The Beginning

My previous self did not give blogging much respect. This is really a shame, because I’ve spent a lot of time reading and enjoying other people’s blogs. There is certain space that blogs fill on the internet. On one side of this space are stuffy, hard-to-navigate corporate websites, and on the other side are a cacophony of various semester projects for all of those Web Design 101 classes. Some blogs are really good, and they come up on Google when you’re searching for something. Others are not so good, but you find yourself reading them even though they didn’t come up on Google. It’s kind of like taking a wrong turn and ending up in a back alley and quickly realizing that you should probably turn around.

However you ended up here, thanks for making it over to CivilBase. What kind of a blog is CivilBase? It’s primary focus will be on topics related to civil engineering. This is a little bit huge, so let’s unpack it some more and separate things into different piles.

One of my favorite aspects of my job is getting to use a variety of different software programs on a daily basis. I also love helping other people improve their workflows with different programs by discovering all of the various features. So a big portion of this blog will be devoted to software how-tos, tips, tricks, reviews, demos, etc. The main engineering tools that I use are Civil 3D, Storm and Sanitary Analysis (SSA), Excel, and ArcGIS. For 3D modeling and rendering I use Infraworks, SketchUp, and Lumion. For graphics and video I use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and After Effects.

Another one of my passions is teaching and communicating. I love to wrestle with complex information and then explain it to other people in a way that is simple and easy to understand. I already mentioned that part of this blog will be devoted to software how-tos, but I would also like to devote some time to straight-talk about engineering concepts. There are some engineering ideas that are difficult to wrap your head around, and so many of us end up just going through the motions without really understanding what we are doing or why it is important. I hope to change that by approaching these topics from a different perspective.

A third passion of mine is the nexus of civil engineering and the art of visual communication. Traditionally, engineering designs and proposals are communicated to the public via monochrome 2D lines created in CAD. I am an artist/designer at heart, and so I die a little bit whenever I see an engineer trying to explain something to someone by using a CAD plan as a visual aide. The world we live in is colorful and three-dimensional. The technology is readily available to create and share models that closely mimic reality. Architects understand this; you will struggle to find an architectural exhibit at a public forum that only shows the 2D floorplan of a building. I hope to breathe a little bit of fresh air into the engineering profession by exploring new ways to communicate our designs to those outside of the office.

And finally, CivilBase will be a creative outlet for me to share my work with the world and hone my writing skills. The left brain gets a lot of exercise at the office, and so the right brain has some conditioning to do.

Thanks for stopping by. There isn’t much to read right now, but come back again soon for some new stuff. In the meantime, feel free to read a little bit about me and the motivation behind the name, CivilBase.

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