Kyle Haskett, PE
Kyle received both his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering and Master of Science in Civil Engineering-Structural Emphasis from the University of Oklahoma. He is…View Profile
Another year is coming to a close and so it is natural to reflect on the past year. We have had quite a year here at Wallace Design Collective. In fact, at the beginning of the year we were not even Wallace Design Collective but Wallace Engineering. We experienced the busiest year ever, but we also offered more services than ever before. I am so very proud of our blog this year and of Krista Looney, our main contributor and the founder of the newly restarted blog. She posted 30 of our 39 blogs this year, truly incredible.
This year Krista and I covered a huge array of topics for the blog. Some were really technical blogs like slab heaving, prelim lateral analysis, snow weight, and spalling. While others much more personal like Journey to Doe Mountain, Spotlight on Carrie Johnson, or my Day in the Life piece. We highlighted a few of our services like Landscape Architecture, Forensic Structural Engineering, and others. More of this will come in 2022. We also had some posts about things we do outside the office such as, Workout like a PE, Engineers Can DIY Anything, and Engineers’ Alliance for the Arts (EAA). Most importantly we had some posts about helping the community like EAA, All Aboard the STEAM Engine, Making Lives Better Through Food Security, and our latest blog Redefining Progress in the Tulsa Arts District.
Let’s take a closer look at some of our year-end reflections and favorite posts to write - and most importantly, your favorite posts to read!
What surprised us most about writing for the blog?
Kyle: I enjoyed writing these blogs more than I thought I would, but it was incredible to have the license to write about whatever topic I felt like needed to be shared. And in this freedom came some randomness and seeming chaos to the blog, but hey, we are first and foremost engineers. I felt like the best part was the ability to take a break from my normal day, whether it be from running endless calcs or reviewing drawings for hours on end. Sometimes you just have the need to break from typical tasks and be creative in a different way. I am excited to see where another year of blogs takes us.
I was also a little surprised by some of the analytics of the blog posts. It seemed like a post would do really well on one platform but underperform on the others. I was also a little surprised to know that our blogs got posted to so many social media platforms; LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Krista: I’m an introvert by nature, but I REALLY enjoyed getting to talk to people I wouldn’t normally talk to. Whether it was hearing insights from minor celebrities like Tom Wallace, meeting our new landscape architecture team, or getting outside perspectives from contractors, I loved hearing from all different perspectives and getting to deep-dive into new and interesting topics with people I might not have connected with otherwise.
It was also surprisingly satisfying to write some creative pieces, like presenting forensic structural engineering projects in the form of tv-show summaries in Tune into Forensic Structural Engineering or explaining various aspects of our jobs in terms of workouts for Workout Like a Professional (A Professional Engineer…). It was a lot of fun to take unique perspectives on engineering topics and try to present them to readers in entertaining, relatable ways.
Finally, I found out that writing a weekly blog is a really hard schedule to keep when you’re busy with engineering and stuff (we mentioned this was Wallace’s busiest year ever, right?!). We had to cut back a little, but big thanks to Kyle for helping to keep the blog on track with quality posts!
What were our favorite blogs to write?
Kyle: My favorite blog to write was the 07/28/21 Engineers Can DIY Anything. It was so fun to get to share with you all the passion project that has taken me so long to complete. I love the linear look of the final design and wish I had the craftsmanship to execute it perfectly. I loved that I was able to use my progress photos to illustrate the construction aspect as well as how long some of the process can take. It was also fun because it was less formal and a bit less technical, although I did run calculations for it so I included them. The greatest joy of this project was that my family was so involved, with my wife having such an impact on the design and having both my daughters help with construction and dry fit-ups.
Krista: Far and away, my favorite blogs were the five-part “40 for 40” series I did with Tom Wallace. To celebrate Wallace Engineering’s 40th anniversary and transition to Wallace Design Collective, I collected 40 insights from Tom Wallace on the evolution of Wallace, entrepreneurship, structural engineering and technology, success, and his personal life. I very much enjoyed sitting down with The Man, The Myth, The Legend every week for five weeks and learning about the experiences and views of the individual who created this company. If you only read one post this year, I hope it’s one of these (and not because I was the author).
What were your favorite blogs to read?
As engineers, we love data. We decided to take a look at the analytics from social media and Google and figure out which posts our readers enjoyed the most in 2021.
The Google results were pretty straightforward, but we discovered that interpreting social media analytics is a bit abstract. Therefore, in order to get an objective handle on how posts fared on LinkedIn and Facebook, we developed our own proprietary rating system and formula that takes into account clicks, reactions, shares, comments, and total reach. (Would you really expect anything less from a bunch of engineers?)
Without further ado, here are the top three posts in 2021 for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google!
The LinkedIn crowd enjoyed reading about Tom Wallace’s experiences as an engineer-entrepreneur: the fun, the not-so fun, and how he has approached business vs. engineering and risk vs. reward.
After this high profile structural failure, the general public had a lot of questions. The term “spalling” was floating around in a lot of news stories, this article clarified exactly what this type of damage is and how it’s caused.
Kyle’s unique record stand garnered a lot of attention on social media! This post detailed his design and construction process, and the best part was that it was a family affair.
This first installment of the 40 for 40 series coincided with the company’s transition to Wallace Design Collective. Tom Wallace gave us an inside look into what started it all and moments and views that have shaped the company along the way.
Kyle’s record stand turned heads on both LinkedIn and Facebook! We hope to bring you more engineer DIY’s in 2022.
Our audience liked getting a closer look at what exactly a structural engineer does on a daily basis! We plan to highlight more of our services like this in 2022.
It seems that future SE’s who were looking for exam advice on Google appreciated getting some tips from engineers who have already conquered this exam.
In a year with a lot of changes for the company, this popular post lends a great look into the history of Wallace. Thanks Tom for creating such a wonderful company and culture to work for.
Heave and settlement are common soil issues that can cause a lot of issues to buildings. It’s no surprise that Googlers were searching for info on this topic!
Was there a blog you felt like should have been in the top three? Please feel free to comment and let us know what you thought about this year’s stellar batch of blog posts.
Is there a topic you would like to see us blog about? Please leave a comment or reach out to Krista or me and we will make sure to cover it in 2022.
Lastly, thanks to all of our readers! It has been a joy getting to write these blog posts and see which ones do well and thinking about the reasons why. We have also enjoyed getting to share some of our knowledge and insights on these engineering topics. I hope you all enjoyed the blog as much as we did.
Happy Holidays and Cheers to 2022!