News Bits

Engineers on the Move

Professional Challenge

Feature Articles


Engineering Consultants

Manufacturers Representatives and Distributors

Related Contractors

Professional Services

Engineering Resources

Virginia Schools

Engineering Societies

Home > Professional Challenge >

December 2004 Professional Challenge

Engineers holding PE or EIT licenses have higher average incomes than engineers who do not. To encourage registration, we present typical examination problems from registration examination preparation manuals. Readers are invited to solve the problems and submit their answers to us. From among the correct solutions we will select monthly one reader who will receive a free one-year extension to his subscription. The Virginia Engineer cannot respond to individual requests for explanations as to why answers other than those published are not also correct. Mail answers to The Virginia Engineer, 7401 Flannigan Mill Rd., Mechanicsville, VA 23111; or fax answers to 877-779-3032, or e-mail answers to
The deadline for answers to this month’s problem is February 9th
The December Problem—Economic Analysis
The Chief Engineer and the Plant Engineer are looking over the design of a new fuel storage tank and the 6-inch pipe which will connect it to the plant, 3,000 feet away. “What pressure have we got to have at the tank pump in order to get 50 psi at the plant?” the Chief Engineer asks. Looking at the plans, the Plant Engineer notes that the fuel oil will have a specific gravity of 0.9, that ground level at the plant is 60 feet above ground level at the tank, and the pipe has a friction factor of 0.03. “Well,” he says, entering data into the hand-held calculator, the pressure at the tank has to be maintained at no less than:

>(A) 128.2 psig (B) 152.3 psig© 202.4 psig
(D) 242.2 psig (E) 275.0 psig

The correct solution to last month’s problem was submitted by

Roy W. Sebring, P.E.
McKinney and Company
Ashland, VA

The November Problem restated:
“What’s our current break-even point,” the Chief Engineer asks the Plant Engineer, handing him a sheet of figures. “Well, let’s see,” the Plant Engineer replies. “We have a capacity of 700,000 units a year, we’re operating at 62 percent capacity, annual income is $430,000, annual fixed costs are $190,000, and variable costs are $0.348 per unit. Therefore, our break-even point is:

(A) 295,500 units (B) 325,000 units
(C) 325,500 units (D) 355,000 units (E) 355,500 units

(Editor’s Note: Because the January issue will be the 2005 Directory of Consulting Engineering Services, the answer to the December 2004 problem will appear in the February 2005 issue.)

November 2004 Challenge Answer

Previous Challenge |