Motherhood is a journey filled with joy, but the truth is that being a working mom is extremely challenging. At Batture, we understand the importance of supporting our team members through every stage of their lives, especially when it comes to balancing the responsibilities of work and family, while we also acknowledge that even with robust family policies, the parents on our team face huge challenges. As we approach Mother’s Day, we want to shine a spotlight on the experiences of one of our valued team members, Mary Schambeau Johnson, MS, PE, a Professional Engineer at Batture.

Mary, a dedicated member of our team, is a mother of three beautiful children – two boys aged 6 and 4, and a one-year-old girl. She graciously shared her journey with us, highlighting the challenges of navigating growing her career while growing her family. Through the challenges, though, it’s clear that one factor plays a huge role in making life a little easier for working moms: flexibility. When asked about her experience, Mary emphasized the importance of flexibility in her workplace. “Batture offers a flexible work schedule and the ability to work remotely, which has been invaluable for managing school functions, sick days, and spending quality time with my family,” she said.

Having had two children while working at Batture, Mary spoke highly of the company’s supportive environment during these significant life transitions. “I never had to worry about taking time off to care for my children or adjust to life with a growing family,” she shared. “The maternity policy at Batture provided me with the time I needed to bond with my newborns and adapt to the changes, without feeling pressured to rush back to work.”

Mary’s story reflects Batture’s commitment to being a family-friendly workplace. Our parental policies are designed to support employees during life-changing events such as welcoming a new child into the family. Full-time, employed mothers are eligible for up to 12 consecutive weeks of paid leave for childbirth, adoption, or fostering, while fathers can take up to four consecutive weeks of paid leave to bond with their new arrivals.

Our support for parents extends beyond paid family leave. We offer unlimited paid time off (PTO), flexible office hours, and work-from-home options to accommodate the diverse needs of our team members. We believe that a healthy work-life balance is essential for employee well-being and productivity, which is why we prioritize creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels supported.

In addition to Mary, several other parents on our team have experienced the benefits of Batture’s family-friendly policies. From Hermann and Mark, who have four and two children respectively, to first-time dad Jake, who recently welcomed a baby girl, our team understands the importance of balancing career aspirations with the joys of parenthood.

At Batture, we recognize that supporting working parents isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also good for business. By fostering a culture of inclusivity and flexibility, we empower our team members to bring their best selves to work each day. Our core values of collaboration, respect, and innovation drive us to create exceptional outcomes while prioritizing the well-being of our employees and their families.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this year, let us honor the dedication and resilience of all mothers, both in and out of the workplace. Your contributions are invaluable, and we are grateful to have you as part of the Batture family.

Meet the Women of the Incredible Landscape Architecture Team at Batture 

Text: Landscape Architecture at Batture in a white box over a picture of blurred grass in the background.

Landscape Architecture is a crucial part of Batture’s foundation and our two woman team keeps everything on solid ground.

Sophie and Lauren collaborate with our clients to bring their outdoor spaces to life. They conceptualize designs for commercial, institutional, and public spaces, which can include anything from parks and plazas to parking lots and plantings along public sidewalks.

Some recent projects Sophie and Lauren are particularly excited about are Annunciation and Nazareth Inn, a redevelopment project focusing on accessibility and site improvements for a senior living facility; a new dormitory project at Loyola University; and an outdoor student lounge on UNO’s campus. Our landscape architecture isn’t just for show (although it does look beautiful)– these are functional spaces that help shape the communities we share.



Our Landscape Architecture team specializes in resilient stormwater management and green infrastructure. If you’re familiar with the work we do at Batture, then you already know we prioritize systems that benefit both people and the environment. This balance is part of what drew Lauren and Sophie to this profession.

“In school, I became interested in natural disasters,” Lauren says. “I wanted to create designs that protect against flooding and help our urban world adapt to a changing environment.” Growing up, she always enjoyed the outdoors, being creative, and art, along with math, science, and health; as a profession, Landscape Architecture synthesizes these interests. Lauren uses her STEM background and creative thinking to help clients change with the environment, rather than against it.

“Landscape Architects learn how to blend and connect spaces between the built, unbuilt, and protected environments,” Sophie says. This is the balance we strive to maintain in our work at Batture.



So, what is an average “day in the life” working as a Landscape Architect like? Well, there really isn’t one.

“No two days are the same,” Sophie says. “Some days are spent drafting in CAD, other days require graphic design work, site visits, client meetings, and communicating with the city. Projects are often in different phases between design and construction.” Wearing so many different hats keeps Sophie on her toes, and it’s part of why she loves this profession.

Lauren agrees, though she acknowledges that having to be adept at so many different things to execute a project can be challenging. “You need to understand pedestrian circulation and human behavior, topography, water systems and stormwater management, ecological systems, plant knowledge, aesthetics and function, materials like concrete, stone, metals, etc,” she says. Landscape Architects are also excellent communicators, and constantly stay keyed into the needs of clients, local communities, municipalities, and plants and animals. They’re proficient in a number of computer programs, like Adobe Suite, AutoCAD, and SketchUp, they are problem solvers and artists, and handle administrative duties, too drafting up construction documents and meeting the requirements of a project’s municipality.

There is a common misconception that they do landscaping, but in reality, “planting design is incredibly important to what we do,” Sophie says, “but it is, oftentimes, a small fraction of our everyday workload.” A better name for them may be Exterior Architects since they usually work in exteriors.



Landscape Architecture is unfortunately a field where women are under-represented– currently, only 24.5% of landscape architects are women. However, this won’t always be the case.

“The percentage of women in school for landscape architecture is around 50%, so the demographics are changing!” Lauren says. She and Sophie love connecting with middle and high school girls through career days and Women in STEM camps to teach them about the profession.

The journey to becoming a licensed Landscape Architect is a rigorous one– prospective architects need either a 5-year undergraduate degree or a 3-year graduate degree, and have to pass four national licensure exams. In Louisiana, they also need to take a state test and have worked in the field for at least one year.

For Sophie and Lauren, it’s a worthy investment.

“I always tell everyone I meet they should go into landscape architecture,” Lauren says. For other women interested in the field, her advice is to stay curious, practice drawing, always ask questions, and be confident. “You have valid thoughts and opinions!”

To read more about landscape architecture, check out the American Society of Landscape Architects.


All About Land Survey Technicians 

​​Ever​​ seen people in highlighter vests and hard hats setting up tripods and cameras and equipment on the side of the road and wondered what on earth they are doing? Those are Land Survey Technicians–they do the important work of mapping out the land, determining the boundaries of sites, and providing data to support construction and engineering projects. Read on to learn more about this field and what our Land Survey technicians at Batture do. 

First things first, what is land surveying? 

Land surveying is the process of taking precise measurements with specialized surveying equipment to determine where property boundary lines are located. Using a combination of high-tech equipment such as the Carlson BRx6 base and/or rover GPS and  Nikon Prismless 5” total stations, they survey road topography and grade to determine slope in order to aid in civil design and other projects. 


Why does land surveying matter? 

Simply put, almost every property development project begins with a survey. The data gathered lays the foundation for safe, legal, and efficient construction and development projects, ensuring that structures will be built correctly and won’t encroach on anyone else’s property. Land surveying also helps gain an understanding of the topographical features of the land, such as building locations, ground cover, vegetation and tree types, which are important factors in construction planning. 

If you’ve ever wondered where your property lines are, a professional land surveyor can help you find them using a combination of property research, physical evidence and professional judgement to determine property line locations.

A legal description of your property is critical for various purposes, such as deeds, contracts, or zoning applications. It precisely identifies the boundaries and location of your land and is typically filed at the assessor’s office. If you need to find your property lines, a land surveyor is your friend. 


What does the Batture Survey team do? 

At Batture, the Survey team is made up of four professionals who handle all needs related to topographic, utility survey, boundary survey, resubdivision, construction benchmarks, elevation certificates, and finish floor waivers. Their day-to-day experience varies, with much of the work taking place in the field, braving the elements—and those of us in the Greater New Orleans area know how dramatic the elements can be. Rain or shine or summer heat advisory, they make sure the job gets done well so our partners, clients, and in-house design team are set up for success. 


Learn about our work with Engineers without Borders

The health of our community– in terms of both the people and the environment– are paramount to Batture’s mission. To anyone who follows our work, it should come as no surprise that we have a long history with Engineers Without Borders, a coalition of student and professional volunteers that embraces a global understanding of community. Unfamiliar with their wide-reaching work? Read on.

How did Engineers Without Borders start?

Engineers Without Borders began in 2001, when a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder visited Belize and experienced the painful reality of indigenous populations who lacked clean water. Aside from the obvious health issues that come with an absence of sanitation infrastructure, most of the children of this San Pablo community could not attend school because they were walking miles both ways to collect water.

With the technical skills of engineering professionals and the local community’s own knowledge of natural resources, it was possible to install a clean water system supplied by a large waterfall. This simple, low-cost solution through engineering projects encapsulates the spirit of Engineers Without Borders, as well as Batture’s own mission: practical solutions for climate-conscious infrastructure in collaboration with, and in service of, local communities.


How is Batture involved with Engineers Without Borders? 

For our CEO Bob Mora, working with Engineers Without Borders gets to the root of his passion for this industry: “Engineers Without Borders has helped me maintain that mindset of wanting to help others throughout my career.” Mora got involved in 2010 after reading a Times Picayune article about the New Orleans chapter of EWB; ever since then, the organization has been an ongoing part of Batture’s culture. 

In fact, many members of Batture’s team first connected through their work with Engineers Without Borders: civil engineer Ryann Jeansonne was a member of the New York chapter; Bob Mora and Mary Scambeau Johnson, Batture’s Structural Operations Manager, have both held tenures as the EWB’s New Orleans chapter president; and our Structural Designer, Arielle Authement, is a current president. 


New Orleans and Engineers without Borders 

Our city and Engineers Without Borders have a special relationship that we are especially proud of: the first ever EWB project approved inside the United States was in New Orleans. Since then, EWB projects in New Orleans have included gutting, demolition, and rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina; wetlands reclamation; community skate parks and playgrounds; wastewater treatment systems; solar heater installation; and more. 

With their mission of international community, EWB New Orleans also has a host of past and present projects abroad, such as water distribution projects in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. 

However, finding projects that are a good fit for pro-bono engineering services can be more challenging than people might expect, and we’re always looking to discuss project ideas and meet potential partner organizations to work with. In-house, Batture continues to create opportunities for our employees to support Engineers Without Borders, including allowing them the flexibility to officially log their volunteer time. 

These experiences not only provide value to our community, but also create incredible opportunities for professional and personal development– EWB’s high-impact projects cultivate invaluable engineering and leadership skills. 

As Bob puts it, there’s not a career level you reach and suddenly begin to “magically influence” other people to work on your projects, and Engineers Without Borders offers an opportunity to develop effective management skills in the early stages of your career.


How To Become an Engineers Without Borders Volunteer:
If you’re interested in learning more about the New Orleans chapter of Engineers Without Borders and how you can volunteer, visit the New Orleans website or EWB USA. They aren’t only looking for engineers, either– anyone is welcome, particularly people with experience in grant writing, fundraising, marketing, and public health. Helpful community members are always wanted.

What is Stormwater Management and why does it matter? 

We don’t have to tell you that stormwater is as much a part of New Orleans culture as snowballs and the Saints. At Batture, stormwater management is a huge priority– and it impacts our entire city. As we rapidly approach hurricane season, we know flooding and stormwater is on everyone’s minds–read on to learn about what stormwater management is and how the team at Batture supports it. 


Flowing Forward: New Solutions to an Old Problem

Stormwater management, simply put, means finding ways to deal with the rainwater that falls on a site. We develop systems for water management that benefit both people and the environment–striking this balance is a core tenant of the work we do. All projects in New Orleans that are over 5,000 square feet of building, or over 1 acre in size, are required to have stormwater management. This means that the kind of projects we take on are wide-ranging and diverse, both for private businesses and the city. 

In any given project, we’re required to detain the first 1.25″ of rainfall that lands within the property lines; accomplishing this relies on different types of infrastructure. Green infrastructure is nature-based practices that help manage stormwater by reducing stormwater runoff and allowing it to soak into the ground, improving water quality, and filtering out pollutants–think tree boxes, detention ponds, and living shorelines. Gray infrastructure is a traditional man-made method for managing stormwater, such as pipes, catch basins, and pumping stations. 

The benefits of green infrastructure go beyond a stormwater management system– these strategies also enhance the quality of life for communities through outcomes like improved air and water quality, and beautiful green public spaces. 

For example, one of our large-scale projects involves designing green infrastructure in Gentilly. The Mirabeau Water Gardens project achieves functional stormwater management through recreational and educational spaces, like walking paths and play areas. The St. Anthony Green Streets project is a community-inspired stormwater management effort incorporating public art, shade structures, and recreational and social areas.


Water We Doing?

A stormwater management project at Batture begins with our civil and landscape departments, which work together to create designs and develop plans using both green and gray infrastructure. The whole team has a hand in the design, and our owner Robert Mora ensures quality control and guides revisions. From start to finish, this is a truly collaborative effort and represents how we like to get things done. The project’s contractor uses our grading plans to manipulate the landform and/or topographic lines so that stormwater can be redirected. Managing the water as close as possible to where the raindrop falls means less pollution discharge and erosion; this is crucial to helping keep both ecosystems and human populations healthy. 

The health of natural and human populations in New Orleans motivates Batture’s work in stormwater management and beyond. Introducing more gray infrastructure into the city, like asphalt and compacted gravel, only puts more pressure on our pump stations and perpetuates stormwater management issues. New Orleans needs and deserves more green infrastructure and sustainable solutions to stormwater management! 


For anyone curious for more, see some frequently asked questions and answers below:

Q. What are the costs related to stormwater management?
A: We can safely say that the costs and benefits of stormwater management cancel each other out. It’s hard to put a price on good water systems and New Orleans more than any place needs effective drainage systems in place. Any sustainable infrastructure that protects water resources is a wise investment. Anyone who has seen a sewer overflow will know precisely what we’re talking about. 

Q. Is green and grey infrastructure both necessary?
A: We think so! If we can leverage both types, it will allow us to create both beautiful and safe places to live

Q. Can stormwater management be cost-effective?
A: Yes, and we’d be happy to talk to anyone curious about it. 

Preserving and Protecting Louisiana Irises this Earth Month and Beyond

It’s Earth Month, and we’re highlighting the incredible work our team members are doing to protect and preserve our local habitats here in Louisiana. Mark Schexnayder is a Senior Biologist at Batture LLC and serves as the president of the Society for Louisiana Irises and a board member of the Greater New Orleans Iris Society. Read on to learn more about these organizations and the habitat conservation work that they do, and where you can go to see some beautiful Louisiana irises. 



The Society for Louisiana Irises is a non-profit educational organization with a mission of promoting the use of Louisiana irises as a gardening resource, including education and conservation of the species. The organization aims to initiate conservation actions that can help reverse the habitat loss trends that have been happening over the last 100 years or so and to preserve the collected species and variants. 

The Greater New Orleans Iris Society exists to exchange information on the culture and breeding of native Louisiana irises, to make the public more aware of Louisiana’s irises, to provide members with access to greater variants of irises to grow in their own gardens, and to preserve the native forms of Louisiana irises and their place in the environment. 

Last year, the organization provided thousands of plants to nonprofits and WorkForce Development Programs for public rain gardens and bioswales from a small island nursery tucked deep in New Orleans City Park. Both the Greater New Orleans Iris Society and the Society for Louisiana Irises provide plants for the Pelican Greenhouse and the City Park Sculpture and Botanical Gardens. 



Mark’s passion for preserving local ecosystems and mitigating the effects of coastal land loss drove him to join the Society for Louisiana Irises in the late 1980’s, and has been involved ever since. 

And the work of protecting and preserving irises has larger positive ripple effects on our environment overall:  “I believe we can inspire people to get behind conservation and restoration by connecting the flowers’ health to the overall habitat sustainability. Doing work to protect local irises and their habitat also protects other birds, bees, plants, and wildlife that thrive there,” Mark says.  

Here at Batture LLC, we have a deep commitment to protecting our local environment. Our team has done community service days in City Park where we have helped weed iris beds, cleaned and restored shorelines, and helped with building projects on Nursery Island. We also proudly provide Pro Bono support for some of the development programs and volunteer groups that help to maintain the iris habitats. 



In 2023, the Society for Louisiana Irises is planning community outreach and building a partnership with UL Lafayette, NGOs, and Federal and State Agencies to develop projects and land protection for the remaining 1,000 acres of habitat occupied by Iris nelsonii (the native species of Louisiana irises) in the wild. They are also working with the Palmetto Island State Park Staff and the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative to refurbish and expand boardwalk plantings. 



There are two public gardens in New Orleans with masses of Louisiana irises that people can enjoy: the  Sculpture Garden in New Orleans City Park, and Longue Vue Gardens. GNOIS opens the Nursery for the bloom season, and both GNOIS and SLI host showings at private residences. 

You can get involved and learn more about how to enjoy the irises by visiting the organizations’ websites. You’ll find that Louisiana irises are adaptable flowers, reflective of the culture that Louisiana embodies. 

To find out more about Earth Month and spread the love to plants of all kinds, you can check out the official Earth Day website.



  • Louisiana iris is a taxonomic group of five iris species native to Louisiana and surrounding regions. These species are Iris fulva, Iris hexagona, Iris brevicaulis, Iris giganticaerulea, and Iris nelsonii.
  • Habitat: Swampy, boggy areas.
  • Hummingbirds, butterflies and insects attracted to flowers rich with nectar are likely to show up near Louisiana irises. 


Internships at Batture


Graduate and undergraduate students of the New Orleans area, this one’s for you. Our growing civil engineering and land surveying firm in New Orleans is recruiting for five summer internship positions. Our company provides our clients with a full range of civil engineering services, from site design to water management. At Batture, we’re dedicated to the idea that a highly inspired team can deliver outstanding results while creating powerful social and environmental change. We’re accepting applications in March and will be awarding internships in May. Read on to learn more about working at Batture, our open internship positions, and how to apply. 


Why should you work with us?

Our team members are our priority. We operate with an employee-first mentality and we work to foster a healthy and safe working environment for all of our team members. We encourage a strong work-life balance while staying committed to taking pride in our work. We operate out of a beautiful, open-concept office space on Freret Street. Team members enjoy walking to a wide variety of local coffee shops, and food spots, and we have lots of happy hour options (this is New Orleans, after all).

We know that people seek internships for various reasons–to gain credits for school, to gain experience in the fields they want to work in, and to lay the foundation for potential full-time work in the future. For all our interns, we’re open to the possibility of full-time employment after graduation. In fact, we have a history of promoting from within and of hiring interns as full-time team members after they graduate.


From summer intern to full-time Survey/Civil Designer

Tylon Richard, one of our Survey/Civil Designers, studied civil and environmental engineering at Howard University in Washington, DC. His career with us began with an internship in the summer of 2018. He excelled in his internship, completed it, finished school, and upon graduation reached back out to us for full-time employment. Tylon says, “I always kept Batture in the back of my mind as a company that set a precedence for the type of work environment I wanted once I graduated, though. This is because I was trusted with a level of work autonomy that, as a young college student and intern, surprised me. I also was in my desired work environment: a combination of performing duties as a civil engineer inside while also working outside as a land surveyor.”

Today, in addition to his land surveyor and civil engineer duties, he’s also a leader in our community and mentors children, teaching leadership skills and teaching them about working, people skills, and college.“My main goal as a mentor has been to show black children and young adults, especially, that there are far more opportunities in the world than what is presented to us within some of our schools, communities, and what we see on tv.” 

We are lucky to have Tylon on our team as a full-time employee, and we’re inspired by the work he does for us, our clients, and the community. We’re grateful that an internship connected us, and we’re excited to see what other valued team members may come to us in the form of interns.


What internship positions are open and how do I apply? 

Coastal Science Internship: Batture is working on a Living Shoreline project and several other coastal initiatives that will provide a unique learning experience. The job will be approximately 50% field work and 50% office work, but can vary widely.

Minimum Requirements:

  • College courses completed in environmental engineering, biology, or other earth sciences.
  • Software comprehension of excel, PowerPoint, GIS, and/or other general and specific computer skills are useful for designing and executing coastal and green infrastructure projects in SE Louisiana.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to work cooperatively with project team members in a high-energy working environment that encourages self-initiative.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds.
  • Acceptable driving record.

Please submit a cover letter and resume with relevant coursework and program experience to info@batture-eng.com by the deadline of March 31, 2023.


Structural Design Internship: Batture is looking for a civil engineer student intern who has completed at least 3 years of undergraduate coursework with an interest in structural design. The intern must be available to work in the New Orleans area for the summer of 2023 and would help design and draft residential and commercial buildings as well as learn about the processes and work involved with new construction and renovations under the guidance of licensed engineers. The ideal candidate would be a motivated individual who possesses a willingness to learn.  The work will mainly involve calculations and drafting in the office, but also includes off-site work such as site visits and meetings.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Completion of Junior level coursework from an accredited institution.
  • Legally Authorized to work in the United States.
  • College courses completed in structural design including Concrete, Steel, and Mechanics of Materials.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to work cooperatively with project team members in a high-energy working environment that encourages self-initiative.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Software comprehension of AutoCAD, RISA, and/or Revit (or similar drafting software).

Please submit a cover letter and resume with relevant coursework and program experience to info@batture-eng.com by the deadline of March 31, 2023


Landscape Architecture Internship:Batture is looking for a Landscape Architecture intern. We design green infrastructure and stormwater management plans for streets, parks, coastal restoration, etc. for private and public projects. The intern will have the opportunity to work alongside both landscape architects and civil engineers in all aspects of the process from research and community engagement through construction administration.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Junior, Senior, or Candidate for a Master’s in an accredited Landscape Architecture Program
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Willingness to work cooperatively with project team members in a high-
  • energy working environment that encourages self-initiative.
  • Positive and enthusiastic attitude towards learning.
  • Ability to adapt and handle multiple projects as needed

Preferred skills:

  • AutoCAD
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • ArcGIS
  • Bluebeam
  • Knowledge of green infrastructure

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and portfolio to info@batture-eng.com by the deadline of March 31, 2023.


Civil Engineering Internship: The job will be approximately 5% field work and 95% office work. Daily tasks will include, but not be limited to, drafting, meetings, occasional site visits, and assisting Project Engineers as needed.

Minimum Requirements:

  • College coursework completed in regard to civil engineering, environmental engineering, land surveying, AutoCAD, and/or construction management.
  • Genuine interest in the field of site development, green infrastructure, roadway engineering, and stormwater management.
  • Basic software comprehension of CAD and general computer skills in Microsoft Office.
  • Potential to understand how drawings work in plan, profile, cross-section, and detail views.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work cooperatively in an upbeat and friendly team working environment and to treat all team members, regardless of position, with respect.
  • Positive and enthusiastic attitude towards learning.
  • Capability to adapt and handle multiple projects as needed.

Please submit a cover letter and resume with relevant coursework and program experience to info@batture-eng.com by the deadline of March 31, 2023. 


Land Survey Technician Internship: We’re looking for a Land Survey Technician Intern to support our efforts in providing a full range of surveying services for our clients, from property boundary surveys to geodetic control surveys. The job will be approximately 90% field work and 10% office work. 

Minimum Requirements:

  • College courses completed in land surveying or a related field.
  • Recent work experience of a least one year doing land surveying fieldwork, especially property boundary location.
  • Working knowledge of survey instruments.
  • Knowledge of data collectors, total stations, and GPS receivers.
  • Software comprehension of AutoCAD, Civil3D and general computer skills.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to work cooperatively with project team members in a high-energy working environment that encourages self-initiative.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds.
  • Acceptable driving record.

Please submit a cover letter and resume with relevant coursework and program experience to info@batture-eng.com by the deadline of March 31, 2023. 

How Engineering Helps Make the Magic of Mardi Gras Possible

It’s Engineer’s Week, an international day that seeks to increase the profile of engineering. The theme of engineer’s week 2023 is Creating The Future, which celebrates how engineers play a vital role in innovating solutions that help make the world a better place. Down here in New Orleans, it’s also Mardi Gras week, and with Carnival on the brain during engineer’s week activities, we can’t help but think about how engineering helps make Mardi Gras happen. Grab a piece of king cake and dive in with us for a lesson on how civil and structural engineering supports the magic of Mardi Gras.


We all FLOAT on, alright

When you think of carnival, you probably think of Mardi Gras floats–from the giant, double floats holding dozens of people pulled by tractors to the smaller, DIY floats pulled by bikes, floats are iconic Mardi Gras imagery and feats of engineering.

The first Mardi Gras parade was held in New Orleans in February 1857. Back in the day, floats were decorated carriages and wagons pulled by horses and mules accompanied by men who carried torches to light the way for the route. Over the years thanks to engineering, innovation, and creativity, modern floats have become major productions, likened to moving works of art, often featuring elaborate, thematic decorations that wind through the city and delight parade-goers.

Mardi Gras floats must be carefully constructed to stand up to elements like wind, heat, dancing revelers, and even rain, which can make a float up to 3 times heavier. How does this happen? A lot of engineering, actually! From constructing the base, to calculating the strength of the frame, to distributing the weight evenly, to ensuring it can make the turns on the route, floats are engineered to be both sturdy and lightweight, which is no easy feat. Some floats are even more complicated, featuring animated parts that move while the float itself moves, and these require more engineering including hydraulics, motors, and operating systems.

Next time you’re enjoying a parade, take in the majesty of the Mardi Gras floats and remember all the engineering that took place along with the artistry to make it happen.


Meet us on the balcony

Have you ever been lucky enough to celebrate Mardi Gras from a prized French Quarter balcony? Or maybe you’ve been walking down Royal and caught some beads from people partying on balconies (we won’t judge you for what you did to get the beads). Or maybe you’ve seen a trail of bubbles and looked up to see a balcony decked out in Mardi Gras decorations with a bubble machine hard at work creating a whimsical vibe for everyone to enjoy. You can thank structural engineering for making all of this possible!

Image credit

The French Quarter’s iconic lacy ironwork balconies are feats of engineering and architecture. Quality structural engineering design is extremely important when it comes to building and maintaining balconies because they must stand up to weather, time, and a whole lot of revelry.

We ROUTE here

Another way engineering impacts the Mardi Gras party is the parade routes themselves. Engineering touches everything, from the width of the streets the parades roll down, to the height of the overpasses that need to allow large structural floats to pass under them, to the safe removal of tree limbs that interfere with the routes, to the construction of viewing stands that keep parade goers safe, each part was carefully designed by engineers, landscape architects, and arborists keeping the Mardi Gras traditions in mind.

Love Mardi Gras? Thank an engineer!

Here in New Orleans, if you’re looking for ideas to celebrate engineering week 2023, you can simply go out and enjoy the magic of mardi gras and marvel at the ways engineering makes it all possible. We like to think this fits right into the theme of creating the future and making the world a better place–we’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has experienced Mardi Gras and not think the world was better for it. From all of us at Batture, we’re wishing you a safe and happy Mardi Gras. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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