Industry News
Engineering
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/30/2021

Roughly 20% of Iowa's bridges are in poor condition, meaning they are not necessarily dangerous but need to be repaired or replaced, according to the state Department of Transportation. The latest regular inspection of Iowa's nearly 24,000 bridges has also found more than 42% in fair condition and almost 40% in good condition.

7/30/2021

The Miami-Dade Police Department has barred structural consultant Allyn Kilsheimer from visiting the site of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla. The city's mayor says that impedes the ongoing investigation into the building's partial collapse. Meanwhile, the police have issued a request for qualifications for local structural forensic engineering services to investigate the cause of the disaster, whose death toll now stands at 98.

SmartTake: The police cite "conflicts or associations with the building or the Town of Surfside" to justify blocking Kilsheimer. However, it says it is "willing to be a liaison with NIST engineers and communicate well with MDPD homicide investigators." Kilsheimer is a world-renowned engineer, and the police's explanation for keeping him off site could be perceived as vague, creating more questions than answers. 

7/30/2021

Pay-fors in the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure plan include $205 billion in unspent pandemic relief funds, $87 billion from spectrum auctions for 5G services, $53 billion in unemployment insurance aid and $49 billion from delaying a Medicare rebate rule, according to a Republican summary of the plan. The plan would also reinstate a tax on chemical manufacturers and would crack down on a tax enforcement for cryptocurrencies.

Full Story:
The Associated Press
7/30/2021

Well-depleting drought has been compounded by federal refusal to release water from the Upper Klamath Lake, leaving many Oregon residents along the California border scrambling for water. More than 300 wells may have gone dry in recent weeks, and there is a long wait list for well drilling.

Full Story:
The Associated Press
7/30/2021

A university in Loughborough, England, will use a $700,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation to create a world-first slope simulator to better understand often deadly landslides and earthwork failures. The plan is to build a tilting table to hold large-scale slopes that will be successively wetted and dried to simulate slope deterioration over time.

Full Story:
The Engineer (UK)
7/30/2021

The main parts of a firearm are gunpowder, a tube, and projectiles that are forced out of the tube by the force created when the gunpowder deflagrates. These parts came together in what weapon?

The "bang stick" of 8th century Java
The "spitting cobra" of 9th century Persia
The "fire lance" of 10th century China
The "carbonara" of 11th century Venice
Full Story:
asme.org
7/30/2021

Researchers in South Korea used 3D printing to create an implant that accounts for the shape of a damaged tissue to continuously deliver drugs to patients with acute liver failure. The implant requires only one surgery to be placed next to the liver and be connected to a port that allows for the drug supply to be topped up.

7/29/2021

A Senate panel is considering changes to cost-benefit analyses carried out for projects by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Witnesses before the Environment and Public Works Committee have testified that current analyses are too rigid and should include such factors as climate resilience, water quality, soil stabilization, habitat and recreation.

7/29/2021

Crews have installed 17 steel plates to effect repairs on the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River between Arkansas and Tennessee, clearing the way for a partial reopening next week. The work was necessitated by the discovery of a crack in one of two 900-foot steel beams.

Full Story:
The Associated Press
7/29/2021

The effects of climate change and severe weather on roads and bridges are the focus of a new Climate Adaptation Action Plan issued by the Hawaii Department of Transportation. The plan envisions greater resilience against hazards as storm surges, rockfalls, landslides and wildfires.

Full Story:
KITV-TV (Honolulu)