November 2019 Print

President's Report

November is here and winter is just around the corner.  I had a great opportunity last month to take one last trip and get a few more days of summer activities in before the onset of winter.  I was able to spend 4 days in Colorado Mountain biking and kayaking.  We couldn’t have had better timing as we had great weather for the entire trip then drove home in a snowstorm when we were done.  I’m looking forward to a great winter hopefully filled with all of the great winter activities that Utah has to offer.

We have a lot going on in the ASCE Utah Section this month.  On Saturday November 2 Anna Denecke from Society will be here to complete some training and help us to kick off our efforts on the Utah Infrastructure Report Card.  The report card is an exciting opportunity to look at the condition and performance of Utah’s infrastructure.  Our past section president, Craig Friant is leading up this effort.  This is a huge task and we appreciate Craig’s willingness to donate his time and talents to lead up this effort.  Anyone who is interested and willing to help out please reach out to Craig or myself. 

Thanksgiving is coming up this month and this is a great time to think about all of the reasons we have to be thankful.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve as the President of the Utah Section this year and to have to opportunity to work with so many great people in each of the Branches and YMF, and within the Section, and Region. I want to thank each of the members of the Utah Section for your willingness to serve and to represent our profession. 

You can expect to see information this month for ASCE award nominations.  When you receive the award nomination information please take the time to nominate your colleagues. You can fill out the nomination form and submit it to any member of the Utah Section Board by April 1, 2020. The Section will recognize the winners of these awards at the Annual Utah Section Meeting in June 2019 Have a great November and enjoy Thanksgiving.

John Diamond, P.E.

ASCE Utah Section President

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History and Heritage

History and Heritage Committee – Cody Palmer

“To recognize that the greatest error is not to have tried and failed, but that in trying, we did not give it our best effort”

Gene Kranz – Former Apollo mission control flight director

Kranz, Gene. Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. Simon & Schuster, 2009.

This past month, I’ve been listening to this audiobook by Gene Kranz. Perhaps it is the nerd in me, but it has been fun reading about the early space program, the risk that was involved, and their success and failures and how they chose to learn from them.

I believe each of us can recall times where our skills, knowledge, and capacity was stretched and perhaps fell short (or at least we asked ourselves, Can I do this?). Perhaps it was a test or class at school, an overwhelming project at work, or situation in your personal life. What did you do or how did you cope (or maybe are still working through it now)?

I believe each of us have opportunities and experiences, often specifically tailored to us that can make us shrink or become better and stronger. Despite failure or loss, if we will choose to learn from it, we can resolve to do better. My encouragement is: Don’t give up! Keep moving! And in moments of reflection, document your unique thoughts on the experience. Who knows: those journals and records may help you later on and perhaps those who read them.

We continue the call for suggestions on an engineer or engineering project in history that you feel we should recognize as a landmark individual or landmark project this coming year.

For all past ASCE officers/leaders, if you have ASCE records in your possession (either electronic or paper), we would like to collect those items in an archive so the future ASCE leaders in our section can have a growing resource to learn from.

We also would like to welcome two new members of the History and Heritage Committee: Tevi Lawson and Greg Ostermiller. Thank you for your willingness to serve.

Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]

Sample criteria of a landmark individual - a person of significance who:

  1. Was an engineer
  2. Was the first to accomplish something new or noteworthy in engineering
  3. Received an auspicious award, (Nobel peace prize, any notable award)
  4. Created an engineering organization
  5. Set, instituted or created a new precedent that changed or significantly influenced modern design practices (moment distribution, first to invent or create an engineering technique or method)
  6. Championed the cause of the civil engineering industry (Eisenhower creating the highway network)

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Technical Article

Adding “Depth” to Civil Designs with 3D Printing

In the last 5 years or so you’ve probably come across a new and exciting technology known as “3D printing.” It might surprise you to learn that 3D printing has existed in some form for around 30 years. Beginning in 2002 some of the earliest 3D printing patents began to expire. With the expiration of these patents and advances in the production of low-cost, easily programmed microcontrollers, 3D printing has exploded in popularity. Hopefully this article will give you a glimpse of how this exciting technology can add a new “dimension” to our civil engineering designs and provide additional value to our clients and communities.

What is “3D Printing”?

3D Printing is a form of additive manufacturing where a three-dimensional object is built up one thin layer at a time. Many different processes and technologies for 3D printing exist. These processes are defined in ISO/ASTM 52900 but some of the most common include:

  • Material Extrusion (Fused Deposition Modelling - FDM): Material is selectively dispensed through a nozzle or orifice.
  • Vat Polymerization (SLA & DLP): Liquid photopolymer in a vat is selectively cured by UV light
  • Powder Bed Fusion (SLS, DMLS & SLM): A high-energy source selectively fuses powder particles

(from :

The most commonly available “consumer” 3d printer models are material extrusion models. If you’ve never seen one of these machines in action, picture a hot glue gun mounted on an old pen plotter. Now imagine that the glue gun “pen” (extruder) draws an object layer by squirting glue onto the paper (build surface) and when one layer is drawn, the pen raises up (or paper lowers down) by the thickness of one layer and begins drawing another layer on top of the previous layer. The printer then repeats this process until all layers of the object have be drawn and a 3D object is the result. A simple search for “3D printing time lapse” will reveal hundreds of videos illustrating the process. Here are a couple such videos:

3D CAD Revolution

Along with the explosion in 3D printing, the last 10 to 15 years have seen significant advances in the realm of computer aided design (CAD).  With CAD software tools like Autodesk’s Civil 3D and Revit and Bentley’s InRoads and OpenRoads Designer, our industry has seen an increasing shift to 3D design for buildings, roadways, bridges, pipe networks, earthworks and more. It’s not hard to imagine a future where two-dimensional plan sheets - either in paper or electronic - are obsolete and replaced with 3D interactive models of our designs.  In fact, there are organizations such as the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) that are actively pursuing initiatives to transition away from 2D deliverables.

While it is one thing to be able show your clients or the public a realistic 3D rendering of your latest design in a video clip or simulation, there are times where it helps to be able to sit around a table and be able to point to a physical plan or model to effectively collaborate and communicate design intent or potential concerns. We can now relatively easily combine our 3D CAD designs with 3D printing to produce physical models.

From 3D CAD to 3D Print

Although your CAD software handles the conversion from CAD format to a printer spool file which your inkjet or laser printer can print, most currently available 3D printers and 3D printing service providers require a 3D model be converted to a specific type of file called a  Stereolithography (STL) file. The STL file is currently the 3D printing industry standard for distributing 3D printable files. 3D Printers and printing service providers take the STL file and run the file through a “slicing” process where the model is broken down into the individual layers that will be printed and combined into the final 3D print.

Because every printer handles the actual slicing process slightly differently, we will limit our discussion to how to create a STL file from a 3D CAD model. In addition, while there are several CAD software packages that can be used to generate 3D designs, we are going to focus on using Civil 3D as it is currently the most popular civil design CAD software on the market.

The image below is an STL file created from a concrete water tank design consisting of a finished grade surface, a 3D model of the tank, and the associated tank and storm drain pipe networks.

Figure 1. Image of an STL file ready for 3D printing.

The creation of the various Civil 3D objects that make up the design pictured above is beyond the scope of this article; however, the commands described below can be used to convert each those Civil 3D objects into a single, 3D printable STL file.

Export Surface to Solid.

Entering EXPORTSURFACETOSOLID in the command line will bring up the following dialog:

Figure 2. Civil 3D Export Surface to Solid dialog box.

Select the TIN surface you want to export from the dropdown box. In the “Vertical definition” section, select “At a fixed elevation” and specify an elevation just below the minimum elevation of your selected surface. This will give your surface a thickness and a flat bottom at the elevation you specify, which is great for providing a solid first layer to your 3D print. Review the drawing output section, accept the default values or change as necessary for your needs. When you hit the Create Solid button, Civil 3D will create a solid model of your TIN surface. If your TIN surface is too dense (which is common when using LiDAR derived terrain surfaces), you may need to use the SIMPLIFYSURFACE command to reduce the number of points in your TIN before exporting the surface.

Convert Pipe Network Elements to Solids

In your design, you might have pipes or structures that are visible above ground that you want represented in your model such as the manholes, inlets and pipe and fitting shown in the image below:

Figure 3. Sample STL file depicting solid pipes and drainage structures.

Civil 3D pressure and gravity pipe networks contain all the information needed to create 3D models of pipes and structures by default but you need to use the CONVERTO3DSOLIDS command to create solid objects that you can export for 3D printing. If you start the command from a plan view orientation, you will get a warning recommending that you switch to a 3D view. If you get this warning, cancel, use ORBIT to rotate your view slightly and start the CONVERTOT3DSOLIDS command again.  Now select the pipes and structures you want to export and hit enter. Choose if you want to delete your existing pipes and structures (probably not, as this would break and annotation labels, styles, and profiles associated with those pipes and structures) and hit enter again. The result of this command should be individual “3D solid” objects representing your pipes and structures.

Create Other 3D Solid Objects as Needed

Civil 3D includes all the advanced 3D CAD commands necessary to create primitive 3D solids such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, cones, etc.  You can use these commands to create basic representations of tanks, buildings and other features you might need included in your 3D print. For more complex 3D objects, research the EXTRUDE, LOFT, SWEEP, REVOLVE, and PRESSPULL commands. The large tank in Figure 1 was created by tracing a structural section view outline and using the REVOLVE command.

Combine all 3D Solids and Export STL File

Once you have all your individual design elements converted to “3D solid” object types, use the UNION command to combine the separate entities into a single object. When complete, use the STLOUT command and select your single 3D solid object. You will be asked if you want to create a binary STL file. You can enter yes or no; either one will result in a 3D printable STL file.

Print the STL file

You can now take the STL file you created and print it!

Figure 4. Completed 3D print, printed on an FDM 3D printer.

There are dozens of good 3D printers on the market now, ranging in price from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Below are a few examples. These are all plastic extrusion (FDM) printers:

If you don’t have a 3D printer, try your local library, university or “makerspace”. These organizations often have 3D printers available to the public for reasonable fees. Alternatively, you can upload your STL file to an online 3D print service provider and they will print your model and ship it directly to you. A couple providers include:

Further Reading

For additional details about 3D printing and associated best practices, I highly recommend reading the 3D printing guide on 3D Hubs website:

Feel free to contact me with additional questions.

Clint Merrell, P.E., CFM


ASCE Southern Utah Branch

Bowen Collins and Associates

[email protected]

435.656.3299 Office

20 North Main, Suite 107

St. George, UT 84770

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Wasatch Front Branch Update

On October 11, 2019, the Wasatch Front Branch was able to tour the Salt Lake City Airport expansion.   It was great to hear about various aspects of the work including the testing of the baggage screening system, seismic and geotechnical considerations.  Many thanks to Kent Dvorak from Terracon who organized the tour for us. 

Our November meeting will be on Friday, November 22nd at Salt Lake Community College (Taylorsville Campus, 4600 S. Redwood Road).  In December we will be sponsoring a family through Sub for Santa and will hold our monthly meeting on December 20th at WesTech Engineering (366 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City).


Sarah Albano

Wasatch Front Branch President

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Northern Utah Branch Update

On October 17, 2019 the Northern Utah Branch had our second technical presentation of this year.  The technical presentation was given by Nathan Daugs with the Cache County Water District.  Nathan presented on the Districts current and future plans.   

Our next technical lunch and learn is scheduled for November 21.  Nate Wright continues to organize the lunch and learns and does a great job.

Since our last meeting we have appointed Alex Oliphant to be our membership chair.  Alex was the membership chair last year and helps with keeping track of member record and works with keeping email list up to date.

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Younger Member Forum

Recap of Recent Events

The Fall 2019 PE Review Class was wrapped up on Oct. 8th. First of all, we want to express our sincere thanks to UDOT Region 2 for hosting the class, and all our instructors for spending the time preparing the class. Also, this time our President-elect, Jenna Jaye, made some changes on the class. We extended the class length to 150 minutes, changed class time to 6:30 pm, added a summary class, and provided refreshments during the class. We have been always working on some improvements for our PE Review Class to provide a better atmosphere to both instructors and students. Feel free to contact and help us keep improving the class.

As the temperature is getting colder, we are a little bit slow on our activities. But we still had our annual Fall BBQ event hosted at Sugarhouse Park on Oct. 18th. We did burgers, hot dogs, and decorated pumpkins with engineers and their families. This is an event that has always been acting as a bridge to connect with student chapters, in between engineers, and with government agencies, as a whole civil engineering community. If you missed this one, please subscribe our blast email and we will have another in Spring or Summer 2020.

November Events:

Student outreach is one of YMF’s responsibilities, and we are invited to FE Exam Tip Session at the University of Utah in the week of 4th. This will be a joint event with University of Utah Student Chapter, our representative(s) will give a 10-15 minutes presentation on the FE Exam and Engineering License.

Meanwhile, we are planning a social event before Thanksgiving. The detailed information will be sent out soon.

Keep warm and enjoy the winter!

Lingkun Li

ASCE Utah YMF, President

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Central Utah Branch Update

President-Elect Position

The CUB has filled its President-Elect Position with Zach Herbert, a staff engineer at the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. The branch would like to welcome him to the presidency.


The CUB met at the Central Utah Water Conservancy District on October 24th to hear from Delmas Johnson of J-U-B Engineers. He presented information on a drinking water project in Mapleton City, where he was involved in conducting a water quality assessment of the city’s wells. On November 21st  the CUB plans to meet at Utah Valley University (UVU) where Ellie Merrill and Alex Christensen of AECOM will be presenting.   

Call for Presentation Ideas

The CUB is looking for presentation ideas for March and May of 2020.  We are interested in having presentations on projects, research, historical information, and ethics discussions from across the civil engineering spectrum (geotech, transportation, water, structures, etc…). 

Contact for Presenters

Please contact Blake Buehler at [email protected], or call him at (385) 312-4064 if you are interested in presenting to the group. We would love to hear from our local members and their colleagues.

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Southern Utah Branch Update

We were pleased to hear from Matt Rosenwald from American Pipe last month on ductile iron pipe and its uses in the water and wastewater industry.  This month we will be hearing from Heather Christensen with Geneva Pipe.  She will be presenting on concrete pipe used for jacking and projects they have used it on.  This will be held on November 12th at the old airport terminal.

Todd Gardner

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Structural Engineering Institute Chapter

Greetings.  I hope everyone had an enjoyable and productive summer.  As always, there are a few events for structural engineers on the horizon.

The new snow load study has been adopted and in effect since July.  We appreciate all the good work of SEAU and Utah State University to develop and implement this tool.  It is particularly better at predicting snow load in the valley areas.  You might have noticed ground snow loads that are lower than the old snow load study.  With this reduction, it is even more important to pay attention to the snow load modification factors for temperature.  Most residential roofs are ventilated, and should use a Ct value of 1.1.  Using a value of Ct=1.0 will underestimate the snow load by 10 percent for ventilated roofs.  The design loads need to be correct so that we strike the code specified balance between building economy and safety.

The next Structures Congress is April 5-8, 2020 in St. Louis MO.  Note it on the calendar now; it will be April before we blink a few times.  I’ll add registration and conference information as it becomes available.   Scholarships for Student and Young Professionals to attend are available.  Applications are due January 3, 2020.  Apply at 

I hope all of you are taking advantage of your continuing education credits available through ASCE.  They upped their game to 10 credits this year.  Register for those courses and then renew your membership for next year.  Check out additional options for continuing education at

Also check out new presentation from SEI President Glenn Bell on Future Vison for Structural Engineering or on youtube.  This is an exciting time for our profession.  The body of knowledge is continually increasing.  Let’s do our best to keep up.


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Utah Geo-Institute Chapter

Utah Geo-Institute (G-I) Chapter  By Ryan Maw and Taylor Hall

The Utah Geo-Institute had the pleasure of completing an outreach presentation to upcoming engineers at Salt Lake Community College in October.  Here is a summary of Geoprofessional events on the horizon:

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This year we are producing the ASCE report card for the State of Utah. We need some volunteers to help write the following sections: Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste, and Avaiation. Training and support will be provided. This is an amzing resume builder and networking opportunity! If you would like to participate please contact Craig Friant with [email protected]

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