Sunday, 17 June 2007, 7:53pm
This week has been amazing. I worked about 80 hours this week and should be well compensated for the hours that I put in. On top of working a ton of hours I was given the opportunity to work with many engineers and just expand my knowledge on countless engineering principles.
Starting Wednesday morning at 4 am when I arrived at work, I was assigned to work with Berkel and Company to monitor and observe what is called a load test. We are testing the foundation of this massive complex that is being built. We installed what are know as Auger Cast Piles which are 24” inches in diameter and go about 85’ feet into the ground. What we want to know is if the piles can support the load that will be placed on it.
To perform the test we will load the pile and monitor how it responds. We tested it with many different loads. We started with no load and went all the way up to 1200 Tons, 2400 Kips or 2.4 million pounds. It might not sound that impressive, but we broke a record. We held 2400 Kips for over 12 hours. I was there for each (or every) minute of that record. I actually worked 37 hours that day. (or two days)
On top of breaking this record, the Regional Manager for the testing company came to the project and monitored the test. After getting to know each other, he told me that he wanted me to work for him and his company. He offered me a job working in San Francisco and making much more than I am making now. Since I am currently working for PSI, I told him that I would give him a call for next summer. On top of offering me job, they wrote me a check for a few hundred dollars thanking me for the help that I provided.
Aside from working countless hours I have managed to fill my few minutes of free time with healthy and productive activities. I got a Gold’s Gym membership and have started to get super buff and you can’t get buff without eating healthy. My weekend has been filled with working out and eating some great food like marinated chicken grilled on a barbeque and homemade salads with vegetables right out of the garden.
Here are some new pictures:
Cubes – These are my babies. Whenever there is concrete or grout used, I have to take a sample. I have these molds that I use to make these perfect cubes. These cubes are taken to our lab where we get to smash them with cool machines to make sure the concrete is strong. These are designed to support over 4000 psi.
Garden – This is the garden where all my healthy food is grown. There are tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peppers, spices, beans and anything else you could imagine. Cooking is so much more enjoyable when you know your ingredients come right out of your garden.
Load Test – I should have stood in the picture, but the bottom of the beam is about 6 feet above the ground. The big machine at the bottom is a hydraulic pump that was designed for a nuclear power plant. Above the hydraulic pump you can see a smaller cylinder with a wire coming out of it. This is the load cell. It weighs about 350 pounds and can measure a load up to 3 million pounds or 3000 Kips. So if any of you need to check your weight, this might do the job… Unfortunately it only measures to the nearest kip which is a 1000 pounds. I could spend hours telling you about all the physics and engineering that are going on in this picture, but I will have to save that for another time. Yeah… (I want to say more… But you probably wouldn’t understand me very well.)
Work – This is probably one of the BEST pictures I have ever taken. And I didn’t even take it… The concrete wall took it for me, lol. This is my ATV or a Yamaha Rhino. In the picture I was using a 10 foot trailer to move some things. This is me with my fancy greenish yellow vest and hardhat. I have also resumed growing my beard. I spend all day in the sun and have a fantastic “farmers” tan.
So that is a brief update on what is going on. I am very excited to be an engineer and work on projects like this all over the world. The people and companies that I am meeting are definitely going places that I would like to go.
Have a fantastic week and hopefully we will be able to talk soon.