Category Archives: Civil Engineering Education

Why Left Handed People Are Cooler and Smarter Than Right Handed People

Left handed people smarter trevor millican

My name is Trevor Millican and I am left handed.  This implies that I do just about everything with my left hand.  The only duties that I perform with my right hand are: using a mouse, and playing a guitar.  I use my right hand for those because everybody in my six-person family is right handed except for my older sister.  Therefore, all guitars and computer mice in the home were designed for right-handed people.

According to an article on the American Psychological Association’s website, approximately 8%-15% of human beings on planet Earth are left handed.  It is widely thought that a person who is left handed will typically and predominantly utilize the right hemisphere of their brain.  According to an article on, “The right brain is the creative brain, and is responsible for rhythm, spatial awareness, color, imagination, daydreaming, holistic awareness and dimension”.   So, if left-handed people have cerebral dominance in their right hemisphere, they will be cooler than people who are right handed and predominantly utilize the left hemisphere of their brain.  Now, the left hemisphere of the brain is known to be responsible for all things logical.  This includes sequential thought process, reasoning, rationale, and etc.


Here are some of the most amazing left-handed people in history:

Left handed people smarter trevor millican



Edward Norton – Engineering: If You’re Not Tired, You’re Not Doing It Right


Yes – engineers can talk about engineering.

Edward Norton – Engineering If You’re Not Tired, You’re Not Doing It Right


The Traffic Signal Modification Process

Red, yellow, and green are three colors that engineers cannot forget when preparing design plans for a roadway widening project.  Almost every roadway widening project – when the widening extends through an intersection or multiple intersections – requires one or more traffic signal modifications.  Signal modifications are required due to new curb locations which require new pole locations.  With new pole locations come new signal head locations since the signal heads need to line up properly with the traffic lanes.

Traffic Signal Modification

This article will explore the process of designing and constructing traffic signal modifications.

There are several steps involved in preparing a traffic signal modification plan and constructing the traffic signal modifications.  These steps are as follows:

  1. Prepare an accurate base map

Preparing an accurate base map is key to ensuring that there are no issues during construction and thus no contract change orders requested by the Contractor.  Key components of preparing an accurate base map for a traffic signal modification plan include:

  • Measure existing mast arm lengths
  • Determine location of existing signal heads
  • Determine location of existing traffic signal poles relative to existing curb returns

2.  Construct new traffic signal poles in locations that the existing traffic signal can remain in operation at all times.  Cover new traffic signal heads to avoid driver confusion

The photo below shows the construction of a traffic signal at the Jamboree Road and Michelle Drive intersection in Irvine, California.  The photo below shows an existing traffic signal fixture in operation with the new, unactivated traffic signal fixture behind it.

Traffic Signal Modification

When the new traffic signal equipment is installed, tested, and is ready for full operation, the old traffic signal equipment will be removed.  The new traffic signal equipment is activated, and the traffic signal modification is complete.  Well, almost.

Lastly, the traffic signal timing will be adjusted according to observation of the new traffic signal in action.



Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Definition for Engineering and Infrastructure Transportation Projects in California

Public-Private Partnerships – better known as P3 – are hitting the planning and engineering world by storm.  P3s occur when private investors play a role in public works projects.  Typical P3 projects include: transit, highway, and air transportation projects.

P3 is not a new concept.  In fact, many projects on the east coast and mid-west United States

California Professional Engineer’s Exam (PE Exam) Fees Increased to $800+ from $275. Computer Based Testing Implemented.

California PE Exam Fees - Revised October 2012

This news should help you find the will to thoroughly prepare for the Professional Engineer’s Exam:

Registration and test center fees for the California Professional Engineer’s Exam starting October 2012 will be in excess of 800 US Dollars for the 8-hour, Seismic Principles and Engineering Surveying exams.

This news comes just months after the Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors gaffed and printed Seismic Principles problems in the Engineering Surveying test booklets in the April 2012 exam and were forced to cancel the Engineering Surveying exams statewide.  Read the horror stories on the Engineer Boards Forum.

If a fee hike and a major test booklet gaffe aren’t enough, there’s more – the Seismic Principles and Engineering Surveying exams are now offered exclusively at Prometric Computer-Based Test Sites.  Examinees pay a fee to Prometric to take the exams anytime during a three week window.  Ok, ok, this isn’t so bad, in fact there are a good amount of pros associated with this method of testing.  First pro is that you can take the exams at the Prometric nearest you.  The second is that you can take the exams during the three-week window – you can even register for a specific date and change it with a few weeks of advance notice.

Do you think that the fee increases will encourage examinees to be more diligent in their preparation for the exams?

California PE Exam Fees - Revised October 2012

California PE Exam Fees – Revised October 2012 – taken from CA Pels

Civil Engineering Reference Manual 12th Edition by Charles Lindeburg – All You Need for 8 Hour PE Exam

Civil Engineering Reference Manual 12th Edition

I passed the 8-hour PE Examination first try using the Civil Engineering Reference Manual (CERM).

Morning (breadth) exam – There were problems that came directly out of the CERM.

Afternoon (depth) exam – Many of the problems were supported strongly by the CERM.  I also used the NCEES sample exams for Transportation.

The PE exam is a very simple endeavor if you put the time into it.  I studied daily for about an hour, with a few hours extra on weekends.  Don’t use too many reference manuals, just get the CERM and buckle down.

Civil Engineering Reference Manual 12th Edition

Civil Engineering Reference Manual 12th Edition