News from CloudCalc -- Structural Analysis in the Cloud
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CloudCalc Newsletter for
December 2017

Happy New Year to all!  It’s been a while since we’ve put out a CloudCalc Newsletter.  Here’s what’s been happening over the past several months in the world of Structural Analysis in the Cloud

  • Rob Herrington has joined CloudCalc as Vice President, International Sales and Marketing.  In this position, Rob will use his more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience to increase CloudCalc’s exposure and revenue through dealer channel and direct sales programs.  Learn more about Rob here.
  • CloudCalc has upgraded its web site to the HTTPS: protocol.  Read here to learn how this protocol provides our users with enhanced security.
  • If you missed us at the SEAoT conference, start making your plans now to join us at the 2018 NASCC, the Steel Conference, which we will be attending April 11-13, 2018 in Baltimore, MD.  This show will be a great opportunity for engineers to learn first-hand the advantages that CloudCalc -- Structural Analysis in the Cloud – can provide.

Software Update News:
In December we delivered Version 1.02.15 of CloudCalc, the 35th update of the software since its initial launch in June, 2014.  Remember – since CloudCalc is delivered on the cloud, you are automatically up to date every time you access the software, without having to install anything new.  And our updates are always upward compatible, so you never have to convert old models to run on the latest version of the software.
  • Version 1.02.15 – Applied Displacement Loading
This release adds the ability to model Applied Displacements as a loading type.  Often structures are loaded not only by forces (concentrated or uniform) but also by externally imposed displacements, such as settlement, seismic displacements, or thermal expansion of supports or other attached elements.  These Applied Displacements may now be modeled as acting on any node in the CloudCalc model, and assigned to any individual load, or as part of any Load Type.

For more information on CloudCalc’s new Applied Displacements capabilities, you can read about the update here, or watch our instructional video.

And now, enjoy the latest entries from the CloudCalc Blog…Happy Reading!

Structure Against the Storm: Notes from Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to hit the US in a decade 

I’m writing this article while “hunkered down” against Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma nearly 12 years ago.  Harvey came ashore two nights ago as a Category 4 hurricane (indicating minimum sustained wind velocity of 130 mph) and continues to punish our area with torrential downpours.  My neighborhood has had 16 inches of rain over the past 24 hours, something that is expected to continue over the next several days.  I also periodically am losing power, and so have to resort to the old-school instruments of pencil, paper, and candle while writing this.

What can I expect t from a Category 4 hurricane?  According to the National Hurricane Center, “catastrophic damage” will occur:

Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or monthsContinue reading →

101 Reasons to Read this Book

101 Things I Learned in Engineering School: 2 thumbs up!

I recently came upon the book 101 Things I Learned in Engineering School by John Kuprenas and Matthew Frederick (May 2013, Grand Central Publishing).  It is part of the “101 Things I Learned Series” (billed as “books for the sophisticated beginner”) which offers entries in architecture, business, engineering, law, urban design, among other professions.

Upon first glance, I thought this little book was written for a very elementary audience.  It consisted of no more than a paragraph or two explaining each of the 101 “things”, accompanied by a simple drawing illustrating the concept.  At best, I thought that it might be a good introduction that I could recommend to anyone I knew who was considering studying engineering.

But I quickly became absorbed in this book.  These authors had gone to some engineering school!  Because yes, there were many things that I, too, had learned in engineering school — but there were several more that I had learned only after engineering work experience had piqued my curiosity.  There were more that I hadn’t even really ever thought about until reading them right here in this “elementary” book.  But most importantly, in my opinion, it captured exactly what I have found to the magic of engineering, the essence of what makes our job so interesting.   Continue reading →


In honor of the season, we are proud to reprise this blog article from the past:

Here Comes Santa Claus: The Ultimate Gift List for Structural Engineers


Up on the housetop, click, click, click…

Well readers, it’s that time of year again – the annual wracking of the brain for Christmas/Hanukkah gift ideas for family, friends, and the co-worker whose name you drew in the office gift exchange.  Every year the decision gets more difficult.  A chia pet?  A fruit cake?  A calendar with pictures of cute cats/dogs/ducks?  A zucchini spiralizer?  An ice scraper?

But I bring good news: this year shopping will be a breeze, if you have a structural engineer on your list.  Why?  Because in my role as a full service blogger I have done all your work for you, assembling the Ultimate Gift List for Structural Engineers.  No more wondering, no more worry, no more brain-wracking, just perfect gifts for any structural engineer!  (But before proceeding, I recommend that anyone shopping for an engineer first review the professional ethics guidelines regarding what types of gifts that engineer may accept.)   Continue reading →


Remember, CloudCalc offers a one-month free trial!  Just go to to register – no obligation, no credit card, no hassle – just Structural Analysis in the Cloud.

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