October 18, 2021
SmartBrief for Civil Engineers
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Top Stories
Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting water and wastewater systems across the US, with four attacks reported in the past year, according to a joint advisory issued by the FBI and other federal agencies. "This activity -- which includes attempts to compromise system integrity via unauthorized access -- threatens the ability of WWS facilities to provide clean, potable water to, and effectively manage the wastewater of, their communities," the advisory says.
Full Story: Reuters (10/14),  The Hill (10/14) 
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Tap water in Benton Harbor, Mich., contains elevated levels of lead, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday said the state must take a "whole-of-government" approach to the crisis, replace lead pipes quickly and ensure city residents have access to clean drinking water. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said the goal is to complete lead pipe replacement within 18 months, adding, "We are committed to getting it done as fast as we can."
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/14) 
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The pandemic-induced demand for domestic lab and life science space has led to a surge of construction and renovation. John Caulfield reviews how this is playing out for major contractors as end-user requirements change.
Full Story: Building Design + Construction (free registration) (10/14) 
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A planned boost in construction projects is one reason the Missouri Department of Transportation says it's seeking $70 million to raise its pay and hire more workers. The request comes as motorists bear a 2.5-cent higher gas tax, with the department arguing that the added funds "will allow MoDOT to improve employee retention and reduce costs associated with employee turnover."
Full Story: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (10/14) 
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Newly minted civil engineer Helen Walz has been plunged into her career with deployment by the US Army Corps of Engineers to Louisiana for the Corps' Hurricane Ida emergency response. Walz, part of a team seeking feasible sites for temporary housing, says her "biggest learning experience has been learning about adaptability and flexibility."
Full Story: DVIDS (10/15) 
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Project Watch
Technology
There's no lack of examples of experimentation and adoption of new technologies in the construction industry. Mark Larsen and Blair Hanuschak review seven notable trends in structural engineering, beginning with integration of the different digital platforms used by contractors and subcontractors on a given project.
Full Story: Building Design + Construction (free registration) (10/15) 
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The Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures project offers the promise of giving the US Army Corps of Engineers the ability to 3D print custom-designed concrete structures in remote military areas. Plans are afoot to use the technology in the field next year and create the world's first 3D-printed vehicle bridge.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (10/14) 
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Sustainability
Engineers will be able to gauge carbon emissions at various project phases within building information modeling software thanks to Trimble's collaboration with One Click LCA to tap into the latter's Environmental Product Declarations database on carbon embedded in various materials. Tekla users will have complementary access to the One Click LCA carbon assessment tool through the remainder of the year.
Full Story: Civil + Structural Engineer online (10/15) 
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Research
Longer lifespans for infrastructure are the goal for 11 universities forming the National University Transportation Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability and Life Extension, which has received a new $10 million grant from the Department of Transportation. Missouri S&T is one of the schools in the two-year-old program and is focusing on ways to enhance infrastructure maintenance through phase-change materials, novel 3D inspection techniques and predictive data analytics.

SmartTake: Missouri S&T is seeking new Ph.D. students, as the school recently received a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need grant from the Department of Education. Infrastructure preservation and resilience will be the students' focal points. -- Jaan
Full Story: University of Missouri (10/15) 
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ICYMI
The SBCE Team
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If you have feedback on today's brief or want to submit a story or picture, shoot us an email.

Evan Milberg - I am the lead editor for SmartBrief's construction and engineering newsletters. You can reach me at evan.milberg@futurenet.com

Jaan vanValkenburgh - I manage original content for SmartBrief’s infrastructure division. Most weekends you’ll find me cycling around New York City. You can reach me at jaan.vanvalkenburgh@futurenet.com
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