TZL 1436 (web)


degree from the University of Wisconsin- Platteville, I attended the University of Minnesota and received a Master of Science degree. My thesis was on the shear capacity of high-strength concrete prestressed girders, which, when completed, was a two-volume set and was a 430-page document. This research project required testing full-size bridge girders and required a significant amount of time in two laboratories to test these four full-size members, each 50 feet long and about five feet tall. RLG: When did you start at RLG? DC: In 1997, I moved to Dallas, Texas, and started with RLG. My first major project at RLG was a seven-story concrete building connected to the main hospital by three levels of steel framing over a public street. Later this year, I will reach 25 years at RLG, which will be a significant career milestone. One way to encompass the changes over the years is to look at the historic tech changes. I started with faxing hand-drawn sketches to solve problems in the field, and now most communication is by email. The analysis software has changed from simple DOS programs to complex 3D-finite element programs. The storage systems have changed from floppy disks to cloud-based storage and computing and, most of all, the development of cell phones and social media. The underlying trend is rapidly increasing data which can get overwhelming if not managed. A takeaway is that this creates a premium for clear visions to deliver sound results. RLG: What is your role at RLG? DC: I oversee engineers, write proposals, review reports, and numerous office leadership tasks as a principal. RLG: What is your area of focus? DC: Over the years, I have been involved with everything from disaster response assistance to structural assessments to designing many high-rise structures. Based on my experience in solving a wide range of construction issues, we’ve provided engineering assistance to several general contractors. This type of effort goes beyond a formal peer review. Instead, we search the provided documents for potential savings on the structure, determine areas of possible hidden cost or potential coordination issues, and provide guidance on constructability. RLG: You have been at RLG for more than 24 years; what has been your most tremendous success?

DC: Challenges and successes have worked together to shape my career. Two years ago, a tornado hit a private school in Dallas with winds reported near 165 mph. At our client’s request, we were on-site at the first light of the next day, providing engineering assistance. The storm damage was significant with downed power lines, broken trees, overturned vehicles, and piles of debris. Building issues ranged from minor debris hits to collapsed structures. Our role was to perform structural assessments and document the degree of damage to on-campus buildings and site structures. Over the following two months, our staff discovered and categorized the hazards, assisted in stabilizing damaged structures, provided daily status reports, provided repair details, and led the daily briefing meetings between staff and contractors. The overall goal of the recovery effort was to reopen the school safely and promptly. Two weeks after the storm, the campus reopened, and students returned. Various repairs were coordinated and continued up to one year after the storm. This event was both incredibly challenging and professionally rewarding. RLG: How did you get started with projects that required forensics (or strengthening and repair, etc.)? DC: Over the years, RLG has done many renovations and additions on various building types. In addition, my engineering experience has dealt with field construction issues which have served us well in determining and assessing those structural issues. RLG: Can you elaborate on the services offered by the RLG Forensics department? DC: Typically, our process starts with a forensics assessment and may lead to additional structural services like strengthening and repairing the existing structure. Our clients requesting these forensics services range from hospitals to retail to schools to buyers/sellers of commercial properties. Forensic assessments start with visual observations of a given situation and then photos. This may lead to a floor elevation survey and additional measurements. If construction documents are available, then those documents will be reviewed and provide further insight into the original design or how the components were detailed. We will write reports based on our engineering insight. The end product of these assessments may conclude that there are minimal structural concerns, that additional evaluations are to be

HEADQUARTERS: Dallas, TX NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 71 YEAR FOUNDED: 1953 OFFICE LOCATIONS: ■ ■ Dallas, TX ■ ■ Fort Worth, TX ■ ■ Peoria, IL SERVICES: ■ ■ Civil engineering ■ ■ Structural engineering ■ ■ Forensics/repair/ strengthening ■ ■ Surveying PROJECTS: ■ ■ Civil

■ ■ Structural ■ ■ Surveying ■ ■ Forensics ■ ■ Data center ■ ■ Education ■ ■ Healthcare ■ ■ High-rise ■ ■ Hospitality ■ ■ Library ■ ■ Multifamily

■ ■ Offices ■ ■ Parking ■ ■ Retail ■ ■ Senior living ■ ■ Sports facilities


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PRIL 11, 2022, ISSUE 1436

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