Profile photo of Vernon Villanueva

About Vernon Villanueva

Vernon Villanueva is experienced in the practice of civil and forensic engineering, and believes that the best solutions usually come about when when science is combined with art and technology. He is a licensed civil engineer in California, and is currently serving as a member of the board of directors for FASAE SoCal (Filipino American Society of Architects and Engineers of Southern California).

Celebrate Women in Engineering and Register for the 2017 Global Marathon

2017 Global Marathon Logo Horizontal

DiscoverE’s 2017 Global Marathon

Two Women Engineers

Global Marathon is a celebration of women in engineering.

The 2017 Global Marathon, a DiscoverE event, is a free, virtual event that focuses on women in engineering and technology, and will take place on March 8-9, 2017. The sessions are aimed to educate and empower.

The keynote topic for this year is the engineering behind Cirque du Soleil. In addition, there will be a wide range of exciting topics that will be covered, including the Mentorship Cycle, Entrepreneurship, and many others.

Taking part is easy. Just register and watch the sessions remotely on your computer or mobile device.

Agenda and Speakers

2017 Engineers Week - Dream BigThis year’s marathon builds on the theme Dream Big. The full agenda can be viewed on DiscoverE’s 2017 Global Marathon Agenda page, while the full list of dynamic speakers can be viewed on DiscoverE’s speakers page. Here is just a brief sampling of what will be presented.

Day 1 – Creating Your Dream

  • The Engineering of Cirque du Soleil: An Intersection of Circus Arts & Technology!
  • All Aboard, The Future of Commercial Space Travel
  • Engineering Student to Entrepreneur; Global Team Creates Global Solution

Day 2 – Making Your Dream a Reality

  • STEM, the Other Mother Tongue
  • The Mentorship Cycle – Mentoring Throughout Your Career
  • Dream Big: Engineering Our World

Register for the 2017 Global Marathon

Mentorship is one of the topics being covered in the 2017 Global Marathon.

Mentorship is one of the topics being covered in the 2017 Global Marathon.

There are many topics that will be covered so we’ve created a handy 2017 Global Marathon Schedule Planner (PDF) to help you plan which sessions you’ll view. Even if you’re even just remotely interested, register now or share it with someone who might be. Make sure to check your email after you’ve registered and follow the instructions.

Did I mention it was free and virtual? So set aside some time now to check it out, and get inspired.

Other Programs and More Information

Global Marathon is one of many campaigns by DiscoverE to help promote engineering, especially to the youth and women. Other campaigns include Engineers Week, Girl Day, and Global Day.

To keep up-to-date on things related to construction and engineering, follow Jax Kneppers Associates, Inc. on LinkedIn.

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Today is Girl Day – Introduce a Girl to Engineering

2017 Girl Day logo

Two visually-impaired girls work together on a small vehicle.

Two visually-impaired girls work together on a small vehicle.

Girl Day is a worldwide campaign to introduce girls K-12 to the innovative world of engineering. Thousands of engineers, teachers and others act as Role Models to educate girls about how engineers change our world. This campaign is part of Engineers Week 2017.

Girl Day is more than just one day. It is a movement to show girls the importance and impact of engineering in the global community. Now, more than ever, the world needs young women to pursue career paths in STEM (science, technology, engineering & math). Below is a short guide to help you get started, and here’s a PDF of the Girl Day 2017 Planning Guide.

Planning Your Girl Day Activities

  • STEP 1: Find out if something is already being planned.
    Does your company, engineering society or university host Girl Day events? Get involved.
  • STEP 2: Create opportunities to inspire.
    Introducing a girl to engineering can happen anywhere and at any time. Think about what works for you and your schedule. You can:

    • Visit a classroom or afterschool program. In as little as 45 minutes you can tell students about your job, how it makes a difference in the world and answer questions. And you can lead a hands-on activity.
    • Invite a small group of girls to visit you at work or on your campus. You can give them a tour, introduce them to your colleagues and showcase a project under development. You can even feed them lunch!
  • STEP 3: Reach Girls.
    Two girls explore the properties of pink blob of gak while a volunteer looks on.

    Two girls explore the properties of pink blob of gak while a volunteer looks on.

    Contact the staff person in your organization who handles community engagement, volunteerism or K-12 outreach to find out about any, current relationships with local groups. If there are no pre-existing relationships, consider contacting the local Girl Scouts, 4-H clubs and schools to set up a visit. National Girls Collaborative Project has a rich database of local girl serving organizations. And, you can visit this step-by-step guide to get pointers.

  • STEP 4: Select Activities.
    You want fun, hands-on engineering activity ideas? We’ve got tons to choose from!
  • STEP 5: Use effective messages about engineering.
    Students in K-12 often don’t know what engineering really is and what engineers do. Use these five powerful and effective messages about engineering to really connect with students. Watch our Bring it Out video series to see powerful messages in action. Also, see our online guide for tips on how to talk to students about engineering.
  • STEP 6: New to working with girls or hosting an event?
    Check out our short, online training that walks you through the ins and outs of leading hands-on activities.
  • STEP 7: Share your plans.
    Announce your event on the following DiscoverE social media pages:

Not Just Today

Remember, this is not limited to today only. You can do this any time of the year. All it takes is a little bit of planning and the right resources. So whether you’re an engineer, teacher, or someone who’s interested in STEM subjects, this is a great way to make a positive impact on our younger generation and the world.

More Information

For more information about Girl Day, please visit DiscoverE’s Girl Day web portal. There you can find all sorts of resources to help spread the word and inspire the next generation of girls to become women engineers.

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2017 National Engineers Week

2017 Engineers Week Logo

The 2017 National Engineers Week or Eweek is just around the corner. This year it will be celebrated from February 19-25, 2017.

2017 National Engineers Week

2017 Engineers Week - Dream BigIn the United States, National Engineers Week is always the week in February which encompasses George Washington’s actual birthday, February 22. It is observed by more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. The purpose of National Engineers Week is to call attention to the contributions to society that engineers make. It is also a time for engineers to emphasize the importance of learning math, science, and technical skills.

The celebration of National Engineers Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers in conjunction with President George Washington’s birthday. President Washington is considered as the nation’s first engineer, notably for his survey work.

Dates to Remember

What You Can Do

The best place to get information regarding Engineers Week is to visit the DiscoverE.org web portal dedicated to Engineers Week. There you will find all about the events listed above as well as a resource page with different media formats to help spread the work and encourage youth to take up engineering.

Dream Big

To help kick start Engineers Week, Eweek organizers have created a film called Dream Big for IMAX and giant screen theaters that showcases engineering’s impact on our world. It is produced by MacGillivray Freeman. The trailer is below and looks to be inspiring to both young and old alike.

 

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Participating in the 2016 Great California ShakeOut

The Great California ShakeOut

2016 Great California ShakeOut

2016 Great California ShakeOut

You’ve probably heard about it before, but what exactly is the Great California ShakeOut? The Great California ShakeOut is a statewide earthquake drill that occurs annually every third Thursday of October. This year, it is scheduled to happen on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 10:20am. I highly recommend that you, your business, and/or your family take part of this potentially lifesaving earthquake drill.

California is at a higher risk of experiencing an earthquake than the rest of the United States, and it makes sense to prepare ourselves to be able to survive an earthquake. By participating in this drill, you will be able to practice what to do during and after a big earthquake.

Other states and regions will hold their ShakeOut on different dates. Check the ShakeOut website and choose the appropriate region in the dropdown menu to find out when your drill will take place.

Drop, Cover and Hold On

Drop, Cover and Hold On is the battle cry of the Great California ShakeOut and is the recommended course of action during an earthquake. This protocol says that when an earthquake happens, you should:

  1. DROP to the ground.
  2. Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table.
  3. HOLD ON to the desk or table until the shaking stops.

A more detailed explanation of the Drop, Cover and Hold On protocol, along with illustrative videos, can be found on the Great California ShakeOut website. Take the time to review the content provided on the ShakeOut website. You can also download the ShakeOut – Recommended Earthquake Safety Actions PDF  and other info from their resources page.

If you have any more questions, The Great California Shakeout has a Frequently Asked Questions section.

Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety. Click on image to visit website.

Doing the drill is only one part of preparing for a devastating earthquake. The Earthquake Country Alliance, an organization whose mission statement is “to support and coordinate efforts which improve earthquake and tsunami resilience”, has created a seven-step guide for earthquake safety preparation. As you can see, the Drop, Cover, and Hold On protocol is step number five in the steps outlined below. Their website goes into more detail about its Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety and visiting it is highly recommended.

  1. Secure your space – Identify hazards and secure moveable items.
  2. Plan to be safe – Create a disaster plan and decide how you will communicate in an emergency.
  3. Organize disaster supplies – These supplies should be located in convenient locations.
  4. Minimize financial hardship – Organize important documents, strengthen your property, and consider insurance.
  5. Drop, Cover, and Hold On – Follow this protocol when the earth shakes.
  6. Improve Safety – After an earthquake, evacuate if necessary, help the injured, and prevent further injuries or damage in order to improve safety.
  7. Reconnect and Restore – Reconnect with others, repair damage, and rebuild community to restore daily life.

Summary

In closing, the following is a quick summary of what to do to prepare for the Great California ShakeOut.

  1. Register – Register yourself or your family, your school, or business for the Great California ShakeOut.
  2. Prepare – Prepare for the drill and real earthquakes by following the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety.
  3. Share – Share what you have learned with others — your family, friends, colleagues — so that they benefit also from the preparations. Encourage them to participate in the ShakeOut as well.
  4. Participate – Set your calendar notifications for October 20 at 10:20am. Come that time, follow the recommended steps of Drop, Cover and Hold On as part of the drill. You can make your drill as straightforward or as involved as you want, with the goal of learning what to do in the event of an earthquake emergency. Afterwards, celebrate with your colleagues or family for a job well done.

So mark your calendars for the 2016 ShakeOut. While you’re at it, you might as well mark next year’s also, as it is scheduled to take place on October 19, 2017.

Stay Safe

Emergency Preparedness "ready to go" kit.

Washington, DC, July 22, 2008 — A Red Cross “ready to go” preparedness kit showing the bag and it’s contents. Red Cross photograph

We never know when a large magnitude earthquake is going to happen. All we can do is be well prepared like a good scout. But, by following the steps above, you can rest assured that you’re well-prepared to handle the big one like a champ in case it comes. Here’s to a successful Great California ShakeOut drill and stay safe!

Fall Home Maintenance for the Busy

Street during the Fall

Autumn Leaves

It’s that time of the year again when the air will turn noticeably crisper, the days shorter and the nights longer. Fiery yellow, orange and red leaves will soon dominate the landscape (as well as football) and little minions will be lining up on your doorstep extorting you for sweets. So before you get caught up in that fall storm called Thanksgiving dinner preparation, get a jump on your fall home maintenance in the next coming weeks.

This is a great time to do house maintenance as the temperatures are cooler (but not too cold as it is in winter); making it an ideal time to do outdoor chores without the summer sun beating down on you.

We know you’re busy so we compiled a list of tips to prepare your house for these cooler months. Many you can do yourself quickly, but some of the more involved ones are best left to professionals, therefore freeing up your time for the more important stuff – like making your own costume or carving that award-winning pumpkin with the kids.

Check It Out

Interior

  • Cat resting by fireplace

    Have your fireplace checked by a professional so you and your pets can enjoy its warmth.

    Check the fireplace. Ensure the fireplace is working. Make sure there are no obstructions in your chimney. Have an inspector check your fireplace and chimney if you suspect any damage.

  • Check smoke and CO (carbon monoxide) detectors. See if they are functioning properly. It’s a good idea to change the batteries too.
  • Clean or replace air filters. Having clean air filters make your heating and cooling units run efficiently.
  • Check windows and doors. Make sure they close properly to prevent drafts and lower heating costs. Replace cracked window panes and repair loose frames.
  • Put ceiling fans in reverse. Many ceiling fans have a reverse switch. Changing the spin direction of your ceiling fan will create an upward draft that will redistribute warm air from the ceiling to human level. This article explains how this saves you on energy costs.

Building Exterior

  • Debris in Gutters

    Clearing debris in gutters may help prevent roof leaks.

    Clean rain gutters. Make sure rain gutters are free from debris and downspouts drain properly.

  • Perform a roof tune-up. Repair or replace cracked or missing tiles and/or shingles. Make sure all penetrations and laps are sealed properly so that water can’t enter your home. Clear the roof from debris to ensure that water flows away from the building as intended.
  • Check windows and doors. Caulk windows if there are separations or gaps. Ensure proper weatherstripping at doors to prevent drafts, and to lower heating costs.
  • Repair cracked or peeling paint. Clean and paint over any peeling paint to prevent further damage.
  • Seal separations and cracks. Use caulking to seal separations in wood. Hire a stucco expert to fix stucco cracks.
  • Cover window air conditioners and outdoor units. Use covers to protect unused cooling units from precipitation. If you have the time, you can remove unused window air conditioners and store them away.
  • Check foundation for cracks. Enlist a professional if you see any significant cracks.
  • Repair cracks on driveways and hardscape. Repair cracks with driveway filler and seal your driveway.

Yard

  • Fall leaves on the ground

    You can use fallen leaves in your compost.

    Stow away your gas-powered tools. Storing your gas-powered tools is relatively simple but it takes some know-how.

  • Store your summer garden tools. Cleaning and drying them before storing prolongs their lifetime.
  • Rake leaves regularly. Aside from beautifying your home, a yard free of leaves will discourage insects and other pests from nesting in your yard. You can even mulch the leaves and use them for compost.
  • Trim your bushes and trees. Keeping a buffer of 3’ from house will prevent damage during strong winds, and help discourage critters from getting on your roof.
  • Drain hoses. Water left in hoses can freeze and damage hoses.
  • Shut off outdoor water supply. Shut off outdoor water supply and drain pipes. As in hoses, water in pipes can freeze and cause damage.

Decks and Balconies

  • Cover seasonal outdoor items. Protect furniture, barbecue grills, fire pits and the like by covering them.

  • Check exterior supports, stairs and railings.  Repair any damaged items to prevent injury and more damage.
  • Clean decks and apply sealer. Prepare your deck for the upcoming harsher weather.

 

Other Helpful Lists

There are other things that you can do but the ones listed above are the essential if your time is limited. We’ve compiled a few links that offer more comprehensive lists.

You’re Not Alone

If you are unsure about any of the items on the list, don’t hesitate to call professionals for help. And make sure they’re licensed and bonded. Spending a little on maintenance can possibly save you a lot more in the long run. For example, a few hundred spent on a roof tune-up can help prevent roof leaks and potentially save you thousands of dollars in repair.

With a little planning and budgeting, you can maintain your house this fall. But be sure you do it before you get turned into one of the walking dead amidst that panic we all know as Christmas shopping.

Happy National Engineers Week!

http://img-9gag-ftw.9cache.com/photo/aeNWZEB_700b_v1.jpg

In the United States, National Engineers Week is always the week in February which encompasses George Washington’s actual birthday, February 22. It is observed by more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. The purpose of National Engineers Week is to call attention to the contributions to society that engineers make. It is also a time for engineers to emphasize the importance of learning math, science, and technical skills.

The celebration of National Engineers Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers in conjunction with President George Washington’s birthday. President Washington is considered as the nation’s first engineer, notably for his survey work.[1]

The results of the Federal Engineer of the Year Award are announced during the week.

http://www.discovere.org/our-programs/engineers-week

 

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2015 National Engineers Week

Portrait of George Washington

George Washington was an avid land surveyor and is considered to be the nation’s first engineer.

The 2015 National Engineers Week is coming up and will take place February 22-28.

Observed by more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies, National Engineers Week’s purpose is to spotlight the contributions that engineers make to society. It is also a time for engineers to bring attention the importance of learning math, science, and technical skills.

The celebration of National Engineers Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers.  It usually coincides with President George Washington’s birthday (February 22), although in some years, it instead coincided with Presidents day. For his work in land surveying, President Washington is considered as the United States of America’s first engineer.

If you know an engineer, make sure to greet him/her a happy National Engineers Week.  If you yourself are an engineer, take the time to spread the importance of learning math and science to others, especially the youth, and inform others the significant impact of engineers to our society — without bragging, of course.

Next year in the year 2016, Engineers Week will be celebrated from February 21-27. The countdown has already begun, and you can keep track of it at DiscoverE’s Engineers Week webpage.

DiscoverE is an organization formerly known as the National Engineers Week Foundation. The volunteer-based organization’s mission is “to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession through outreach, education, celebration, and volunteerism”.

SOURCES:

A Holiday Tradition Continues With A Twist

Every year, JKA sends out a holiday cards to all its clients, colleagues, friends and family.  This year, we’ve gone interactive.  Check out the 2010 JKA Holiday Card here.