Peloton Announces Incorporation

Read the press release here. “We founded Peloton on the principles of team work and our success is a direct testament to our talented and dedicated staff,” said Peloton President and CEO Aric Head.  “It is amazing how quickly we arrived at this juncture and as we continue to add to our team, we look forward to where the future will take us as a company.”

LIDAR Images: Before and After

Puget Sound Lidar Consortium; WSDOT

These images created by an aerial scanning technique called LIDAR (lie-dar) compare the before and after condition of the recent deadly landslide in rural Washington.

LIDAR’s ability to peer beneath  thick vegetation and lay bare the landscape has made it the go-to source on a wide range of geologic perils, from earthquake faults to flood zones.

What made the mountain move
High resolution slide/swipe map from ESRI
Previous landslides in the area
How LIDAR works
How Peloton uses LIDAR 


“Peloton Land Solutions began with a handful of folks in January 2010. Since then, we have grown steadily each year to 78 employees today. This growth was made possible by the hard work and dedication that our employees exhibit toward our clients and their projects. We recently changed our company structure to Peloton Land Solutions, Inc., a format that is more suitable for the long term goals and continued success of our company. We would like to thank our clients for their business. We value the relationships we have built with each of you and look forward to working together in the future.”
Aric Head, AICP, President/CEO, Peloton Land Solutions, Inc.

Well done, Fort Worth!


Key Indicators:

  • 2.6% decrease in retail vacancy between 2012 and 2013
  • 3.3% average income growth
  • 6.6% unemployment
  • 92% downtown area central business occupancy rate

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 777,898
  • Median Age: 31
  • Median Household Income: $51,022
  • Median Home Price: $129,847
  • Average Work Commute: 21 Minutes

“It’s About Safety, Not Revenue”

The Keller Police Department may be starting a trend in North Texas – they are actually posting the daily (Mon-Fri) location of traffic enforcement officers on social media. Last year the city saw the number of traffic collisions jump 27%, despite handing out 17% more traffic tickets (the average speeder was driving 15 miles an hour over the speed limit).

But, by tipping off drivers, won’t the city write fewer tickets? “Who cares?” asked Police Chief Mark Hafner. “What’s going to happen is people are going to slow down, the roads will be safer and that’s what traffic enforcement is all about. We believe in exhaustively communicating with our citizens in two-way conversations that help us build trust and understanding.”

Concrete-Eating Robots?

While the design currently remains only a concept, a Swedish student’s concrete-eating robot project won the 2013 International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in the Student Designs category.

Building demolition demands a lot of heavy machinery to crush concrete and separate valuable materials for reuse. Often, those materials are transferred to offsite locations, which wastes time and resources. The process also wastes a lot of water in order to prevent harmful dust clouds from blooming. The ERO Concrete Recycling Robot was designed to efficiently disassemble concrete structures without any waste, dust or separation and enable reclaimed building materials to be reused for new prefabricated concrete buildings. It does so by using a water jet to crack the concrete surface, separate the waste and package the cleaned, dust-free material.

Student, Omer Haciomeroglu, of the Umea Institute of Design explains: “ERO deconstructs with high-pressure water and separates the mixture of aggregate, cement and water. It then sends aggregate and filtered cement slurry separately down to the packaging unit to be contained. Clean aggregate is packed into big bags, which are labeled and sent to nearby concrete precast stations for reuse. Water is recycled back into the system. Even the rebar is cleaned of concrete, dust and rust and is ready to be cut and reused immediately. Every bit of the load-bearing structure is reusable for new building blocks.”

Engineers … Not Just Nerds Anymore

Americans say engineering is the leading profession driving U.S. innovation based on the findings of a February 2014 “Engineering Sentiment Survey” which examined American attitudes toward the engineering profession and its broader impact on innovation. The survey of 1,017 adults in the U.S. found that the majority of respondents most commonly associate innovation and inventions in society with engineers (87 percent) when compared to other prominent and impactful professions such as teachers (77 percent), doctors (73 percent), and others.  This positive sentiment is reflected in respondents’ belief that the role engineers play in innovation and invention today versus 20 years ago has increased (73 percent). Other related information:

  • The number of students receiving Bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering fields is growing faster than in other fields. Since 2009, science and engineering degrees have increased by 19 percent, a little more than double the nine percent growth rate for other fields.
  • A near equal amount of Americans know an engineer (48 percent) versus those who do not know an engineer (52 percent), according to the survey.

In unrelated news, it once took American Science & Surplus (incredible stuff, unbelievable prices – check out their website) months to locate a supplier of pocket protectors.

Wait, someone really took an engineering sentiment survey?

Sediment Transport in Steep Channels Behaves Unexpectedly

Recent studies performed in the Earth Surface Dynamics Lab at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) show that gravity does not facilitate sediment transport in rivers in the expected manner. “Counterintuitively, in steep channels sediment rarely moves, and when it does it is extremely dangerous to measure since it typically includes boulders and large cobbles,” explains Michael Lamb, Assistant Professor of Geology at Caltech. Based on studies of sediment motion in low-gradient channels (which model relatively flat rivers like the Mississippi River), geologists have long assumed that there is a linear relation between a watercourse’s slope and the stress placed by water and gravity on the streambed. That is, as the angle of the streambed increases, the quantity of water required to move sediment should decrease in a simple 1-to-1 ratio. Instead, as the laboratory flume slope was increased, the sediment became more stable, requiring proportionately more water to begin sediment transport (for example, at a slope of 20 degrees, five times the depth of water as previously predicted was needed to move the gravel downstream). Eventually, the slope reaches a transition zone where regular river processes are completely absent. In these steeply sloped flumes, the first sediment motion that occurs represents a complete bed failure, in which all of the grains slide down the channel en masse. “This suggests that there’s a certain slope, around 22 degrees in our experiments, where sediment is the most stable, but these channel slopes are also potentially the most dangerous because here the sediment bed can fail catastrophically in rare, large-magnitude flood events,” Lamb explains. Full story

Super Bowl, Super Map

Click here for  interactive GIS map of Super Bowl stats including winningest teams, coldest games, past stadiums, etc. Also available: Super Bowl XLVIII Roster map for both teams. (Both maps courtesy ESRI).

Inspiring the Next Generation of Civil Engineers

Check out the training and education resources provided on the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) website. There are classroom resources for K-12 teachers, and fun activities for kids and parents. Expose the children in your life to the exciting opportunities that the field of civil engineering has to offer.

  • Visit ASCEville, where students can explore interactive online games, offline activities, videos and contests
  • Explore Engineer Your Life, an online guide to engineering specifically for high school girls

For more info, visit the ASCE Outreach website, including programs scheduled for Engineers Week (Feb 16-22, 2014).