Extreme Construction

An idea of extreme construction to me would be having to build a restaurant beside and ocean that had a part that was completely submerged and enclosed so that quests could eat under the water and watch as fish swam around them. This in my opinion would take a lot of engineering so that you could get a material that could withstand the pressure of being completely under water and one that could withstand fish like sharks swimming into the side. With all this being said you would also have to think about the aspects such as weather, like when a hurricane comes. Will the underwater part be able to withstand the force of the waves and wind? This in my opinion would be a very neat process to figure out. Another thing that would have to addressed is what the plan for quests and workers would be if the bulb was to bust? What kind safety evacuation plan would they have? How many exits do you build into this under water contraption? This is why i think something like this would be an excellent example of extreme construction. It may have been done before, but the challenges of making this work would be unreal in my opinion. I would say the best course of action would be to get the whole outer shell of the bulb built then submerge it, then do whatever you need to do on the inside of it to get it ready for to come eat. My estimation is that I don’t think a project like this would take a very long time. Maybe a year or so? With all this being said this is my example of extreme construction.

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Giving is Getting

This is a very interesting topic in my opinion and I would like to start by addressing it with one statement. Anything I create is always going to be done to my fullest ability. I was taught growing up that you don’t half ass anything. With this being said I do believe that you if you really do enjoy something you have created it can be hard to part with but as long as I know someone else is going to enjoy it just as much as I do then i’m fine with that. I believe that donating something to charity is one of the best things you can do as a human. It show that you care about the world and want to give everyone and equal opportunity to enjoy something just as you did. I’ve learned through this project that it doesn’t matter to me whether i’m keeping something or not i’m still gonna work on it just as hard as if i were keeping the toy. Its a nice feeling to have know I would have brightened someones day through my hard work. I take pride in letting other people enjoy my work. The reward of donating something close to your heart is a very special one. It may be hard to let go at first but eventually the pain will ease and you will realize how much happier you made someone else’s life. The reward of knowing you made someone else happy is one that in my opinion cant be beat. It takes a real man to know that even though it may effect you in the short run. You still let someone else enjoy what is yours because it is for the betterment of society.

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Addressing The Unknown

Life is full of unknowns. I feel like one the biggest things that shapes you as a person is how you handle that unknown. This something I fell as if my parents did a good job in this area of my raising. By them doing this I have been able to handle unknowns pretty well throughout my life. I think one of the biggest things when it comes to facing an unknown is not to freak out or get flustered. This is what many people do when faced with an unknown and this is the wrong thing to do in a situation. The first thing you need to do is slow down and asses the problem. You have to find the source of the unknown and work towards fixing that problem. The next thing I do is take the first step to fix the problem after I have assessed the problem. From this point I usually can go through the unknown and fix it. One of the biggest unknowns I have been faced with in my life is whether or not I would end up going to college or not. I am the first male in my family to go to college and growing up I often asked myself if I would go or not. I broke down the unknown and decided that I had three options upon graduating high school. They were college, military, or work. I decided upon college because I knew that this would give me and my family the best quality of life. So my first step into making this happen was to get serious in school and start making better grades, so I can go to such a fine university like Virginia Tech. After I buckled down and finally got the acceptance from here it was the best feeling in my entire life. I felt so accomplished that I had faced one the biggest unknowns in my life. Throughout my life and in the construction industry I will be faced with big unknowns. Experiences like the ones I have already had will help prepare me for future unknowns.

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Career Fair Reflection Blog

This past Wednesday I attended the construction career fair. This is the second one I have attended and I feel as if it went well. Although I already have an internship this summer I would like to try to get another one with a bigger company, because the one I have now is with a smaller company back home. This career fair definitely went better than the last one in my opinion because I was able to hold better conversation with people this time around. Some of the companies I talked to were Century Concrete, Kiewit, Ruston Paving, Hilti, and Sauer. Kiewit was definitely my favorite out of these five companies. They were really easy guys to talk to and very professional. With any company that I asked if they were still giving out internships, it seemed to spark there interest with me and make them want to talk more. One thing that I did do with Sauer that made them kinda write me off was that I said I would like to try and stay close to home. They did not like that at all. Hilti was another company that I made an impression on, because I was one a few people who actually knew what kind of company that they were. Definitely realized that knowing something about the company before speaking to them helped out a lot and made conversation easier. These are my thoughts on the career fair, on what I thought worked and didn’t work for me.

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Follow that Interest

For my article I choose to write about an article I read in ENR. The article was about an app that was created for smartphones that is good at helping structural engineers making fast decisions. Normally when asked about the load capacity of a steel beam the engineer will have to go to the job site and then go to the office to check references. It is basically a long drawn out process. With this new app called I-Search created by Structrux LLC this whole process can be shortened quite significantly. The app allows the engineer to enter field measurements and search all the wide flange sections that have been produced since the 1930’s. The user can also ask the app to analyze the listed shapes for a column or beam with the specified load. Another neat part about this app is that the code is open to the public to allow for more innovative to the app. I think this app will help a lot of different people and save firms a lot of time and money. I also believe that this will lead to more innovation in many apps like this one. The world we are living in today is becoming more and more technologically advanced everyday, so I think that the switch to innovations like this will be good for the industry. I know especially as the older fellows start to retire and more young guys start taking over the industry that the total switch to technology will be inevitable. This my thoughts on not only this app but on how I believe that technology is going to affect to industry as a whole. Provided below is a photo of what the app looks like when running on your smartphone.

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Periodicals

 

The first periodical that I happened to lay my eyes on the Concrete Construction. The reason why I happened to look at this one first was probably because my mom works for one of the biggest concrete suppliers in my area, which is Permatile Concrete. Concrete Construction had a lot of good articles on many aspects of the industry such as a world record concrete pour in Los Angeles. It also had others about new standards in the industry and about new drainage and insulation systems. I enjoyed reading this periodical mainly because I do know a little bit about the concrete industry from hanging around my mom’s office. It was also to read about all the new things in the industry as well.

 

The second periodical I found was Preservation. Preservation is a periodical about preserving historical architecture. I enjoyed this because I think history is cool in general and enjoy visiting these amazing works of art. An article I enjoyed from this magazine was Traveling Through Texas Hill Country. This article was about the historical architecture of the hill country of Texas, which is right outside of San Antonio. It also talked briefly about the  diversity of wildlife there. This really interested me because not only do I love history, but I love wildlife just as much. So pretty much if you enjoy ancient architecture and want to hear about the efforts people are making to preserve it, then Preservation is the periodical for you.

 

Finally for the third periodical I chose Engineering News Record or ENR. ENR was a very diverse periodical covering a lot of aspects in the construction industry. It has articles about the most up to date developments in the industry. An article in enjoyed which is one I got off the online site was one about a Russian company doubling its orders for nuclear power plants. ENR like I said is very diverse with information. Which is why I think this periodical would appeal to a large audience. This a good overall periodical in my opinion for anyone interested in the construction/engineering industry.

 

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The Way I learn

After reading everything and listening to the videos and taking the survey I learned that I am a visual learner. I have always known this though through experiences in the past. Growing up with a father who is very good with working with his hands you learn a lot of stuff that can be useful in your life. Things such as change the blade on a chainsaw or the break pads on a car. Once my dad would show me things like this I was expected to know how to do them by myself from that point on so I learned how to remember things. I carried this mentality into school with me and it usually works very well for me. I remember one time my chemistry teacher in high school showed us a multiple step formula for making a solution and then asked us to go ahead and do it ourselves. Just a few minutes after everyone split up and started working on it hands started flying up and was just thinking wow I must be a very visual learner because I can remember this like its nothing. I also get a lot of use out of writing things down so I can see them. I have always kept a calender of what I have due on each day of the week my entire school career. Also I have realized that watching a video on something or demonstration is best way to keep me focused and have my attention. Doing all these exercises has helped me reassure that I am a visual learner. All three things were very good in my opinion and will hopefully help someone who is struggling with studying or learning find there way.

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While participating in the safety game the question that arose was will safety reduce productivity. We demonstrated this by having to flip a tarp over without stepping off of it and also avoid various hazards being thrown at us. My group was able to solve the problem by using teamwork and communication. Some factors that were to be considered moving forward is how to avoid the obstacles when communication was not allowed. We had to trust each other when communication was not allowed making the team stronger. Some of the strategies that my team used to maximize our efficiency was we had one person on ball lookout or hazard look out. This allowed everyone feel comfortable with focusing on the task and not having to worry about hazards. Another that we used was we pulled the tarp straight to us in the middle then all switched over to the side that we pulled to us and pulled the remainder of the tarp out from under us and used our feet to scoot it into position. By sticking to these two techniques my team was able to get under one minute all but two times. We never really had to use another other technique because ours worked so efficiently but another way i thought we could have done this was add another person to ball watch. One person worked most of the time but sometimes they would fail to see a ball causing a delay for the team. With two people on ball watch you would have plenty of eyes to spot hazards. Through this exercise I learned that safety does not decrease productivity. If you take the proper steps to prevent hazards on the job site you will be able maintain productivity. If you do not take the proper steps you will plagued with delays that will cause problems throughout the whole project.

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In this Little Princes you go on a journey with the author Conor Grennan to the mountain nation of Nepal. While in Nepal a civil war broke out amongst the country. During the war child traffickers would come into villages and tell the parents that they would take their children to the capital where they would be safe and put them in school. These people would pay the traffickers all the money they had so their children would be safe but then they would never see their children again. The traffickers would forge death certificates of the kidnapped children parents and put them up for adoption and Americans would unknowingly adopt these kids and pay these traffickers thousands of dollars a month. When Grennan found out about all of this, he started his organization Next Generation Nepal. Which was an organization that reunited these children with their families. His organization was responsible for reuniting almost 500 children with their families. Through his experience in Nepal, Conor was able to really realize how important children are to their parents. Allowing him to realize how good he has it in America with his family and to not take anything for granted. These children taught him that no matter how bad the world around you can get, you just have to never give up. These children were put into terrible situations no by their will and just kept on trucking and made through to the other side back with their families thanks to Next Generation Nepal. Some of the lessons I took away from this book where that this world can be a very mean and unforgiving world. Another lesson I learned from this book is that never take anything for granted. Living in America we take a lot things for granted and don’t even realize it. Like for example we don’t think twice about being thankful for waking up and taking a hot shower. Some of the children in Nepal couldn’t even find water to drink and would be wondering around on the streets when they were three and four years old. If someone in America saw a three or four year old in the street wondering around looking for food and water, they would immediately approach this child and take care of them. But in Nepal these children were left to fend for themselves at such young ages. A similar experience that I have had to one of Grennan was when I helped a neighboring town to my hometown recover from a tornado. I first drove through the area the morning after the tornado rolled through and saw some of the worst images I have ever seen. The one that stands out the most was someone crying outside their house as it was destroyed. These people were helpless and our community came together to restore this town. I personally worked for two days straight cutting up trees that had fallen in yards and on top of houses. No one ever asked for anything in return for their services because it was something that just had to be done. 

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My goal for my career in construction is going to be to make an impact on the community that I am living. I want to be able to look around the town or city as I drive through and see people using the buildings that I helped construct for their homes, business’s, and etc… and I would like to do all of this by owning my own residential/commercial construction company. I would like to build up one of the biggest residential/commercial construction companies west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I want to be able to build quality homes and businesses for the hard working people of the Appalachian Mountains specifically in Southwest Virginia. Being from this area another thing I have always noticed when I go to other areas of the nation is how nice and new their schools can be. The schools where I am from are all old and frankly out dated in a lot of ways. So I would like to be able to build schools for this area as well.  I understand that money is an issue as well for my area so I want to be able to deliver quality work within a reasonable price range. Another thing I would like to do is recently where I am from has gotten several big commercial buildings be constructed such as a Bass Pro Shop and a Cabela’s. With these buildings being built my area has gained attention from over big company’s about putting a commercial building in our area and I would like to possibly be the company that builds these buildings. What I have described in this blog is what I would like to do with my career in the construction industry. I really just want to make an impact on my community that I know is one of the poorer areas of the country and be able to build them buildings that will last several lifetimes.

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