Posted in Employees | Housing | Innovative Solutions | Leadership | Structural Engineering by Stefanie JH English, PE (Structural Engineering) on March 11, 2013
LDG’s Stefanie English, PE, recently co-presented at the inaugural Residential Building Design & Construction Conference, hosted by Penn State’s Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC). The conference took place February 20-21, 2013 at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA. Read the presentation she developed in conjunction with Bill Brown, “An Introduction to Steel and Concrete Modular Construction”, below.
For many years, wood framed modular construction has been a useful and cost-effective solution in the residential market. While this type of construction has been a good solution for one- and two-family residential construction, it has been limited by factors such as available beam spans, lateral force resisting system requirements, and fire resistance, affecting its use in larger multi-story projects, such as hotels and dormitories. This presentation will explore the benefits of using steel-framed modules to achieve greater exterior opening distances, increased floor plan flexibility, LEED® certification, and non-combustible occupancies.
Posted in Education | Leadership | Professional Development by Stefanie JH English, PE (Structural Engineering) on February 21, 2011
I occasionally have the opportunity to visit local high schools to talk to the students about engineering and related careers. I am not a particularly polished speaker, and I suppose I am asked to return because I’m a bit of an anomaly – a female in a largely male-dominated technical career. It’s a great frustration of mine to be described in this way, in part because it’s such a small part of who I am, but also because I wonder if it reinforces the example, as a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Engineering is a tough field, certainly. But I would argue that perhaps we do a disservice to our students by not encouraging more of them to enter it. For years, it has been reported that the US produces fewer and fewer engineers than competing countries. So, how do we get today’s student excited about engineering?No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Architecture | Building Systems | Communication | Employees | Initiatives | Leadership | Professional Development by Stefanie JH English, PE (Structural Engineering) on November 2, 2010
Photo: LDG’s Leadership Academy kicks off with some team building activities during a three-day retreat.
© Aitken Leadership Group
Let’s think about the stereotypical “engineer” for a moment. What comes to mind? Intelligent? High achiever? Introvert? Confident? Poor communicator? Egotistical? Stubborn? Risk averse? These might make you think of the four friends on the show “The Big Bang Theory.” While these traits may not be shared by all engineers, certainly many of us can relate to the caricature.
Fortunately, being a confident high-achiever can serve a person well as he or she progresses through a career. Unfortunately, some of the other traits common to folks in technical careers can be limiting. For the people that got into engineering because they don’t like to deal with other people, the reality of the job may have come as a surprise. How do you get your brilliant design built if you can’t explain what you need to the contractor? If you alienate your client, how do you get more work? Business relationships still come down to the human beings conducting the relationship, and it’s important to have an understanding of how we tick.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Architecture | Building Systems | Codes & Regulations | Housing by Stefanie JH English, PE (Structural Engineering) on September 1, 2010
Photo: © Jason Nelson
At the end of 2008, I responded to a call for volunteers. The assignment: serve the Commonwealth of PA as an engineering representative on the yet-to-be-formed Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council. The primary focus of the group would be to consider the International Code Council’s 2009 edition, providing recommendations for exclusion of any new provisions introduced. At the time, I had no idea what I would be getting into.
Soon after the council was formed, I began to hear about “the big issue” – residential fire sprinklers. Being a structural engineer, this was not something I was particularly concerned with. It seems that I was not the only one; more than once when talking about “residential sprinklers” the person with whom I was speaking thought that I meant lawn sprinklers, not fire sprinklers. I’ll admit, when it was explained to me that one of the new provisions in the 2009 International Residential Code required fire sprinklers in every one- and two-family home, I thought it was ridiculous. It sure seemed like a lot of effort and expense. Was this really necessary? What’s wrong with how we’ve been building homes for decades? Well, I figured, this is a no-brainer. I can’t support a provision that doesn’t make any sense. This must be so narrow an issue that we’ll breeze through it during our review meeting…No comments yet | Permalink |