How Drones are Impacting Civil Engineering

The advances in drone technology over the last few years have modified how we utilize them. Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are no longer just considered high-tech toys. The benefits of these innovations are particularly prevalent in the civil engineering field.  

There are numerous advantages to using drones on site. Benefits include the simplicity of collecting and sharing data, the improvement of health and safety to the engineer in the field, and perhaps the most advantageous utility is the improvement to surveying. Drones simplify the surveying process both by increasing the accuracy and decreasing the complications over large areas.

A drone survey captures aerial data by using downward-facing sensors. During a survey the sensors, or cameras, photograph the land several times from multiple angles. Each image is then tagged with coordinates. In a manned aircraft, or with satellite imagery, the flight would take place at a higher altitude resulting in slower data retention. These options are more expensive and dependent on atmospheric conditions such as clear skies. 

Compared to traditional topographic surveying, which is a slow and labor-intensive process, the drone is incredibly beneficial. Traditional topographic surveying required manual collection of multiple GPS points which, depending on the size of the area, could easily include several hundred points. The drone expedites this process.

If you are interested in the benefits of drones in engineering and would like to learn more you should check out NJSPE’s continuing education course “DRONES IN ENGINEERING” . The course will review the ways drones are being used in the construction industry, mainly in the engineering and surveying fields. The course will show examples of how drones are being utilized in various different situations to assist Engineers. You will learn the safety benefits of using drones in compromising health situations. You will learn some of the legal requirements for use of drones, applications of drones for specific Engineers needs, benefits of using drones, and you will see some of what the future can hold for drone technology in the engineering field.

The Effects on the Engineering job Market due to Covid-19

Numerous people continue to work from home and practice social distancing as we settle into 2021. Although some industries have made strides towards business as usual, it is important to keep in mind how the global health crisis has impacted and will continue to influence professional industries.

In engineering the ability to work from home is dependent on the facet of engineering in question. Luckily, engineering is a necessary industry. Engineers create a variety of structures and products to maintain and progress our daily life. “With more Baby Boomers leaving the job market than Millennials and Gen Zs entering these jobs, this makes engineering jobs in high demand.” Says Nichols from Austin Nichols Technical Search.

Prior to the pandemic the The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected employment growth for the engineering field to nearly 140,000 new jobs over the 2016–26 decade. On account of the demand of medical technology, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. With that in mind it is unlikely the pandemic will slow the growth of the industry.

This is not to say that Covid-19 will have no effect on the engineering industry. The financial impact of the pandemic will influence the future of all industries, engineering included. A video featuring Erica Groshen from Cornell University’s Cornell Chronicle, referenced the below changes as possible modifications across the board professionally.
New terms and conditions at work
More sick leave
Operative procedures that allow more employees to work from home
More domestic manufacturing
More remote connectivity
Further automation, which leads to artificial intelligence

While the day to day look and feel of the engineering field may shift to suit a post pandemic world it is clear that the engineering job market is alive and well. If you are considering which engineering field to pursue you may want to research a career in artificial intelligence, as Groshen predicted the need for that industry will only continue to grow.

Online Engineering Resources

As we settle into 2021 we look forward to a time after the COVID pandemic. When a sense of normalcy will descend upon us and our daily routines will consist less of Zoom meetings and more of time spent with family and friends. However we are still living in the present and need to make the most out of our time in solitude. What better way than to boost your professional resume with a new learned engineering skill. Below you will find a list of online engineering educational resources for growing your skillset.

  1. First and foremost Do not miss out on opportunities to earn PDH credits! NJSPE offers both online and in-person courses to fulfill your requirements as a professional engineer. 
  2. MIT OpenCourseware: MIT president L. Rafael Reif said: “The simple, elegant, unprecedented idea that MIT should make all of its course materials available online to anyone in the world, free.” Thanks to OpenCourseware that idea is now a reality. You can study any course MIT has to offer using their course materials completely free. Learn more about what they offer here!
  3. is another great online resource offering thousands of courses in an array of subjects. The courses are affordable usually ranging between $10 to $20 and provide you with lifetime access. Take a look at their engineering-related courses here!
  4. Online Masters: If you are looking for a more formal education taking an online masters is a smart alternative. A popular engineering masters is in Engineering Management. This is a great way to begin down that path into a managerial role. Here is a great resource to learn more!
  5. Engineering for Change has a humanitarian goal of “ improving the quality of life of underserved communities worldwide through the design and delivery of technology-based solutions combined with building of local capacity.” On their website you can find both webinars and courses that will help you future your engineering knowledge. 

We hope you are able to take full advantage of these affordable educational engineering resources. As you continue to grow your engineering skills and professional resume. 

2021 MATHCOUNTS Updates

Do you know a 6, 7, or 8th grader who loves math or possibly needs to improve his or her math skills? Maybe MATHCOUNTS is the answer. MATHCOUNTS has a free National Math Club that gives students an opportunity to play fun math games in a non-competitive social environment. MATHCOUNTS also has a nationwide competition series. All of the competitions through the State level will be online for the 2020-2021 year. This and other changes will expand access to a larger group of potential participants.  

Who can register? Any type of school, of any size, can register—public, private, religious, charter, virtual or home school can register up to 15 students (up from the traditional 10 students). If a mathlete’s school is not planning to register, an individual can register as a non-school competitor. To also expand the fun, four practice competitions and an additional competition level have been added this year.  

Click here to learn more about the National Math Club.

Click here for the Official Rules and Procedures for the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series.

The final day to register is January 15! Click here to register for the Competition Series. 

Registered schools and non-school competitors will have access to the 4 practice competitions on October 15, November 15, December 15, and January 22.  

  • Chapter Competition will be from 1pm (EST) February 5 through 1pm (EST) February 6 
  • Chapter Invitational Competition will be held at 7pm (EST) on February 25 
  • State Competition will be held at 7pm (EST) on March 25.

Online Practice Competitions Information

To prepare for the official competitions, registered schools and NSCs will have access to 4 online practice competitions, comprised of modified, past MATHCOUNTS problems. A practice competition will be released on the Art of Problem Solving (AoPS) Contest Platform on October 15, 2020, November 15, 2020, December 15, 2020, and January 22, 2021. All of a school’s registered competitors (1-15 students), plus up to 50 additional students at the school, will have access to at least the first 3 practice competitions. The practice competitions will include a team round, allowing students from the same school to form teams. 

Selection of chapter competitors, as well as the selection of students given access to the practice competitions, will be made entirely at the discretion of the coach. Any or all of the practice competitions may be used by coaches to determine chapter competitors but are not required. 

Practice competitions are confidential and for use solely by students and coaches at registered Competition Series schools. These competitions must remain confidential and may not be used in outside activities, such as tutoring sessions or enrichment programs with students from other schools.

It is important that the coach looks upon coaching sessions during the academic year as opportunities to develop better math skills in all students, not just in those students who will be competing. Therefore, it is suggested that the coach postpone the selection of competitors until just prior to the Chapter Competition, but no later than January 15, 2021.

Connect With Us