Engineers failed to recognize danger during FIU bridge inspection hours before collapse

ABC News | June 12, 2019

The engineers of the pedestrian bridge that collapsed at Florida International University last year failed to recognize that the bridge was in danger of failing during an inspection juts hours before the accident, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The bridge collapsed at 1:45 p.m. on March 15, 2018, killing a construction worker and five motorists who were waiting at the traffic light underneath the bridge. The concrete truss on the bridge had developed numerous wide and deep structural cracks that jeopardized the integrity of the bridge, according to areport, released this week. The engineer on record, with the Figg Engineering Group, should have immediately instructed that the bridge be shored and that the street below, SW 8th Street, be closed, the report states. The post-tensioning bars were being re-tensioned when the bridge failed.

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You Know why the hero in most Indian movies is a mechanical engineer? Well, maybe because mechanical engineering is the most popular engineering streams. Year after year thousands of bright, strapping grads, walk out of college campuses with stars in their eyes. Do you want to have an edge over the rest? Are you confused about what to do next?

Spotlight

You Know why the hero in most Indian movies is a mechanical engineer? Well, maybe because mechanical engineering is the most popular engineering streams. Year after year thousands of bright, strapping grads, walk out of college campuses with stars in their eyes. Do you want to have an edge over the rest? Are you confused about what to do next?

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ENGINEERING TECH

Emerson and Neste Engineering Solutions to Optimize Fintoil Biorefinery Operations for More Efficient, Sustainable Production

Fintoil | June 22, 2022

Fintoil, together with Neste Engineering Solutions, has selected Emerson’s automation software and technologies to maximize the operational performance of its biorefinery being constructed in the port of Hamina-Kotka, Finland. The plant will be the third-largest crude tall oil (CTO) biorefinery in the world and produce advanced biofuel and biochemical feedstocks that help lower emissions and reduce reliance on fossil-based fuels. The plant will refine CTO, a by-product of the wood pulping process, to produce a sustainable feedstock for renewable second-generation diesel, as well as rosin, sterol pitch and turpentine used in the chemicals, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals industries. These CTO derivatives have a carbon footprint up to 90% smaller than their fossil-based equivalents. This state-of-the-art facility, which utilizes Neste Engineering Solutions’ NEXPINUS™ technology, uses 40% less energy than a conventional tall oil refinery, and is the perfect example of efficient and sustainable production that supports the circular economy. Working with Neste Engineering Solutions and Emerson to implement the latest digital automation technologies will enable us to operate the plant safely and efficiently, minimize operating costs and deliver large-scale production of biofuel and biochemicals as a viable alternative to fossil-based products.” Jukka Ravaska,Fintoil CEO To reduce project risk and ensure schedule and budget are maintained, Emerson will apply its Project Certainty methodology, which digitalizes project execution and uses practices such as remote testing of equipment. And to enhance plant security performance, Emerson consultancy services will advise on the implementation of cybersecurity best practices. “Emerson expertise and technologies are playing a significant role in helping companies achieve their ambitious decarbonization and environmental sustainability goals, including the accelerated transition to cleaner fuels,” said Mark Bulanda, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “Our project expertise and latest advanced digital solutions are not only helping Fintoil develop the production capacity of a sustainable fuel, but also optimizing plant efficiency to lower its overall environmental impact. We are very pleased to have Neste Engineering Solutions as a partner in this project because of its extensive experience in the CTO business.” In addition to providing NEXPINUS, and engineering, procurement and construction management for the project, Neste Engineering Solutions will also be responsible for delivering the entire application software for the new CTO biorefinery. Fintoil, together with Neste Engineering Solutions, will implement Emerson’s DeltaV™ distributed control system, DeltaV safety instrumented system and DeltaV Live operator interface software to enable efficient production, greater visibility of operational performance and process, and emergency shutdown for improved plant and worker safety. Advanced measurement technologies that have minimal maintenance requirements and diagnostics made available through Emerson’s asset management software will enhance equipment reliability and performance, contributing to greater plant availability and throughput, and lower cost of ownership. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in 2022. The expected annual capacity of 200,000 tons will create a 400,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions, which is roughly 1% of Finland’s total emissions. About Emerson Emerson, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial and Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. About Fintoil Fintoil is a Finnish bioneering company established in 2017. Fintoil will refine crude tall oil for the production of advanced biofuels. Other derivatives will be sold for further refinement to clients in the chemicals, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals industries. The company’s crude tall oil biorefinery will start its operations in the summer of 2022 in the port of Hamina-Kotka, a chemicals port in Hamina, Finland. The technologically advanced and energy-friendly production utilizes NEXPINUS™ technology and once operational it will be the world’s third-largest CTO biorefinery. In the future, the feed capacity can be increased. Fintoil’s key personnel and founders have decades of experience in the tall oil business and related investment projects. About Neste Engineering Solutions Neste Engineering Solutions offers high quality technology development and licensing, engineering, procurement, construction and project management services for the oil & gas, petrochemicals and bio-industries. Our NAPCON products enhance process industry production optimization, quality and logistics, as well as operator training with simulators and games. We work in close cooperation with our strategic customers and have world-class know-how in technology development and industrial investment projects. Many companies base their success on highly competitive novel process technologies developed by Neste Engineering Solutions. NEXPINUS™ is a feedstock flexible intelligent tall oil fractionation technology for superior quality products. Read more: neste.com/engineeringsolutions.

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ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION,CONSTRUCTION

SafeAI and Obayashi Operate Autonomous Vehicle on a Construction Site in Japan

SafeAI | July 25, 2022

SafeAI, a global leader in autonomous solutions for heavy equipment, in partnership with Obayashi Corporation hosted nearly 150 visitors to view its retrofitted autonomous Caterpillar 725, operating on a construction site in Japan for the first time ever. The demos, which took place over a two week period, brought together delegates from nearly 50 organizations across the construction industry ecosystem, including leading OEM, general contractors, technology companies, universities and research groups and Japanese government entities responsible for regulation. In addition to winning buy-in from key stakeholders, the demos mark a critical first step toward securing approval from the government and industry organizations to bring autonomous construction to Japan. Prior to the public demo, SafeAI and Obayashi spent 6 weeks extensively testing in a Japanese environment to confirm all the features previously developed in the US-based proof of concept (POC), which was completed in California in November 2021. Japanese regulations were not originally designed to support the use of autonomous vehicles for off-road construction. Yet, this technology is poised to unlock smarter, safer, more sustainable and productive construction sites. Self-driving assets enable companies to add thousands of hours of productivity annually, completing major projects 20% faster and at 25% lower cost—empowering the industry to overcome chronic deadline, budget and safety issues. “At SafeAI, we’re committed to making heavy industry safer and more productive for companies around the world. In partnership with Obayashi, and through the joint demonstration of an autonomous construction vehicle in Japan, we are making major strides towards achieving that goal, From here, we are focused on securing autonomous vehicle buy-in from the government/industry organizations and executing a ramp up plan for the construction industry that starts in Japan and expands globally from there.” -Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO of SafeAI. Following the successful completion of ground breaking demos, SafeAI will continue to work with the government and industry consortium groups to review findings and evaluate regulatory changes around autonomous construction. We firmly believe the future of the construction industry is dependent on off-road autonomy and we’re committed to bringing this technology to Japan where it will have a massive impact on safety, sustainability, and productivity by partnering with SafeAI, said Mr. Shinya Sugiura at Obayashi. The Japanese construction market poses a great opportunity for autonomous technology and the recent demos that were conducted in Japan not only confirm the functionality of the system we built, but have showcased the global viability and impact of autonomous construction projects. Obayashi is a recipient of the special award in pioneering activity category of the 5th JAPAN Construction International Award sponsored by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), which cements the company as a leader in the Japanese construction industry and recognizes SafeAI’s joint development of this cutting edge system. SafeAI’s autonomous solution is powered by industry-specific AI technology and utilizes onboard processing power to enable real-time decision making. From using the latest multimodal sensors (LiDAR, radar, camera) to detect surroundings, to perception-based localization with GNSS, SafeAI leverages the most advanced technologies on the market to bring more effective, efficient and scalable autonomy to heavy industry. Additionally, the company uses a retrofit model to empower companies to upgrade existing equipment, regardless of manufacturer or vehicle type, instead of limiting companies to purchasing new, manufacturer-built autonomous vehicles, which is costly and more difficult to scale. About SafeAI- SafeAI is a global autonomous solutions provider for heavy equipment leaders focused on advancing modern industry. SafeAI retrofits heavy equipment for autonomous applications in mining and construction to serve a massive ecosystem of industry players with complex needs. By building a software platform with the most advanced, industry-specific AI, SafeAI enables equipment owners to transform existing machines into self-operating robotic assets. SafeAI is based in Santa Clara, CA. About Obayashi- Obayashi Corporation has delivered solutions to infrastructure challenges across the globe. Founded in 1892, Obayashi has provided a full range of general contractor services in both public and private works such as Tokyo Central Station, Kansai International Airport, TOKYO SKYTREE, Dubai Metro project, Jewel Changi Airport, and Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. Other services include R&D, design, urban development, maintenance, and renewable energy.

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CONSTRUCTION

Construction Software Company Ecobot Becomes a Silver Partner in the Esri Partner Network

Ecobot | July 01, 2022

Ecobot, the premier digital solution for pre-construction environmental permitting, has been named a Silver partner within the worldwide Esri Partner Network after successfully graduating from the Esri Startup Program. Esri is the global leader in location intelligence. The Ecobot platform leverages and integrates with Esri's ArcGIS software to facilitate efficient, accurate environmental data collection for mandatory permits ahead of large-scale infrastructure projects. The Esri Startup Program is a program that supports innovative early-stage startups integrating location intelligence and mapping within their own product offerings. Esri startup partners are companies who offer innovative technological solutions with GIS capabilities. As a member of the program, Ecobot had access to a robust set of resources to jumpstart product development. Ecobot's key Esri integrations include: Embedded mapping system powered by Esri for defining project areas and adding wetland polygons or polylines Compatibility with select external GNSS devices from Esri partners Trimble, Eos GNSS, Juniper Systems, and SXBlue Generation of GeoJSON shapefiles for seamless export into the Esri ArcGIS system Ecobot is a platform that includes a mobile field application that is fully functional offline coupled with an Amazon AWS cloud-based dashboard with automated quality assurance, project management, and team collaboration features. To date, Ecobot customers have generated some 65,000 environmental regulatory reports for over 7,000 projects using the platform. "The partnership with Esri, and Ecobot's integration with Esri ArcGIS products, has been invaluable as we've built out our platform, We are thrilled by how far Ecobot has come since joining the Esri Startup Program, and we're excited to continue evolving as a Silver partner." -Lee Lancecofounder and CEO Ecobot. "As a company that was once a startup partner, we understand the early years for any business are hard, said Martin Copping, Esri Partner Executive. We are impressed with how the Ecobot team executed on the opportunities provided by the program, bringing the value of geospatial to a broader audience using the Esri ArcGIS system. We congratulate and look forward to continuing to work with them as a Silver partner. Since closing a $2.8M round in late 2021, the Ecobot platform continues to expand to include additional project management capabilities and a wider range of environmental permits. Ecobot makes data available for engineers to leverage into a digital twin to improve the resilience of the built environment. Connect with Ecobot at the Esri User Conference or read the ArcNews article: "Startup Makes Preconstruction Data Collection Faster, More Accurate". About Esri: Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit us at esri.com. About Ecobot: Ecobot builds revolutionary software that improves how we interact with the environment. Ecobot is the future of environmental monitoring, reporting, and data forecasting, providing efficiency across all sectors of the environmental services industry. The first version of Ecobot provides a swifter way to input wetland field data, provides contextual vegetation and soil data lookups, and automatically generates USACE wetland delineation reports.

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