What Is Low Impact Design (LID)?

Apr 11, 2019

Elliott Richter, RLA

Low Impact Design (LID) refers to managing stormwater runoff at the source (on-site) using green infrastructure techniques. Keeping water on-site reduces the need for much larger and more costly management systems. It also helps prevent flooding by reducing the amount of water that enters surface waterways during flash flood events. Conventional stormwater management uses a pipe-and-pond technique which replaces natural systems with concrete, pipes, ponds, and extensive infrastructure. These systems channelize the water and increase its velocity; thereby greatly increasing the risk of erosion. The goal of LID is to replace these pipes and ponds with soft engineering practices that: filter, infiltrate, store, and evaporate the run-off on-site. Incorporating LID early in the planning and design of a project has proven to be much more cost-effective while also providing a community benefit and a much better-looking project. Each of these major components of LID is discussed below. View Full Post

Working with Terrain

Apr 11, 2019

Shawn Massock, RLA

As land planners, 7gen starts every project looking at the opportunities and constraints provided by the land along with the related regulating government authorities’ (RGA’s) codes and ordinances. The land’s terrain plays a major role in the project’s design when these opportunities and constraints are considered along with the RGA’s codes and ordinances. Extreme flat or steep slopes increase the challenge of the design. Relocation of dirt, rock, or other land materials and construction of retaining walls and/or extreme building foundations increase construction costs of development. In today’s environment of limited attainable housing costs, development and building costs must be an important consideration when planning a neighborhood.  View Full Post

Environmental Constraints Aren’t Always Bad

Apr 11, 2019

Elliott Richter, RLA  

One of the first steps of every project is analyzing the site’s existing environmental conditions. Some of these conditions are regulated by city, state and/or federal agencies and can potentially kill your project before it ever begins. Too many existing protected or heritage trees may prevent a building from being able to fit on site. Too steep of slopes can also prevent buildings as well as roads from being constructed, or greatly increase the cost to build. Wetlands are an extremely regulated feature and must be protected or mitigated for. Other conditions such as depth to water table, depth to bedrock, soil composition, endangered species, karst features, and floodplain can all decide the fate of your project. View Full Post

Working with Nature – Outside of Your Job Description

Apr 03, 2019

James Parker, P.E.

In the field of land development, we typically take abandoned or previously farmed land and develop it into picturesque neighborhoods for families to have beautiful homes. During this process, we utilize many ponds and waterways that are natural habitats for numerous species of animals. Usually, we are prepared to deal with what nature has in store for us, but sometimes we get hit by surprise.  View Full Post

Lifelong Learning as An Engineer

Apr 02, 2019

Dustin O'Neal, P.E.

So, you’re fresh out of TAMU, U of H, Texas Tech, or one of a hundred other ABET accredited universities with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. You’re full of energy, new ideas, and motivation to take on any task thrown at you. You’ve spent at least four years learning about fluid dynamics, concrete design, and geotechnical properties of materials. You are a lean, mean, engineering machine. View Full Post

Financial Adulting

Apr 02, 2019

Daniel Cruz

Ah, you have arrived. You’ve spent the better part of the last five years, six in most cases, working to get to this point…to land your first job right out of college! You have your ideas of what this day and the future will be like. As you think back to your first day of freshman orientation, the freshman Dean creates visions of what awaits you. In a voice that could rival Thano’s from Infinity Wars, and with the wit of former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, the Dean begins to paint the tapestry of your future. “You will have an office that will overlook the city, a personal parking space, keys to the Partner’s restroom and last but most important…monetary reward, moola, cha-ching, and old fashion money!! The Dean continues, "You will no doubt be captains of your industry, way makers, big-baller shot-callers. Your name will be mentioned in the same breath as Buffet, Jobs, Gates, and Stark.”  View Full Post

Industry Collaboration

Apr 02, 2019

Harry B. “Hal” Walker, P.E.
You’ve heard the phrase “If you ain’t wit us, yore agin’ us!” which probably has its roots in the dialog from numerous old western movies or novels. Or perhaps the following meme has a familiar ring, “I’m an Engineer, to save time let’s just assume that I’m never wrong.“ Although I take it as a means to poke fun at ourselves, have you ever met a fellow engineer who believes in that statement? While I personally have not come across an engineer with such a lofty attitude, I have had stories relayed to me by non-engineers over the years of such individuals.  View Full Post

Leaning In: Women Mentoring Women

Sep 28, 2018

Pamela B. Puckett, P.E.

When I began working for Steve Costello in 2004, I had women come in and ask me for professional advice. I was a little overwhelmed since I was just returning to the industry after an 18-year sabbatical!! Realizing I didn’t have all the answers, I sought to provide a forum for our young women to ask those tough questions of other, more experienced women in the industry. View Full Post

Tips for a Successful Career Fair

Sep 27, 2018

Cameron Shoaee, E.I.T.

To some, the thought of attending a career fair is a dreaded task. It always seems to fall in line with the time you have two tests to prepare for, a project due, and when you need to prepare for the rest of the responsibilities that come with being a college student. I have compiled a few simple guidelines to follow that will prepare you to land the dream job you’ve always wanted. View Full Post

Party Like a Professional

Nov 30, 2017

Chad Hartmann, P.E.
Most people enjoy a refreshing adult beverage from time to time, especially when that is coupled with good company at an organizational or corporate event. Other times, it is a means to escape with your friends and relax from the stresses of the day, and to use a buzz word, manage that “work-life balance”. As such, although some of you probably think you were a professional party goer in your college days (I plead the Fifth) you haven’t had the experience of Partying Professionally. Let’s take a look at some aspects of what it means to Party Professionally.
 View Full Post

Structures - Part 2

Oct 18, 2017

Corbett Freeman, P.E.

In part one of my two-part blog series on structures, I discussed rehabilitation of structures as a cost-effective solution to prolong the life of infrastructure. By stretching our infrastructure dollars, we can do more to improve our systems and replace structures that are beyond repair at least in an economic sense. View Full Post

Being Conscious About Your Social Media Presence

Sep 07, 2016

Andrew Swynenberg, E.I.T.

By now, it's safe to accept that social media has irretrievably integrated itself into almost every aspect of our culture. It has altered the way we meet people, redefined “friendship”, and even contributed to additions to our dictionary with now commonplace words such as “selfie.” There are two primary camps that people generally find themselves in regarding their outlook on social media. The first group cringes at the thought of the impact that social media has had on our society, displeased with the thought of the extra push toward an even more superficial culture that did not exist twenty years ago. The second (and generally younger) group, views social media as a place to express themselves, share moments with their peers, and keep up with their friends. Whether you find yourself in group one, group two, or somewhere in the middle, it is important to realize that social media is continually moving toward the center of our society. As such, it is equally important to realize the positive aspects of social media and utilize it as the tool it has the potential to be. View Full Post

Subsurface Utility Engineering 101

Apr 21, 2016

Trisha D. Frederick, P.E., MBA, LEEP AP
Utility Engineer

Need to learn more about Subsurface Utility Engineering, commonly referred to as SUE?

Imagine this. You are the project manager for a roadway project. It was advertised to the public that the roadway would be done in January, and it is now June. Six months behind schedule and the project is not complete. Home and business owners are upset because of the backed up traffic, and everyone is looking to you for an answer. View Full Post

How to Ace Your Interview

Sep 08, 2015

full service engineering and surveying firm
Pacee Bean, E.I.T.

It is career fair time! Whether you are looking for an internship or a graduate position it is time to update that resume and practice for your interviews. This can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing a few tips ahead of time will help ease your nerves. This will not only bring more confidence in yourself, but the interviewer will notice. View Full Post

Benefits of Successful Team Building

Sep 02, 2015

full service engineering and surveying firm
Chad Hartmann, P.E.

Team building – does it really make a difference? YES! Why? Glad you asked. Whether you belong to a large global corporation or small shop with a handful of people, team building can prove to be a valuable component to the success of your workforce. Let’s explore some reasons why team building events should be a common part of your business.  View Full Post

Standing Out and Climbing The Ladder of Success - Young Engineers Series

Jun 22, 2015

full service engineering and surveying firm 
Guy Humphrey, P.E.

Time sure does start to fly once you leave behind the relaxed college lifestyle for a reoccurring routine in the workforce. Before you know it, one year has passed - maybe even two. You have gone through the review process, seen a raise or two, maybe received a bonus, or perhaps even a promotion in title. Those can all come just by performing the standard tasks asked of you.  View Full Post

The Importance of Getting Involved - Part 2 of our Young Engineers Series

Apr 30, 2015

 The Importance of Getting Involved Young Engineers Series
Yvonne Rivera, P.E.

As an engineer-in-training just out of college, I was under the impression that being involved in organizations was only for old engineers (or at least professional engineers). I would hear of some of the engineers going to meetings, but it seemed that it was not something I should concern myself with at the time. No one really discussed being in an organization, much less their role within that organization.  View Full Post

So You’ve Got Your BS In Engineering – Now What’s Next? (Part 1 of our Young Engineers Series)

Mar 18, 2015

You’ve Got Your BS degree In Engineering What’s Next 
Chad Hartmann, P.E.

Welcome to the first edition of real world advice from real world engineers! This blog is the beginning of a series of blogs that will provide advice to graduate engineers on various aspects of the engineering world such as advice on your first year as a graduate engineer, professional organizations, and tips to help you prepare for the PE exam. This first edition focuses on the importance of senior staff to your career development, asking the right questions, and relationships with local agencies. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the read.  View Full Post

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