Happy Father’s Day, Engineers!


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…


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”.)

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Marching for Science, Marching for Engineering


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.


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


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

Visit CloudCalc at NASCC 2017


Visit us in Booth 8095 to learn the benefits of using cloud-based engineering software

CloudCalc, Inc.  would like to invite all those attending this year’s NASCC — the Steel Conference (March 22-24, 2017 in San Antonio, TX) to visit us in Booth 8095.  Once there, you will learn exactly why CloudCalc — Structural Analysis in the Cloud –was selected by the AISC/Modern Steel Construction Magazine as one of the Hot Products of last year’s NASCC show! Continue reading

An Engineer’s Guide to Oktoberfest


Let’s calculate the force required to lift those steins…Fluid dynamics, anyone?

Earlier this month I continued my travels in search of engineering topics by visiting Munich during Oktoberfest.  I went to Munich with my wife and friends, intent on seeing all the sights that would intrigue any engineer: the Deutsches Museum (the world’s largest museum dedicated to engineering, science, and technology), the Glockenspiel in the Rathaus (a wonder of mechanical engineering), and maybe the Allianz Arena – home of Bayern München and one of the prettiest football stadiums anywhere.  I was sure that I would find many topics for a blog article on this trip.

But it seemed like every time I started out to see something on my list, somebody popped a beer stein in my hand, distracting me from my goal.  It’s funny how that works, especially in Munich, especially in October. Continue reading