Here I am, sitting at my desk, staring at a simulated blank piece of paper on a computer screen.
Blank except for the line I just wrote…and this one.
My brain is racing through thoughts as I dig deep into the back of my mind…Ok, maybe not so deep…in search of some clever little antidote or story to write. A story that will captivate you, the reader, and send you down a winding path to a poignant ending. If that is…one can be poignant about civil engineering. Never the less, a tail that is particularly penetrating and effectively relevant.
So, how do I begin? Do I use allegory, alliteration, or analogy to set the scene? Should the format be free verse or shall it be poetic with lyrical rhymes? Or maybe, I will write in iambic pentameter …Oh but that would be too much work and Shakespeare might not approve.
Perhaps I will use imagery with a few euphemisms and metaphors to convey my message. And just to keep you guessing I will throw in a double entendre and a simile or two. Oh, and I love it when I have the chance to use onomatopoeia in a story to give it that dimension of sound.
Of course I want to avoid too much hyperbole and keep that sarcasm to a minimum at best. But a parody might work very well with a little paradox and a paraprosdokian sentence or two thrown in for good measure.
There are many tools that a writer has with which to ply his (or her), craft. Knowing how to use those tools and which tools are appropriate is in a sense…art. But then isn’t everything art?
You may not realize it, and certainly, no self respecting engineer would admit to it, but civil engineering is in a sense… art. Yes, it takes artful skill to apply the scientific knowledge of the forces of nature, public safety, and constructible designs to a project. And it is even more of an art to create a design that is affordable for the owner, easily maintained, and will still stand the test of time.
For instance, to the casual observer a parking lot is a rather simple design but to an engineer, there are numerous elements at work. Beneath the surface, is a base of material that is engineered and compacted to withstand surface pressure and provide support for the pavement without shifting. The pavement is slightly sloped to prevent water from ponding and to direct rainwater away from buildings (toward the natural drainage off site). The parking lot entrances and exits are located in such a position as to allow for logical traffic movement to and from the street and designed for access by automobiles, as well as, large delivery and emergency vehicles. Parking lot striping and walkways are designed for efficient vehicle movement and pedestrian safety. Yet, as simple as a parking lot design may seem, they can be over built or under built and configured in a confusing manner, all of which can cost the owner money in construction and maintenance, as well as, the possibly of the loss of customers.
While Nevada By Design’s civil engineering may not be the preferred subject of a “Gallery Event”, you can be assured that our designs are drafted with the precision of an artist’s brush. And you don’t have to be an art critique to understand the simple and straight forward approach that we take to save you time and money both during and after construction.
At Your Service,
Craig A. Ruark, LEED AP (BD+C)