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Category: Civil Engineering

Batman’s Gotham City provides test case for community resilience model

A map of Gotham City is laid out in a Finite Element Analysis grid. The grid shows how stresses to different lifelines affect various parts of the city.  Credit: Colorado State University If a community is resilient, it can withstand and recover from an unanticipated disaster, like an earthquake, fire or flood. But since every disaster and every community is unique, a uniform measure for defining “resilience” has been hard to come by for engineers and social scientists. In…

Selecting a Cloud Provider – Code as Craft

Etsy.com and most of our related services have been hosted in self-managed data centers since the first Etsy site was launched in 2005. Earlier this year, we decided to evaluate migrating everything to a cloud hosting solution. The decision to run our own hardware in data centers was the right decision at the time, but infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) offerings have changed dramatically in the intervening years. It was time to reevaluate our…

Architects of Infrastructure: Meet Uber Aarhus Engineering

In January 2014, Uber opened its first remote engineering office in Aarhus, Denmark. Located in the Clemensbourg district of the city, Uber Aarhus Engineering has grown from 5 to 50 engineers, all focused on scaling our core infrastructure for 24/7/365 availability worldwide. The office serves two major areas core to Uber’s tech stack—storage and compute: The Storage Platform Team: Ensuring that petabytes of data are available and elastically scalable is the main challenge tackled by the Storage Platform Team. Our…

The Washington State Derailment and Positive Train Control

After more than a decade of planning and construction, a new section of track was opened for Amtrak passenger service south of Tacoma, Washington on Dec. 18, 2017.  The old route that Amtrak trains used to take went northwest from Tacoma along the coast of Puget Sound, around a peninsula named Point Defiance, and then down the coastline several miles until it crossed Interstate 5 south of the small town of DuPont and headed south inland.  The new shorter route…

The inflatable bridge

The concrete dome, which is then cut on both ends, creating a bridge. Credit: Vienna University of Technology A wildlife crossing over the upcoming Koralm railway is being built using a new construction technique developed by TU Wien. Traditional support structures are replaced by an air cushion. The shell construction methods which are usually used to build bridges and domes generally rely on expensive support structures. However, a team of engineers from TU Wien have now developed a new technique…

Capstone cultivates creativity in solving real-world problems

Mizzou Engineering puts a twist on its capstone courses, frequently partnering with outside clients to give students the opportunity to tackle real-world problems. One group worked with the City of Columbia on its sustainability efforts. University of Missouri capstone courses are the culmination of years of undergraduate education, a chance for graduating seniors to bring the fruits of their labor to bear in one final course. Mizzou Engineering puts a twist on its capstone courses, frequently partnering with outside clients…

The Statistical Modeling System Powering LinkedIn Salary

Introduction For most job seekers, salary (or, more broadly, compensation) is a crucial consideration in choosing a new job opportunity. Indeed, more candidates (74%) want to see salary information compared to any other feature in a job posting, according to a survey of over 5,000 job seekers in the United States and Canada. At the same time, job seekers face challenges in learning the salaries associated with different jobs, given the dearth of reliable sources containing compensation data. The LinkedIn…

AI insights could help reduce injuries in construction industry

Artificial intelligence (AI) is giving researchers at the University of Waterloo new insights to help reduce wear-and-tear injuries and boost the productivity of skilled construction workers. Studies using motion sensors and AI software have revealed expert bricklayers use previously unidentified techniques to limit the loads on their joints, knowledge that can now be passed on to apprentices in training programs. “The people in skilled trades learn or acquire a kind of physical wisdom that they can’t even articulate,” said…

Project Falco joins SONiC Community (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud)

The Production Engineering team at LinkedIn quickly recognized the value that SONiC and its open source community would bring as the network operating system for our Project Altair-defined architecture data center fabric. As discussed in earlier blog posts, our requirements for a switching platform are to be one that allows us to be more flexible in our system design choices, while abstracting away complexity. We ensure this flexibility through a set of predefined criteria: Run our silicon of choice on…

Automating Your Oncall: Open Sourcing Fossor and Ascii Etch

One of our sayings in Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is that the goal of your job is to “automate yourself out of the job.” While some may have concerns of being replaced by robots, SRE’s see the value of automating work. It opens up time, removes tedious or repetitive tasks from a workflow, and allows our engineers to spend their valuable time on more complex issues. Used properly, automation opens the door for us to do more thorough investigations of…