Civil Engineering

Expanding (an Elevator’s) Horizons

2019-11-13T11:46:18-08:00 October 28th, 2019|Civil Engineering, Issue V, Volume XIX|

Introduction: In the 2005 movie rendition of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” five golden ticket guests were given a special tour of the factory.  During the second half of the tour, they enter an elevator that Willy Wonka introduces by saying, “This isn’t just an ordinary up and down elevator.  It can go sideways, longways, [...]

Rising Above Agricultural Challenges with Vertical Farming

2019-11-13T11:44:14-08:00 August 27th, 2019|Civil Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Food & Drink, Issue IV, Volume XIX|

Written by: Tina (Hyunsu) Ryu About the Author: Tina is a senior majoring in computer science games. Before moving to California, she lived in Ohio and South Korea. After graduation, she hopes to go abroad to become a digital nomad!  Abstract The conventional agricultural system fails to keep up with the expanding population as it [...]

The Role of Hyperloop in Transportation Innovation

2019-11-13T11:39:15-08:00 July 1st, 2019|Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Ergonomics, Issue III, Lifestyle, Physics, Transportation, Volume XIX|

Written by: Patrick Hennessey With every improvement to transportation, the world feels a little smaller, and people become more connected.  Some of the world’s greatest inventions have been in the field of transportation, but we haven’t had a major innovation in over a century- a new system is long overdue. This article will explore the [...]

To Float or Not to Float?

2018-11-05T12:10:38-08:00 October 26th, 2018|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume XVIII, Water|

Abstract Norway is a Northern European country made up of thousands of fjords— expanses of water often surrounded by steep cliffs. For more than a century, the country has been using a combination of road, rail, and ferry crossings to span the trail from southern to northern Norway, a trip that takes over 20 hours [...]

Dealing With Our Bacterial Neighbors: Engineering Deodorants and Antiperspirants to Prevent Malodor

2018-09-18T20:12:13-07:00 May 4th, 2016|Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Food & Drink, Health & Medicine, Issue II, Lifestyle, Volume XVII, Water|

This paper investigates the physiological production of sweat, and how humans have developed strategies involving deodorants and antiperspirants to prevent the bacteria in our body from producing foul-odor chemicals. Well-known mechanisms of sweat production, from eccrine and apocrine glands, are described to introduce the topic. Biochemical explanations of the four main production pathways axillary bacteria [...]

Car Turns Signals: Why They Blink, Make Sounds, and Look a Certain Way.

2017-11-29T17:25:24-08:00 December 10th, 2014|Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Issue II, Transportation, Volume XVI|

Although car turn signals seem like a trivial part of the car, they are a very important communication tool that drivers depend on. Each design decision of the turn signals from the frequency of the blinking, the sound of the ticking, the color of the lights, and their location on the car are carefully engineered [...]

The Artificial Natural “World”

2017-10-26T18:20:18-07:00 March 1st, 2014|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XVI|

Dubai intrigues the world with its luxurious artificial islands. These man-made paradises display the innovative strategies of modern engineering as it involves the collaboration of the most notable engineering firms for land reclamation. The most famous island, Palm Jumeirah, attracts thousands of vacationers a day, and with this increase in tourism, the ruler of the [...]

Establishing a Lunar Colony

2017-11-03T17:24:29-07:00 May 24th, 2013|Aerospace Engineering, Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue II, Space, Volume XV|

Establishing a colony on the moon would force scientists and engineers to solve extremely complex design problems but would open doors to further exploration into our galaxy and beyond. In order to establish a lunar colony, scientists and engineers would need to develop new lunar structures as well as determine a way for the lunar [...]

Crack is Whack: Self-Healing Concrete

2017-11-03T17:38:09-07:00 May 1st, 2013|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue III, Transportation, Volume XV|

Concrete cracks for many reasons: thermal expansion or contraction, applied loads, and even earthquakes can fracture the concrete in roads, structures, and more. In particular, cracks in load-bearing elements, like concrete columns and beams, have the potential to create serious instability problems. To avoid expensive repairs—or even reconstruction—of compromised structures, engineers have worked to design [...]

Layer-by-Layer: Engineering Surfaces

2017-11-03T17:26:51-07:00 May 1st, 2013|Civil Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue II, Lifestyle, Material Science, Volume XV|

Modifying window panes with thin films can block infrared rays from entering a building, an innovation that can make cars and homes more energy-efficient by limiting the need for air conditioners and heating units. The technology behind these films—layer-by-layer deposition—features many remarkable applications in the present and promises even more for the future. Introduction You [...]

Can Electric Vehicles Charge Wirelessly?

2017-11-03T14:23:49-07:00 July 28th, 2012|Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Physics, Power, Transportation, Volume XV|

Conventionally, electric vehicles are charged by plugging in the battery compartment to an outlet using a heavy duty wire. Recent work and study into inductive power transfer methods have shown that it is possible to power electric cars wirelessly. The work highlights the success achieved in charging car batteries by retrofitting them with inductive power [...]

Edible Structures: The Application of Structural Engineering in Cake Design

2017-11-11T17:13:48-08:00 December 14th, 2010|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Food & Drink, Issue I, Volume XIII|

Rarely are cakes thought of as miniature buildings, but they are actually governed by the same physics that keep homes and offices upright. As such, multi-layered cakes are subject building like forces and need a support system that will hold the weight of the different layers. They share many structural elements with modern day skyscrapers [...]

A Railway Under the Ocean: The Channel Tunnel Linking Britain and France

2017-11-12T23:00:23-08:00 July 1st, 2010|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue III, Transportation, Volume XI|

The Channel Tunnel took almost two centuries to come to fruition, but on May 6, 1994, the six-year construction project became the first solid landline between Britain and continental Europe. Since then the tunnel has become a relative quick, yet somewhat expensive, form of transportation for both civilian and corporate purposes. Though it has proved [...]

An Engineer’s Perspective: London’s Preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games

2017-11-11T17:00:55-08:00 May 2nd, 2010|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue III, Security & Defense, Transportation|

The Olympic Games are the world’s largest international athletic competition. Every two years, viewers from around the globe tune in to the Olympics to cheer on their nations’ most celebrated athletes. The heroic athletic performances of the Olympics will always be remembered, but what is often forgotten is the incredible preparation effort completed by each [...]

California’s Water Crisis

2017-11-12T22:46:17-08:00 October 1st, 2009|Civil Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Issue III, Volume XII|

With its naturally arid landscape, Southern California has always relied on water piped in from other locations in order to meets its demand. However, a growing population and dwindling supplies are creating a huge water deficiency. Traditional methods of tapping into new surface or groundwater sources have proven to be very detrimental to the environment, [...]

A Look at Venice: Past and Present

2017-11-12T21:20:21-08:00 August 10th, 2008|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue IV, Volume X|

The city of Venice is an engineering masterpiece. From the well-known St. Mark's Square to the infamous Bridge of Sighs, the city was built entirely on water. The early engineers of the city had to choose specific materials suited to marine conditions, and they developed unique techniques for constructing the historic buildings we see today. [...]

Modular Prefabricated Housing

2017-11-03T10:59:48-07:00 December 3rd, 2007|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue I, Lifestyle, Volume IX|

This article will investigate the process of designing and building prefabricated, modular houses. Positive qualities such as eco-friendliness, cost-effectiveness and efficiency are reflected in the procedures of construction and use of materials. Modular housing has many advantages over traditional site-built houses, and it is suggested that the prefabrication housing technique can be one of the [...]

Tension Fabric: Waves of the Future

2018-11-07T16:46:37-08:00 July 21st, 2005|Civil Engineering, Issue I, Material Science, Volume VII|

While architecture based on tension has been used since ancient times, almost every permanent structure in the world, until about 50 years ago, was based on compression loading. Beginning in the 1950's, there was a renewed interest in tension structures led by the German architect Frei Otto. As a result of research performed by Otto [...]

The Metro: The Engineering Behind Madrid’s Most Valuable Asset

2017-11-11T02:55:02-08:00 July 20th, 2005|Civil Engineering, Issue II, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume VIII|

Almost every major metropolis around the globe has a mass transit system. When executed properly, these can be the most economically and physically efficient means of moving large populations through a city. Unfortunately, only a few of these systems in the United States have been designed or operated well enough to merit recognition; namely, Boston [...]

The Future of the Panama Canal

2017-10-26T18:12:04-07:00 March 1st, 2005|Civil Engineering, Issue I, Volume II|

This article explores the future of the Panama Canal as part of the global transportation system. Beginning with a brief overview of how vessels pass through the canal this article outlines the canal's importance to the global economy. It identifies three problems the canal is faced with regarding efficient traffic flow: the transfer of authority, [...]

Base Isolation

2017-08-09T12:53:06-07:00 October 24th, 2004|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering|

Base isolation has become a major feature of structural design in the past few decades. While a relatively simple concept, base isolation has a long and involved history of engineering influence and will take many more years to refine. Base isolators act on well-understood physical principles such as energy, oscillation, and damping. Rubber bearing base [...]

Wastewater Technology: Engineering a Healthier Society

2019-01-10T11:08:00-08:00 May 3rd, 2003|Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Volume V|

Long before the age of computers, light bulbs, automobiles, or locomotives, a revolutionary feat in engineering transformed society. This technology almost singly separates developed countries from their developing counterparts, and many Americans take it for granted. Rarely do we ever think about it when we use it, and when we do, it's generally because it [...]

Futuristic Rail Systems vs. the Humble Bus: An Infrastructural and Environmental Dilemma

2019-01-10T11:13:12-08:00 May 1st, 2003|Civil Engineering, Issue II, Transportation, Volume V|

Photochemical smog, created by any gasoline-powered vehicle on the road, is a major concern in Los Angeles today. Buses, despite being implemented to reduce this pollution by lessening the number of cars on the streets and freeways, are smoke-spewing machines that pose a risk to environmental and public health. They are also inefficient; most Los [...]

Collaborative Engineering Creates Artificial Mega-Structure at the Port of Los Angeles

2019-01-10T11:52:29-08:00 April 4th, 2003|Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Volume V|

It is not uncommon to see distinctions drawn between civil and environmental engineering projects. Preconceptions are regularly formed over what truly constitutes an environmentally friendly task, and these preconceptions rarely include the work of civil engineers. However, many engineering wonders exist primarily due to the interaction between these two disciplines. One such marvel, the Port [...]

Why The World Trade Center Towers Collapsed

2017-10-26T19:05:23-07:00 November 1st, 2002|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue IV, Volume II|

On September 11, 2001, two Boeing 757's crashed into the World Trade Center's two high-rise towers. In addition to the structural damage the impacts caused, the leaking jet fuel led to extensive fires and rapid explosions in the buildings. The towers collapsed within two hours of the attack. While it may take investigators years to [...]

Engineering Outdoor Spaces: USC’s McCarthy Quad

2018-11-07T11:22:21-08:00 September 2nd, 2002|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue II, Lifestyle, Volume VI|

Once a crowded and dull parking lot, McCarthy Quad has been transformed into a recreational area meant to provide a sense of self and community for USC students. The planning and development of the project involved political, economic, spiritual, and environmental aspects, as well as budgetary concerns. In engineering the layout of the site that [...]

Intelligent Transportation Systems

2017-11-12T22:39:07-08:00 October 21st, 2001|Civil Engineering, Issue IV, Lifestyle, Transportation, Volume I|

Personal transportation is truly a marvel of the twentieth century. Advances in many fields of technology have made automobiles and channels of transportation available to almost anyone. However, the freeways in major cities, on which so many people depend on to get them to work or school every day, were not designed for the amount [...]

Shaky Ground: The Design of Suspension Bridges

2017-10-26T18:54:42-07:00 October 1st, 2001|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue IV, Transportation, Volume II|

The introduction of fuel injection to the automobile has been a major factor in increasing the power available to engines in recent years. However, its introduction was initially slow due to the inherent complexities of the system. Computer integration revolutionized the design of this automotive subsystem and has become the onboard controller of the fuel [...]

The Petronas Towers

2017-11-12T22:27:02-08:00 July 1st, 2001|Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Issue III, Volume I|

The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are not only some of the world's tallest buildings, but also give insight into the advancements of architectural technology. Both the obvious and obscure elements of this structure illustrate its role as a precedent for skyscrapers of the future. The buildings are marveled not only for their great [...]