Monday, June 12, 2006

May Was a Busy Month

And June is starting out the same way.

Geotechnical engineering follows the construction industry. Not only do we follow construction, but we preceed it. We sample the soils in future construction zones, as to determine its suitability to support the work that's contemplated.

As a geotechnical lab manager, I perform testing on the samples, according to schedules laid out by our project engineer. The testing often includes soil classification tests, strength tests, tests for expansive potential and for compressive potential.

Engineers use the results of this testing to determine cut and fill quantities, maximum steepness of graded slopes, minimum distances of structures from edges of graded slopes, width and depth of structural footings, structural cross sections of roadbeds, and more.

Once the engineers' and architects' plans are drawn and approved, construction begins. Field technicians observe the contractors' work and perform field testing to assure that the cut/fill and grading operations meet specs. To support their testing, more samples are brought into my lab for further testing to assure that the work is as the preliminary testing projected, and that the soils and materials used meet specs.

There's a lot of construction going on in Southern California right now, as we aren't expecting much inclement weather for the next few months. It's also true that we don't get very much bad weather, ever. A few days' rain delay from time to time in the winter months, and that's about it.

The firm is a little short-handed right now and we're all under pressure to get the work out.

Now that I've told you a lot more than you want to know about my business, by way of apology for an expected sparseness in my mental meanderings.

I shall endeavor to perservere.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

1 comment:

Michael Stone said...

Actually, I find this stuff very interesting. Feel free to write more about it...