© 2012-2013 by Stephen L. Keefe
Exemplary Innovators in Private Industry
Tappan Zee Bridge in New York
The below listing highlights leading enterprises that use the patent system to promote progress in Civil Engineering. Many of these innovators are small and medium-sized companies, which shows that the U.S. and global patent systems can help firms of all sizes to protect their innovations and globally project their key technologies.
Simpson Strong-Tie, a giant in patented innovation for civil engineering subject matter, leads the structural connector industry. Headquartered near the San Francisco Bay Area, Simpson Strong-Tie makes sizable innovations in civil engineering, with Simpson's Tyrell Gilb Research Laboratory forming the lynchpin of Simpson Strong-Tie's significant research & development efforts. Not surprisingly, Simpson Strong-Tie holds hundreds of patents, many falling into solidly civil engineering patent classes.
An innovator in metal lath products and cold-formed steel-framing, the California Expanded Metal Company (CEMCO) has patented several of its innovations in the steel product field. Patented advances in wall and flooring systems, for example, form part of CEMCO's patent portfolio.
Advances in post-tensioning and prestressing number among this Texas company's areas of operation. Within its portfolio, Hayes Industries, Ltd., holds patents that protect its advances in, for example, post-tensioning anchor design.
Oldcastle Precast, a product group of Oldcastle, Inc., develops significant innovations in precast products for utility markets and the telecommunications industry. Accordingly, Oldcastle Precast holds a significant number of patents covering civil engineering technology.
Based in Austin, Texas, PilePro Steel supplies innovative sheet-pile products to the global marketplace. PilePro maintains a significant patent portfolio protecting technological advances such as advanced sheet-pile configurations and connections.
This North Carolina enterprise helps to lead civil engineering innovation in ground improvement technology. Geopier Foundations holds a significant number of patents related to ground improvement, including patented methods for providing foundation piles and providing slope stability.
As a leader in structural strengthening, Fyfe Company develops and patents technological advances involving fiber reinforced polymer. Some of Fyfe's many patented technologies include systems for repairing and reinforcing a wide range of structural members to, for example, sustain additional load or to resist threats such as blasts.
Minnesota-based USP Structural Connectors develops innovative solutions aimed at building stronger structures. In addition to inventing new structural connectors, USP also develops products in other areas such as epoxy and anchoring devices.
Operating out of its headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, Sine Wall develops advanced mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall systems. Sine Wall innovations include such inventions as the firm's patented reinforcing steel strip.
BarSplice Products, Inc. develops innovative mechanical splice systems for the civil engineering industry. BarSplice's products include a wide array of mechanical splice solutions for reinforced concrete construction.
Hayward Baker, a leader in geotechnical engineering, develops new methods and technologies in areas such as ground improvement and earth retention. HB has received several patents related to geotechnical engineering methods.
Based in Tucson, Arizona, QuakeWrap Inc. develops innovative fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) products and methods for strengthening structures. QuakeWrap's patent-pending innovations include technologies such as FRP bridge repair products and methods for strengthening structures against blasts.
SidePlate helps to lead innovation in the field of steel frame connections. SidePlate's patented technology provides advanced steel frame connection performance against forces such as, for example, earthquake loads.
Hardy Frames, Inc. develops innovative pre-fabricated shear wall systems. The enterprise's intellectual property portfolio includes patents related to technology such as reinforcing brace frame systems.
The Electric Railway Improvement Company (ERICO) manufactures engineered products for a broad range of markets, including its innovative LENTON concrete products for mechanically splicing concrete reinforcement.
This enterprise based in Fort Worth, Texas, has developed new technologies to advance mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall systems. Vist-A-Wall's intellectual property portfolio protects such innovations as the firm's soil reinforcing products.
Based in Illinois, LMK Technologies develops innovative solutions for trenchless technologies. For example, LMK Technologies has developed patented processes for inserting cured in-place pipes for plumbing applications.
Williams Form Engineering Corp. develops innovative products for the fastener and construction industries. Williams offers novel solutions to the marketplace in areas such as anchor bolt systems, concrete forming accessories, and post-tensioning systems.
Chance Civil Construction develops innovative systems for earth anchoring. Chance has patented technological advances such as its Helical Pulldown Micropile system.
Construction Tie Products Inc., an enterprise based in Indiana, brings innovative anchoring solutions to the marketplace. CTP's patents include such inventions as veneer and masonry anchoring systems.
Pile Dynamics, Inc. develops products and testing methods associated with deep foundations. Pile Dynamics owns innovative patented technologies such as remote analysis systems and strain and displacement sensing systems for deep foundations.
As a leading innovator in construction products, Hohmann and Barnard, Inc. develops advanced masonry systems. Some of Hohmann and Barnard's patented technology includes innovative anchor and drywall systems.
Powers Fastening, Inc. innovates in the field of fastening systems. The company's patented technology includes, for example, a patent directed to advancing charges in a powder-actuated tool.
This California-based innovator has patented its technologies for efficiently managing and cleaning urban water runoff. Shaw & Sons Concrete Contractors has also developed new technologies in architectural concrete, which the company has also patented.
A New Mexico enterprise well acquainted with the challenges of hydrological engineering, FastDitch has developed and patented technologies in water flow management. Among it innovations FastDitch has patented innovative trench liners for efficient water flow.
Headed Reinforcement Corp. (HRC) innovates in the area of reinforcing steel for concrete structures. HRC products include, for example, reinforcement designed for high performance in seismic regions.
Skyline Steel, a NUCOR company, manufactures and fabricates steel systems for the civil engineering industry. Skyline's products include, for example, innovative steel piling, piping, and wall systems.
Stainless Structurals produces structural steel shapes and innovative custom shapes for civil engineering applications. Stainless Structurals employs its laser fusion technology to produce steel shapes having custom profiles to meet unique challenges in the field.
This Colorado firm specializes in innovative drainage products. Invisible Structures, Inc. innovations include, among other products, patented subsurface fluid drainage and storage systems.
Based in Ennis, Texas, Polyguard has a history of developing innovations to protect vital infrastructure against corrosion. Polyguard possesses numerous patented technologies, including, e.g., waterproofing systems and membranes configured to relieve stress from structural members.
Fabreeka develops innovative vibration and shock isolation systems for the civil engineering industry. Some exemplary Fabreeka products include structural bearings and vibration isolation pads.
A leading innovator in products related to commercial buildings and architectural advances, Construction Specialties maintains a large patent portfolio protecting a broad range of inventions. Patents directed to novel door and rail assemblies, for example, number among the company's many innovations.
As a global leader in segmental retaining wall design, Keystone Retaining Wall Systems maintains a large patent portfolio protecting its innovations. Keystone's sizable patent portfolio includes patents covering such technologies as retaining wall block systems and molding systems.
An innovator in retaining wall technology, the Reinforced Earth Company maintains patents protecting advances the company has made related to its retaining wall systems. Some of Reinforced Earth's patented technologies include innovative stabilizing and connector elements for retaining wall systems.