Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guest Speaker and Some Facts

Like most bloggers, I write posts ahead of time.  This probably surprises no one.  But a post that goes up Thursday morning is usually written Wednesday night.

Last week, my Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday posts were all written Sunday night (since I knew night meetings would keep me from blog writing for the week).

So that means this post was written Wednesday night.

Truthfully, I need to be working.  I have a stormwater report that needs to be done TOMORROW.  I spent 4 hours today visiting a high school for career day, talking about civil engineering to sophomores.  I did this last year at a local middle school.  I am good to talk to students because I am a young woman.  It's good to show that engineers aren't always about old, white men.

I like to start off explaining Civil Engineering with a few examples of what civil engineering is because, let's face it, most people don't really know.  A good number of adults ask me what I do, so I wasn't surprised when adolescents don't know.

Here are a couple of engineering facts for you:

-  The Leaning Tower of Pisa is built in the shape of a banana.  As construction began, they noticed that it was sinking on one side because the soil was too weak to support the building.  So they began compensating by building that side up.  The more weight they added, the more the tower sank.  And it ended up being shaped like a banana.  They have since reinforced the soil for the building.

I was going to include a picture of the Tower of Pisa, but when I googled it, there were too many pictures of people acting like they were holding it up.

-  Why do the British drive on the left side of the road? When I studied traffic engineering in England,  a professor told me that it was linked back to medieval times, when everyone was right-handed.  Knights would joust, holding their joust in their right hand and standing on the left hand side.  A quick google search mentioned that you walked on the left hand side because everyone was right-handed and held their swords in their right hands, standing on the left.  Same basic idea.  Little known fact.

I also like to share a piece of information the head of the department of civil engineering shared at our departmental graduation.  He said, "Doctors kill people one at a time.  Engineers kill them by the dozens."  That usually gets an interesting reaction.  It certainly scared the youknowwhat out of me when he said it.

With that being said, I'd better get back to work.  I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't writing this at work.  :)


  1. coming from a fellow engineer, although not civil, I appreciate the random facts :)

    1. and you should have asked me, I hve a picture of Pisa, of just that, and no one trying to hold it up, lol. Although we did try and failed miserably!


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