Small Texas civil engineering firm saves 50 hours per project using Axiom software.

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  • BEAUMONT, TEXAS, USA — If you go east from Houston on Interstate 10, about two hours into your journey you’ll come across the City of Beaumont. Beaumont is a city of about 114,000 people, and is a part of the area known as the “Golden Triangle” — an area of Southeast Texas rich in petroleum and natural gas bordered by Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange — due to the economic prominence of the petrochemical industry in the area. Beaumont has a rich history (Beaumont was the site of the first major oil-field discovery in the United States in 1901, and in the 1920s, they overcame a bout with the Bubonic plague and survived a crippling flood) and a culturally-diverse atmosphere (equal parts Texan and Cajun cultures).

    This month’s MicroStation Today user spotlight shines on a resident of this land of crawfish and crude oil.

    Mark Kelly, Drafting Supervisor for Mark W. Whiteley Associates

    We’d like you to meet Mark Kelly, Drafting Supervisor for Mark W. Whiteley Associates, a five-person a civil engineering firm in Beaumont. He took some time from his busy day to chat with MicroStation Today about his background in CAD and his successes using Axiom tools.

    MicroStation Today: Mark, please tell you a bit about your CAD background and your everyday duties.
    Mark: I started out drafting on a drafting board in 1981. I began using AutoCAD version 9 in 1987 and have since progressed to AutoCAD 2006. I started using MicroStation in 1995 with MicroStation 95 and I now use MicroStation V8.

    I convert field notes from the survey crews into MicroStation drawings. The types of projects that I work on are highway right-of-way drawings, pavement designs, highway designs and real estate surveys. Our clients vary from private citizens, to petrochemical plants, to state and municipal governments.

    MST: Who are your biggest clients?
    Mark: Some of our biggest jobs are Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) highway designs, which include right-of-way acquisition drawings, adjacent property parcels, pavement design, storm sewer design, water design and sewer design.

    MST: Can you tell us about your successes using Axiom’s time-saving tools?
    Mark: A set of plans for one of our recent projects had approximately 150 sheets. When we received comments from our client, we had to renumber the sheets individually. That’s when I started looking for a program to do this automatically and found Title Block Manager. What had been taking me about three hours to complete now takes 15 minutes.

    Another time-saver is RefWriter. It is great to be able to go in and edit a reference drawing without having to get out of the original drawing and then get back in to the drawing. Also, it is great to be able to see the master drawing behind the reference drawing when you’re editing the reference file.

    MST: If you had to quantify how much time you saved using Axiom software during one project, how much would it be?
    Mark: On this one TxDOT highway design project alone, Axiom products saved us approximately 50 hours of drafting. That’s pretty typical.

    MST: What is your favorite TV show?
    Mark: “American Chopper” [Editor’s note: “American Chopper” is a documentary series on the Discovery Channel about the goings-on behind the scenes at Orange County Choppers, a custom motorcycle fabrication company located in Rock Tavern, New York.]

    MST: What is the one thing we should know if we ever visit Beaumont, TX
    Mark: Try out the seafood. It is some of the best you will ever eat.

    MST: What would you do if you won $10 million in the lottery
    Mark: If I won $10 million, I would pay all my bills and take a long, long vacation.

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