Open During Construction - Podcast on City-Building Brings Engineering and Planning Perspectives to Topics of Today

Happy Birthday to Open During Construction podcast! We are one year old sharing planning and engineering perspectives on city-building. Engineer and moderator Muneef Ahmad, planner Michelle Berquist and yours truly, blogger/engineer Robert Muir, explore topics of the day .. and those who read this blog can listen to my perspectives on those topics from a more personal side.

My Mr Holden's Glen Ames Grade 7 Toothpick Bridge.
Still standing strong! Admire my early truss work in\the deck!
Marvel at the distribution of load in the abutments.
Like? How did this Grade 7 toothpick bridge inspire me to become an engineer (I can trace the success of this bridge project that supported a brick in Mr. Holden's Glen Ames class, to Dr. Prior's Malvern Collegiate Grade 13 physics class 'beam problems' (i.e., engineering statics), to Mark's Experiments in Gothic Structure book review exploring the role of flying buttresses and pinnacles (form follows function!), to enrollment in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto, to .... OK, so its not as exciting an origin story as Wolverine or something like that but that is why I am here. 

Quick downloads of season 1 episodes are available here:


Power to the Sheeple (we explore ingrained falsehoods in engineering including the insurance industry 'data' on extreme weather that many "sheeple" are following without question)

Like Millenials (we discuss two different types of people who won’t amount to much: People who won’t listen to what they’re told, and; People who don’t do anything but what they’re told - and explore the need to master your craft first (doing what you are told), gaining a strong understanding of assumptions and weaknesses, then committing to making it better (do more than only what you are told))

The Day After Tomorrow (we explore the role of experts like planners and engineers in storytelling, and bringing facts to discussions like the Toronto GO Train flood in 2013 and misreporting of flood frequency in the media) 

Dancing About Infrastructure (is it possible to celebrate infrastructure? how can we help the public appreciate what is often underground, out of sight and out of mind and saves our lives (clean water) in beautiful structures like Toronto's R.C.Harris filtration plan and Hamilton's first pump house?)
My Dillon team reunion 2018

A Woman's Place is in the... (engineering profession of course!)

Good or Good Enough (what is the role of innovation in our work, plus my experience on mega projects like Mary River Iron Mine on Baffin Island and the Windsor Essex Parkway P3, and the more local Regent Park Revitalization where we discuss stormwater vs energy sustainability)

Plangineers (our professional engineering and planning origin stories, including that toothpick bridge)

SEASON 1 PODCAST WEB LINKS (with show notes)

Power to the Sheeple

Like Millenials

The Day After Tomorrow

Dancing About Infrastructure

A Woman's Place is in the...

Good or Good Enough


STATIC LINKS (bonus material)

ArtWorkX blog post

Is the River Longing?

The Toothpick Bridge


And Season 2 Episode 1 is now online too! In Season 2 we break new ground with The People's (Food) Court and our guest Lesley Pavan, Director of Design and Development at the City of Mississauga shares her insights into the lifestyle choices on offer in the rapidly urbanizing city where she both works and lives.

download directly:


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