It took a chance meeting with Pearl Engineering president, Jeff Pearl, almost 9 years ago to bring current Lead Structural Engineer, Shane Burkart, on board.
As Lead Structural Engineer, Shane works closely with the Administration, Design and Safety/Construction departments assigning priority and work to individual projects before coordinating and assisting department projects with junior staff members. His department’s work includes concrete, steel and masonry designs for industrial, commercial, institutional and fall protection projects.
This approach, Shane said, is one of the many things that makes Pearl’s approach to their work strong.
“We are small enough to take on a variety of different kinds of work and have great freedom in the kinds of projects we can decide to take on,” he said. “But we are large enough to have the resources and manpower to back it up.”
Shane, a University of Wisconsin graduate, worked in municipal engineering and hadn’t yet had the chance to work in his primary field of study, structural engineering, or apply his expertise in industrial facility and fall protection design until joining Pearl Engineering.
FARO 3D Laser Scanner
One piece of equipment that has completely changed the way Shane and the rest of the structural engineering teamwork is the FARO 3D Laser Scanner.
Using lidar laser-scanning technology, this scanner can be used to measure and document the size and dimensions of large objects, spaces and even buildings. The advantage of such a device is that the measurements it takes are far more reliable and gathered much faster than the traditional means of sending out a crew to measure by hand.
Shane explained he took interest in this piece of equipment not long after a particularly frustrating project.
“We had a project go south because of some incorrect measurements,” he said. “We resolved the issue, but it did cause some extra work and financial stress on us and the project. Afterwards, I took a look around to see what was available to help avoid this in the future.
“This laser scanner is extremely user-friendly and has become a regular tool for us. Why wouldn’t we use it? It takes out four chances for human error right off the top of my head.”
The laser scanner eliminates the need to bring in crews, lifts and any other tools needed to fully measure the proper dimensions.
All of this amounts to significant reduction on project timeframes as well as drastic financial cost reductions for both the client and Pearl Engineering. For instance, using the device for a previous project at an industrial facility, Shane was able to use it to do a task that would have taken a month’s work in only three days.
When it is finished, the scanner provides a 3D, color, 360-degree photorealistic image that can be viewed and shared digitally on the computer. This proves extremely useful in the event that a certain measurement was missed by the measurement crew. Instead of going back to the site for remeasures, the model can be used for reference.
Additionally, when working remotely with multiple firms, the model can be used as a standard reference for all of those involved, further reducing the risk of the human error of taking multiple measurements.
Applications of the FARO 3D Laser Scanner
Shane has been able to use this exciting tool in a variety of different projects. Most notably, the scanner was inverted and placed through a hole to determine the size and shape of a cavity located underneath a structure for safe and accurate sewer repair.
Shane and Pearl Engineering have also used the device to measure the dimensions of an aircraft hangar, without having to remove the aircraft stored within, alongside projects and designs for food processing and industrial facility structures. Other potential uses besides building measurements range from monument preservation to even crime scene applications.
The scanner was also used by Shane to capture the existing condition and determine if a building that had recently caught fire was still structurally sound for repairs.
When he’s not working, Shane enjoys exploring the great outdoors. Shane frequently canoes the river located just out his back door.
He also greatly enjoys traveling as much as possible. Recently married, Shane and his spouse travel to New York City when possible each year and “take in what the city has to offer.” He also got a chance to see a very different side of the world during college when he studied abroad and took classes while on cruise ship and went around the world. Starting in the Bahamas, Shane had multiple stops along the way including Africa, China and Japan.
Shane also has the pleasure of occasionally working alongside his father, Scott Burkart, a retired firefighter who also works for Pearl Engineering as a fire and safety consultant.
If you are in need of creative solutions, let Shane and the rest of the team at Pearl Engineering be the answer.