12/29/2017

A Summary of the “Geotechnical Depth Practice Exams for the Civil PE Exam, First Edition”

In this post, I will provide a brief description of each question that is found in the “Geotechnical Depth Practice Exams for the Civil PE Exam”, First Edition. This book is published by PPI and contains two full length 40-problem, multiple-choice exams covering the geotechnical depth portion of the Civil PE Exam. I will first cover the 40 questions in the first practice PE Exam, and then cover the 40 questions in the second practice PE Exam.

 

 

Use coupon code “EEX15” to save 15% off your purchase

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam 1

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 1

In the first question, a table of correction factors is given for a standard penetration test (SPT) performed using a split-spoon sampler. We are told the number of blows needed to drive the sampler the first, second, and third 6 inch increments. We are asked to find the normalized standard penetration resistance based on the given table of correction factors.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 2

In the second question, the in situ moisture content and unit weight of a soil sample is obtained through a modified California ring sampler. We are given the average mass of a single ring,average diameter of a single ring, average height of a single ring, and moisture content of the sample.  We are asked to compute the dry unit weight of the soil.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 3

In the third question, Atterberg limits and particle size distribution from a sieve analysis are presented for a given soil sample. We are asked to classify this soil according to the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS).

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 4

In the fourth question, a description is given for an excavation prone to rockslides. We are told that the rock material is fragmented and has a relatively low density, and we are asked to determine if the rock type in the excavation is sedimentary, metamorphic, or igneous.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 5

In the fifth question, a four-story office building is proposed to be built on a site where the site developer does not plan on making any improvements to the existing soil. The test boring record of the soil along with the anticipated building dead and live loads are given. We are to determine what type of foundation is structurally and economically most suitable: mat and pedestal, thickened slab on grade, continuous spread footings, or drilled cast-in-place concrete piles.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 6

The sixth questions asks what field observations and soil sampling characteristics must be obtained to evaluate the seepage condition of the embankment for an earth dam at a fishery where there is excessive seepage along the downstream face and at the edge of the embankment.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 7

The seventh question focuses on calculating the ground surface settlement due to a pile of brick and concrete debris placed on a saturated clay layer.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 8

The eighth question provides the wet mass, dry mass, specific gravity, and degree of saturation for a clay sample. We need to calculate the void ratio of the clay.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 9

In the ninth question, we are told in situ dry unit weight a saturated sandy clay soil sample. We are also given the specific gravity of solids and the liquid limit (LL). We need to find the difference between the water content of the saturated sample and the LL of the soil on a percent solids basis.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 10

The tenth question is related to determining a soil sample’s maximum water content without swelling or bleeding given its specific gravity, weight, volume, and dry weight.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 11

The eleventh question presents a soil profile consisting of 3 layers and 2 different types of soil. We are asked to find the effective stress at the midpoint of the sandy clay layer which is the bottom layer.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 12

The twelfth question focuses on computing the coefficient of permeability of a soil sample.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 13

In the thirteenth question, an unconfined compressive strength test is performed on a concrete cylindrical sample. The axial load at failure is recorded, and we are asked to find the shear strength of the concrete.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 14

In the fourteenth question, the failure plane angle and deviator stress are given for a cohesionless sand sample. We need to compute the effective shear stress on the failure plane.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 15

The fifteenth question focuses on computing the coefficient of permeability of a circular soil sample undergoing a constant-head permeability test.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 16

In the sixteenth question, the water level of a reservoir is proposed to be increased by 10 feet. We are asked to determine the change in effective stress of soil due to the rise in the water level.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 17

The seventeenth question related to determining the pore pressure at the base of the top layer of soil experiencing steady-state vertical seepage.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 18

The eighteenth question deals with construction joints and when they are most likely to be an essential part of the structural design.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 19

The nineteenth question asks us about the maximum water-cement ratio allowed for a specific concrete mix per ACI Code 318-11.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 20

The twentieth question asks us about the sound transmission class rating of a precast concrete wall system.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 21

The twenty-first question deals with the tensile strength value of steel plate using the AISC Steel Construction Manual.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 22

The twenty-second question relates to the mortar that may be used in a masonry seismic force resisting system according to ACI 530-11.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 23

In the twenty-third question, a simply supported beam is subjected to a concentrated load and bending couple at different points along the length of the beam. We are asked to determine the general shape of the bending moment diagram.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 24

In the twenty-fourth question, a steel beam column is subjected to concentrated transverse load coupled with a concentric axial load. We are asked to find the normal stress acting on the lower flange of beam-column at midspan.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 25

In the twenty-fifth question, the cross-section of a concrete filled HSS steel column is shown. We are asked to find the nominal axial capacity of the column using the AISC Steel Construction Manual.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 26

In the twenty-sixth question, a one-way reinforced concrete cantilever slab supports a balcony. We are asked to find the minimum required thickness of the slab based on ACI Code 318-11.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 27

In the twenty-seventh question, we are asked to find the maximum torque  a hollow shaft can sustain given a governing angle of twist.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 28

In the twenty-eighth question, a flexible diaphragm is supported by three reinforced masonry shear walls and is subjected to a vertical uniform wind load. We are asked to determine the shape of the shear force diagram of the diaphragm.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 29

The twenty-ninth question deals with the location of prestressing for a composite bridge per AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specification.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 30

The thirtieth question is concerned with how to calculate the ultimate factored shear force for reinforced and prestressed concrete members with regards to location from the face of the support.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 31

The thirty-first question deals with the axial load capacity of square, short, reinforced concrete columns.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 32

The thirty-second question focuses on the factors that led to the collapse of the walkway system in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel. 

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 33

In the thirty-third question, an overhanging simply supported steel truss is shown. We are asked to design the most economical gross cross-section of the truss top chord using the ASD or LRFD approach based on the given load cases.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 34

In the thirty-fourth question, a bolted steel connection is subjected to an eccentric inclined loading. We are asked to compute the capacity of the connection based only on bolt shear failure using the ASD or LRFD approach.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 35

In the thirty-fifth question, a load bearing basement retaining wall supports a floor joist on top and is supported by a concrete footing. We are asked to identify the steel reinforcement configuration that best suits this wall given that the top and bottom wall connections are not moment-resisting.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 36

The thirty-sixth question deals with the characteristics of expansive soil according to the International Building Code (IBC).

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 37

In the thirty-seventh question, a concrete pile cap is supported by five rows of micropiles and is subjected to an overturning moment. Assuming that the micropiles can only resist axial loads, we are asked to find the load on each micropile due to the overturning bending moment.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 38

In the thirty-eighth question, a strap footing supports axially concentric loaded columns on each side of the footing. We are asked to determine the maximum soil pressure beneath one of the footings.

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 39

The thirty-ninth question deals with requirements of personal protective  and lifesaving equipment specified  by OSHA. 

 

Geotechnical Depth PE Practice Exam Question 40

The fortieth question is concerned with the negative scenarios that could occur during the installation of drilled piers.

12/19/2017

October 2017 SE Exam Results for the Structural Engineering Exam

In this post, I will provide a detailed analysis of the October 2017 SE Exam results. The raw data is courtesy of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website. Before diving further into the data, let’s take a look at some basic statistics:

 

The chart below shows the Number of First Time and Repeat Takers by Subject of the October 2017 SE Exam

 

 

Based on the chart above, we find:

 

SE Exam with highest number of first time takers – 301, SE Vertical Forces Buildings

SE Exam with lowest number of first time takers – 51, SE Lateral Forces Bridges 

SE Exam with highest number of repeat takers – 227, SE Lateral Forces Buildings

SE Exam with lowest number of repeat takers – 16, SE Vertical Forces Bridges

 

The following chart presents the October 2017 SE Exam pass rates for first time takers

 

 

Based on the chart above, we find:

 

Average pass rate for first time takers – 41%

SE Exam with highest pass rate for first time takers – 58%, SE Vertical Forces Bridges

SE Exam with lowest pass rate for first time takers – 25%, SE Lateral Forces Bridges

 

The following chart presents the October 2017 SE Exam pass rates for repeat takers

 

 

Based on the chart above, we find:

 

Average pass rate for repeat takers – 29%

SE Exam with highest pass rate for repeat takers – 39%, SE Lateral Forces Bridges

SE Exam with lowest pass rate for repeat takers – 12%, SE Vertical Forces Bridges

12/18/2017

October 2017 PE Exam Results for the Professional Engineering Exam

In this post, I will provide a detailed analysis of the October 2017 PE Exam results. The raw data is courtesy of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website. For some subjects, the NCEES website does not provide the October 2017 results but does provide the April 2017 results, and they have been appropriately noted below. Before diving further into the data, let’s take a look at some basic statistics:

 

Total number of first time takers – 10,832

Total number of repeat takers – 4,865

 

The chart below shows the Number of First Time and Repeat Takers by Subject of the October 2017 PE Exam

 

 

Based on the chart above, we find:

 

PE Exam with highest number of first time takers – 1,736, Civil Structural

PE Exam with lowest number of first time takers – 15, Software (April 2017)

PE Exam with highest number of repeat takers – 959, Civil Transportation

PE Exam with lowest number of repeat takers – 5, Software (April 2017)

 

The following chart presents the October 2017 PE Exam pass rates for first time takers

 

 

Based on the chart above, we find:

 

Average pass rate for first time takers – 69%

PE Exam with highest pass rate for first time takers – 82%, PE Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering

PE Exam with lowest pass rate for first time takers – 60%, PE Mining and Mineral Processing

 

The following chart presents the October 2017 PE Exam pass rates for repeat takers

 

 

Based on the chart above, we find:

 

Average pass rate for repeat takers – 39%

PE Exam with highest pass rate for repeat takers – 60%, PE Mining and Mineral Processing

PE Exam with lowest pass rate for repeat takers – 12%, PE Electronics, Controls, and Communications

12/15/2017

Engineering Design Codes and Standards Required for the Civil PE Exam in April 2018

In this post, I will outline the engineering design codes and standards that you will need if you are taking the Civil PE (Professional Engineering) Exam in April 2018. The Civil PE Exam has 5 different depth sections: construction, geotechnical, structural, transportation, and water resources and environmental. I will list the design codes and standards needed for each exam based on the information provided on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website at the time of this post

 

Civil Breadth and Construction Depth PE Exam

 

ASCE 37 Design Loads on Structures During Construction, 2014, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA, www.asce.org

 

CMWB Standard Practice for Bracing Masonry Walls Under Construction, 2012, Council for Masonry Wall Bracing, Mason Contractors Association of America, Lombard, IL, www.masoncontractors.org

 

AISC Steel Construction Manual, 14th ed., 2011, Parts 1–3, 8, 16.1 (Chapters M, N) and 16.2, American Institute of Steel Construction,Inc., Chicago, IL, www.aisc.org.

 

ACI MNL-15 Field Reference Manual, 2016, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI, www.concrete.org.

 

ACI 347R Guide to Formwork for Concrete, 2014, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI, www.concrete.org (in ACI SP-4, 8th edition appendix)

 

ACI SP-4 Formwork for Concrete, 8th ed., 2014, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI, www.concrete.org

 

OSHA Construction Industry Regulations: 29 CFR Parts 1903, 1904, and 1926 (US federal version, January 2017), US Department of Labor, Washington, DC

 

MUTCD-Pt 6 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices—Part 6 Temporary Traffic Control, 2009, US Federal Highway Administration, www.fhwa.dot.gov

 

Civil Breadth and Geotechnical Depth PE Exam

 

ASCE 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, 2010, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA

 

OSHA 29 CFR Part 1926, Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, US Department of Labor, Washington, DC. US federal version

Subpart P, Excavations, Part 1926.651: Specific Excavation Requirements
Subpart P, Excavations, Part 1926.652: Requirements for Protective Systems

 

Civil Breadth and Structural Depth PE Exam

 

AASHTO AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, 7th edition (without interims), American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, Washington, DC.

 

IBC International Building Code, 2015 edition (without supplements), International Code Council, Falls Church, VA.

 

ASCE 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, 2010, 3rd printing, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA

 

ACI 318 Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete, 2014, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI

 

AISC Steel Construction Manual, 14th edition, American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc., Chicago, IL

 

NDS National Design Specification for Wood Construction ASD/LRFD, 2015 edition, and National Design Specification Supplement, Design Values for Wood Construction, 2015 edition, American Forest & Paper Association, Washington, DC

 

OSHA CFR 29 Part 1910 General Industry regulations and Construction regulations, 2016 Occupational Safety and Health Standards

Subpart A, General, 1910.1–1910.9, with Appendix A to 1910.7

Subpart D, Walking-Working Surfaces, 1910.21–1910.30

Subpart F, Powered Platforms, Manlifts, and Vehicle-Mounted Work Platforms, 1910.66–1910.68, with Appendix A–Appendix D to 1910.66

 

OSHA CFR 29 Part 1926 Safety and Health Regulations for Construction

Subpart E, Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment, 1926.95–1926.107

Subpart M, Fall Protection, 1926.500–1926.503, Appendix A–Appendix E

Subpart Q, Concrete and Masonry Construction, 1926.700–1926.706, with Appendix A

Subpart R, Steel Erection, 1926.750–1926.761, with Appendix A–Appendix H

 

PCI Design Handbook: Precast and Prestressed Concrete, 7th edition, 2010, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Chicago, IL

 

TMS 402/6024 (ACI 530/530.1) Building Code Requirements and Specifications for Masonry Structures (and related commentaries), 2013; The Masonry Society, Boulder, CO; American Concrete Institute, Detroit, MI; and Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA

 

Civil Breadth and Transportation Depth PE Exam

 

AASHTO A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, 6th edition, 2011 (including November 2013 errata), American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, Washington, DC

 

AASHTO Guide for Design of Pavement Structures (GDPS-4-M), 1993, and 1998 supplement, American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, Washington, DC

 

AASHTO Roadside Design Guide, 4th edition, 2011 (including February 2012 and July 2015 errata), American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, Washington, DC

 

AASHTO Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide: A Manual of Practice, interim edition, July 2008, American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, Washington, DC

 

AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities, 1st edition, 2004, American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, Washington, DC

 

AASHTO Highway Safety Manual, 1st ed., 2010, vols. 1–3 (including September 2010, February 2012, and March 2016 errata), American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, Washington, DC

 

AI The Asphalt Handbook (MS-4), 7th edition, 2007, Asphalt Institute, Lexington, KY

 

HCM Highway Capacity Manual 2010, vols. 1–3, Transportation Research Board— National Research Council, Washington, DC. This includes the following:

Approved HCM 2010 Corrections and Clarifications (as of January 2014)

Approved HCM 2010 Interpretations (as of January 2014) \

Replacement HCM 2010 Volume 1–3 pages (April 2014)

Replacement HCM 2010 Volume 1–3 pages (January 12–February 13)

Replacement HCM 2010 Volume 1–3 pages (March 2013)

 

MUTCD Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, 2009, including Revisions 1 and 2 dated May 2012, U.S. Department of Transportation—Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC

 

PCA Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures, 16th edition, 2016, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, IL

 

FHWA Hydraulic Design of Highway Culverts, Hydraulic Design Series Number 5, Publication No. FHWA-HIF-12-026, 3rd edition, April 2012, U.S. Department of Transportation—Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC

 

Civil Breadth and Water Resources and Environmental Depth PE Exam

 

No Design Codes / Standards are required for this exam

10/27/2017

A Summary of the “Structural Depth Reference Manual for the Civil PE Exam, Fourth Edition”

In this post, I will provide a summary of the content covered in the “Structural Depth Reference Manual for the Civil PE Exam”, Fourth Edition. This book is published by PPI and provides a thorough review for the structural depth section of the Civil PE Exam.

 

 

Chapter 1 of Structural Depth Reference Manual: Reinforced Concrete Design

 

Section 1 Strut-and-Tie Models

Section 1 of the reinforced concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers strut-and-tie models.

 

Section 2 Corbels

Section 2 of the reinforced concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers corbels.

 

Section 3 Design for Torsion

Section 3 of the reinforced concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design for torsion.

 

Practice PE Problems

There are (5) PE practice problems at the end of the reinforced concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual.

 

Chapter 2 of Structural Depth Reference Manual : Foundations

 

Section 1 Eccentrically Loaded Column Bases

Section 1 of the foundations chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers eccentrically loaded column bases.

 

Section 2 Combined Footings

Section 2 of the foundations chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers combined footings.

 

Section 3 Strap Footings

Section 3 of the foundations chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers strap footings.

 

Practice PE Problems

There are (8) PE practice problems at the end of the foundations chapter in the structural depth reference manual.

 

Chapter 3 of Structural Depth Reference Manual: Prestressed Concrete Design

 

Section 1 Strength Design of Flexural Members

Section 1 of the prestressed concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers strength design of flexural members.

 

Section 2 Design for Shear and Torsion

Section 2 of the prestressed concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design for shear and torsion.

 

Section 3 Prestress Losses

Section 3 of the prestressed concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers prestress losses.

 

Section 4 Composite Construction

Section 4 of the prestressed concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers composite construction.

 

Section 5 Load Balancing Procedure

Section 5 of the prestressed concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers load balancing procedure.

 

Section 6 Concordant Cable Profile

Section 6 of the prestressed concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers concordant cable profile.

 

Practice PE Problems

There are (5) PE practice problems at the end of the prestressed concrete design chapter in the structural depth reference manual.

 

Chapter 4 of Structural Depth Reference Manual: Structural Steel Design

 

Section 1 Plastic Design

Section 1 of the structural steel design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers plastic design.

 

Section 2 Eccentrically Loaded Bolt Groups

Section 2 of the structural steel design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers eccentrically loaded bolt groups.

 

Section 3 Eccentrically Loaded Weld Groups

Section 3 of the structural steel design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers eccentrically loaded weld groups.

 

Section 4 Composite Beams

Section 4 of the structural steel design chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers composite beams.

 

Practice PE Problems

There are (4) PE practice problems at the end of the structural steel design chapter in the structural depth reference manual.

 

Chapter 5 of Structural Depth Reference Manual: Design of Wood Structures

Section 1 Design Methods

Section 1 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design methods.

 

Section 2 Load Combinations

Section 2 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers load combinations.

 

Section 3 Glossary

Section 3 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers the glossary.

 

Section 4 Reference Design Values

Section 4 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers reference design values.

 

Section 5 Adjustment of Reference Design Values

Section 5 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers adjustment of reference design values.

 

Section 6 Adjustment Factors

Section 6 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers adjustment factors.

 

Section 7 Design for Flexure

Section 7 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design for flexure.

 

Section 8 Design for Compression

Section 8 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design for compression.

 

Section 9 Design for Tension

Section 9 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design for tension.

 

Section 10 Design for Shear

Section 10 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design for shear.

 

Section 11 Design for Connections

Section 11 of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design for connections.

 

Practice PE Problems

There are (6) PE practice problems at the end of the design of wood structures chapter in the structural depth reference manual.

 

Chapter 6 of Structural Depth Reference Manual: Design of Reinforced Masonry

 

Section 1 Design Principles

Section 1 of the design of reinforced masonry chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design principles.

 

Section 2 Design for Flexure

Section 2 of the design of reinforced masonry chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design for flexure.

 

Section 3 Design for Shear

Section 3 of the design of reinforced masonry chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design for shear.

 

Section 4 Design of Masonry Columns

Section 4 of the design of reinforced masonry chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design of masonry columns.

 

Section 5 Design of Masonry Shear Walls

Section 5 of the design of reinforced masonry chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design of masonry shear walls.

 

Section 6 Wall Design for Out-of-Plane Loads

Section 6 of the design of reinforced masonry chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers wall design for out-of-plane loads.

 

Section 7 Design of Anchor Bolts

Section 7 of the design of reinforced masonry chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design of anchor bolts.

 

Section 8 Design of Prestressed Masonry

Section 8 of the design of reinforced masonry chapter in the structural depth reference manual covers design of prestressed masonry.

 

Practice PE Problems

There are (5) PE practice problems at the end of the design of reinforced masonry chapter in the structural depth reference manual.