Author Archives: Dan Popp

2013 Steel Conference Recap

Last month I was privileged to attend the 2013 NASCC Steel Conference in St. Louis. This was my first steel conference and I can now agree with the sentiment of a friend: if you’re a structural engineer and can only … Continue reading

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ETABS 2013 Initial Reactions

The wait is over: ETABS 2013 was released last Tuesday, April 23rd. CSI was kind enough to upgrade my firm’s licenses that same day, so I’ve spent the better part of two weeks tinkering with the new version. Following more … Continue reading

Posted in ETABS | 35 Comments

Rigid Thinking

Quick tip: when applying temperature loads to a diaphragm (for example, in a parking structure), make sure the diaphragm is set to semirigid, not rigid. I definitely did not just make this mistake in my model and I don’t know … Continue reading

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ETABS Keyboard Shortcuts

My wife and I had a standing disagreement for the first year after moving into our house: she thought it was faster to turn at the stoplight; I thought it was quicker to get there the back way. It turns … Continue reading

Posted in ETABS, software | 6 Comments

ETABS Recovered Loads

When designing a structure, you as the structural engineer must keep in view the big picture. What are the ‘vital signs’ of the structure? What do you tell your supervisor when they ask for a quick status? ETABS, like other … Continue reading

Posted in ETABS, software, tools | 5 Comments

ETABS 2013

The eternally-pending release of ETABS 2013 is a recurring topic of conversation in my office these days. As a major factor in my productivity and thus my bringing home the necessary bacon, I have a great deal of interest in … Continue reading

Posted in ETABS, software | 6 Comments

Hard Lessons

Dear Young Engineer, A friend and I were talking not long ago and I mentioned my “I’ll never do that again” list. He asked if he could see it for his own benefit and I told him that it wasn’t … Continue reading

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A Structural Engineer’s Toolbox

How does a structural engineer work well? The same way as any other professional: by using the right tools. Here are the basics in my toolbox: Pencil and paper – start here, always. You should be able to explain a … Continue reading

Posted in musings, software, tools | 2 Comments

The Missing Manual

No career comes with a manual. There is truly no substitute for experience in any field, most especially structural engineering. As I near the end of my first decade as an engineer, I have learned a few things that I … Continue reading

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