Engineer (by Default) Emily Warren Roebling

Brooklyn bridge engineer

Emily Warren Roebling (September 23, 1843 – February 28, 1903) is known for her contribution to the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband Washington Roebling developed caisson disease (a.k.a. decompression disease). Her husband was a civil engineer and the chief engineer during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Emily Roebling

Engineer (by Default) Emily Warren Roebling: Early Life

Emily was born to Sylvanus and Phebe Warren at Cold Spring, New York, on September 23, 1843. She was the second youngest of twelve children. Emily’s interest in pursuing education was supported by her older brother Gouverneur K. Warren. The two siblings always held a close relationship. She attended school at the Georgetown Visitation Academy in Washington DC.

In 1864, during the American Civil War, Emily visited her brother, who was commanding the Fifth Army Corps (a.k.a. V Corps), at his headquarters. At a solider’s ball that she attended during the visit, she became acquainted with Washington Roebling, the son of Brooklyn Bridge designer John A. Roebling, who was a civil engineer serving on Gouverneur Warren’s staff. Emily and Washington married in a dual wedding ceremony (alongside another Warren sibling) in Cold Spring on January 18, 1865.

As John Roebling was starting his preliminary work on the Brooklyn Bridge, the newlyweds went to Europe to study the use of caissons for the bridge. In November 1867, Emily gave birth to the couple’s only child, John A. Roebling II, while living in Germany.

Engineer (by Default) Emily Warren Roebling: Brooklyn Bridge

On their return from their European studies, Washington’s father died of tetanus following an accident at the bridge site, and Washington took charge of the Brooklyn Bridge’s construction as chief engineer.  As he immersed himself in the project, Washington developed decompression sickness, which was known at the time as “caisson disease”.  It affected him so badly that he became bed-ridden.

As the only person to visit her husband during his sickness, Emily was to relay information from Washington to his assistants and report the progress of work on the bridge. She developed an extensive knowledge of strength of materials, stress analysis, cable construction, and calculating catenary curves through Washington’s teachings. Emily’s knowledge was complemented by her prior interest in and study of the bridge’s construction upon her husband’s appointment to chief engineer. For the decade after Washington took to his sick bed, Emily’s dedication to the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge was unyielding. She took over much of the chief engineer duties, including day-to-day supervision and project management. Emily and her husband jointly planned the bridge’s continued construction. She dealt with politicians, competing engineers, and all those associated with the work on the bridge to the point where people believed she was behind the bridge’s design.

In 1882, Washington’s title of chief engineer was in jeopardy because of his sickness. In order to allow him to retain his title, Emily went to gatherings of engineers and politicians to defend her husband. To the Roeblings’ relief, the politicians responded well to Emily’s speeches, and Washington was permitted to remain chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883. In advance of the official opening, carrying a rooster as a sign of victory, Emily Roebling was the first to cross the bridge by carriage. At the opening ceremony, Emily was honored in a speech by Abram Stevens Hewitt, who said that the bridge was

…an everlasting monument to the sacrificing devotion of a woman and of her capacity for that higher education from which she has been too long disbarred.

Engineer (by Default) Emily Warren Roebling: Later Life

Upon completion of her work on the Brooklyn Bridge, Emily invested her time in several women’s causes including Committee on Statistics of the New Jersey Board of Lady Managers for the World’s Colombian Exposition, Committee of Sorosis, Daughters of the American Revolution, George Washington Memorial Association, and Evelyn College.  This occurred when the Roebling family moved to Trenton, New Jersey. Emily also participated in social organizations such as the Relief Society during the Spanish–American War. She traveled widely—in 1896 she was presented to Queen Victoria, and she was in Russia for the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II.  She also continued her education and received a law certificate from New York University.

Engineer (by Default) Emily Warren Roebling: Tributes

Roebling is also known for an influential essay she authored, “A Wife’s Disabilities,” which won wide acclaim and awards. In the essay, she argued for greater women’s rights and railed against discriminatory practices targeted at women. Until her death on February 28, 1903, she spent her remaining time with her family and kept socially and mentally active.


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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

Women in Industry – Kim Reynolds Warehouse Associate

Kim

Kim Reynolds is our dedicated, hardworking shipper/receiver at our Dartmouth location. We sat down with her to find out more about her and how she decided a career in Shipping was her calling.

Tell us about yourself:

Kim: I was born in Windsor Nova Scotia but grew up in Centre Rawdon. I remember spending a lot of time visiting my grandparents who lived two houses up from us. It was lovely having family so close. We used to have a hobby farm with goats, chickens, pigs and ducks. We also were lucky enough to have two big gardens and a small strawberry patch. Back then money was tight, so we were self-sufficient and grew our own food and harvested our own milk from the goats.

When I turned 16 my parents sold the house and we moved to the Annapolis Valley. It was a shock to the system living in a town having been so used to country living.

I finished my final school years at Kingstec Community College, back then they had grade 10-12 mixed with the college. The year I graduated, was the last time they were mixed, and it reverted to being solely a Community College.

What was your work experience before Hercules?

My work experience is many and varied before joining Hercules. My parents were unable to assist with further education and not wanting to have a large student loan hanging over me I went to out to work full time and took evening and online courses.

I started working when I was 13 and that includes Babysitter, Farm Hand, House Cleaner, Bakery Assistant, Chicken Plant Worker, Infantry Woman and Shipper/Receiver.

What made you decided to work for Hercules?Kim-2

Kim: Having seen the job posting and knowing they were looking for a Warehouse Associate, I did some research on the company and decided it was a good fit, not only with my past work experience but with the company’s values and opportunities it offers for progression. The people are great and working at Hercules is like having an extended family.

Management are very supportive, especially during busy periods, if I need a hand, they roll their sleeves up and muck in, asking what they can do to help. This is the first job where I have ever experienced that happen. This really shows they care about their employees and is just one of the many reasons I enjoy working for Hercules. Everyone is part of the team, looking to play their part in the best way possible.

What challenges do you face on a daily basis?

Kim: Every day is different; in the warehouse we face many different challenges. Organization is key! With so many deliveries coming in, orders to be picked, making sure everything is shipped out on time and emails are answered, multitasking is a must.

Hercules is a safety company. How do you ensure you work safe?

Kim: Every morning I always ensure I wear my correct Personal Protection Equipment. I start the day by doing a forklift check to make sure it is safe to use. When I need to lift boxes that are too heavy I always ask for assistance.

What are your aspirations and goals within the company?

Kim: When I started with Hercules, I knew I wanted progress within the company. I really enjoy my current role but am looking to spread my wings and further my potential in other departments as and when the opportunity presents itself.

What are your passions outside of work?

Kim: When I am note at work you will find me cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I love to bake and enjoy the simple pleasures in life such as spending time with my family and making memories.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.

Stopping the Drop – Pioneer, Elisha Graves Otis

Elisha-OTIS-1854-Platform

Elisha Graves Otis (August 3, 1811 – April 8, 1861) was an American industrialist, founder of the Otis Elevator Company and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails.

Otis

Early years

Otis was born in Halifax, Vermont, to Stephen Otis and Phoebe Glynn. He moved away from home at the age of 19, eventually settling in Troy, New York, where he lived for five years employed as a wagon driver. In 1834, he married and went on to have two children, Charles and Norton. Later that year, Otis suffered a terrible case of pneumonia which nearly killed him, but he earned enough money to move his wife and three-year-old son to the Vermont Hills on the Green River.

He designed and built his own grist mill, but did not earn enough money from it, so he converted it into a saw mill, hoping for better results, but sadly it still didn’t attract customers. Now having a second son and needing to support his family, he started building wagons and carriages. His wife later died, leaving Otis with two sons, one at that time being age 8 and the other still in diapers.

Success and setback

At 34 years old and hoping for a fresh start, he re-married and moved to Albany, New York. He worked as a doll maker for Otis Tingely. Skilled as a craftsman and tired of working all day to make only twelve toys, he invented and patented a robot turner. It could produce bedsteads four times as fast as could be done manually (about fifty a day). His boss gave him a $500 bonus. Otis then moved into his own business. At his leased building, he started designing a safety brake that could stop trains instantly as well as an automatic bread baking oven.

He was put out of business when the stream he was using for a power supply was diverted by the city of Albany to be used for its fresh water supply. In 1851, having no more use for Albany, he first moved to Bergen City, New Jersey (now part of Jersey City) to work as a mechanic, then to Yonkers, New York, as a manager of an abandoned saw mill which he was supposed to convert into a bedstead factory.

Lasting success

At the age of 40, while he was cleaning up the factory, he wondered how he could get all the old debris up to the upper levels of the factory. He had heard of hoisting platforms, but these often broke, and he was unwilling to take the risks. He and his sons, who were also tinkerers, designed their own “safety elevator” and tested it successfully. He initially thought so little of it he neither patented it nor requested a bonus from his superiors for it, nor did he try to sell it. After having made several sales, and after the bedstead factory declined, Otis took the opportunity to make an elevator company out of it, initially called Union Elevator Works and later Otis Brothers & Co.

No orders came to him over the next several months, but soon after, the 1853 New York World’s Fair offered a great chance at publicity. At the New York Crystal Palace,

Otis amazed a crowd when he ordered the only rope holding the platform on which he was standing cut.

Elisha_OTIS_1854
Otis free-fall safety demonstration in 1854

The rope was severed by an axeman, and the platform fell only a few inches before coming to a halt. The safety locking mechanism had worked, and people gained greater willingness to ride in traction elevators; these elevators quickly became the type in most common usage and helped make present day skyscrapers possible.

Otis Elevator Shackle
“Otis Elevator Co. Shackle,” ICS Reference Library (1902).

After the World’s Fair, Otis received continuous orders, doubling each year. He developed different types of engines, like a three-way steam valve engine, which could transition the elevator between up to down and stop it rapidly.

Last years and death

In his spare time, he designed and experimented with his old designs of bread-baking ovens and train brakes, and patented a steam plow in 1857, a rotary oven in 1858, and, with Charles, the oscillating steam engine in 1860. Otis contracted diphtheria and died on April 8, 1861 at age 49.

Ref: Wikipedia

 

 

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

10 Construction Industry Trends 2018/19

Construction-Trends

Keeping on top of new and emerging trends in the construction industry not only helps keep your company from falling behind, but it helps you prepare for the future. This year has been an interesting year, with many changes to supply routes and technology. With the continuing growth and evolution of the construction industry, companies must stay up-to-date if they want to remain competitive. Here are 10 construction industry trends in 2018 that will carry into 2019.

Technology Advancements and Integration

The construction industry has been notoriously slow to jump into technology; however, this is a construction industry trend that isn’t going away. Construction project management software is getting better and better with more features. Many project management solutions are bundling scheduling, project management, and time in order to better serve construction companies. As these programs get better, this industry trend will carry over into 2019.

However, the technological advancements in the construction industry aren’t limited just to software. Drone usage is becoming more popular with construction companies as drones themselves become cheaper. Drones and aerial photography are useful for getting photographs and video of the landscape. They are increasing safety around the job site and can add more information to survey data.

Not only is the technology getting better, there are more options available. These options give contractors the ability to get drones, and other construction technologies at costs and with features that work best for them. Technology advancements and integrations are a construction industry trend in 2018 that will definitely carry over into 2019.

Construction Drone

Green Technology in Construction

Green construction is a growing field in construction. More and more buildings and plans are incorporating green technology into the construction process. Green construction is a way of building projects in an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient way. It covers from planning to design, to construction, maintenance, and demolition. These methods aren’t that different from the classic building methods since the economy, utility and durability are all important facets of the process.

The construction industry accounts for about 20% of global emissions. However, with crumbling buildings and an expanding population, there is a need for more buildings. By constructing environmentally friendly buildings and focusing on the longevity of the building, it is better for the environment.

Along with green construction methods, there is an increase in research into green construction projects. There are carbon scrubbing building facades, bricks made of recycled cigarette butts, thermally driven air conditioners and asphalt that will heal itself. This increase in green technology is part of the construction industry trends that will continue.

Increase in Modular and Prefabricated Construction Projects

Part of the construction industry trends we’ll continue to see into 2019 will probably be modular and prefabricated construction projects. Modular construction companies are making the news, in part because of the rate at which they can build residential and commercial buildings. Modular construction is a prefabricated approach to building repetitive structures. So office buildings, hotels, apartments and other such buildings are great for modular and prefabricated buildings.

Prefabricated and modular construction is a rising trend because of the amount of material, time, and flexibility of it. Modular construction has the ability to save companies a lot of time and money. Because units are built off campus in a factory, companies do not have to worry about the weather. The units also recycle material they don’t end up using or even excess material. This helps cut back on waste which is currently undergoing a big push at the moment. And they can build units that meet your exact specifications quickly and easily.

Increasing Material Cost

Increasing material costs is part of the construction industry trends that will continue into 2019. Prices were predicted to increase by 2-3% in the course of 2018. Construction companies were bracing for what these costs would mean to them and preparing for ways to stay competitive within the industry.

Building material costs have increased between the end of December 2017 and now. An Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data proved that there is an increased cost. To be specific there was a 9% increase in building materials since this time last year. It comes at about 1% a month between this year and last year. The big rising costs were in Iron and Steel, Steel Mill Products, and Softwood lumber. These construction industry trends will continue so long as there is a decreased supply and increased cost for the supply.

Decreased Labor Force

There are nearly a quarter of a million open construction jobs in the United States, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. The main problem with it is that there are many projects, but production has slowed or stalled due to the labor shortage. While this is why companies are turning to modular and prefabricated construction in order to make project deadlines, it doesn’t’ change the dwindling number of workers.

It’s one of the construction industry trends that will continue into 2019. Since the unemployment rate is still very low, that means there are many available positions for workers. When there is a large number of available positions, it becomes harder for companies to draw in new people. But this is a trend that will continue into 2019 unless companies do something to draw more people into the construction industry.

Better Safety Equipment

Construction industry trends that will continue into 2019 are the better safety equipment products. With the rise in new equipment, there will also be a rise in standards. Due to the hiring number of accidents and deaths related to construction, it’s clear that there will be a push for better safety equipment.

There are work boots that can connect to Wi-Fi, send their GPS coordinates, and can even tell if users have fallen or are tired. While smart boots are hard to get  now, they and products like them will eventually be a commonplace item on the job site. The technology used in moisture-wicking fabric and cooling vests are also getting lighter and more effective. And with drones and other surveying equipment, it is easier to see other problem areas of a job site. This will help keep more of the workers safe on a site and bring about a new era in construction safety.

Sustainability

While this might seem like the same trend as green technology, green technologies are products that can better or create a carbon neutral footprint. But sustainability is part of the methods and business models that make the world a better place.

Sustainable construction can include the preservation of the environment, an efficient use of resources, with an eye to social progress and culture. These can include buildings with ways for natural light to reach the middle of the building, thereby reducing electrical costs or buildings that reuse water from the sinks in the toilets. These focus on making small changes to reduce the number of resources necessary to build a new building and such.

Some sustainable projects are looking to reuse original structures that were there before or recycling construction materials. A sustainable future is part of the construction industry trends that will continue into 2019.

Project Management Solutions

Along with all the technological advances that are here, construction project management software is a trend that will carry into 2019. The number of companies producing their own modules for current project management solutions has increased within the last couple of years. So too has the number of companies that are creating construction project management solutions.

Company owners have better software options then a couple years ago. Not only are the user interfaces easier to use, but there are more options. Project management solutions now can have a time solution, equipment rentals, change orders, and other more traditional project management options. With all of these changes, it is easier for construction companies to manage their projects. Project management software can keep all documents related to the project in one location, which can help subcontractors and contractors get paid at the end of a project.

Construction-Technology

Building Information Modeling

Building information modeling, or BIM, is another growing construction industry trend that will carry over into 2019. BIM is a way of representing buildings, roads, and utilities. It is a process of generating and managing computer representations of the projects before they are built. Architects and engineers can use the models to show how building materials will hold up overtime. And owners can create maintenance schedules with BIM models.

BIM is proving to be a useful tool in construction. It not only can better predict job costs, but companies that use BIM can tell if the project is possible. Sometimes there isn’t enough space for HVAC needs, or predetermined pieces won’t fit and will need to be reordered. BIM can be used to build better projects.

Read the original article here.


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.

 

Women in Industry – Angela Penton, Improving Processes

Angela-Penton

When Angela Penton returned to NSCC at 39, she’d already achieved success as a chef, a landscaper, a textile artist and a metalsmith. What she felt was missing, however, was a high school diploma.

“I left high school a year before I graduated,” says Angela. “Back then, you didn’t have to have your high school diploma to start an apprenticeship program, so I left and did cooking at NSCC.”

During that time, Angela’s artistry in the kitchen inspired her to branch out, and she soon found herself in a metalsmithing, design and art history degree, and running her own textile business on the side. As the demands of running a business, attending school and raising a young family became too much, Angela says she had to make a choice. “I left my degree with just a handful of courses remaining.”

Angela Penton 3“I ran my own business for six years, and also supervised at a landscaping company,” says Angela. “But, because I didn’t have my high school or degree, I was very limited in what I could do.”

With her heart set on a more stable and rewarding career, Angela decided she was going to finish what she had started.

Back to class

“I completed my last year of university first. Then, I enrolled in the Adult Learning Program. Because I had just finished my degree I was able to get credit for nearly all the high school credits that I required, except math.”

Through the program, Angela discovered her aptitude as a problem solver.  “I realized I really wanted to change careers and do something technical –– something that would allow me to get into a management role.”

Angela says she saw NSCC’s two year program options as the fastest route to starting a new career. “I wanted to get some real intensive education that would allow me to go right into the work world.” She adds,

“I looked through all of NSCC’s programs and I kept coming back to Industrial Engineering Technology because I saw that these professionals were in every industry. It was something that didn’t narrow my opportunities, as many of my life choices had up to that point.” ~ Angela Penton

Angela admits she was scared that she was “too old” to go back to school and worried that employers wouldn’t hire someone her age. “I knew I had the potential, but it took the program to retrain my mind to see myself as someone who could operate as a professional at that level.”

Entering the industry

She soon discovered that age wasn’t an obstacle. “I was past that point in life where I was worried about standing out, asking questions or feeling silly. I put myself out there and networked.”

Her hard work paid off. After graduation, Angela was hired as the Process Improvement Specialist for Hercules SLR — a specialty industrial equipment, products and services company.

Angela says her position is the perfect blend of creativity and technical thinking. “I felt badly about leaving my artistic career and thought that I’d never get to be creative again; but, I learned that creativity isn’t just limited to making things or designing things. It’s a way of thinking.”

Hitting her stride

Angela penton 2Angela says she now works to ensure that the company’s more than 400 employees remain focused on reducing operational waste and variance across processes.

Angela explains that a large part of the success of this project and others like it is strategic communication. “The first thing that we learn in the program is the idea that you have to go to where the work is being done — a gemba walk. See it, ask questions, learn from the person doing it and show respect. Treat them like the experts that they are.”

She adds, “It’s only when an Industrial Engineering Technologist does that, that we see the truly meaningful impact we can make.”

Original Interview can be found here 
Images copyright Matt Madden NSCC

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.