Unwind, relax, (and learn) with these 2021 ASCE beach reads

Every summer, ASCE seeks to entertain and inform the discerning civil engineer vacationer with the annual beach reads list. Every summer except, of course, for 2020.

But with COVID-related travel restrictions lifting around the world, it’s finally the right time to feature the next installment.

And this year’s list of ASCE beach reads is especially suited for the beach bum with a passion for civil engineering history.

The 2021 ASCE beach reads:

Benjamin Wright: Father of American Civil Engineering

Author Steven M. Pennington details the life of a man who, in 1839, participated in organizational meetings of what would become the American Society of Civil Engineers, the very organization that in 1970 designated him the “Father of American Civil Engineering.”

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Hans Albert Einstein: His Life as a Pioneering Engineer

In this biography, authors Robert Ettema and Cornelia Mutel engagingly describe the work of one man’s quest to understand and unravel the complexities of rivers.

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Engineering Iron and Stone: Understanding Structural Analysis and Design Methods of the Late 19th Century

Drawing on his career-long fascination with how structural engineers do their work, author Thomas Boothby presents a comprehensive explanation of the empirical, graphical, and analytical design techniques used during the late 1800s in constructing buildings and bridges of wood, stone, brick, and iron.

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Washington Roebling’s Father: A Memoir of John A. Roebling

Between 1893 and 1907, Washington Roebling wrote about his father’s life, character, career, and achievements with candor and intimate family details. Part biography, part memoir, Washington Roebling’s Father makes available for the first time the text of this remarkable manuscript, edited by Donald Sayenga, an internationally recognized authority on the history of wire rope.

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Karl Terzaghi: The Engineer as Artist

One of the leading civil engineers of the 20th century, Terzaghi is widely known as the father of soil mechanics. This narrative, authored by Richard E. Goodman, shows Terzaghi’s struggle to understand the phenomena observed on many major engineering projects.

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Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers

Behind every great American civil engineering accomplishment, there is a great American civil engineer.

Written by Richard G. Weingardt and with a foreword by Henry Petroski, Engineering Legends provides a unique view into the history and progress of 32 great American civil engineers from the 1700s to the present.

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  1. Nothing by McCullough? The Great Bridge, Johnstown Flood, Path Between the Seas!
    If you have not read, you should.


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