, then started sleeping with her ex, and never brought her new furniture over. My point is people won’t change, like the equations of engineering. Learn patterns, they may just save your life. I type this page now with still no furniture as a reminder to never again trust people who are by self admission mostly into, “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” I encourage you to ask people you trust to tell you what makes them tick, what floats their boat, what gets them up each morning. If they are honest and say some addiction, be careful. They’re unlikely to ever change.
In October 2011, I passed the next super difficult exam on my first try. Another 8 hour exam, my Professional Engineering (PE) license in Montana which also has a low pass rate. I built a rolling bookcase, wheeled over 150 pounds of books into the test, and had the other test takers asking if they could check out books from my “library.” At the door I was berated by the test administrator, but I argued no rule existed against book quantity. A new rule against book quantity may exist now because of me. Most people shlepped plastic (non-wheeled) totes full of books, hurting their neck, back and arms. During the test with about a hundred people around me I slowly looked around and saw my books stood higher than anyones. I looked like the person rolling beer from the refrigeration truck into the gas station. This foresight method has helped me in so many ways in engineering. Until 2017 I hadn’t applied such foresight to my personal life. Now I apply it thoroughly for dating, friendships and all communication. For all important things I foresee every step from start to finish in my mind, taking notes on paper, using the internet, library or experts. You too can do this with just your mind. Keep asking yourself, “And then what happens…” From a day hike, to cooking a meal, or probing a life partner or friend, this is helpful. Let me know if you try it and it helps or if you already do it.
Many laws govern me because of my PE license. To name a few details: I must take 30 hours of continuing education every two years and always be open to board spot checks of personal or professional life. In Montana many of the same core laws apply to doctors and engineers. The Montana Code Annotated (MCA) section title has doctors and engineers in one heading. Put simply I am a cop when I see risks to public health, safety, fraud, perjury, federal or state laws broken I witness. I now avoid anyone who has put me in difficult positions where I’m forced to say, “I didn’t see that, I wasn’t here.” I’ll never suffer the company of another person who thinks its ok to drive drunk, do illegal drugs, be unethical, threaten others lives, steal, etc. If I break any laws I have to “self-report” those. Self reporting for doctors, engineers or (felons on parol) is societies harshest limit. This means you can trust doctors and engineers to take care of your actual “NEEDS” with zero self interest. We are bound by law to concern ourselves with your safety. Tell a doctor or engineer some life safety concern you have to test this. A traffic violation (or anything worse), requires me to self report it to my licensing board, otherwise if they find out I didn’t self-report broken laws in a timely manner I could face punishment up to losing my license. This has made friendships with shady characters (which includes my mother!!!), almost impossible especially when those people are often inebriated, high on drugs, endangering themselves or others. Too many times to count my mother invites homeless strangers into MY house. If my mother comes near my house again I must call the police.
The very worst which I’ve been dragged into so often is the addict (my mom or others), so high they start spouting off lies that I’ve broken the law. One guy got so drunk he said I’d hacked into his wifi router when it stopped working. He was at the bar and it came back to me through mutual friends (triangulation it’s called), when people don’t talk to me directly instead lie to others to play like victims. Anyway hacking is a felony and why would I hack a gift wifi router I gave a guy? Alcohol is a dangerous drug. When the drunk claims they don’t remember because they were drunk. DANGER!!! GET AWAY to safety. Lock you doors and avoid alcoholics. I grew up with them. My dad drank himself to death when I was 12. I KNOW alcoholics and will never let another one in my home EVER.
Professional Engineer license is usually the last major license earned in my profession. Also once it’s earned we may legally call ourselves, “Engineers.” It’s actually illegal to call oneself an engineer prior to PE licensure.
Engineering is everywhere. I practice structural engineering. Knowing how to filter out junk makes a good engineer. Time is a limited resource we can never get back. Ask yourself how you want to spend your time. Time, quality and money are the tripod of every project. Any one affects the others. I’ve seen over a hundred projects where quality, time and money greatly affected the final product. Houses, structures, projects of any kind are affected by time, money and quality. With enough time, I have created literally beautiful quality, at low cost. I continue this because I am poor. I HATE rich people who throw money at problems, never learning a good solution. Such rich people make the world worse. One example is people who should have spent time in jail but instead were rich enough they never got a record. Instead, poor people like me must follow the law all the time. It makes for the worst relationship between a rich law breaker and an ethical poor engineer. I won’t suffer another addict. Ever. Even if one of my inventions makes me rich I won’t forget my roots. Unethical people make our world so much worse. Many female addicts I’ve dated often asked when we’d be rich from my inventions. Never asking me if they could support me. Only that I would support their addictions. Spending (including expensive restaurants), alcohol, prescription meds, expensive vacations, or similar, are all legal and quickly ruin every relationship. Because these are mostly accepted by society, they aren’t perceived as destructive. Addicts must be avoided so the rest of us healthy people can live healthy lives, and hopefully after enough time addicts will be the minority.
Quote, May 2018 from link above:
“Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.”
My alcoholic parents are why I once was attracted to helping addicts. But now with the grace of AL-Anon, my people pleasing days of helping addicts is over. I’ve bailed my last person out of jail. I’ve driven my last person to drug rehab. I’ve spent time in my last bar. I’ve smelled my last tobacco smoke. I won’t suffer anyone with a drug, alcohol or spending addiction.
Material science and 4D (Time analysis), software are the forefront of my career. At work I’m self taught on several cutting edge softwares, and I share or teach my office how to use them. I also am not afraid to share mistakes I made or new things I learned. Most of all I am open to learning in all forms. Engineering and ego do not mix. An engineer full of themselves to much will likely kill innocent people. My current job entails many life safety decisions. Many thousands of decisions I made, were I wrong, people would’ve died. And I’ve not been wrong yet. This makes me attractive to my employer and follows my ethics closely. Having a big ego hiding your mistakes has no place in engineering. I have tons to say about shady, shitty people with frequently unethical behavior because ethics was a major college class and if ignored can kill innocent people.
Other careers worship big egos placing narcissists on pedestals. Knowing when you’re right and saying so, when to listen quietly and when learning comes is fundamental to being a good person. Ethically I have to admit when I don’t know or I know I’ve seen safety hazards. 3D finite element software is commonly known by a good structural engineers while simple 2D frame or beam analysis by hand is always practiced. Heard of “Back of napkin,” calculations? Those are simple 2D frame or beam hand checks most engineers know from common practice. The field of expertise of an engineer is what they are revered in. Society says I can practice with public safety in mind. For example I do all my own home remodeling where carpentry, concrete, structures, and the like are essential. When a permit requires an engineers stamp, I use my own.
Here are common civil engineering fields.
- Construction engineering (I know a bit)
- Architectural engineering (I watched a lot)
- Earthquake engineering (I used to do this)
- Environmental engineering (a personal interest)
- Material engineering (Cutting edge – ex: Graphene)
- Geotechnical engineering (It’s just dirt! 🙂 Kidding)
- Structural engineering (Currently I practice)
- Industrial and systems engineering (Automation)
- Mining engineering (If it’s not grown its mined)
- Transportation engineering (affects everyone)
- Software engineering (affects everyone)
- Thermodynamics (engines, refrigeration, etc)
- Electrical engineering (circuits, transistors)
- Power and energy engineering (The grid)
- Aerospace engineering (Wind drag, airplanes)
- Agricultural engineering (Feeds us)
- Railway engineering (How the USA grew westward)
- Military engineering (Ancient history to current)
- Textile engineering (What you’re wearing)
Overlap exists between them in many ways once basic engineering is learned. I have special personal interest in: Water and waste water design, hydrology, fluid dynamics, environmental engineering, construction, materials, transportation, dynamics, thermodynamics, circuits, programming, structural engineering, and artificial intelligence (or machine learning).
Software engineering matters to you. You couldn’t read this website if it didn’t. You assume it’s continued existence like hot potable water or electricity. Safety with the internet I take seriously. I use MAC address filtering so only devices I own may connect. I use re-encryption of wifi passwords in 5 minute cycles for increased security. I also use a modem and separate physical wifi router box sending out wifi signals. This way I can quickly disconnect wifi conveniently every time for safety concerns. Linux and apple are the safest operating systems currently. There are other simple things you can do, too and I encourage you to contact me so I can help you with basic security. I also don’t do things which I can’t defend myself when doing. If you want to attack, steal or be hostile, I’m not interested in communicating. Defense is different than offense and unfortunately not many people practice basic defense online. I saw a tweet recently which showed a person forgot to change the default username and password for administration of a router. Whoops! That’s how we learn I guess.
Civil engineering is relevant to you. You use it daily and assume it will be there tomorrow for you. Your daily life in a cold climate, with a nearby water source, vehicles transporting things around you, and your screen to read this, includes civil engineering which you take for granted. A college classmate and our school quarterback used to wear a t-shirt which said: “Where would you be without your plumber?” The public assumes tomorrow there’ll be fresh water, flushing toilets, buildings won’t fall down, roads and bridges stay put, and vehicles all work without incident. Great engineering was needed to find design solutions. Optimization is something I thanked the professor who taught me it from college. I love living near my college. Things engineered well just work without breaking. I plan to audit classes as I age for keeping my brain sharp. My college also offers astronomy with an observatory and telescope. Astronomy is very interesting to me. Stars for instance only have the nuclear force outward and gravity inward. Chemistry and Physics. In structures as the material shape follows applied forces an optimized shape it makes the most beautiful aesthetic structures. Structures I’ve designed included aesthetic considerations and look beautiful now.
It’s ten times harder (At least), to create than criticize. Critics instantly turn me off. I know how to listen to those I disagree with, but if someone only criticizes I cease communication for my own health reasons. From what I’ve seen very few non-engineer homeowners actually grasp the most important nuances of engineering. Drainage is a fundamental misunderstanding of homeowners and why engineers first helped prevent flooding. Engineer homeowners I know create things at feverish paces, practicing cutting edge invention, while owning the most beautiful homes. I do all my own plumbing, electrical, carpentry, concrete, landscaping, earth work, roofing, and inventions, when I don’t need a permit. It’s called working within variances. Variances require neighborhood approval. I’ve hired licensed and bonded professionals for chimneys, natural gas pipes, major water pipes when I didn’t own the correct tool to do it myself, I couldn’t safely or legally do the work myself without negatively affecting my homeowners insurance. A next electrical hurdle for my house for instance requires hiring an electrician to get 200 amp service to my home over the current 100 amp service. Just a box swap, but $3,000 isn’t nothing. I’ve buried natural gas and electric power to my garage, with approved permit, about 65 feet from my house. Buried utilities is an important engineered thing. I also moved, leveled, and safely electrified a 400 gallon hot tub which weighs 550lbs dry, all by myself, using “Physics.” Peanuts compared to building some structures.
Directly relates to Civil Engineering.
I fed myself, made coffee and by 7am on a Saturday the above link said 113,000 births today so far with about 40,000 deaths. Anyone whose made it through college level engineering mathematics knows about closed system population systems. Forcing functions. Predator-prey modeling. Earth, the closed system we inhabit, has no world leading voice of reason for overpopulation, or if it does the media don’t give it as much time as it deserves. Here and there some famous people are heard but the main stream media is in bed with religious leaders, politicians, CEO’s and governments who depend on constant growth models of society. Such powers label sustainable design as peripheral pursuits yet nature always lives in perfect sustainability and we depend on nature for oxygen, food, water, etc. Why the media reports on brutal deaths, war crimes, torture, political battles yet is mostly quiet about limitless population growth, is a core part of the media’s role. As Brad Pitt’s Character in Fight Club put it so eloquently, “Emergency water landing, 600 miles an hour: blank faces, calm as Hindu cows.”
Media, sports, social media, all focus our attention on meaningless things while the real power and decisions effecting us are made by a few powerful people. I am well read about social engineering and I think it is nothing short of our biggest current fight as human beings. We live in a representative democracy and must understand our roles to make real change. Turning off your TV is a great first step to education.
In almost every case I’ve seen, educating women, empowering women, and giving them careers, is a perfect step to control overpopulation. I’d like my daughter to become fluent in martial arts, along with all women. If men were worried a woman might break his elbow, we’d have far fewer assault charges and women would feel more empowered.
Education includes clearing away delusions and old male ways of doing things. First step, women control their bodies, period. Step 2, women get a front row seat of power at discussions of future generational issues. Their perspective is different than mens and should have an equal voice. They grow babies in their body which permanently changes their lives for goodness sake! For one thing women show a better skill set with is communicating across generational gaps, naturally, statistically, more often with more information conveyed than men. Step 3, fair pay for women. Begin by all teaching, care giving, and social jobs where women excel get immediate subsidies so they attract women for entire careers with good retirement benefits, in perpetuity. I have a ten year old daughter at this time and will add to women’s equality as I have more useful information. America is a shining light for the world right now for women’s rights and protecting America’s light is one reason our military is so important. Unless you’ve seen middle eastern countries or Eastern European countries it may not make much sense to you how the rest of the world treats women.
Roads, bridges and buildings are another assumption the public depends on like drinking water, flushing toilets and electricity. All of those are simply classes I took in college. The origin of things and their ideas is part of any good education and civil engineering is no different. I’ll lay out simply the beginning of our USA roads so misunderstanding, misdirection and other malfeasance is doused. Fake news has no place in engineering judgement.
90% of initial money to build our highway system was federal (national taxes returned to Americans). 10% kicked up by states (state taxes). Fact. Period.
“…the federal government assumed 90 percent of the costs.”
At that time, in 1956 our country had ample money coming from corporations, and corporations didn’t yet have the power they do today to mislead us at voting time into abstention or even voting against our best interests. Here’s the pie chart of federal income in 1956, note the orange, 28% section:
As you can see corporations used to pay 28% of federal money.
Republicans, and our current president are cheerleaders for cutting corporate taxes (increasing corporate welfare): Here’s the current pie chart from 2016, note the measily 9%, or less than 1/3 of 1956.
Today is a time when individuals pay so much more of the federal taxes yet many rich elected leaders try to cut corporate income tax from 9% currently to even less. Empowering corporations is a problem undercutting our very democratic vitality. Corporations were never supposed to be treated like citizens like the Supreme Court recently granted to corporations through the citizens united ruling.
See my Media page: For more information about misinformation.
Also, at a time when workers have so few good paying jobs, most work goes overseas, and corporations regularly post profits on the stock market, what’s really going on?
Banker bailout legislation. 150 billion dollars went to Bank of America and only one seventh that amount or 35 billion dollars went to the entire United States department of transportation. Link below to ARRA legislation. (I’m still writing this section…). This emphasizes how the rich people and media dropped the ball of sharing the true intention of the bailout legislation under the disguise of rebuilding infrastructure.
Search above link with word “000,000” then search next and you’ll find financial facts. To search press Ctrl + F.
Summary: The interstate highway system began with 90% of total paid by federal dollars. At that time corporations paid about three times as much taxes as they do now. Currently, politicians are pushing for roughly all money for roads, bridges, ports, and railroads to come from states, private investment and tolls, to continue siphoning off massive benefits to the rich pocket. This polar change from how our interstate system began is mainly to privatize and commercialize our highways for corporate profit though the system was almost all federally paid for initially. Any budget gutted so heavily is bound to fail and misdirection of the media covers up the facts and points fingers elsewhere causing stupidity and ignorance by the masses, (by design of those in power). With current powers of corporations and republican politicians so powerful through gerrymandering, and minimal taxation on corporations its no wonder we’re all in a constant state of confusion, pointing fingers in wrong directions. So many turn to addiction for solace. Past examples of legislation supposedly to help infrastructure were again misdirection and major wheelbarrow loads of cash to the rich, to private banks, with media keeping us in the dark. If infrastructure construction and reconstruction is to be state or privately funded I doubt anything meaningful will happen, it can’t. States and private funds are minor compared to our federal tax revenue.
I currently follow closely how our countries infrastructure owners being the states are being systematically privatized and gutted like a fish, so that any more federal money will just be siphoned into private corporate hands, profits, CEO’s and public relations industry. The media plays it’s part perfectly, never opening their mouths, misdirecting us to some calamity to shock us. You read in news lots about de-regulation and permitting delays when roads and bridges are built. Those words are social manipulation. Those are things like public meetings, environmental assessments, and replacement of marshes and lakes destroyed by roads and bridges. It is a completely necessary step for properly built infrastructure, it is not as our media and current leaders call it, removing permitting delays. This is a fight on the most fundamental level between the poor and the rich. Calling a public meeting a permitting delay is smoke and mirrors misdirection by powers to maintain confusion, having us use incorrect words, looking elsewhere while private corporations shovel all public policy money into corporate or private hands. infrastructure systems are just the newest profitable market for the corporate greed.
Much like the interstate system being built originally by 90% federal funds, to now it being destroyed by financial strangulation, other profitable agencies are being strangled financially so media can step in later, falsely misdirecting that a failure occurred for lied about reasons. If your household was gutted by a 50% reduction in funds would you stand for the media misdirecting on your lawn that the cause was permitting delays? It’s simple financial starvation, then purposeful misdirection by the media in order to privatize existing public infrastructure agencies for private profit. Period. I’ve seen lots and can’t write what I saw but it’s happening at frantic paces. Legislators line up, ready for their kickback after they strangle a public institution and turn it private. Conflict of interest forms are signed by public employees who then are forced to watch as corporations sniff around like hyenas and the media provides tons of misdirection as to what’s really happening. The final step when a public agency fails is a private corporation swoops in and steals it for pennies on the dollar, always keeping the public stream of money flowing which always supplied that agency. Thus the public to private stream of money helps make profits and the stock market continue this other worldly rise. We’re in a recession but the stock market doesn’t show it. Public agencies once profitable enough are butchered up into private fiefdoms for corporate profit.
It’s best to first quit using words the media shove down our throats. Turning off your TV is a good first step. A second step is only reading websites with such search terms.
This filters out the overflow of false websites which do not have peer reviews as part of their publication process.
Deregulation is actually removing public protections. Most public policy and protections were put in place for well researched reasons after lots of work by ethical people. They can be quickly undone by a politician manipulating TV audiences to cheer for their own demise.