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CSCE Conference - RECo Papers

Read the abstracts from RECo's two papers to be presented at the 2018 CSCE Fredericton Annual Conference.

The official CSCE 2018 conference app can be found here: https://www.csce2018.ca/conference-app/

Title: Effect of Fire on MSE Highway Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments
Date: Thursday July 14 @ 2:00pm
Location: Foyer Fredericton Convention Centre, Nashwaaksis A
Presentation by:   Ertiana Rrokaj
Abstract:   In recent years, Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) walls have gained wide acceptance among North American and international transportation jurisdictions as a more versatile alternative to cast-in-place (CIP) retaining walls. While MSE structures are designed to fulfill a variety of retaining purposes, similarly to CIP walls, there exist fundamental differences with respect to their susceptibility to heat and fire.

This paper will investigate how fire conditions can affect the performance of MSE structures for highway retaining walls and bridge abutments. The paper will (a) comment on relevant government regulations regarding the design of highway structures under fire conditions, (b) summarize and report on studies conducted on heat conductivity from fire on MSE walls, and (c) analyze the effect of fire on different types of soil reinforcements (plastic, metal) and precast concrete panels. Finally, this paper will identify the consequences from potential failure modes of MSE structures under fire conditions and discuss solutions for prevention including appropriate design considerations.

Title: Applying Ethics in your Civil Engineering Career
Date:   Friday July 15 @ 10:00am
Location: Foyer Fredericton Convention Centre, Nashwaaksis A
Presentation by: Bill Brockbank
Abstract:   Graduating engineers in this country are quickly introduced to what is referred to as the Engineer's Code of Ethics. The document is a quick guideline of how we must conduct ourselves as engineers in our professional life. Most engineers you speak to will not be able to recite the entire document but generally can recall the opening statement that "an Engineer shall treat public safety as paramount".

To help solidify the concepts presented in the Code of Ethics we are mandated to read a book on Engineering Ethics and to write a three-hour exam on Professional Practice and Engineering Law. Upon successful completion of this process, a minimum of 4 years work (previously 2 years), we are granted our professional status and allowed to practice the profession of engineering. Although there are several examples in the textbook of how an engineer may be conflicted on this issue during his professional career, the real challenge does not start until the engineer begins his professional work.

Whether the engineer fills a position with his employer of designer, manager or executive he will be charged to play a role in the companies mandate to be profitable, and so begins the balancing act of trying to fulfill the two directives at the same time, a task which is often wrought with conflicts.

With the current trend in Canada's new infrastructure construction projects to utilize the project delivery methods of Design Build and P3, the engineer finds himself in an even greater challenge for the balance of quality and cost. Concepts of prudency and redundancy which were upheld as noble attributes in the past, are being replaced in today's market by a focus on cost cutting and low bid mentalities.

This paper will examine some of the typical situations where engineers find themselves to be challenged on this issue and provide some suggestions the authors have found useful in their career.