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Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 15th Ed

Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 15th Ed

Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 15th Ed
By Michael R. Lindeburg PE

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Book Description

Comprehensive Civil PE Exam Coverage

The Civil Engineering Reference Manual is the most comprehensive textbook for the NCEES Civil PE exam. This book's time-tested organization and clear explanations start with the basics to help you quickly get up to speed with common civil engineering concepts. Together, the 90 chapters provide an in-depth review of all of the topics, codes, and standards listed in the NCEES Civil PE specifications. The extensive index contains thousands of entries, with multiple entries included for each topic, so you can  find the topics referenced no matter how you search.
 
This book features:
  • over 100 appendices containing essential support material
  • over 500 clarifying examples
  • over 550 common civil engineering terms defined in an easy-to-use glossary
  • thousands of equations, figures, and tables
  • industry-standard terminology and nomenclature
  • equal support of U.S. customary and SI units
 
After you pass your exam, the Civil Engineering Reference Manual will continue to serve as an invaluable reference throughout your civil engineering career.

Exam Topics Covered
  • Civil Breadth: Project Planning; Means and Methods; Soil Mechanics; Structural Mechanics; Hydraulics and Hydrology; Geometrics; Materials; Site Development
  • Construction: Earthwork Construction and Layout; Estimating Quantities and Costs; Construction Operations and Methods; Scheduling; Material Quality Control and Bookion; Temporary Structures; Health and Safety
  • Geotechnical Site Characterization; Soil Mechanics, Laboratory Testing, and Analysis; Field Materials Testing, Methods, and Safety; Earthquake Engineering and Dynamic Loads; Earth Structures; Groundwater and Seepage; Problematic Soil and Rock Conditions; Earth Retaining Structures; Shallow Foundations; Deep Foundations
  • Structural: Analysis of Structures; Design and Details of Structures; Codes and Construction
  • Transportation: Traffic Engineering; Horizontal Design; Vertical Design; Intersection Geometry; Roadside and Cross-Section Design; Signal Design; Traffic Control Design; Geotechnical and Pavement; Drainage; Alternatives Analysis
  • Water Resources and Environmental: Analysis and Design; Hydraulics–Closed Conduit; Hydraulics–Open Channel; Hydrology; Groundwater and Wells; Wastewater Collection and Treatment; Water Quality; Drinking Water Distribution and Treatment; Engineering Economic Analysis


Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #13579 in Books
  • Published on: 2015-11-20
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 11.00" h x 2.75" w x 8.50" l, 6.31 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 1648 pages

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael R. Lindeburg, PE, is one of the best-known authors of engineering textbooks and references. His books and courses have influenced millions of engineers around the world. Since 1975, he has authored more than 35 engineering reference and exam preparation books. He has spent thousands of hours teaching engineering to students and practicing engineers. He holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in industrial engineering from Stanford University.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Most chapters in this book are independent. Start with any one and look through it. Use the index extensively. Decide if you are going to work problems in that topic. If so, solve as many problemsin that topic as time allows. Do not stop studying until the exam. Start right now! Quickly! Goodluck.

If you are preparing for the PE exam in civil engineering, the following suggestions may help.
  • Find out the current edition of this book. You might be reading this book long after it was published. Newer editions mean that the codes, standards, and regulations on which the exam is based are not represented in the older edition,that the exam body of knowledge has changed, and/or the exam format and policies have changed. Older editions are no longer appropriate for the current exam, and it is not reasonable for you to expect an older edition to serve your needs when it is out of date.
  • Become intimately familiar with this book. This means knowing the order of the chapters, the approximate locations of important figures and tables, what appendices are available, and so on.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
5Necessary reference
By JGtz
EDIT:
I passed the exam. This book is definitely all you need if your budget is constrained and can only afford one book. Just tab it well and know where all the major sections pertaining to your afternoon section are located and you'll do alright.
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Original:
As many others I've bought the book to study for the Civil PE exam. Keep in mind that the publisher (PPI) sells this product for a smaller price and often has 15-25% off sales especially 4-5 months before exam time. I managed to get Amazon to price match PPI who sells it at MSRP price vs the markups seen here or on eBay. Buy here if you have Amazon Prime and need it real quick.

I think the material covered in the book is adequate for reference purposes as intended and probably good enough for the NCEES exam (I've yet to take it, 8 weeks to go!). It's definitely a great book to read up on a subject to at least become familiar with the subject and get a clue on what/where to look for a more in depth study on the subject.
Lindeburg does a great job explaining the material and includes a quip here and there along with some common conventions that you probably heard in school such as "a positive moment will make the beam smile" on page 44-8. So it's not just dry technical material.

For the price, I wish it included the tabs for at least the first pages of each subject but of course that's a separate sale item.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
3Before I get super critical of this book
By Richard
I am currently studying for the PE (structural depth) (might update after I take the exam), and am also taking a dedicated PE course (EET webinar, in case anyone was interested).

Before I get super critical of this book, its worth mentioning that there does not exist a better alternative that I know of (maybe I should write one). The book is expensive, but given the relatively low demand for such material, I can understand the cost. Also, I will probably keep it after I finish the exam, rather than resell it, but I haven't decided yet.

With that being said, I do not like the book as a whole and I think it can be done better. The book is not a sufficient reference for the PE exam. I think it gives enough information for 75% of the breadth, but it misses a lot of finer details. It is doesn't even get close to being a reference for the depth, and neither does the "SE reference manual" that Lindbergh sells (for the structural depth).

Lindbergh gets on a soapbox at the beginning of this book about how this book has MORE information than you need to pass the exam, and how he doesn't think the PE doesn't sufficiently cover all the information an engineer should know to be a practicing engineer. I whole-heartily agree with him on that point, but his book fails to deliver. This book, while it covers all the topics that will appear on the exam, often fails to provide necessary equations or logical steps needed to solve such problems. Some necessary information is just plain missing. Lindbergh provides too much information where its not needed, and not enough information where it is needed.

For example, in the hydrology section (I'm using hydrology as an example because I'm currently re-reviewing that material), you tell us about the different methods for estimating average rainfall, but don't give the equations or logical steps to solve using these methods. Also in hydrology,

In soils, you don't adequately describe the soil testing procedures (i.e. how they are performed or equations that give the various parameters they provide). Your soil phase relationship equations (i.e. the nomenclature) doesn't match those that are industry standard.

For a ~$300 book that is supposed to be a complete reference for the PE exam, I would like to see the following:

1.) Summary of equations at the beginning of each section. Quit milking us for money by selling a separate (and poorly reviewed) equation book. Just include this at the beginning of every section.

2.) Format the book to better fit the format of the exam. This is readily available on the NCEES website and hasn't been changed in a few years. If you truly want this book to be a PE reference manual, then you should follow the format NCEES provides. Environment Engineering isn't even part of the NCEES breadth, so why would the reference manual cover it and all related topics (such as chemistry)?

The chapters don't follow the format of the NCEES exam either - they should.

3.) Again, certain topics need to be expanded upon while others need to be cut or or at least made more brief.

You could cut out ~1/3 of this book for the stuff that doesn't even appear on the exam, let alone the excessive background information that you don't need (nor will have time to browse during the exam).

So for those reading, you will definitely need a course to pass the PE. You should not rely on Lindbergh's book as your sole PE reference for the breadth.

As for the depth, a course is 100% necessary in my opinion.

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful.
5Essential for the PE exam
By J.L. Pettimore IV
If you're reading these reviews undoubtedly you know what this is and why you need this for the Civil PE exam.

That said, as far as I can tell this is pretty much the only comprehensive reference available for the exam so rather than talk more about the CERM itself I wanted to break down some things that helped me use the manual to study and pass the PE exam the first time:

1) Download and print out a copy of the index for the CERM from the PPI website, bind it separately, and use that to look stuff up while studying and taking the exam to avoid constantly flipping around in the manual between the index and the chapters. Saves lots of time and aggravation working from multiple places in the CERM. I learned this from people in my review class and never would've thought of this on my own which is why I wanted to share it here.

2) For the most used equations, write the constants and such in the margins next to the equations. Highlight the equations to make them pop from the columns of text in the book. This did a few things for me: familiarize me again with the equations and constants, help me remember how to use the equations, and also save me time looking for constants in the back or whatever. I did this the month before my review class started, helped me find what's in the manual too before I got into the heavy duty working of problems during my review class for hours on end.

3) Tab everything possible. The exam is all about speed (~5 min/question...) so make sure you can find what you need real fast. I used a combination of heavy duty tabs with paper inserts and the sticky flags. I color coded the tabs by topic and tabbed my manual as follows: tabs across the top for tables of data (e.g. water demands per capita per day, wastewater production per capita per day, etc), tabs down the sides for specific topics/equations (e.g. shallow foundations, water hammer, that CM workflow diagram whose name escapes me right now, etc), tabs across the bottom for the reference tables in the back (e.g. head losses for specific fittings, moments of inertia for generic shapes, the Ten State's regs, etc).

Seemed to work real well, I probably had a few too many flags/tabs but I only needed to use the index to find something a few times during the exam so I guess I did okay there. I left all my tabs and flags in the CERM after finding out I passed since it makes the book look real salty and reminds me of the pain I went through studying and taking the exam.

Bottom line here: Know what's in the book and where to find it. The morning exam was pretty much straight out of the CERM and my review class, quite literally 95% of the questions were pure muscle memory from using the CERM to study. The PM exam was the similar but about 25% of the questions couldn't be answered out of the CERM and needed an outside reference (master's level stuff in my opinion and I don't have an MSCE so I just did what I could and guessed the rest).

4) Use the CERM as much as possible while studying. I know this sounds obvious but I first attempted studying with stacks of textbooks from engineering school in addition to my CERM and quickly realized it would never work. You need to become as familiar as possible with the CERM if you want a ghost of a chance of passing, and you'll be amazed what's in there if you look. Also, you will not have time to flip around between 20 books during the exam so just get used to using the CERM as much as possible while studying. Heck, sleep with your CERM if you have to and take it with you to lunch. Remember, there are many CERMs but this one is mine, without my CERM I am nothing, without me my CERM is a monitor stand.

For the exam, I only brought in my trusty marked up and tabbed CERM, my open channel hydraulics book, and my (undergrad) geotech book along with my notes and sample problems from my review class. I spent probably 80% of my time in the exam using the CERM, my other references were nearly useless save for some rando oddball questions I was able to find during my spare time to get some extra points. The CERM and a few other things were enough to get me through the WR exam and I am neither a water resources engineer by practice nor the kid from Good Will Hunting.

5) Take a review class if at all possible. I was fortunate to find one an hour away on Saturdays. It helped me get into the mode of studying a lot (I kept records and including 56 hours of class I spent about 250 hours preparing for the exam over about 3.5 months, did nothing the two weeks before the test due to burnout and a work trip during which I was not going to study in the hotel at night), helped me realize I wasn't the only one fighting my way through the pain and misery, and helped me learn enough to get by in areas that I had little to no college coursework on (e.g. transpo, econ, etc). The review was kinda costly but I figure I got off cheap passing the PE the first time.

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