Check Your Units!

Check Your Units!
It is a phrase that many teachers and professors have used and every science, math, or engineering student has heard. There are many times that, at least as engineers, we love to use dimensionless numbers. However, most calculations require dimensions to be understood. In structural models in the United States we usually use unites of Kip, feet or inches. In the UAE, they use the metric system in keeping with the British building standards. Distances and slab thicknesses on plans are assumed to be called out in millimeters unless otherwise noted and the forces are always referenced in kN. In order to check a design in a units system that is not the most familiar, requires a lot of converting to verify that the calculations that you are getting are in fact reasonable values based on past experiences or projects. For American companies working abroad, many of these references are generally still in US customary units. I am happy to report that I have become much more practically familiar with the metric system over the last few weeks. Although, I will still need to continue to label my units correctly. I will end this post with a friendly reminder to always, always check your units!


About luelaine15

Hi, I’m Elaine. I am an undergraduate student at Lehigh University. I am studying Civil Engineering and Architecture through Lehigh’s Arts-Engineering program. This is a five year program through which I will graduate with two bachelors degrees. In addition to being a dual major here at Lehigh I have been a student-athlete in our NCAA Division I Women’s Rowing Team. I am involved in the Reformed University Fellowship. I am also a member of Lehigh’s chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, Chi Epsilon, and Tau Beta Pi. In semesters where my schedule has permitted, I have also been an Engineering Tour Guide for the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering. View all posts by luelaine15

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