It Takes a Team to<br /> Cross a Bridge Image

It Takes a Team to
Cross a Bridge

Engineers have a reputation for working in silos. But this Chicago engineer loves to solve client problems through collaboration.

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No engineer is an island

During one of her projects, she ran into an issue with heavy trusses that the erector couldn’t lift with the crane.

“It was a team effort to get in there, reconfigure the trusses, redesign the connections, and figure out how to make the trusses lighter so the crane could lift it,” she says. “Then, we had to continually monitor what the weight was, redesign again, get the weight of the steel and try to optimize. It was a good collaboration exercise because we needed the fabricator’s and erector’s input. Then we had to go back and calculate the difference in the weight for the redesign.”

It took a team effort when heavy trusses proved too much for a crane to lift. “We had to go back and calculate the difference in the weight,” says Drucker.

Drucker’s collaborative style rebuffs the perception that engineers work alone, hyperfocused, holed away with their numbers.

“I’m also good at number-crunching in my corner, don’t get me wrong,” she laughs, “but you collaborate, gather the information, gather the input, then do all your focused engineering. And then you come back out.”

Her focused engineering time means she’s looking at the detailing standards of the fabricator and figuring out “what’s good for their shop. It’s also nice when we are working with architects and designing the structure. It’s a collaboration the whole way through.”

It’s a collaboration the whole way through.
Carol Drucker
Drucker had learned about steel’s versatility while collaborating with fabricators, erectors, and detailers.

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Minds of Steel

Carol Drucker, lead principal structural engineer at Drucker Zajdel Structural Engineers

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