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Civil and Environmental Engineering Questions

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Chapter 17
Problem 6
What is the cost breakdown structure(CBS)? What are its purposes? What is included (or excluded)? How does it relate to a work breakdown structure (WBS)?

P-7
How does the CBS relate to the functional analysis (if at all)?

p-8
Describe some of the more commonly used cost estimating methods. Under what conditions should they be applied? Provide some examples.

Chapter 18
p-5
Identify and describe the task that should be included in the implementation of a systems engineering program.

p-9
Assume that you have been assigned to develop a SEMP for a system of your choice. Identify and describe the functions/tasks that need to be accomplished. Then construct a network (PERT/CPM) for the program. This can be a real or hypothetical system

p-14
If you were charged with the staffing of a systems engineering organization, what type of an individual would you hire? Describe background and experience expectations, personal characteristics, specific desired skills.

Chapter 19
p-1
The text refers to a two-step process in the implementation of systems engineering requirements. Identify these steps and describe how they relate to each.

p-4
As a manager of a newly established system "(MIS) to provide you with the visibility needed to properly manage the organization on a day-by-day basis. Describe the steps that you would follow in accomplishing this objective? What information would you include (type, format, frequency, etc.)? What reports should be provided?

p-16
Develop an "assessment model" tailored to your particular organization.

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Chapter 17
Problem 6
What is the cost breakdown structure (CBS)? What are its purposes? What is included (or excluded)? How does it relate to a work breakdown structure (WBS)?

Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS) A hierarchical decomposition of project costs, either on the basis of the organization of the project's work (its WBS) or the physical structure of the system (PBS), where each element in the decomposition contains the allocated budget (as a percentage of its parent in the hierarchy), any actual costs (for upward aggregation of project spend), the confidence in the cost (a percentage), and the amount of possible variation. It utilizes over 40 cost equations and 20 cost throughput parameters to characterize the life-cycle cost of a system. The purpose of the CBS is that the user can select the cost elements that best fit the application being analyzed and the CBS that best fits the Program Office and contractual requirements. It is also used to distribute system costs into phased expenditure categories by fiscal year. This allows allocation of costs to units for comparison of alternative equipment or approaches, and further allows the evaluation of costs over the life cycle of the system, accounting for the present value of money, as appropriate. The detail required in the baseline structure will depend on the complexity of the system and the level of analysis that will be undertaken during system development. The details of the baseline will influence the types of tools that will be required for analysis of alternative systems and approaches.

Work Breakdown Structure is a hierarchical decomposition of the work to be performed by the people in a project that identifies phases, milestones, gates and activities (which are often represented in a project network, plan, program or Gantt chart). It identifies the cost areas to which project costs are charged as the project unfolds, such costs often being associated with a Cost Breakdown Structure.

P-7
How does the CBS relate to the functional analysis (if at all)?

Functional analysis is the process of translating system operational and support requirements into specific qualitative and quantitative design requirements. The process is iterative and accomplished through the development of models using functional flow diagrams, n-squared charts, behavior diagrams, and IDEF models. Functional analysis is used in the CBS, where CBS analyzes each function to determine the cost breakdown structure of the system.

p-8
Describe some of the more commonly used cost estimating methods. Under what conditions should they be applied? Provide some examples.

Some cost estimating methods used in environmental, safety, and health (EHS) management are program cost estimating and trades estimating.
Program costs are done by ensuring that all ESH costs are included in the estimate, and reflecting the ESH costs consistent within the format requirements for Program cost estimates. Ensuring that costs are included can be accomplished by using a series of documents as checklists that stimulate research and questioning. This in turn, will lead to areas where ESH costs may exist. For example, during the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of a satellite program, the prime contractor develops an alternate manufacturing process for satellite sensors to eliminate the use of several Class II Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). The process applies to more than one component and more than one payload. The costs could be collected and accounted for under "Industrial Facilities, Equipment Acquisition or Modernization".
Trade estimating focuses on the delta costs between alternatives. Because over 80% of the ESH costs of alternatives take place, it is important that cost trades be LCC trades. Trade studies are really micro program cost estimates for two or more alternatives in which cost categories that have no change in value between alternatives, can be treated as infrastructure or ignored. Accordingly, the same approach that is used for the program cost estimate can be used for trade studies with several differences. The first difference is that after the list of ESH cost categories is prepared, each cost element is evaluated to determine whether it is sensitive to the alternatives. If it is, then it carries forward just as any cost identified for ...

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Ethical Codes and Environmental Engineering Practice

1. A Civil Engineer with ten years experience in environmental engineering practice heard a story on the evening news about plans by the state department of transportation to build a belt route near protected wetlands. As presented in the news story, he believes the new road may be extremely harmful to the wetland and the unique species of plants found therein. Which of the following would be the best course of action. (Points : 2)
The engineer should write a letter to the editor of the local paper urging the public to oppose the new highway.
The engineer should do nothing since the television station probably doesn't have all the facts.
The engineer should contact the department of transportation to get more information on the project before making any judgement.
The engineer should tell all of his friends and relatives to write their legislators urging them to oppose the project.
The engineer should both write the letter to the editor and tell everyone he knows about the hazard because this is such a serious issue.

2. A survey crew is hired by the general contractor on a large government project to verify certain data on the owner-supplied plans. While performing their functions, the survey crew is approached by a subcontractor who wants them to perform some work for him on the same project. He states that he will pay for this additional work and notes that it will be easy for the survey crew to perform both the services at the same time. What should the survey crew do? (Points : 2)
The survey crew should accept this additional work as long as they have the equipment and capacity to perform both services adequately.
The survey crew should accept this additional work as long as the circumstances are fully disclosed and agreed to by all interested parties.
The survey crew should not accept this additional work as it will be a conflict of interest.
The survey crew should not accept compensation for any additional work because they cannot bill two parties for work performed on the same job.
The survey crew should agree to do the work for the subcontractor on the condition that they are paid under the table so their bosses won't find out.

3. Without your knowledge, an old classmate applies to the company you work for. Knowing that you recently graduated form the same school, the director of engineering shows you the application and resume your friend has submitted and asks your opinion. As you read the resume you realize that your friend has exaggerated his participation in campus organizations, even claiming to have been in an honor society you know he didn't qualify for. On the other hand you remember him as being a very intellgent student whose GPA was lower than it could have been because he had to work to help support his single mother and younger brothers and sisters. You believe that he could really help your company and you would enjoy working with him again. How should you handle this situation? (Points : 2)
You should remove yourself from the ethical dilemma by claiming that you don't remember enough about the applicant to make an informed decision.
You should follow your instincts and recommend the appplicant. Almost everyone stretches the truth a little in their resumes. What you are really being asked to do is evaluate his usefulness to the company and if you report the resume padding, the company will lose a good prospect.
You should recommend the applicant, but qualify your recommendation by pointing out that you think he may have exaggerated some details on his resume.
You should point out the inconsistencies in the applicants resume and recommend against hiring him.
You should contact your former classmate and tell him the situation and encourage him to withdraw his name from consideration at your firm.

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