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January 2011 » Departments

Measuring NASA’s space
Founded in 1917, the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is the country’s oldest civilian facility for aeronautical and aerospace research. With more than 290 buildings on 788 acres, LaRC is home to wind tunnels, test structures, and laboratories that conduct research on military and civilian air- and spacecraft. In order to support operations and facilities management, LaRC needs up-to-date spatial information on its buildings, structures, and equipment. Geographic information systems offer one avenue of support; however, 3D scanning is expected to be a powerful tool for the future.

To learn how NASA uses 3D scanning to support its operations, click here.

Amicable magnetism achieved
When the Olivenhain Municipal Water District mandated a rehabilitative painting of its 10 million-gallon, 300-foot-diameter potable water tank, it gave advance notice of removal/reinstallation to the many cell phone companies that used the tank as a telecommunications hub for their antennas and cable trays. However, when the carriers weren’t able to remove the cable trays before painting began, the water district was forced to find a viable alternative. The answer came in the form of a magnetic cable/cable tray holding system.

To read the full article, click here.

Enterprise GIS system provides holistic solution for city asset management
In many municipalities, managers tend to resist shifting toward an enterprise system for asset management, skeptical that such a system can deliver on its promises. The city of Topeka, Kan., however, pursued an enterprise-wide asset management system for divisions within the public works department. Today, the city has rid itself of many disparate information systems and asset management by paper, e-mails, and faxes.

This article outlines the significant organizational and business process challenges the city faced in pursuing an enterprise system, presents lessons learned, and gives advice to help other municipalities ready to embark on a similar quest so they can become “enterprise believers.” To read the full article, click here.

Polling all engineers
Check out the new online poll for engineers. This month, the editors of CE News are asking: What is your forecast for your civil engineering business or organization’s financial situation in 2011? The editors of Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure are asking: Where is transportation funding most necessary? To submit your vote and see how others have voted, visit www.cenews.com/online-poll.html and www.rebuildingamericasinfrastructure.com/online-poll.html

Call for nominees
When you think of the most influential people in the civil engineering industry, who do you think of and why? CE News will honor some of these leaders in its annual 2011 Power List in the April issue and is seeking nominations of people to consider. These leaders can be from government, professional practice, academia, media, and advocacy groups who are creating great engineering solutions through design or research, affecting infrastructure funding and policy, protecting the environment, and teaching and mentoring future leaders and students. To submit a nomination, please e-mail Bob Drake at bdrake@stagnitomedia.com.


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