Amazon to Houston: “And you’re Done!”

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The world according to Amazon — Newark yes, Houston no

On January 18, Amazon released its short list of 20 candidates still under consideration as the location of HQ2.  Among the 218 losers pared from the list of hopefuls were such metropolises as Leominster, MA, Stonecrest, GA, and Scarborough, Maine.  Oh yes, and Houston, TX, the fourth largest city in the country.  The last time Amazon so publicly humiliated Houston was last January, when Alexa was overheard boldly predicting that the Houston Texans football team would be “publicly executed” by the New England Patriots.  Maybe I should start doing my Christmas shopping on eBay!

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For those not keeping track, Amazon invited the cities of North America to submit bids to become the site of their second headquarters.  Besides the prestige of being the home (or second home) of one of the most successful companies on earth, there would be tangible benefits for the winning city as well, as Amazon predicted an influx of 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in construction investment.  It is no wonder that 238 cities submitted their applications, demonstrating how they met the stated criteria: Continue reading

CloudCalc Website Upgraded to HTTPS:

SS-1You may have noticed a small change in the appearance of the CloudCalc web site the last time you logged in.  There is now a green padlock and the notation “Secure” to the left of the address bar.  Also the URL name – www.cloudcalc.com – is now preceded by the indicator HTTPS: (Hyper Text Transfer Secure) in place of the previous HTTP:

What does this mean to you, the CloudCalc user?  A couple of things… Continue reading

Version 1.02.15 Released – Applied Displacement Loading

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CloudCalc is pleased to announce the release of Version 1.02.15, the application’s 35th 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 adds the ability to model Applied Displacements as a loading type.  Often structures are loaded not only by forces (concentrated or uniform) but also by externally imposed displacements, such as settlement, seismic displacements, or thermal expansion of supports or other attached elements.  These Applied Displacements may now be modeled as acting on any node in the CloudCalc model, and assigned to any individual load, or as part of any Load Type. Continue reading

Rob Herrington Joins CloudCalc as Vice President, International Sales and Marketing

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“I am very excited to be at CloudCalc”

CloudCalc, Inc. is pleased to announce the hiring of Robin R. Herrington, Sr. as Vice President of International Sales and Marketing.  Rob will be responsible for establishing the dealer channel and direct sales programs required to increase CloudCalc’s exposure and revenue outside of the United States.

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Rob brings to CloudCalc more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, with most of that being in the field of engineering software.  Rob has held direct sales and international channel management positions at Realflex Technologies, COADE, Inc. and Intergraph CADWorx and Analysis Systems.  Most recently he has held the position of National Sales Manager at ECE Design, a reseller and developer of software catering to the Plant Design industry.  He holds a degree in Business Management from Western Governor’s University. Continue reading

101 Reasons to Read this Book

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101 Things I Learned in Engineering School: 2 thumbs up!

I recently came upon the book 101 Things I Learned in Engineering School by John Kuprenas and Matthew Frederick (May 2013, Grand Central Publishing).  It is part of the “101 Things I Learned Series” (billed as “books for the sophisticated beginner”) which offers entries in architecture, business, engineering, law, urban design, among other professions.

Upon first glance, I thought this little book was written for a very elementary audience.  It consisted of no more than a paragraph or two explaining each of the 101 “things”, accompanied by a simple drawing illustrating the concept.  At best, I thought that it might be a good introduction that I could recommend to anyone I knew who was considering studying engineering.

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But I quickly became absorbed in this book.  These authors had gone to some engineering school!  Because yes, there were many things that I, too, had learned in engineering school — but there were several more that I had learned only after engineering work experience had piqued my curiosity.  There were more that I hadn’t even really ever thought about until reading them right here in this “elementary” book.  But most importantly, in my opinion, it captured exactly what I have found to the magic of engineering, the essence of what makes our job so interesting. Continue reading

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