## Free Civil Videos!

I am so proud of the amazing team of instructors we have assembled to teach our Civil PE Exam reviews. They are all passionate about teaching in addition to being very skilled their field of expertise. I have been so impressed with how they have embraced the Dr. Tom Method and have worked so diligently to create excellent lessons, problems and study plans for our exam reviews. Like me, they just love to see the light bulb go on when a student finally understands how to solve a problem.

That’s why our civil instructors are offering additional Free Civil Videos – to help people make that leap of understanding. As they come across topics in the MERM and problems on the NCEES Practice Exam that need greater clarification beyond our DTC PE Exam Review, our civil instructors are creating these videos to help folks understand them better.

Our goal is to keep adding new free videos as we come across topics that need them. The more I’ve worked with engineers and helping them prepare for the PE Exam, the more I have realized what a difference getting your PE can make in a person’s life. I get so excited when our participants pass the exam. That really is what I enjoy most about all this, helping to change people’s lives. And now I’ve got these fantastic civil instructors to help me do that for civil engineers as well.

– Dr. Tom

### NCEES Civil PE Practice Exams – Instructional Companion Videos

The goal of these videos is to address selected problems on the NCEES Practice Exams that have solutions that caused confusion with participants in our Civil Engineering PE Exam Review Courses.

DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/

Problem 119 in the NCEES Civil AM Practice Exam is a classic Geotechnical question on gravity retaining wall stability, particularly overturning stability of the wall. It is critical that you be able to solve these types of classical retaining wall problems on the PE exam because you are almost certain to see them regardless of which discipline you select for the exam. This question will help you brush up on some basic geometry, statics, and will touch on very simple soil mechanics of lateral earth pressure, which is all you really need to know to solve retaining wall problems on the AM portion of the exam. However, you need to be efficient at solving these problems quickly even if it looks like they require several steps to get to the end result. Our instructional courses at Dr. Tom’s Classroom provide the most efficient way to get to the solution for common PE exam problems just like this one. Give this problem a try and watch the video to see if you understand all of the steps to get to the end result, good luck!

DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/

Problem 135 in the NCEES Civil Practice Exam is on an AM Geotechnical topic that refers to a type of soil density test that is commonly performed in the lab called Proctor testing. We’re going to walk through why the problem gives the measurement values that it does, which should help you put this type of problem into perspective since there are no figures or diagrams provided. While soil density test calculations are not very technically complicated, they can be abstract if you aren’t familiar with the test methods so the video provides a relevant photo example that helps explain this type of density test. Give this problem a try and then watch the video to see if your assumptions about the test method and the inputs provided were correct, good luck!

DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/

We’re reviewing Civil AM: Transportation Problem 128 in the NCEES Civil Practice Exams together because we typically solve vertical curve problems to find elevations along a curve (such as the elevation at a particular point or the high/low point). The key for this problem is to recall that taking a derivative of an equation will provide the slope, so by taking the derivative of the parabolic equation and using the given information, the slope at the given point can be determined. Give it a try, then watch the video.

We’re reviewing this problem together because this involves an evaluation of traffic count data in a way that is non-typical (a single day of traffic counts is used to represent a month). The key for this problem is to read and understand the problem clearly (the NCEES improved the wording of the problem through an errata). The problem is looking for a seasonal factor that can be used to multiply the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) to arrive at an estimate of the peak or seasonal daily traffic volume.

Problem 120 in the NCEES Civil Practice Exam for Water Resources & Environmental is like many on the exam, it gives you some extraneous information. You have to be careful to read the problem and use the correct depth of flow. It’s a two part problem where you begin by using the Manning equation for flow rate to determine the flow rate in the channel, then use that rate to determine the time to discharge the given runoff volume. Watch your units, and enjoy the video!

Problem 510 is found in the PM practice exam for Water Resources and Environmental—but don’t be afraid to try it if you are just taking the AM portion as it’s a great problem to practice open channel flow computations!

### Civil PE Exam – AM Exam Instructional Companion Videos

The goal of these videos is to address tricky concepts that are important to understand if you are taking any of the Civil Engineering PE Exams.

Often when we are using statics to determine internal or external forces and moments of a member, we’ll draw dummy forces and moments on our free body diagrams. In doing this, we tend to assume the forces are positive and then flip the direction of the force or moment on the final free body diagram if the value we calculated was negative. It is important to maintain a sign convention especially as we start to explore internal forces. Without a sign convention, you can quickly find yourself at odds as you start to draw shear and moment diagrams.

This video explains the typical sign convention used for beams in flexure. We’ll cover the sign convention for internal as well as external forces and moments. Then we’ll show how maintaining a sign convention can be used to help keep your shear and moment diagrams consistent.

– Shannon Warchol, PE – DTC Civil Structural Instructor

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Understanding the information available in each view of a horizontal curve and how it relates to the key characteristics of horizontal alignment is critical in transportation engineering. In this short video, I use 3-D models to help show the three primary perspectives useful for horizontal alignment:

• plan view

• profile view

• cross-section view.

It really helps to see this in 3-D to understand the 2-D views you’ll be working with.

I hope this video helps you understand the perspective seen in each type of view better. After you watch it, let me know how this video has helped you – with your review for the PE Exam? In your college course? Passing a test?

Thanks,

Dr. Daniel Findley, PE – DTC Civil Transportation Instructor

The combination of horizontal and cross-sectional elements onto one image can be difficult to understand and interpret. In this video, we break down the key points of a horizontal curve and explain how and when the slope of the roadway changes to obtain the necessary cross slopes. Step-by-step, both the outside and inside edge of pavement elevations (relative to the centerline) are described.

– Dr. Daniel Findley

This video covers a core element of a roadway’s operation – level of service. The general topic of density is an Civil AM topic, while the application of density for measuring a freeway’s level of service spans into the Transportation PM area. Density, in terms of passenger cars in 1 mile of one lane of a freeway, is tied to the level of service that drivers experience – the higher the density of vehicles, the worse the level of service.

– Dr. Daniel Findley

### Civil PE Exam – Structural PM Exam Instructional Companion Videos

The goal of these videos is to address tricky concepts that are important to understand if you are taking the Structural Civil Engineering PE Exam.

ACI 318-11 provides us with a quick method for determining forces and moments along a concrete frame, packing a bunch of equations into just a quarter page of text. The phrases and classifications can be confusing to keep track of, but Dr. Tom’s Classroom has you covered in this video.

This video lays out an easy to follow flow chart for working through ACI 318-11’s Alternate to Frame Analysis. We’ll cover positive and negative moments as well as shear, discuss how the clear span length value changes depending on the value being calculated, and walk through the terminology in the section. This includes: end span, internal span, first internal span, spandrel, column, discontinuous end, unrestrained, integral, support, and face.

– Shannon Warchol, PE – DTC Structural Instructor