Blog Archives

Acceleration and Deceleration

Acceleration is measured in velocity change per second, so miles per hour per second (mphps), feet per second per second (fpsps or fps/s) etc. Deceleration is negative acceleration, so I probably won't use that term from here on out and simply stitch with acceleration.

If you are starting from zero with an acceleration of 3 fps/s, your velocity will increase by 3 for every second from then on. So 0, 3, 6, 9, 12 etc.

There is one equation relating velocity(v) and acceleration(a):

 v_f = v_0 + at

Use this equation for any problem with initial and final velocity, and acceleration. Click here to continue reading

Material You Can Bring in to the Exam

As we are nearing an exam weekend I thought it would be good to go over what you can and cannot bring in to the exam. The NCEES is extremely strict about what you have so please, unless you want to be escorted out by the police, follow their guidelines!

NO CELLPHONE, leave it in the car! If your Android IceCream buzzes during the test -> instant police escort.

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Deciphering What to Study for the PE Exam

The reference books won't help you decide what to study, it would be great if they had little Breadth or Depth indicators in the section headers... but they don't. So it is upon you to decipher what to study.

Several times now, I have realized far too late that the topic I am studying in the CERM or AIO is not relevant to what I need. In most cases this is due to me stumbling into a section of a chapter that is for the depth test on the topic instead of the breadth.

Just today I was studying the Hydraulic Machines chapter of the CERM (Chapter 18). This section covers pumps and other hydraulic machines and things like efficiency, speeds, horsepower, changes in energy head etc. All of those things will be in the breadth section so it is good I studied them. However after covering speed, the chapter jumps straight into cavitation and suction which only appear on the hydraulic depth section. I will admit those things are interesting but I probably should been studying something that will be relevant to me.

The easiest way to stay on course is to constantly refer to the exam specifications on what to study:

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Dead Loads and Live Loads

Structural loads are placed into two main categories, dead loads and live loads.

Dead loads are loads on a structure due to the structure's own weight.

Live loads are loads on the structure due to objects that are not permanent like people, furniture, and vehicles.

The goal of structural design is to accurately tally up the projected loads in a structure, convert them to stress, and compare that stress to what the structure can handle (the designed strength). There are two camps on how this is to be done:

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