Friday, June 14, 2013

Working on Sat, dragon boat, research, etc.

I find that even though I have mores stuff to do on Saturdays, I'm much more productive because there is no one to chat with. I feel like I used to be much more productive when it was just me on site. Partly because I have no one to chat with and partly because I don't have to discuss certain decisions with people before making them. Now that there are more people on site, I feel like I should run over any decisions with the team before deciding on anything. Overall, we're doing much more as a team than I did alone but individual productivity doesn't seem to be able to get to the same maximum value. Not sure if that made sense... Anyway, that's just my observation so far.

Wednesday was the dragon boat festival and there were a lot of races across town. The Arup men's team came in 1st in their division! They have been doing better and better these past few years and getting more competitive. I didn't go watch. I went my first year here and it was really hot and there was a ton of people. The temperature these past week has gone down to the 20s instead of the 30s (Celsius) so it's much more comfortable. I can't imagine what it will be like when the temperature is in the 30s all the time.

These days, I'm busy working on a research project that we got funding from the company for last year. We're way overdue so I'm just trying to get some results and write it up. It's an interesting piece of research related to laterally loaded piles. I think there are a lot of questions we would like answers to. The current state of the practice is not very sophisticated. People just use these equations and charts that don't always match what the actual site conditions are. So we tend to make much more conservative assumptions than we would otherwise. It would be nice to be able to work on something like this more on a full time basis. I think the company has funding for this but not really manpower because we're always prioritizing real projects. Anyway, it would be nice to come up with a finished product and maybe publish some a paper or two in these "young engineer" paper awards. There seems to be quite a few of these competitions. HKIE and ICE seem to do a pretty good job of hosting events and paper competitions. Even though site life is pretty boring, I think I'll take this "break" to do this research stuff and maybe even study for the LEED exam...

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