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Gems of Structural Engg - Ms. M. K. Hurd - (Post-9)

 
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abhy_vivek
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Gems of Structural Engg - Ms. M. K. Hurd - (Post-9) Reply with quote



Ms. M. K. Hurd

THE REIGNING QUEEN OF CONCRETE



It’s hard to believe that the petite, 80-year-old woman standing before you wrote the book on concrete formwork. Not just ANY book, THE book. The book that’s used as a textbook at universities, colleges, and professional schools and as a reference book throughout the industry. The book that’s widely known as “the green bible of the formwork industry.”

But it’s true. Mary “M.K.” Hurd is recognized as the expert voice in the concrete construction and forming industry. Her book, Formwork for Concrete, was first published by the American Concrete Institute in 1963, and she has since revised it six times. In all, the seven editions have sold more than 125,000 copies, and the book has grown from 350 to 500 pages.

So how did this Iowa State coed end up in civil engineering in the first place, not to mention become the foremost authority on concrete?

It’s all about opportunity and desire. Despite the fact that Hurd was the only female in her engineering classes, she had skills and interest in math and science, and she wanted to be self-supporting. She also had an affinity for writing and had experience as editor of Iowa State’s Iowa Engineer magazine.

After graduation in 1947, Hurd learned that the American Concrete Institute in Detroit was looking for someone with an engineering degree and writing skills.

“Engineers are notoriously not good at written communication, and I had a lot of writing skills as well as the engineering skills. It was perfect, EXCEPT they didn’t want a woman,” Hurd remembers.

Unbeknownst to her at the time, an ISU professor with connections to the American Concrete Institute went to bat for her, and she got the job.

Over the next several years, Hurd started a family, pursued graduate study, was a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois, and worked on municipal engineering and land surveying projects. In 1956, she became associate editor of the Journal of the American Concrete Institute, leaving that position three years later to become an independent engineering writer and consultant.

Then, in the early 1960s, the American Concrete Institute determined that since no definitive work on concrete formwork existed in the United States, they would publish one. They came to Mary Hurd.

“I met with this committee, and I can still see that big, long table with all these guys around it,” Hurd said. “I thought it would be like a typical engineering handbook, where you get 12 or 15 experts and each one writes a chapter and I would get it together. Well, that was not what they wanted. They wanted me to start out from ground zero and write the whole book.”

The finished book, of course, made history and made M.K. Hurd a star in the concrete formwork industry.
Funny thing, though: Most people who didn’t know her just assumed she was a man.

“I answered all the questions and the phone calls for Mr. Hurd,” she laughs. “Nobody questioned. It was not generally known.”

It was actually Hurd’s idea to use her initials on the book’s title page.

“It was 1963, and at the time I felt that it would be a disadvantage for the book to have a female name on it. I truly believed that. So I just put my initials on it. And then it stayed that way all these many years.”

Hurd credits Al Jennings, a fellow Iowa Stater (’56 engineering), for “outing” her a few years ago. Jennings is chairman and CEO of EFCO, a concrete formwork company in Des Moines. EFCO’s Concrete Construction and Forming Institute features a museum-like display that chronicles the history of concrete formwork. In it is a photograph of Mary Hurd.

“That blew my cover totally,” she laughs.

In all seriousness, Hurd says it hasn’t been easy being a woman working in a predominantly male industry.
“I always felt obligated to do a better job than the typical man,” she says.



Her skills and determination served her well, and over the years Hurd has conducted dozens of seminars and lectures, published more than 230 journal articles, and received many awards including the Construction Practice Award of the American Concrete Institute. She was the first female to receive the Anson Marston Medal, the highest award bestowed by Iowa State’s College of Engineering. Much of this was accomplished while Hurd was serving as engineering editor and editor in chief of Concrete Construction magazine in Addison, Ill.
In his 2004 nomination letter for the Marston Medal, Ward R. Malisch, senior managing director for the American Concrete Institute, wrote:

“Mary’s Formwork for Concrete is the most influential concrete formwork book ever written. Her knowledge of concrete construction is surpassed only by her ability to describe it lucidly, concisely, and in a most interesting fashion.”

Today Hurd is “pretty nearly retired” in Farmington Hills, Mich., but is still involved with the industry. She recently visited Iowa State to deliver the keynote address at the Society for Women Engineers’ regional student conference.

As for the book, Hurd says she doesn’t know if there are plans for an eighth edition.

Smiling sweetly, she says, “I decline to speculate on that.”



Last edited by abhy_vivek on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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B.V.Harsoda
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Er. Abhy_vivek,

Thank You very much for giving  such Innovative information about Ms. M. K. Hurd,

THE REIGNING QUEEN OF CONCRETE.

Best Wishes
B. V. Harsoda
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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:37 am    Post subject: Re: Gems of Structural Engg - Ms. M. K. Hurd - (Post-9) Reply with quote

I am sorry to report the demise of Er. Hurd:

HURD MARY K
. age 87, a longtime resident of Farmington Hills, passed away peacefully at home September 27, 2013. She is predeceased by her ex-husband Lyman; brother Howard Krumboltz; and her dear partner of many years, Richard Steiger. She is survived by her son Ralph; daughters Denise (Joe) and Holly (Ben); and Richard's children Maria, Marla (Ward), Reid (Ellen); and grandchildren. Mary graduated from Iowa State University in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. As a member of the American Concrete Institute, Mary wrote Formwork for Concrete which is currently used as a textbook and reference book throughout the concrete industry. She was the first female to receive the Anson Marston Medal, the highest award bestowed by Iowa State's College of Engineering. Mary is a past president of both the Concrete Improvement Board of Detroit, Michigan, and the Michigan Chapter of the ACI.

Subramanian
abhy_vivek wrote:


Ms. M. K. Hurd

THE REIGNING QUEEN OF CONCRETE



It’s hard to believe that the petite, 80-year-old woman standing before you wrote the book on concrete formwork. Not just ANY book, THE book. The book that’s used as a textbook at universities, colleges, and professional schools and as a reference book throughout the industry. The book that’s widely known as “the green bible of the formwork industry.”

But it’s true. Mary “M.K.” Hurd is recognized as the expert voice in the concrete construction and forming industry. Her book, Formwork for Concrete, was first published by the American Concrete Institute in 1963, and she has since revised it six times. In all, the seven editions have sold more than 125,000 copies, and the book has grown from 350 to 500 pages.

So how did this Iowa State coed end up in civil engineering in the first place, not to mention become the foremost authority on concrete?

It’s all about opportunity and desire. Despite the fact that Hurd was the only female in her engineering classes, she had skills and interest in math and science, and she wanted to be self-supporting. She also had an affinity for writing and had experience as editor of Iowa State’s Iowa Engineer magazine.

After graduation in 1947, Hurd learned that the American Concrete Institute in Detroit was looking for someone with an engineering degree and writing skills.

“Engineers are notoriously not good at written communication, and I had a lot of writing skills as well as the engineering skills. It was perfect, EXCEPT they didn’t want a woman,” Hurd remembers.

Unbeknownst to her at the time, an ISU professor with connections to the American Concrete Institute went to bat for her, and she got the job.

Over the next several years, Hurd started a family, pursued graduate study, was a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois, and worked on municipal engineering and land surveying projects. In 1956, she became associate editor of the Journal of the American Concrete Institute, leaving that position three years later to become an independent engineering writer and consultant.

Then, in the early 1960s, the American Concrete Institute determined that since no definitive work on concrete formwork existed in the United States, they would publish one. They came to Mary Hurd.

“I met with this committee, and I can still see that big, long table with all these guys around it,” Hurd said. “I thought it would be like a typical engineering handbook, where you get 12 or 15 experts and each one writes a chapter and I would get it together. Well, that was not what they wanted. They wanted me to start out from ground zero and write the whole book.”

The finished book, of course, made history and made M.K. Hurd a star in the concrete formwork industry.
Funny thing, though: Most people who didn’t know her just assumed she was a man.

“I answered all the questions and the phone calls for Mr. Hurd,” she laughs. “Nobody questioned. It was not generally known.”

It was actually Hurd’s idea to use her initials on the book’s title page.

“It was 1963, and at the time I felt that it would be a disadvantage for the book to have a female name on it. I truly believed that. So I just put my initials on it. And then it stayed that way all these many years.”

Hurd credits Al Jennings, a fellow Iowa Stater (’56 engineering), for “outing” her a few years ago. Jennings is chairman and CEO of EFCO, a concrete formwork company in Des Moines. EFCO’s Concrete Construction and Forming Institute features a museum-like display that chronicles the history of concrete formwork. In it is a photograph of Mary Hurd.

“That blew my cover totally,” she laughs.

In all seriousness, Hurd says it hasn’t been easy being a woman working in a predominantly male industry.
“I always felt obligated to do a better job than the typical man,” she says.



Her skills and determination served her well, and over the years Hurd has conducted dozens of seminars and lectures, published more than 230 journal articles, and received many awards including the Construction Practice Award of the American Concrete Institute. She was the first female to receive the Anson Marston Medal, the highest award bestowed by Iowa State’s College of Engineering. Much of this was accomplished while Hurd was serving as engineering editor and editor in chief of Concrete Construction magazine in Addison, Ill.
In his 2004 nomination letter for the Marston Medal, Ward R. Malisch, senior managing director for the American Concrete Institute, wrote:

“Mary’s Formwork for Concrete is the most influential concrete formwork book ever written. Her knowledge of concrete construction is surpassed only by her ability to describe it lucidly, concisely, and in a most interesting fashion.”

Today Hurd is “pretty nearly retired” in Farmington Hills, Mich., but is still involved with the industry. She recently visited Iowa State to deliver the keynote address at the Society for Women Engineers’ regional student conference.

As for the book, Hurd says she doesn’t know if there are plans for an eighth edition.

Smiling sweetly, she says, “I decline to speculate on that.”



Last edited by Dr. N. Subramanian on Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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abhy_vivek
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: Gems of Structural Engg - Ms. M. K. Hurd - (Post-9) Reply with quote

oh, it's indeed a sad news. Ms. Mary K. Hurd was known as a 'Queen of Concrete' who composed 'A Green Bible' i.e ACI-347 (SP.4), which formed a basic (pioneering) work for all further research in F/W Staging. There is no area which is not covered by this book. I have been using the same in past 12 Yrs.

I Salute to the work and memories of - Ms. Mary K. Hurd - a Gem of Structural Engineering . . . and pray God that let her soul rest in peace.


[quote="Dr. N. Subramanian"]I am sorry to report the demise of Er. Hurde:

HURD MARY K
. age 87, a longtime resident of Farmington Hills, passed away peacefully at home September 27, 2013. . . .
[quote="abhy_vivek"]
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