Engineering Summer School

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My 2010 summer vacation preview:

As inferred from above I registered for what almost every engineers does, SUMMER SCHOOL! dun dun dunnnn! So long story short I registered but the Cal State system will only let me register for 13 units during registration! Now on a typical engineering flowchart at Cal Poly Pomona civil engineers are required to take 18 units a quarter to graduate in 4 years, ha! As I can do math, hopefully since I passed 5 calculus classes, if I need to be taking 18 units and I can only register for 13 I have a huge problem on my hands. I do not want to be stuck trying to take hydrology, water supply, water treatment, structures testing lab and a tech elective all in the same quarter because I can’t take enough classes right now! Engineering suicide! Shown below is my flow chart of classes to get my so coveted civil engineering degree just to give you a glimpse of what my life is like (click for full view). Not to mention working or internships and life on top of school.

Well I have a Fluids midterm Wednesday that I need to keep studying for! Keepin it real.



Shear Stress in Soils

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I have a Geotechnical Lab class and it is my last class in the geotech series, yay! We’re testing all the interesting things I’ve been learning all year! We just finished the direct shear strength testing where we used a shear testing device like this one below to apply normal stress that would be applied by a footing to see what kind of shear would be created.

If a building were to fail under direct shear it would look something like the picture below. The area of soil that should be tested for shear is going to be below the footing about the same distance down from the footing that the footing is from the surface of the soil.

The results were predictable for the sample I had. It was a loose sand and compacted nicely as well as withstanding a large amount of shear stress. For the test a small ring sample was inserted into the direct shear machine, compressed and sheared. This is what a typical sample would look like after the test is completed.

Below is a graph taken from the computer calculated results applying 1000 lb of normal force. The graph shows the shear stress vs shear displacement and axial displacement vs shear displacement. This test was done on 3 different undisturbed samples of the same soil.

Three samples were tested and under different normal loadings which would simulate different applied footing loads and direct shear was measure for all of them. Once these were tested I should be able to construct a Mohr-Coulomb Failure envelope slope for normal and shear stress. Max shear and cohesion will be obtainable from the graph. It is also always key to note cohesion is generally apparent unless chemical properties change or cementation occurs.

Only a couple more weeks of class and the quarter will be done! Only to have a week off before starting summer school! Wahoo! Anyways, fluid mechanics is calling my name and I have a midterm next Wednesday. Hopefully I will master Reynolds Transport Theorem. Details to come soon!



Why Not to Cheat in Engineering

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Saw this and thought it was funny. Very true, but still funny!


Speech. Do you have a rising TERMINAL?

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Today I gave my presentation in my Technical Communications class and found out that when I get excited about my speech I have a rising terminal. A rising terminal is when a sentence starts out in a softer tone then ends up more intense. Most like a radio or ballgame announcer, and during my speech “Let’s Get Readyyyy to Rumbleeee” did not start to play when I was through talking. Something work on.

So after listening to about 60 speeches today, and building gripes, I have comprised a short and concise list of what is important to me and hopefully to you about public speaking.

1) Don’t get caught up in the details in a speech. Be direct and to the point. People stop listening if you ramble on forrrrreeeeverrrr (catch the Sandlot reference?)

2)Fake it til you make it. One of the key rules I live by. Most of the time I don’t need to fake confidence but when giving speeches being confident is the #1 key! If you are scared, you probably look scared.

3) Third and final rule. Talk to the audience not at the audience. Address the individuals in the room on a personal level and have them actually learn something instead of feeding them useless higher level junk that you don’t even know yourself. What I hate more than seeing a fellow colleague not knowing what they’re talking about it them PRETENDING they know something about what they’re talking about.

Another day, another class, another speech. Back to the grind. Ciao!


Mother’s Day=Engineers Day


Or pretty much any holiday for that matter! When most of my friends will be seeing their families and drinking lots of beers I will go visit my grandparents then spend a good 8-10 hours doing homework! HA! Engineering students rarely celebrate holidays. I have gone to school the day after Thanksgiving at midnight for fun to see who was there, AND SOMEONE WAS THERE!! Just doing homework in a classroom all alone. This puts a close to “why engineers are odd” jokes.

Most holidays of the year are all in the middle of a quarter. In the middle of a quarter constitutes that we have class and most likely a hefty load of units and a matching amount of homework. So while my friends are hitting the beach for Memorial weekend I’ll be at home doing fluid mechanics problems and going criminally insane. So most holidays for engineers are engineering holidays, we just find the same use for them, homework. The only celebrated holiday I’ve found that engineering students celebrate is engineering week. This is where the students compete in odd, random events to fight for the golden calculator. Trust me, it’s a sight to see!

Engineering Tricycle Race During Engineers Week and CPP

On a side note I hope everyone has a blessed mother’s day and I will enjoy visiting my grandparents and then driving my self crazy with copious amounts of homework afterwards. Ciao!

I Have a Blog?!

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Yes. For many years I have been hearing about how you want to remove as much information about yourself on the internet as possible but I’m here to do quite the opposite. I am currently a female Civil Engineering student at Cal Poly Pomona and I want to blog the rest of my experiences in the college of engineering on this website. I want to enhance my technical presence on the net with my stories and experiences correlating with my so far 3 years in the engineering program.

I’m starting this blog because it is a topic for a presentation in my Engineering Technical Communication class. We present and learn how to be great engineering writers and engineers in general. As all engineers know, or don’t, we’re lazy. So we pretty much learn how to shorten things to the smallest amount of words as possible. So driving home your point in 3 words gets you an A.

Get ready because on this site I will freely talk about my trials and tribulations of being a female in a male dominated field and what life in a very demanding engineering program is like. It’s not just about making it through the program but the experiences along the way. Labs. Long study hours. Knowing Dominoes Pizza’s number by heart, and having them know where building 17 room 2670 is by heart. Budget cuts and 30 people trying to add into a 20 person class. Engineering week. Coming to class with all the cool new technical gizmos. All these things and more make up my time here at CPP. Hang on tight…So far this has been a wild ride for me and it’s just going to get better.

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