Changing Tides Changed Our Planet

With a few more weeks of summer left, you may be getting in that last trip to the beach. Everyone is familiar with the ebb and flow of the oceans as they are pulled by gravity affected by the position of the earth, sun, and moon. It’s good to know when high tide and low tide occur, so you can be sure to put your beach chair and umbrella in a dry spot!

There’s interesting new research on tides that shows that changes in the tides may have changed the history of the earth in our planet’s past. The research suggests that weak tides may have contributed to the formation of glaciers in the past, when the Earth’s land was concentrated in one supercontinent. And today, the larger tides lift the ice around the Antarctic and in Greenland and bring warm water which melts the ice on the underside.

Tides may even have played a role in evolution. When the highest tides, known as “spring tides”, occur, they often leave tidal pools disconnected from the ocean. Fish left in those pools may have eventually adapted to have fleshy limbs to help them get back to the ocean. Researchers have found that in bays with very high tidal responses, the fossil records reflect a large variety of transitional fish species. – Beth Sciaudone, Civil Water Resources & Environmental Instructor

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
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Flexible to Fit Your Schedule – Whatever It Is!

At DTC, we understand that you are a very busy person, and that finding time to prepare for the PE Exam is a big challenge. That’s why our courses are designed with maximum flexibility and effectiveness in mind – available 24/7 online, with short lessons, lots of practice, and detailed study plans. We give you the structure, you choose the schedule.

“Being nearly 20 years out of college, I was VERY intimidated to attempt the PE exam. I can say with absolute certainty that Dr. Tom’s review course was the key to my success.

I initially was planning to attend a live class offered by another company. However, sitting through 4 days in a row of 8 hour classes (for three weekends) did NOT appeal to me or fit my learning style. Tackling it at MY pace and on MY schedule (weekday lunch and evenings, weekends), focusing on solving examples, and shoring up trouble areas before progressing to new lessons was the only way I could effectively learn the material. Doing, not merely watching is the key for me. 

The organized approach (study schedule, practice problem selection, and reference binder structure) allowed me to focus on learning the content for the exam instead of wasting time trying to figure those out on my own. I was doubtful that I could get back up to speed on so many of the subjects that I spent years studying in college, but it worked!” – Brent V., PE, Houston, Texas

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
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PE EXAM TIP – Benefits of an Online Course

Live class or online course? Which is the best way to prepare for the PE Exam? Having taught both, I understand the benefits and downsides of each.

The real-time interaction of a live course with the ability to ask questions during lectures can result in a very dynamic learning experience, but it has its limitations. Everyone must move through the course at the same pace, which can leave some folks behind and slow others down. You must be available when the course is offered, which restricts you to a very rigid schedule.

Online courses that are self-paced give you maximum flexibility in scheduling your review. Available 24/7, they allow you to work through your review when it’s most convenient for you, without having to worry about missing a class. You can move at your own pace, working quickly through the topics that you know well and taking more time on those you need to review more carefully. It’s also important that your online course provides a way for your to ask questions. That is an essential component of learning that needs to be available.

Given the level of understanding required to be fully prepared for the PE Exam, the best preparation requires a significant time commitment. I’m especially wary of “crash courses.” I have found that the online courses work best to give you a comprehensive, structured and flexible way to prepare for this exam. – Dr. Tom

“After two failed attempts, I believe that Dr. Tom’s course was just what I needed to get on the right track. I found out about the course from the free YouTube videos, and I was sold on the presentation style; confident and up-beat, very unlike the other course DVDs I had purchased before. Having never taken an online course, I was initially very skeptical. After taking Dr. Tom’s course, I realize the many benefits of an online course. There is great value in being able to pause, back up watch the material multiple times if you need to do so. Because of the course, I was able to solve a difficult vibration problem with damping; the type of problem I may not have attempted otherwise. I have recommended the course to a young engineer I know who is planning to take the PE in the near future and will continue to recommend the course.”
Bill, PE, Texas

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

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Morphing Origami Improves Structures

The use of origami-based patterns in a variety of applications have improved the outcomes for solar array deployments, sounds systems, and crash protection systems. 

Glaucio Paulino and researchers from Georgia Tech have developed a new type of origami that can change from one pattern to another to optimize the structural benefits depending on the application or type of loading. According to Paulino, “This hybrid origami allows for reprogrammable mechanical properties and the ability to change those properties while the material is in service,”

These designs could have the potential to make structures lighter, stronger, and cheaper than previous designs. – Daniel Findley, DTC Civil Transportation Instructor

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

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FEATURED TESTIMONIAL – Exactly What I Needed

“I took the exam several times and even took a class, but it wasn’t until I found this online classroom that I was able to finally pass. This style and organization was exactly what I needed, not to mention I just had a baby on top of taking the course. I wish I had started with this program in the very beginning. Thank you! Thank you!!!” – Ashley Ryan Pardo, PE, Houston, TX

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
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Stronger than a Speeding Bullet

The invention of bullet-proof vests did a great deal to make our police officers and military personnel safer, but even if a vest stops a bullet, there is still a change of internal injuries from the impact. I recently read an ASME article about a new material being developed that can stop a military grade .50 caliber bullet and also absorbs 75 percent of the energy of the impact.

This innovative metal foam material is being developed by a team led by Dr. Afsaneh Rabiei, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. The material contains hollow spherical steel balls in a matrix of more steel. When sandwiched between a ceramic faceplate and an aluminum backplate, the composite weighs considerably less than the armor currently used by the military. “It has the strength, and resistance to heat, of metal, but the cushionability of Styrofoam”, says Dr. Rabiei.
 
It turns out that this material can also block neutrons and high energy radiation, and dissipate heat better than steel used as armor today. Commercializing its manufacture is now one of the big challenges facing the team. Another example of innovative engineering research with one design goal (saving lives) that could have applications in many other situations once it’s available. – Dr Tom  

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

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Mechanical Engineers! Time Is Running Out! Take the PE Exam Now!

The October 2019 Mechanical PE Exam is the very last chance you have to take the pencil-and-paper PE Exam. The three Mechanical PE Exams will covert to the year-round Computer-Based Testing (CBT) format starting in April 2020 (https://ncees.org/exams/cbt/). This change in the testing method for the PE Exam has huge consequences for anyone taking the exam.

Please read this article in which Dr. Tom has outlined the implications of the CBT exam. Here’s the bottom line up front – take the Pencil-and-Paper exam in October 2019, before it’s too late!

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

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Dr. Tom’s PE Civil Exam Strategy Starts with Choosing the Right Exam

Many of you may already know which PM Exam you will be taking, but I recommend that you view my Civil Exam Strategy – Part 1 video for the general information about the exam. I go over the exam format, and I discuss the importance of thoroughly reviewing all the areas covered in the AM exam and the review time required to obtain the 56 points needed to pass the exam. I also look at the pros and cons of choosing each of the Civil PM Exams. – Dr. Tom

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

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Jakarta Is Sinking – A Structural Nightmare

Jakarta, Indonesia is at risk of sinking into the sea, but not for the reason you may think. Though the capital city sits on the edge of the Java Sea and is susceptible to rising water levels, the government is warning development and aquifer mismanagement as the main sources of concern. High rise structures, built on top of the swampy land have been sinking due to the inability of the soil to support the heavy loads.

Additionally, despite having 13 rivers through the city, residents tend to draw drinking water from the ground because of heavy pollution leading to further compression of the soil. The government has warned that at the current rate of sinking, 95% of Jakarta could be underwater by 2050 and are moving ahead with plans to build a sea wall. – Shannon Warchol, DTC Civil Structural Instruct

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

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FEATURED TESTIMONIAL – Thumbs Up for the Fast Track!

“I thought the Fast Track Review Course was excellent. It provided the structure, practice, and review that I needed 25 years after receiving my mechanical engineering degree. I loved Dr. Tom’s teaching – his style & strategy tips made the learning process very enjoyable. The class format and hand-outs were also excellent. I  would strongly recommend it to others taking the ME PE exam.”
Joel Lemke, PE, Emerson, Chanhassen, MN

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

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