Thursday, December 30, 2010

Be safe, listeners

Monday, December 27, 2010

Call-in show on Sunday

Dr. Deb will be live on the line and ready to take your calls this Sunday from 11:00 to noon (our first hour-long show!). Dr. John Kevern and Samantha Kevern will join Deb to share their expertise on concrete and structural design. The number is 576-7710.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Kansas City Soccer Stadium

Jeff Spear, AIA from Populus (a sports architect) shared the design vision and specific design elements of the new soccer stadium for Sporting Kansas City. He shared the similarities and differences with NFL stadia. Listen to the podcast.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meteorology - winter safety

Andy Bailey, our favorite meteorologist returns to "Building Kansas City" to remind us of winter safety, and what conditions cause snow, freezing rain and sleet. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

News Magazine

Dr. Deb discussed the early history of the West Point Military Academy, from Jefferson to the Civil War. The photo is of the Hudson River from the vantage point of West Point. The source article is from the Civil Engineering magazine. She also read from one of Dorothy Parker's stories, "The Wonderful Old Gentleman." Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kansas City's Sprint Center

Dave Landis, P.E. and Tom Langlitz, P.E., who are both principals at Walter P. Moore, joined the show to discuss some of the engineering details of the Sprint Center. We discussed the long-span roof, the foundation, the glass skin (with wind and temperature design considerations), the College Basketball Experience (vibration isolation), and the general success of the venue. Listen to the podcast.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Festival of lights

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Town Fork Creek combined sewer improvements

Paul Anderson, P.E. joined the show to share the plans for improving the sewer service in the Town Fork Creek watershed. Town Fork Creek flows NE into Brush Creek, near the Bruce Watkins Center. The plans include a deep tunnel which will be connected to the Brush Creek tunnel -- the two tunnels can help reduce flooding and overflows cooperatively. The Town Fork Creek plan also includes some sewer separation with that stormwater flow going to a local green solution for infiltration. More details are laid out in the Overflow Control Plan, which was recently finalized. Listen to the podcast.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give Thanks!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dr. Greg King on porous concrete winter safety

Prof. Greg King from the Mechanical Engineering faculty at UMKC joined the show to talk about his research with Prof. John Kevern on winter safety advantages of porous concrete. Dr. King shared some biomechanics insight on the balance of walking (and falling). Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kauffman Performing Arts Center construction

Kyle McQuiston from J.E. Dunn joins the show to talk about the construction of the Kauffman Performing Arts Center at 17th & Broadway in Kansas City. Kyle and Deb discussed the erection of the steel ribs, how construction is staged in an urban site, and the acoustic isolation of the two performance halls. Listen to the podcast.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you, veterans!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bartle Hall (original) construction

Bill Clawson, Ph.D., P.E. from HNTB shared some of the design details on the major Bartle Hall expansion which was completed in the early 1990s. Deb got lots of her questions answered about how Bartle Hall was constructed over I-70. Bill explained that Bartle Hall is like two bridges, one for the roof and one for the exhibit floor. He also explained the low-contraction concrete mix that allowed very large concrete pours for the exhibit floor. Listen to the podcast.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tomorrow is Election Day!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Legends

Dan Lowe from Red Development joined Deb to talk about how large development projects, like The Legends at Village West in KCK go from concept to opening. He talked about the Unified Government, Kansas Speedway, the anchor stores (Cabela's and Nebraska Furniture Mart), and everything in between. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Water Towers

Mike Odrowski, P.E. from TetraTech shared why we have water towers (pressure and capacity), where we site them, how complicated their foundations are (!), and how decorative some communities have made these parts of their infrastructure. Listen to the podcast.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

UMKC + Chilean mine rescue

Andrew Schmitt is on the UMKC Board of Trustees - read newsletter article.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Brush Creek combined sewer improvements

Paul Anderson, P.E. from CDM joined Dr. Deb to discuss the planned sewer improvements for the KCMO portion of the Brush Creek basin. He discussed the proposed tunnel which will run under the creek bank and have its own high-rate treatment system which will discharge to the Blue River. He also discussed why one area will have the storm and sanitary lines separated, and why significant green solutions (rain gardens) are proposed in other areas. More details are laid out in the Overflow Control Plan, which was recently finalized. There was a production problem on the air date, and only the second half of the show was broadcast.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stigall interview on Chilean rescue

Chris Stigall (KCMO Morning Show with Chris Stigall) interviewed Andrew Schmitt from Layne Christensen Company which is located in the Kansas City area. Layne Christensen drilled the large rescue tunnel. Since Chris' interview is so similar to those done on "Building Kansas City", Deb wanted to bring this to your attention. More good work done from Kansas City! Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Water Supply Security

Deb interviewed Dan Kroll from Hach Corp while at the ASCE EWRI conference in May 2010. Dan shared the vulnerability of US water supplies, and discussed the efficacy of preventative monitoring. A copy of Dan's book, Securing Our Water Supply: Protecting a Vulnerable Resource was given away during the show. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our favorite meteorologist returns

Andy Bailey from the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, MO joined Deb to discuss hail, since the Northland was ravaged by some giant hail a few weeks ago. Deb shared the upflow velocities needed for large hail formation, and Andy discussed the intercloud mechanics. This was much more in-depth than our TV meteorologists have time to share. Listen to the podcast.

Monday, September 27, 2010

kcICON Bridge Dedication

Dr. Deb attended the dedication of the Kit Bond (I-29) Bridge across the Missouri River this morning. I was one of the first 50 pedestrians to cross the bridge. Walking gives a perspective on the bridge's design that I'm not likely to get while driving across it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NSPE President Michael Hardy, P.E.

Michael Hardy, P.E., F.NSPE, current president of the National Society of Professional Engineers and Barbara Friedman, P.E. president of the Western Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers joined to show to discuss how and why engineers are licensed, and how engineering ethics guide our professional work. Listen to the podcast.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Sunday, September 19, 2010

John Wesley Powell

Dr. Jerry Richardson, P.E., D.WRE returned to tell "Building Kansas City" about the remarkable life of Colonel John Wesley Powell. Powell navigated small craft (often alone) down the Ohio, Mississippi, and Colorado Rivers. Powell lost his right arm in the Civil War, but went on to explore rivers and establish the science of river flow measurement (Embudo, New Mexico, birthplace of systematic stream gaging). Powell has both a postage stamp (see left) and a museum dedicated to his amazing life. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Arrowhead Stadium Renovations with Ben Stindt

Ben Stindt, AIA from the sports architecture firm, Populus, talked to Deb about how Kansas City is the sports architecture design center of the nation, and what it was like working with Lamar Hunt on the improvements to Arrowhead Stadium. Listen to the podcast.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

LaShanah Tova!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I-470 Collapse and Repair

Beth Wright, P.E., the Missouri Dept. of Transportation District 4 Engineer joined the show to share the news of the I-470 repair. Beth also talked about the contractual expediency and the early completion bonus. Read the initial press release. View the engineering solution. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stowers Institute Construction

Mike Schaadt, AIA, LEED, one of the principals at PGAV, talked about how the old Menorah Hospital (Troost Avenue and Volker Boulevard) was transformed into the Stowers Institute for Biomedical Research. The site was challenged by the slope and close proximity to Brush Creek and two significant streets. Mike shared the importance of retaining the character of the historic hospital structure. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Report from the 2010 Ecofest

Notice the water drop on my hat (I couldn't compete with the guy in the turtle suit!). Questions in the EcoFest passport:
  1. Which water quality test measures the clarity of water?
  2. Why save the rain?
  3. What is an aquifer?
  4. Public water supplies create 180 gallons of water per day, per person. What percentage of this water is for drinking by people?
  5. How much rain water do you get from 1 square foot of roof during a 1 inch rain?
  6. What items make for a bad environment and how can we make it better?
  7. What are two important water quality measures?
  8. Of the 62,000 chemical used in products in our homes, how many are tested by the FDA?
  9. What is a watershed?
  10. What is one of the causes of stream bank erosion?
  11. What do ducks, geese, beaver, mink and muskrat have in common?
  12. Name two items that can be recycled.
  13. Name two renewable energy sources.
  14. How much new water is created each year?
  15. What is the difference between a sanitary sewer and a storm sewer?
  16. Which City (Independence, MO) parks allow public fishing?
  17. Rain gardens can absorb what percent more water than the same size lawn?
Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Combat water logistics

US Army Reserve Col. Garth Anderson and US Army Corps of Engineers Major Jeff Schulz joined the show and explained just how we get drinking water to our soldiers in the desert theatres of operation. Both of the guests have served in Afghanistan and/or Iraq. We heard about the wells at the Kandahar base, and the personal water needs and supplies for soldiers. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Brownfields restoration - Andy Bracker

Andy Bracker, Esq., from the City of Kansas City, MO Planning and Development Department, explained to the audience brownfields' differences from SuperFund sites, and about the efforts and successes in the Kansas City area. See the before picture of the site to the left. Listen to the podcast.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Engineering and Kansas City - Jack Cashill

Jack Cashill, Ph.D. and Executive Editor of Ingram's Magazine helped Dr. Deb launch the new BUILDING KANSAS CITY show! Jack gave some history of consulting engineering in Kansas City, and discussed Norman Rockwell's painting "Spirit of Kansas City." Listen to a great Kansas City icon (Jack) talk about our great city. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Northland sewer improvements - Dennis Cantrell, P.E.

Dennis Cantrell, P.E. from HNTB explained the importance of unintended storm water leakage into the separate sanitary sewer system, and how the removal of the stormwater will improve the performance of the sewers in the Northland as part of Kansas City's Overflow Control Plan. Dr. Deb and Dennis explained what engineers mean when they refer to I/I (infiltration and inflow). Infiltration seeps into the sewer system through cracks and poor pipe connections, while inflow comes from roof or basement drains connected to the sewer system. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Culvert redesign for fish passage - Geoff Goll, P.E.

Geoff Goll, P.E. from Princeton Hydro shared his design work for fish passage through culverts. He described how the redesigns accomodate fish and other animals by reducing the exit velocities, reducing/eliminating the height between the culvert's outlet and the stream bed, allowing sufficient light into the culvert, and placing large rocks for a more natural bottom to the culvert. The picture (left) shows how high the outlet can become. Geoff and Deb also recalled the culvert adaptation for bats in an earlier broadcast. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

MR340 - 2010

Scott Mansker (MR340 race organizer), Katy Pfefferkorn (women's MR340 record-holder) and Dawn McKenney-Maxwell (race aspirant) joined the show to share their experience and encouragement. You can watch the flotilla from Riverfront Park on the morning of July 27, 2010. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fish Passage - Robert Keller

Dr. Robert Keller from Monash University in Australia discussed weir design for the ephemeral (not always flowing) streams in southern Australia that can accommodate the Murray cod (a large, migratory fish). Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Walden Pond, thermoclines and Thoreau

Dr. Deb shared some information on the water quality of Walden Pond and how its water clarity allows algal growth below the thermocline and very good dissolved oxygen levels deep into the lake's depth. She discussed how and why thermoclines develop in temperate lakes, and read from some of Thoreau's Walden. Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Venice - the city of canals - Kirk Gastinger

Kirk Gastinger, F.AIA from Gastinger Walker Harden Architects joined the show to talk about Venice. Listen to his insights on living in a canal city, making architectural repairs and other views into a different world. Listen to the podcast.