Visit CloudCalc at SEAoT Annual Convention in Corpus Christi, Texas

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Visit us in Booth 28 to learn the benefits of using CloudCalc

CloudCalc, Inc. would like to invite all those attending the annual State Convention of Structural Engineer’s Association of Texas (SEAoT) next month to visit us in Booth 28.

The 2017 Conference, which will be held October 26-27, 2017 in Corpus Christi, TX at the Holiday Inn Marina, 707 N. Shoreline Boulevard, in Corpus Christi is conducted in order to promote SEAoT’s mission, which is:

To support the structural engineering community, through continuing education, technology transfer, advancement of building code provisions, strengthening registration requirements, and enhancement of public awareness of the services provided by our members.

The conference which begins with opening remarks by Javier Carlin, P.E., SEAoT State President and ends with a raffle drawing in the Exhibition Hall, offers an extensive program of technical presentations – described in the conference advanced program — in between. Continue reading

Structure Against the Storm: Notes from Hurricane Harvey

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Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to hit the US in a decade 

I’m writing this article while “hunkered down” against Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma nearly 12 years ago.  Harvey came ashore two nights ago as a Category 4 hurricane (indicating minimum sustained wind velocity of 130 mph) and continues to punish our area with torrential downpours.  My neighborhood has had 16 inches of rain over the past 24 hours, something that is expected to continue over the next several days.  I also periodically am losing power, and so have to resort to the old-school instruments of pencil, paper, and candle while writing this.

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What can I expect t from a Category 4 hurricane?  According to the National Hurricane Center, “catastrophic damage” will occur:

Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months. Continue reading

Version 1.02.14 Released – Import/Export of Nodal Coordinates from/to Excel Files

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CloudCalc is pleased to announce the release of Version 1.02.14, the application’s 34th update since its initial launch on June 2, 2014.  You can verify that you automatically have this latest version by clicking on the Help Menu – the bottom of which shows the active version number.  (If, for some reason it does not show this version, you may need to force a hard-refresh of your browser, via Ctrl-F5 on a PC or Cmd-Shift-R on a Mac.)

This release enables the Import and Export of CloudCalc’s Nodal Coordinate data from and to external files in the form of Excel’s XLSX files.  Data is exported in the format of Node – X Coordinate — Y Coordinate — Z Coordinate (where coordinates are expressed in the current units for length); imported data is expected to be in that same format, and also in the current units.  The data may have a header line or not (CloudCalc prompts for that), and the coordinates may correspond to the Y-Axis Up or the Z-Axis Up convention (the latter is automatically converted to/from CloudCalc’s standard Y-Axis Up convention upon Import or Export). Continue reading

Happy Father’s Day, Engineers!

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Marc and Isambard Brunel, probably the greatest father-son pair in engineering

I’d like to wish “Happy Father’s Day” to all of my readers who qualify (and if you don’t qualify, please pass these wishes on to your father).  Today presents a great opportunity to think about the many famous father-child combinations throughout history: Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great; Eric the Red and Leif Ericson; Genghis and Ögedei Khan; Alexandre Dumas, père et fils; Muhammad and Laila Ali, George H. W. and George W. Bush; Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus…

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But who would be the greatest father-child pair in the history of engineering?  I would like to nominate Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel!  If you are unaware of the accomplishments of this father-son combination, read on.  (Or, if you would like to read about another famous father-son – and daughter-in-law – combination in engineering, I invite you to check out “The Roeblings:  An Engineering Family, and the Cable that Connected America”.)

Continue reading

Marching for Science, Marching for Engineering

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Science (foreground) doesn’t fall far from Engineering (background)

I spent last weekend in Washington, DC doing my part to support science as a participant in April 22’s March for Science.  I’ve considered myself a big fan of science, ever since I made my first vinegar and baking powder volcano, so it was appropriate that I go along to show my support.

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According to organizers, the idea behind the march (or actually the marches, as satellite marches were held in more than 600 locations around the world) was to “demonstrate support for science and the fundamental role it plays in serving and improving society through informed policy”.  Other goals were to “hold our leaders in society and science accountable to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and fairness”, and to “work to bring science and the benefits of scientific research to those who need it most”. Continue reading

Version 1.02.13 Released – Expanded Load Types

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CloudCalc is pleased to announce the release of Version 1.02.13, the application’s 33rd update since its initial launch on June 2, 2014.  You can verify that you automatically have this latest version by clicking on the Help Menu – the bottom of which shows the active version number.  (If, for some reason it does not show this version, you may need to force a hard-refresh of your browser, via Ctrl-F5 on a PC or Cmd-Shift-R on a Mac.)

The highlight of this release is the expansion of the available Load Types from the previous four types (Self Weight, Dead Load, Live Load, and Occasional Load) to nine types: Self Weight, Dead Load, Live Load, Roof Live Load, Earthquake, Rain Load, Snow Load, Wind Load, and Other Occasional Load.  Additionally all Concentrated and Uniform Loads may be assigned user-created Load Names, either individually or in groups.  Since loads may be manipulated (edited, displayed, or analyzed) either by Load Type or by Load Name, this effectively provides an unlimited number of predefined or users created Load Types.  Up to eight different Load Types or Load Names, each with individual Load Multiples, may be assigned to each of the Static Load Cases. Continue reading