Tips for the Non-Surveyor

Have you ever been curious about surveying markouts and/or what the flags and spray paint mean?

These color codes follow a guideline suggested by the American Public Works Association (APWA). Utility markouts have 6 main colors, and can be referred to as color systems, survey flag colors, survey color codes, and other similar names. Even though there are multiple names for utility markouts, the meanings behind the color codes and what they are used for always remain the same.

The 6 main survey color codes are as follows:

  • Red is used for electric power lines;
  • Orange is used for telecommunications;
  • Green is used for sewers and drain lines;
  • Yellow is used for natural gas, oil, steam, and petroleum;
  • Purple is used for unknown utilities; and
  • Blue is used for potable water.
Image from Utility Survey US

 

 

 

 


Engineers Are Celebrated During National Engineers Week

This week is National Engineers Week!

This week-long event recognizes engineers as a central asset to our world and celebrates their “positive contributions to quality of life,” according to the National Society of Engineers.

Engineers created structures like the Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal, and even the Great Wall of China! Without engineers, these massive and impressive feats would have never come to be.

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, National Engineers Week has coincided for over 50 years with the week of President George Washington’s birthday (February 22nd) to pay homage to the nation’s first engineer. Washington was introduced to engineering at an early age, often partaking in land surveying opportunities and ultimately going on to design a country estate on a plantation he’d inherited — Mount Vernon.

Each year, DiscoverE, an organization focused on supporting and promoting growth of the engineering and technology communities, encourages children to explore the STEM community through interactive lessons, child-friendly activities, and involvement with their own local engineering communities.

Across the nation in cities like Port Jefferson, NY; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Los Angeles, California; DiscoverE hosts a series of workshops and presentations to promote the importance of engineering. Children are able to meet and speak with veteran engineers, participate in fun, educational activities, and learn about the global scale of engineered contributions.

For more information on upcoming STEM events sponsored by DiscoverE, visit http://www.discovere.org.


African-American Pioneers in Engineering You Should Know About

 

Walter Braithwaite / Seattle Times
Howard Grant / BridgeBizSTEM.wordpress.com
George Biddle Kelley / blog.adafruit.com
Elijah Mccoy / Wikipedia.org

 

February is African-American History Month. As such, it is the perfect opportunity to highlight the engineering achievements of African-Americans who, although they may have contended with racism, societal inequality, and discrimination, worked hard to overcome obstacles and accomplished great things in the field of engineering.

Walter Brathwaite, an American engineer who was born in Jamaica, was hired by Boeing in 1966. As Senior Engineer, he led the team that invented CAD systems for designing commercial Boeing aircraft. Over the years, Brathwaite rose through the ranks, eventually becoming President of Boeing Africa. When he retired in 2003, he was the highest ranking African-American executive of the company.

Howard P. Grant graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1948, making him the first African-American to graduate from the Berkeley College of Engineering. That same year, Grant also became the first known black member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He subsequently became the first African-American civil engineer for the City and County of San Francisco and the second African-American civil engineer to be licensed by California. He worked in the San Francisco water department until 1984, and also held the position of president and treasurer of the California Society of Professional Engineers.

George Biddle Kelley graduated from Cornell University's College of Civil Engineering in 1908. He went on to become the first African-American engineer registered in the state of New York. He was hired by the New York Engineering Department, where he worked on the Barge Canal, a collection of state waterways, during the 1920s.

Elijah McCoy was born in Canada in 1844 to runaway slaves who had escaped Kentucky thought the Underground Railroad. At the age of 15, he moved to Edinburgh, Scotland for an apprenticeship. There he became certified in mechanical engineering. Upon leaving Scotland, he moved to Michigan, where his family was now living. After being unable to find engineering work in Michigan because of his race, he found work as a fireman with the Michigan Central Railroad. Part of his duties included oiling the steam engine parts. Soon McCoy had invented an automatic engine lubricator, which meant that trains were no longer required to stop for lubrication. The lubrication could now occur while the train was moving. As news of the invention spread, many inventors attempted to create their own version of the automatic lubricator. However, it was soon discovered that McCoy’s invention was superior. It is said that railway engineers began requested “the real McCoy” lubricator. McCoy filed a total of almost 60 patents, including designs for an ironing board, a lawn sprinkler, and other machines.