It’s not Friday yet, but I am looking forward to the obnoxious Hawaiian shirts some of my coworkers wear as part of our Engineering Department’s unofficial Hawaiian Shirt Day each week. It’s a little thing, but it definitely helps lighten the mood and gives us all an opportunity to interact with each other.Continue Reading
If you have followed some of my earlier blog posts, you know I am passionate about testing. In my post, Testing – Then and Now, I said, “There simply is no substitute for a physical test.” Something I haven’t discussed in much detail, however, are some of the complexities involved in a good test.
For wood connector testing, we follow ASTM D7147-11 Testing and Establishing Allowable Loads of Joist Hangers. The actual testing is relatively straight forward – build at least three setups, test them, measure the deflection and ultimate loads.
My blog post is late this week – I’m going to blame it on vacation. According to this article analyzing a study by Expedia, Americans did not use $34 billion worth of vacation time they were entitled to in 2011. This started me thinking about how difficult it can be for structural engineers to take a real vacation.Continue Reading
To launch our Structural Engineering Blog, in April we hosted a sweepstakes inviting you to sign up for blog email updates by June 1, 2012. Everyone who also posted a comment to the blog during that time period received a bonus entry into the sweepstakes. The five winning entries received a Simpson Strong-Tie prize pack. Congratulations to our winners:
R. Johnson – Chicago, Illinois
D. Bentti – Anchorage, Alaska
R. Porter – Westfield, MA
D. Weinstein, PE – Philadelphia, PA
Z. Andriuk – White Plains, MD
If you’d like automatic email updates when a new blog entry is posted (usually once a week), sign up here.
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A few years ago, we hosted a Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work® Day at our home office in Pleasanton, CA. During introductions, several parents told the children what they did and how they chose their particular profession (you can see what my son thinks I do in my bio). At our home office, we have accounting, finance, product management, IT, administration, marketing, and a few others I’m probably missing, so it is a diverse group the kids heard from that day.
And the careers were often not what people had originally planned for. Many shared wonderful stories about the twists and turns their careers took until they finally discovered their passion and job satisfaction. Often, this was a career that they didn’t even know existed when they chose a major in college or first entered the workforce.
So, what was my story?
I often get asked about Simpson Strong-Tie R&D projects. Since I can’t always talk about what new products we are working on, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek into where the magic happens. The Tye Gilb Research Laboratory is our R&D hub. Built in 2003 in Stockton, CA, the lab is named in memory of Tyrell (Tye) Gilb, a former professor of architecture and a wonderful man, who led our company’s research and development efforts for 35 years.
“One test result is worth one thousand expert opinions.”
– Wernher von Braun
While reviewing some of our first catalogs, I was curious about the testing we did on those iconic products that launched our company. I found a test report from December 20, 1957 on crinkled yellow paper with a short description: U-29 Download Test. The signature from the independent testing agency was a little faded, and the data was typed by hand in a table. But I was thrilled to discover that our 1957 customers received exactly the same thing as our modern-day customers – the confidence in knowing that our allowable loads are supported by physical testing.
There simply is no substitute for a physical test.