"Introduction to Navigation Engineering" Webinar Exceeds Expectations
The Waterways Committee of ASCE's Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI) introduced more than 50 engineers in 15 states to the burgeoning specialty on Navigation Engineering (NE) in its first webinar on January 20, 2010. The webinar presented the basics of Navigation Engineering, who practices it, and where to learn more about it.The format is such that the presenter delivers the information via the web (power point presentation) and telephone (talking to the audience; can answer questions in real time), and participants earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs).
The webinar began by introducing participants to the concept of navigation engineering which was defined as, "life cycle planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of safe, secure, reliable, efficient, and environmentally sustainable navigable waterways to move people and goods by waterborne vessels." The webinar noted that marine transportation is particularly sustainable because a 15-barge tow can carry as many goods as 216 rail cars or 1,050 semi-trailers. It proceeded to break navigation engineering into several key components and highlighted the challenges navigation engineers face in each of those areas. Primary areas of discussion included: navigation channel design criteria; the use of locks to move vessels through waterways; and methods of managing sedimentation.
Presenter William McAnally, Ph.D., P.E, F.ASCE, noted that key challenges facing navigation engineers include: the use of e-navigation; managing sedimentation; life cycle cost management; shortfalls in the inland waterways trust fund; and demand for larger channels. During the sediment management segment, McAnally introduced participants to engineering options including construction of training structures such as bendway weirs; diversion of rivers around waterways; and using hopper dredges to keep sediment navigable.
If you missed the webinar and are interested in learning more, Dr. McAnally is offering an expanded version of the course on November 14 at the upcoming COPRI Congress (November 14-16, 2010, Memphis, TN).Go to www.coprinstitute.org for more information.
revised 27 February 2010