Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. Civil engineering is the second-oldest engineering discipline... MORE
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. Civil engineering is the second-oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it is defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering. It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including architectural engineering, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, geophysics, geodesy, control engineering, structural engineering, earthquake engineering, transportation engineering, earth science, atmospheric sciences, forensic engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, offshore engineering, quantity surveying, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering. Civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies. LESS
BP will leave the cap on the oil well while it vacates the area for a number of days to avoid the coming tropical storm. What could possibly go wrong? One expert warns that increasing pressure might have an unintended danger: Bill Gale, a California engineer and industrial explosion expert who is a member of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group, said... that gas hydrate crystals could be plugging any holes in the underground portion of the well, and they could get dislodged as pressure builds. (Gale was formerly Chief Loss Prevention Engineer for Bechtel in San Francisco, obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, Masters in Civil Engineering and PhD in Fire Safety Engineering Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Gale is a registered professional engineer in both mechanical engineering and fire protection engineering, and has more than forty years of industrial loss prevention, process safety management, and fire protection/fire safety engineering experience.) In other words, there may have been a destruction of a portion of the steel well casing which was temporarily plugged by methane hydrate crystals. Leaving the well cap may slowly raise the pressure in the well to the point where the hydrate crystals are dislodged, in which case the well might really start leaking. Sound farfetched? Maybe. But remember that the "top hat" containment dome failed because it got plugged up with methane hydrate crystals. And remember that there's a lot of ...
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