AN EDUCATION IN CSP PUT TO THE TEST & PREVAILS

Shawn Burdett graduated from the Royal Military College in 2009 with an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering. After completing Army Engineer Officer training he was posted to 4 Engineer Support Regiment, Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick. While at 4 ESR Shawn was the Composite Troop Commander which consisted of heavy equipment, heavy lift vehicles, and bridging assets. 

In early 2011, CSPI’s Dave Penny travelled to Yellowknife as a guest speaker at the 2011 NAPEG (Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists) Conference. While the Northern conference always proves to be interesting, this time, Dave Penny had the privilege to hear firsthand how his teachings about CSP over the years have proved invaluable to engineering students.

At the NAPEG, Dave ran into former student, Shawn Burdett, of the Canadian Armed Forces who happened to be presenting at the conference as well. Three years previous, Dave taught Shawn at a CSPI Educational Outreach Program in a RMC (Royal Military College) Civil Engineering class. One of the most important caches of information Shawn took away from the class was the Handbook of Steel Drainage and Highway Construction Products, which today remains as one of his most prized textbooks.

As a Canadian Armed Forces representative, Shawn spoke of his deployment to Baffin Island and his most recent deployment to Newfoundland to clean up after Hurricane Igor. The devastation of the area included the loss of many culverts and bridges. However, the people of Newfoundland demonstrated great resilience and so did local CSPI member companies who pitched in with the Armed Forces to reconnect many communities. Work took place around the clock! CSPI members ran 24 hours a day for weeks making new CSP so the Armed Forces and others could construct and install culverts, and emergency steel bridge structures. Shawn explained to the audience that despite the disaster area and the many challenges that were faced, the installation of CSP as temporary, permanent, and emergency structures took place with military precision. And through the many weeks of clean up, Shawn consulted his trusted companion, the Handbook of Steel Drainage and Highway Construction Products, a number of times.

After the Yellowknife conference, Dave and Shawn reminisced and decided to explore the area a bit by taking a road trip down the Ingraham Trail to the start of the famous Ice Road. What they found was amazing and completely new to them! Many culverts were largely filled with ice and many smaller culverts contained end to end steam lines hanging from their obverts. How did engineers do this? Proving once again to be a new learning experience, “We took some photos, talked about it, asked some questions and will share the answers shortly,” said Dave Penny. “There are always new ways to use versatile CSP. I guess we’ve come from teacher to student to teacher here… we have come full circle North of 60,” he added.

Shawn Burdett graduated from the Royal Military College in 2009 with an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering. After completing Army Engineer Officer training he was posted to 4 Engineer Support Regiment, Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick. While at 4 ESR Shawn was the Composite Troop Commander which consisted of heavy equipment, heavy lift vehicles, and bridging assets.

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