Course Summary and Outline
This first course in the series of America's Greatest Projects reveals the intricacies involved with developing and implementing projects of a national and worldwide nature. These first two projects deal with the commonality that they were both conceived by the federal government and engineered by a team of mostly government-employed engineers. This course traces the events leading up to the actual opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, including the ideas and the attempts by other nations to develop a canal that would join the two oceans. The efforts of the many individual engineers to achieve such an engineering feat are also described.
Also included in this course is a synopsis of the construction of the Hoover Dam, another early twentieth century project that was on the forefront of engineering technology. This course details the contributions of several engineers who participated in this remarkable achievement. You will discover that the construction of the Hoover Dam was the very first major project to use outside contractors instead of a government-directed workforce.
1. The Panama Canal
A. Early Events
B. Enter the United States
C. U. S. Construction Begins
1. The Hoover Dam
A. Hoover Dam Approval and Administration
B. Hoover Dam Engineering and Design
C. Hoover Dam Construction
Introduction and Learning ObjectivesEach of these projects may be considered by most Americans to be a construction project, but an engineer or an architect or a designer would see them with a different perspective. Without the support of individual engineers and without the vision and wisdom of quality project managers, these projects could not have achieved the success that they did. This statement is not intended to demean the many manufacturers and construction companies who were involved in these projects, because their foresight and experience were paramount to the success of each of these projects.
The first part of this course focuses on the Panama Canal Design and Construction and the many largely unknown events leading up to its ultimate development and success. The second part of this course describes in great detail the construction of the Hoover Dam. Both projects emphasize the tenacity and wisdom of the engineers in the Federal Government as well as the engineers and supervisors of the contractors in the private sector to complete such enormous projects. Each of these projects has lessons to be learned and, hopefully, each of you will be motivated to do greater things.
Course Objectives1. Understand the obstacles that confronted early engineers.
2. Learn how early engineers coped with limited technology and very few resources.
3. Acknowledge the roles that federal government officials and engineers played in the approval and development of some of the world's most well-known projects.
4. Discover how leadership played such a major factor in each of these significant projects.
5. Enhance your skills by learning the strategies used by the early engineers. project managers, and construction management.
6. Envision the techniques used by engineers and constructors despite a lack of communications and experienced workers.