February, 2016 Luncheon
Speaker: Tom Caldwell with Atlas Engineering
Date: Thursday, February 18, 2016
Topic: Structural Investigation Following the Farmville Silo Fire
Presentation: Download PDF
Summary: In December of 2015, NC Emergency Management (NCEM) retained Atlas Engineers to assess a steel silo in Farmville, North Carolina. The 120' silo held millions of pounds of sweet potato pellets that had caught fire five weeks prior, and had burned continuously despite all efforts and 2.5 million gallons of water. NCEM and local officials were worried that the fire had structurally compromised the silo, which threatened a lane of Highway 264 and a large industrial plant. The forensic/structural engineers had an interesting time accessing and assessing this large, compromised structure. Tom Caldwell, Chief Engineer with Atlas Engineering, discussed his experience leading this investigation and structural evaluation.
Tom Caldwell is a Raleigh native who completed his undergraduate studies in civil engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, and subsequently earned his Masters degree at NCSU. He is a structural engineer who specializes in investigating and designing the repairs for damaged buildings. Tom has been a practicing engineer in Raleigh for 30 years and started Atlas Engineering 20 years ago. He regularly deploys to disaster sites with government agencies and serves on collapse rescue teams, and is active with Engineers Without Borders.