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ePDH Online - Engineering Articles

Resilient Infrastructure: Working 'with' Nature

Resilient infrastructure incorporates both design and construction features that will enable construction to withstand or recover from natural disasters. Last year’s back to back adverse weather events along with adverse natural events, such as earthquakes, destroyed infrastructure globally.  From the Gulf and Caribbean hurricane season to earthquakes in Mexico, and events in Sri Lanka and Indonesia there were 83 major natural and weather-related disasters worldwide. The world has reached a cumulative estimated $1.245 trillion in damages to infrastructure and property in 2017.
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Out to Sea: Wind Turbines and the Ocean Breeze

Harnessing deep sea wind requires engineers to develop new foundations so the turbines can reach greater depths. Turbines must be able to withstand hurricane-force winds, storm waves and in some cases-ice flows. Several construction approaches have been established but there is yet to be a stand out development. To get deep sea platforms up and running quickly, one common strategy has been to build the structures at onshore shipyards. This boosts local economies as well as lowering the cost of production by using local resources. The turbines can then be towed out to deep water and once on location, can then be hooked up to pre-installed mooring chains. A single connection point and power transmission cable allows the platform to be connected and running quickly with little disruption to ocean life.
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Creating a New Generation of Solar Cells

Organic solar cells are considerably more cost effective. Organic photovoltaics can cut the total solar energy system cost significantly. Organic photovoltaics at 15% efficiency over 20 years would produce electricity at 7 cents per kilowatt-hour. In 2018 the national average is 13.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. Creating the Organic solar cells is also less costly than traditional silicon panels. Silicon panels are thick, rigid panels that require extensive installation. The Carbon Organic panels can be built cheaply in rolls of material that are much more flexible.
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Thermogalvanic Effect: Harnessing Waste Heat

Researchers at MIT and Stanford have found a new way to transform waste heat into electricity. Electricity is considered high-grade energy because it can be converted into other forms of energy for use and storage without significant losses. Thermal energy is low-grade energy, which means that attempts to transform heat back into other forms of energy is costly and inefficient. Most of the time, thermal energy is written off as waste heat and released into the environment. Converting low-grade energy back into high-grade energy is an uphill battle, but there are new thermoelectric products that could be our best bet. Efficient and low-cost thermal energy-harvesting systems are needed to utilize the tremendous low-grade heat sources.
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The Plastic Strategy

The great plastic debate- not only in politics but also in everyday conversations people are crying out to save the environment. Many argue that the world should do away with all plastic use, which unfortunately is not realistic. Plastic is necessary for highly perishable foods as well as high moisture content products. It is widely known that the plastic consumption of the world is out of control but, if we were to stop using plastics for food, the amount of food spoilage would be over 20-times the waste of the packaging. The creation of new technology is required if we want to do more than just clean up the mountains of plastic waste and hope the next generation is more considerate in their consumer driven lives.
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The Future of Remote Sensing Technology

Remote sensing technology is an excellent example of the information we can gather beyond what we are capable of perceiving on our own. The ability to detect the moisture content of soil or monitor glaciers for climate change would take far longer and cost more to have an individual research when the data could be available in seconds. All possible by using satellite imagery. Can you imagine the opportunities for someone who could estimate crop productions in a region, a country or the entire world? That information would drastically affect economies, financial markets, and possibly end world hunger.
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The Future of “Big Data” Engineers

Data scientists have been the statistical wizards in the software world for years. They are the ones working with data sets, doing feature engaging and building features. These high demand professionals are what companies need to get into the world of “Big Data”. Recently companies have added data engineers to the ranks as their skills are necessary to complete the chain of work for data scientists. Data engineers manipulate, transform and clean the raw data so that the data scientists can use it. The demand for professionals with these skills is astronomical and there just isn’t enough supply to meet the demand. Companies are having to get creative and re-imagine job objectives and requirements.
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A Bi-Directional Method for Bionic Design

There are essential tools required for any design process. The guidelines and goals are important in the valuation, optimization, and expansion of principles of bionic design. These are also critical to minimize the risks and time in the development process of a project. Like any research project, there are many methods to guide engineers in the development of a design.
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The World's First Seawater and Solar Powered Farm

A state-of-the-art tomato farm has begun operations in Port Augusta, Australia. What makes this farm unique is that it runs completely on seawater and solar power. There are tomatoes growing in the desert! Thanks to the efforts of Sundrop Farms Holdings LTD 37,000 lbs of tomatoes will be on shelves every year. This is paramount since traditional agriculture is wasteful in terms of water and fossil fuels. Instead of soil, pesticides, fossil fuels, and groundwater, Sundrop Farms uses only Solar Power and desalinated seawater on its 49-acre farm.
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Truth Below the Rubble: Italy's Bridge Collapse

On Tuesday, August 14, there was an intense rainstorm and one of the tower-supported sections collapsed, causing the deaths of 43 people. In addition to those losses, injuries and property damage will total in the millions. Forty-three people lost their lives because of this accident. This is Italy's fifth bridge collapse in just five years.
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Scientists Find New Behavior of Water

The current state of the art theoretical models and computer simulations have predicted a fundamental asymmetry in the mechanisms by which water transports the protons from H2O, (H+) and (OH-). For nearly a century, it was thought that the mechanisms were mirror images of each other. Identical in all ways except the direction the bonds move. New research has discovered that this line of thinking is not true.
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A Web of Possibilities

Spider silk is among the strongest and toughest materials in the world, as strong as some steel alloys with a toughness even greater than bulletproof Kevlar.
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Future still Uncertain 13 Years After Katrina

Since the waters receded engineers along with city and state officials have been diligently working on making repairs and upgrades to its water infrastructure.
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Online Engineer CE

Discovering the World’s Fastest Man-Made Spinning Object

Researchers have created the fastest man-made rotor in the world, which Tongcang Li, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, and electrical and computer engineering, at Purdue University believes will help them study quantum mechanics. At more than 60 billion revolutions per minute, this machine is more than 100,000 times faster than a high-speed dental drill.
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Engineers Study Neural Activity in Ancient Aquatic Creatures

Hydrae and humans share a common ancestor... the first animal to have neurons. From this ancestor came all the nervous systems that we see today.
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Oklahoma Engineering Renewal FAQ

The Oklahoma State State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors does not pre-approve providers of engineering continuing education courses. Each engineer has the power to determine which courses meet the board requirements and their educational needs. Our courses include a short quiz at the end of each PDH that fulfill the requirement to show evidence of achievement and completion. Quizzes are graded automatically, and certificates are available immediately upon completion.
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Louisiana Engineer Renewal

Engineers in Louisiana are required to complete 30 hours of CPD every two years. Starting in 2017 the mandatory 30 hours must be completed 15 hours in each calendar year. Of the 15 hours each year, one hour must cover ethics and for licensees who design buildings or building systems the 15 hours must include 4 hours of life safety code, building codes or ADA accessibility. No more than 8 hours can be earned in a single day.
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Vermont Engineer Renewal FAQ

The Vermont Board of Professional Engineering does not pre-approve providers of engineering continuing education courses. Each engineer has the power to determine which courses meet the board requirements and their educational needs. Our articles include a short quiz at the end of each CPC course that fulfills the requirement to show evidence of achievement and completion. Quizzes are graded automatically, and certificates are available immediately upon completion.
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Walkability Index in the Urban Planning

IPEN is an international interdisciplinary project. It studies physical activity of citizens in the various structures of the town. There are many determinants that shape the citizen physical activity. The important factors are, for example, distances from home to shops and schools, density of streets, land use in town etc.
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Wisconsin Engineer License Renewal FAQ

The Wisconsin Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Professional Land Surveyors does not pre-approve providers of engineering continuing education courses. Each engineer has the power to determine which courses meet the board requirements and their educational needs. Our courses include a short quiz at the end of each PDH course that fulfills the requirement to show evidence of achievement and completion. Quizzes are graded automatically, and certificates are available immediately upon completion.
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Nevada's Pumpkin Hollow Mine to Open Next Year

Nevada Copper reported that work was nearing the completion of the final shaft and that they are preparing for the ramp-up of development mining.
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Rise of the Robots: Mechanical Empathy Too Risky?

The rapid developments of robotic technologies in the last twenty years have greatly encouraged research on the use of robots for surgery, diagnosis, rehabilitation, prosthetics, and assistance to the disabled and elderly. Whether they are helping surgeons with keyhole surgery, manufacturing medicine or assisting the elderly, it is clear that robots have left the realm of science fiction and have become a reality that may soon be coming to a home or a healthcare facility near you.
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Bearing Seismic Activity: Mechanical Characterization of Laminated Rubber Bearings

Seismic isolation using rubber bearings in bridges and buildings have proven to be a very effective passive method for reducing earthquake-induced forces. The basic concept is not new - they've been used for many decades in large pads, to support massive bridge girders, while permitting their thermal expansion. Laminated Rubber Bearings (LRB’s) have been used for earthquake protection in multiple units to support entire buildings while yielding laterally to earthquake ground shaking. Seismic base isolation is one of the most popular means of protecting a structure against earthquake forces.
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GTL Plant Coming to Kentucky

Extiel is one of the largest natural gas users ever. Engineering and planning are underway to develop a unique GTL (gas to liquid) plant that will convert low-cost natural gas into high-value, full-synthetic waxes, base oil, and solvents.
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Delaware Engineering

Delaware Engineering Continuing Education

Engineers in Delaware are required to complete 24 hours every two years including at least 3 and no more than 6 hours must be related to professional ethics No more than 9 hours can be related to business skills or project management
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Natures Filter: Recent Development in Aquaporin Membrane Design

The research of Aquaporin based membranes has developed significantly over the last decade. Today the technology of these membranes is being used for both FO (Forward Osmosis) and RO (Reverse Osmosis) applications. Getting these membranes to the correct dimension for industrial applications (while still being efficient) has been the most problematic topic.
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Audit On South Carolina Nuclear Project Highlight Issues Before Cancellation

The public release of the Bechtel’s audit raised serious problems for South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) and Santee Cooper (Public Power Utility), which they are under increasing political and legal pressure following the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station cancellation in July 2017.
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Precision Agriculture

Let the Revolution Begin: The 4th Revolution and Precision Agriculture

According to Klaus Schwab, founder of the WEF (World Economic Forum) the 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us. This new era will be a convergence of information and communication technology. There are many exciting new technologies on the horizon such as a google car, Amazon’s Drone Delivery system, and Dr. Watson: an AI doctor. In this article, it foretells the changes coming to the agricultural field.
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Montana Engineer

A Quick Easy Way to Complete CPC in Montana

ePDH Online offers a wide variety of engineering articles. The articles can be read at your convenience. Our courses include a short quiz at the end of each lesson that fulfills the requirement to show evidence of achievement and completion. Quizzes are graded automatically, and certificates are available immediately upon completion. Read the article, take the quiz, print your certificate. 
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Flexible Display Paper

Stop the Presses! Newspapers of the Future

There are 3 innovations that these scientists have produced. The first one being that unlike conventional liquid crystals where electrical connections on the plates create the fields required to switch individual pixels from light to dark, optically rewritable LCDs coat the plates with special molecules that realign in the presence of polarized light and switch the pixels. Which on its own is quite an advancement but developing a new type of spacer to allow for flexibility and keep the liquid crystals uniform is equally impressive. The new mesh-like spacer prevented liquid crystals from flowing when their LCD was bent or hit. Lastly the scientists report that until this study, optically rewritable LCDs had only been able to display two colors at a time. Now, their optically rewritable LCD displays the three primary colors.
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The Demand for Water

The demand for water is influenced by many factors including climate change, socioeconomic conditions and changing geography to name a few. Consequently, all of the above affect our water supply. With an uncertain future for both supply and demand, we must now research ways to make this questionable future a reasonable and maintainable reality. Looking closely at water distribution systems will play an important role in conservation. Many early designed WDS have been found to be under-designed. Using PRP (Poisson Rectangular Pulse Process), MSRP (Meyman-Scott Rectangular Pulse) and End-Use Models has greatly improved design making the systems more efficient.
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Light My Fire: Pyrolytic Liquids and 2-Dimensional Gas Chromatography

Coal has been used for nearly as long as mankind has thrived. Over the decades coal has been the main source for heating homes, electricity, powering trains and boats and cooking fuel. Although in recent years it hasn’t been in the spotlight, production has increased significantly. In doing so, we must now seek advanced techniques to use it as economically as possible. Many advances have been made using GC X GC analysis. Advantages of using Comprehensive Two-dimensional Gas Chromatography in relation to D1-GC and GC – GC are discussed in detail in this article. Applying this method can be used on liquids derived from coal such as bio-mass...
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A Cognitive Look at Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (2 PDH)

Based on the results of these studies, it is evident that cognitive techniques perform better than, or as well as, the conventional methods used for modeling complex geotechnical earthquake problems. Cognitive tools are having an impact on many geotechnical and seismological operations, from predictive modeling to diagnosis and control...
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Driverless Taxis Testing Near Tokyo

Taxi and Uber drivers in Tokyo have new competition, no one. DeNA Co., a mobile portal and e-commerce company, and auto manufacturer Nissan have partnered to launch the service Easy Ride. Easy Ride is a driverless taxi service that allows passengers to travel in "robo-vehicles" equipped with autonomous driving technology. Passengers can use their mobile app to pick from a list of popular destinations along a set route and instant download coupons for their selected destination...
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Distillation techniques in the Fruit Spirits Production (2 PDH)

The choice of distillation technique using either pot still or distillation column is dependent mainly on the consumers’ desire for the typical and individual flavor and style of the particular fruit spirits. In that sense, distillation method should be adjusted for each fruit type and variety. Production of various kinds of fruit spirits requires an individual approach based on the application of knowledge and understanding the processing of desirable qualities of the spirits. Adequate managing of distillation technique enables the production of the unique product. This article discusses the distillation theory (binary mixture and multicomponent mixture, aka fermented mash),  the distillation cut, distillation techniques and using different distillation equipment to facilitate distribution of...
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Walkability Index in the Urban Planning (1 PDH)

“Did you walk 10 000 steps today?” This is the question that the International Physical Activity and the Environment Network (IPEN) asks its respondents. The IPEN project proposes a method of evaluation of an urban environment using geographical information systems. The method was transformed into a program, a "Walkability Toolbox" for ArcGIS software at Department of Geoinformatics. The advantage is that the program automatically calculates and examines the connection between the urban structure and the physical activity of dwellers. This article covers the relationship between an urban area and the mobility of the people who live there. It also covers the development of the "Walkability Toolbox" using the connectivity index, the entropy in...
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Waveform Design Considerations for 5G Wireless Networks (2 PDH)

This article presents the requirements of 5G communication systems and the fundamentals of waveform design to cover them for 5G wireless communication networks. According to a report from 5G PPP Architecture Working Group, the 5G network will operate in a wide spectrum range with a diverse range of characteristics. Accordingly, the 5G communication channel will be heterogeneous and will provide users with different demands. The waveform design part of the physical layer is a critical issue in meeting the new demands and requirements, such as low latency, low power consumption, high data rates, and spectrum efficiency. TF lattice structures and pulse shaping must be determined. The transmission scheme, time and frequency allocation of symbols, resolution in time and frequency, and time-bandwidth product are the design criteria of time-frequency lattice structures. Also, pulse shaping is the filtering process that maps the modulated signals to the TF lattice ...
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Engineering Job Explosion in Houston

The area surrounding Houston, TX is in desperate need of qualified engineering professionals. Right now, there are over 700 job openings....
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Wind Power Development and Landscape (1 PDH)

Landscape has progressively been endowed with a new meaning in the assessment of renewable energy projects. The important shift can be spotted moving away from an expert paradigm focusing impact at a great distance for the local living context, to a more participative and deliberative planning process. This important progress is aided by landscape assessment methods that offer new opportunities to take people’s perceptions and use of landscape into consideration. Landscape Character Assessment and Historical Landscape Characterization are methods for landscape analysis that preferably include dialogue in accordance with the European Landscape Convention (ELC) to account for new dimensions of landscapes, counteracting the attempts to objectivize social ...
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Human Not Humanoid Robots (2 PDH)

When most people think of robots, they picture something out of Hollywood, like R2D2 or the Terminator. Yet the word "robot" actually has two different meanings. Unlike humanoid robots that are practically useful physical artefacts which have some resemblances to human beings, human robots are computer simulations that must reproduce everything that human beings are and do. These human robots will make it possible for science to finally understand human beings and their societies as it understands nature. In this article, we will describe a number of individual and social human phenomena which have already been reproduced by constructing human robots and societies of human robots. Then we will briefly discuss some of the very serious problems that human robots will pose to human beings.
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Delaware Professional Engineering License Renewal Info

How do I renew my Delaware Professional Engineer license? What is CPC? Answers to these questions and many others pertaining to licensing rules and regulations for professional engineers in Delaware.
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Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (2 PDH)

Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) technology makes use of special indigenous or exogenous microbial strains and nutrients that are injected into the reservoir to enhance oil production. Currently, the average recovery factor in the United States is only 39%. However, many experts believe that in the foreseeable future the recovery factor may reach as high as 70-80%. This article chronicles the history of the MEOR process from the theoretical beginnings in 1926 and the first successful field tests in 1954, to research advancements during the oil crisis of the 197os. The article then discusses current advancements that are increasing the MEOR process's efficiency exponentially.   
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The Structural Performance of Stone Masonry Bridges (3PDH)

The use of the stone-masonry arch that is utilized in forming stone-masonry bridges was extensively used in the times of the Roman Empire as part of the transportation system that was established and linked to various provinces of the Roman Empire. Evidence of stone-masonry arch bridges prior to Roman times is not known although stone-masonry structures in the East Mediterranean area for other uses date to prehistoric times. This paper focuses on the structural performance of stone-masonry bridges that were built in Greece during the last 300 years, most of which still stand today. 
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Hybrid Laser Arc Welding (1 PDH)

The development advances in continuous fiber power laser technology are bringing hybrid laser-arc welding (HLAW) into the twenty-first century. Although, use of laser radiation and electric arc together for welding of metals and alloys so that both sources of heating influence on a material within just one heating zone was developed over thirty years ago, these recent advancements have increased both the quality and the accuracy of the HLAW process. This paper cover the theoretical base of laser and hybrid welding; design of technological equipment for the hybrid process; and the peculiarity of metal structure formation in hybrid welding.
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Kansas Professional Engineers license Renewal

When is the deadline to renew my Kansas Professional Engineer license? Professional Engineers in Kansas must renew their license every two years by April 30th. Licensees with a last name starting with A through L renew on even-numbered years. Licensees with a last name starting with M through Z renew on odd-numbered years.
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Clean Coal Technologies (1 PDH)

Roughly twenty-five percent of the world's energy and forty percent of current carbon emissions come from coal. Because of it's abundant reserves and low cost, coal, and coal products, will continue to play an important role in fulfilling our energy needs. This paper will explain the thermochemical decomposition process known as pyrolysis and how it can be used to provide a deeper understanding of coal's intrinsic properties. All with an eye toward increasing the energy efficiency of the coal conversion process.
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Legos Key in Research on Microfluidics

When picturing people playing with LEGO blocks, a research facility at the engineering school of MIT is probably not the first place your mind goes. However, that was exactly the case for two researchers looking for an easier way to conduct microfluidics operations. The traditional method for developing microfluidic devices, referred to as a lab-on-a-chip design, uses a flat, two-dimensional chip that contains all the necessary components together. This is a daunting and time-consuming task for researchers that requires extreme attention to detail.
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Heat Exchangers in Aviation Engineering (1 PDH)

The development of new kinds of heat exchangers is ever in progress, both for seeking to reduce the volume of the heat exchanger and to enhance the performances in terms of pressure drop or heat transfer capacity. The process of design of aviation heat exchangers occurs with an increase in the power stress and servicing energy systems that must be cooled. This paper documents the design mechanics and computational methodologies of aviation heat exchangers. It also covers case studies of heat exchangers in turbojet engines, turboprop engines, turbofan engines and turboshaft engines.
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Louisiana Professional Engineers License Renewal FAQs

How do I renew my Louisiana Professional Engineer license? Professional Engineers in Louisiana are required to renew their licenses online at http://www.lapels.com/Renewals.html. For engineers whose licenses are set to expire on March 31st the online license renewal system opened on February 1st.
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Integrating Hydrological Planning with Regional and Urban Planning in Spain (3 PDH)

The growth and development of human civilizations has always centered around access to water. Yet, decisions regarding water have too often been made without reference from the spatial planning for an area. This paper discusses infrastructural planning and development for transport, hydraulic works and all utility and infrastructural systems; the relationship between sectoral and regional planning in Spain and its traditional difficulties; as well as, the evolution of hydrological sectoral planning and how to improve the integration of hydrological and territorial planning in general.
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What is a PDH?

What is a PDH? PDH stands for a Professional Development Hour which is the unit used to measure continuing education for a Professional Engineers. Most states require professional engineers to complete a certain number of professional development hours (PDH) in order to keep their state license current.
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