Skid Resistance Prediction Model

DTC Civil Transportation engineering instructor, Dr. Daniel Findley, recently co-authored a journal article in the Construction and Building Materials Journal that explores methods to predict pavement quality. Specifically, the research predicts the available minimum skid resistance in the road network of Biscay (Spain) with data collected in the summer season when friction values are at a minimum.

Firstly, it was observed that the pavement structure does not influence skid resistance. Therefore, roadway segments with available data about the surface layer of single or double carriageway roads were analyzed.

Two models were developed: 1) short model with only the surface material, average annual daily traffic, and the number of lanes (no pavement history required) and 2) a long model which adds the required Polished Stone Value to improve the prediction. These models can help road agencies to identify the roads where lower skid resistance values are more probable to be obtained to focus their attention and efforts.

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Pay-As-You-Go and Start for Only $50

With our Pay-As-You-Go option, you can now try out our courses for only $50 before you buy the remaining course modules. We’re so sure you’ll like what you see that there’s no obligation beyond your initial purchase. Just buy the next course module when you’re ready for it – a nice way to spread out the cost.

“Just finished the intro and it was great! I was skeptical about subscribing to anything and was planning on tackling it solo, but but I’m certainly going to subscribe to Dr. Tom’s now.” – New DTC Participant

At DTC, we realize that the uncertainty of these times makes embarking on preparation for the PE Exam even more daunting than usual. That’s why we’ve committed to flexible payment options. We want to make it as stress free and affordable as possible for you to get started on your way to becoming a PE.

We are all in this together, and we hope these flexible payment options will be helpful. Please stay safe out there!

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Civil PE Exam Tip – Take the Exam Before the CBT Conversion in 2023

The five Civil PE Exams are scheduled to convert to the year-round Computer-Based Testing (CBT) format starting in 2023. This change in the testing method for the PE Exam has huge consequences for anyone taking the exam. To help you understand how this will affect you, I have outlined the implications of the CBT exam in my Change Is Coming article on the DTC Website.
 
Here’s the bottom line up front – Civil Engineers, take the Pencil-and-Paper exam before it’s too late.

The most significant consequence of the CBT exam format for examinees of the PE Exam is that no personal reference materials will be allowed into the exam facility. The only reference that will be available to you during the exam is a searchable PDF of the Reference Handbook, sharing half the 24-inch computer screen with the PE Exam itself.

The PE Civil Reference Handbook is not yet available, but if the Mechanical handbook is any reference, it’s going to be lengthy. The PE Mechanical Reference Handbook is over 500 pages. With five disciplines in Civil, I anticipate that the Civil Handbook will be even longer. Let that sink in. Think about how that limits your ability to prepare for this exam and what it means to have only one, generic, on-screen reference to help you solve problems during the exam.

It is clear to me that the most viable response to this change is to take the Civil PE Exam before this transition takes place. That means only a handful more exam-taking opportunities. Change is indeed coming. – Dr. Tom

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Old Machines with New Brains

excavators and bulldozers working at sunset

As the shortage in skilled workers continues to compound, it will be interesting to see the innovative ways the construction industry finds to move forward with automation and other similar technologies to help fill the gap. Here’s an interesting article on how Built Robotics is automating existing construction machinery. – Jason Savage, DTC Civil Construction Instructor

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Our First CBT Thermal & Fluid Systems PE Exam Pass!

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We’re jumping for joy again at DTC. We heard this week from the first of our Thermal & Fluid Systems participants to take the new CBT Mechanical Exam, and they passed!

“I took the Mechanical TFS CBT exam and I received a passing result. Towards the end of 2019, when I learned that my current career may have hit a roadblock and I needed to do something about it, I wasn’t sure where to start. I reached out to a coworker who is a former DTC student. He referred me to Dr. Tom’s Classroom, and I can’t thank him enough for it.

Almost 17 years after getting my graduate degree, very skeptical about my current learning abilities and not knowing what to expect, I began the course in late January 2020 and gradually worked my way through the 20 weeks of coursework. Having to learn just about every single Mechanical Engineering concept from scratch, I felt that the course seemed very tailor-made for someone like me.

There were lessons and subjects that I enjoyed and some that I didn’t care much for, but Dr. Tom made sure everything was broken down and simplified for anyone to comprehend. Also very helpful, was the reference handbook companion and not to mention the challenge problems and weekly quizzes. I also liked the fact that Dr. Tom didn’t sugarcoat anything and made it very clear that just enrolling in his class wasn’t going to be good enough and one had to put in the effort to make it through.

I can proudly say today, “The DTC TFS Course was most definitely well worth it.” I also want to thank the support folks at DTC for your timely responses and being super helpful over the past several weeks! Thank you all for doing what you do to help students like me achieve something that felt unachievable otherwise.” – R. Balasubramaniam, Houston, Texas

Dr. Tom and the DTC Team have worked tirelessly for the last two years to develop and implement the new Dr. Tom Method for the CBT exam. It required a complete overhaul of our courses. We knew that we had a winning method, but we are thrilled to have our confidence validated by our first participants.

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Need Quick Timber Calculations? There’s an App

multi-story building under construction using timber

Engineers often turn to back-of-the-envelope calculations to answer quick, conceptual questions, but even these easy equations can get tiresome. There is a new online tool for timber designers to help alleviate the repetitiveness of this work. Fast + Epp Structural Engineers released the free tool hoping it will help push the industry to consider timber for more structures. 
– Shannon Warchol, DTC Civil Structural Instructor

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Achieve Your Extraordinary. Become a PE.

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You have achieved a lot in your career as an engineer, but you know that you are capable of more. Getting your P.E. license will open up a world of possibilities for you to achieve the extraordinary. And we can help you make those possibilities a reality with our 20-Week Reviews for the Civil and Mechanical PE Exams and our comprehensive plan to prepare you to pass the exam.

To help get you started on the path to greatness, we now offer flexible payment options, lower prices, and longer access. We want to make becoming a PE as stress free and affordable as possible for you.

With our new Test Drive option and our Pay-As-You-Go option, you can now try out our courses for only $50 before you buy the full course, and there’s no obligation beyond your initial purchase. Then pay for the rest all at once and save or spread those payments out. You can save even more if you Pay Up Front.

Professional Engineers are changing our world for the better every day with amazing achievements. We can’t wait to see what you will do with your PE!

“Dr. Tom’s 20-Week Review provided the structure and the solid foundation I needed to pass the PE exam. The quality materials provided, exam day strategies, and the confidence I have in Dr. Tom’s program makes it easy for me to recommend Dr. Tom’s Classroom to others preparing for the PE exam. Thanks for getting me over the hump and helping me to accomplish a major goal of mine!”  – Clint A., P.E., Tulsa, Oklahoma

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PENCIL & PAPER PE EXAM TIP – Have Organized, Familiar References

With the calendar counting down to the last Civil pencil-and-paper PE Exam in October 2022, there’s still time benefit from one of the key advantages of this exam format – that you can take whatever references you want into the exam.

The process of assembling the reference materials to take into the exam is a vital part of your preparation, that is why I made it one of the cornerstones of the Dr. Tom Method we use in our Civil PE Exam Review courses. Deciding what to take and preparing your references for easy access to information, requires much thought, resulting in better retention of that information. I have seen this consistently in many years helping engineers to pass the PE Exam. The more effort our students put into preparing and organizing their references, the better they do on the exam.

How you organize them is your personal choice, but I recommend that you use a system that groups all information on a single topic together in one easily accessible location. You want to eliminate lots of searching through multiple references as much as possible. What’s most important is that you are familiar with your references and know where to find what you need quickly.

Beyond the exam, the materials you generate in preparing for the PE Exam are also materials you can use once you become a licensed professional engineer. You be able to enter the exam with the sense of confidence and accomplishment that you had collected, created and brought to the exam the materials that you needed to succeed, and leave with a wealth of materials you can use in your life as a PE.

There is clearly an advantage in preparing for and taking the PE Exam with materials you gather and create yourself, as well as great reward in passing the PE Exam knowing you were the one who compiled the reference materials. And for these reasons alone, my advice is to take and pass the PE exam now, before the change takes place! – Dr. Tom

“I participated in the 20-Week Review class for the Civil: Water Resources and Environmental exam. All of the hours put into studying and developing the materials following the Dr. Tom method paid off as I passed the Exam. Taking the 20 weeks to absorb the material and develop organized references I believe was also critical to my success. I will recommend anyone taking the test in the future to use the Dr. Tom courses, they were worth both my monetary and time investments.” – Chris Bakey, PE, Cochranville, PA

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New Robots Help Disinfect High-risk Areas

ultraviolet robot cleaner in hospital room

Even before the novel coronavirus outbreak, researchers have been studying ways to reduce acquired infections in group settings like elder care. A TIME story features a team of researchers from Ireland that has developed a robot equipped with ultraviolet light to kill harmful pathogens, yet be safe for use alongside residents.  They named the new robot Violet, and are working on testing its capability. Other companies are working on implementing similar technologies. UVD Robots, from Denmark, is already in production and shipping disinfecting robots to hospitals. This technology is sure to help control future outbreaks of infectious disease and keep more people safe—a perfect use for robot technology. – Beth Sciaudone, DTC Civil Water Resources & Environmental Instructor

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