Posts filed under ‘Education’
We have been asked NJIT to post this great and informative infrographic that they have produced. As you may know 25% of road congestion is caused by traffic collisions. Autonomous cars are one of the many technologies that will hopefully lead to a reduction in collisions and congestion. The Google car is said to have only been involved in 11 accidents during the 1.7 million miles the cars have traveled.
As you can see, by 2050 70% of populace will drive 4 million vehicles through urban areas and this is just one of the reasons that it is critical for the congestion problems to be improved. The graphic also shows many of the ways that engineers are trying to overcome this national problem.
Road Congestion Relief: How Engineers are Fighting Traffic (Click on InfoGraphic for larger view)
Congested roadways are common problems that all drivers have to deal with. Whether commuting to work or enjoying a leisurely drive through the city, it is a problem that causes a great deal of stress and unnecessary frustration. However, while it is still a large problem, many engineers are dedicating their time and resources to identifying why this problem exists and what they can do to make the problem more manageable for drivers in everyday situations. By understanding the statistics that surround road congestion problems, both engineers and drivers will be that much closer to determining how a solution can be reached. To learn more about how engineers are helping relieve traffic congestion problems, checkout the infographic below created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Masters in Civil Engineering Online degree program.
To kickoff its application process last year, The University of Engineering & Technology of Peru addressed a serious problem while providing a message of hope.
With a poor economy and an annual rain fall of next to nothing, many citizens lack potable water. With an atmospheric humidity of 98%, the University created a billboard that not only advertised UTEC, but also captured the humidity producing potable water accessible via spigots at the bottom of the structure. This project helps hundreds of families each month.
We take water for granted here in the United States, and such an engineering project would be merely a stunt on our turf. But the ingenuity used here is not only inspiring future engineers in Peru, but it is making an impact, and that is what I love about engineers – wherever they are in the world, they can make a tremendous impact to their communities.
Engineers of decades past have had more credit hours required of them compared to the engineers of today, yet engineers of today have so much more to learn than those engineers of past generations. As a result, there is a new campaign supported by the likes of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) that is catching fire:
If you have not noticed, many engineering companies these days are requiring Masters Degrees for any candidates they consider for current or future jobs. Why? Today’s engineer can no longer rely solely on a Bachelors Degree and senior civil engineering staff to teach them all the knowledge and technology necessary to be successful, because they do not always understand it all themselves. The challenges of today’s civil engineering infrastructure are much more complex than in years past, and a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering allows the engineer of today to be more prepared to take on those complex challenges. Universities have the continued pressure to graduate their engineering undergrads in four years, but this will not provide the undergraduate civil engineer with the knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a Professional Engineer.
Carl Mack, Ph.D, Executive Director for the National Society of Black Engineers says, “If you want to be competitive in this global environment, in this very changing and complex world, an undergrad degree just isn’t going to cut it.”
As you will hear in the video below, education beyond the undergraduate degree has been a requirement for every learned profession except engineering. Professional Engineering is not setting the same standards as a doctor or lawyer or any other profession that requires an advanced degree; as a result, it is time to “Raise the Bar for Engineering.” By increasing the educational requirements for the Professional Engineer, many experts agree that this will help boost the profession to the stature where it belongs.
Take a look at the following promotional video for this initiative:
An opposing opinion was left on the YouTube page where this video was found:
“This is a misguided initiative. There is certainly very little value an engineering Masters degree would provide the practicing engineer. Most Masters degrees, and even most Bachelors degrees, are research and theory based and provide little practical knowledge for the real world. On the job experience is more valuable. To compare our profession to doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, etc. is fair, but let’s be honest, there’s no way employers are going to pay at the same level as those professions.”
This initiative seems to make sense, as the impact that engineers make on our society is overlooked for no good reason. Their talents and skills are critical to our world, so comparing them to attorneys or doctors from a stature standpoint I do not believe is off target.
What do you think? Are you FOR or AGAINST this campaign?
To learn more, please visit http://www.raisethebarforengineering.org
Featured Guest Blogger: Anthony Fasano, P.E., LEED AP, ACC
Civil Engineer, Author, Coach and Speaker
Author of Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career
Anthony is also the author of a FREE e-mail service for engineers called A Daily Boost from Your Professional Partner. Click here to read about this service.
This is a guest blog post by Anthony Fasano, P.E. Anthony is a civil engineer, engineering career coach, bestselling author and founder of Powerful Purpose Associates.
Anthony is giving away a special webinar for CivilEngineeringCentral.com readers on his Powerful Purpose Associates website. Read until the end of the post to find out how to get it.
WARNING: You most likely will have to work on more than one project at a time in your civil engineering career, except for maybe the first few years.
I remember when I first graduated from school, I started doing structural engineering because it seemed cool to me at the time and I didn’t even know what site engineering was yet, which would eventually be my chosen discipline. I was designing the footings and abutments for a bridge. The design lasted for months (it felt like years) and I couldn’t wait for the next project. If I had to sketch out one more rebar layout, I was going to jump off a bridge (no pun intended).
Fast-forward about 10 years, I was now an associate partner at a reputable engineering firm, heading up their private/site development engineering department. The department wasn’t too big, maybe 10 people or so, however I found myself managing 15 to 20 projects at one time. 15 to 20 projects meant 15 to 20 clients, 15 to 20 budgets, 15 to 20 bills to be done, 15 to 20 bills that haven’t been paid, oh yeah and my favorite, 15 to 20 Town Planning Board Meetings! I loved what I did and I was good at it, but it was very stressful and took a toll on both my health and my personal life.
A few years ago, I made a bold decision, and left my design-engineering career behind to become an engineering career coach. Since that time I have coached and helped hundreds of engineers to get clear on their goals, increase productivity and improve work-family balance. I have also given seminars to thousands of engineers on the same topics. Through all of this work, I have found that there is 1 HUGE OBSTACLE that engineers face in their efforts to achieve career success (which means something different to everyone).
First let me give you the biggest make-believe obstacle that everyone uses as an excuse – TIME MANAGEMENT. Time management isn’t really the obstacle that most engineers face. The obstacle leads to poor time management, but it is not related to time management. The #1 obstacle that engineers face in their career is LACK OF FOCUS. That’s right LACK OF FOCUS. Sound familiar? Are you able to read through an entire e-mail without getting a phone call? Are you able to finish a design task or report on one project before a client calls with a fire that you have to put out?
The answer to those questions is probably “NO!” How many of you would love to go back in time, just for a day, to when you started your engineering career so that you could work on just one task all day long without interruption? Go ahead and raise your hand – I have mine raised!
So what can we do to try to improve our focus? Here are a few recommendations based on my work with engineers and my study of this topic:
1. Establish some of your most important tasks for the day and do them before you do ANYTHING else. When deciding on these tasks, assume that you would only be able to get those tasks done that day – if that was the case would the day be a success?
2. Try to do less things. I know what you are thinking, if my job is to manage 15 projects, how can I do less. Make a list of everything you do and wherever possible start delegating tasks.
3. Space meetings and phone conferences out. Engineers try to be as efficient as possible and schedule phone calls and meetings one after the other to avoid dead space in their day. Unfortunately this approach often leads to rushed meetings or missed conference calls and keeps you in that “I have to hurry because I have something right after this” mentality.
4. Don’t let other people manage your time (as much as possible). Check e-mail and phone messages periodically (even if it’s every 30 minutes) but not as they come in! This one habit alone can change your life. I know because I made the change.
That leads me to an important word – HABIT. Implementing changes like these listed above would mean creating new habits in your career and life. Easier said than done. Through my studies and work with engineers I have discovered some ways that you can implement powerful new habits like these into your life. There isn’t enough time in this post to explain them, however I have recorded a special brief webinar for Civilengineeringcentral.com readers where I review the key steps to take to implement these or any career and life changing habits. You can download this webinar right now on my Powerful Purpose Associates website.
It is that time of year again and the political landscape is heating up! A Google search shows that past/current Mayors of Omaha, NE, City of East Orange, NJ and Norton, OH were/are civil engineers. Current Portland, OR Mayoral candidate, Steve Sung, spent 32 years as a civil engineer for the city of Portland. With two candidates for California and Indiana congress, civil engineers are “taking to the streets” to lead policy formation.
Recently I asked civil engineer and past Mayor of Frederick, Maryland, Jeff Holtzinger, for his thoughts on civil engineers and local politics. Here is his comment:
“Civil Engineers are a good fit to solve the problems many cities are facing with aging infrastructure and infrastructure that has been outpaced by growth. I also think the analytical thinking which is part of an engineering background gives engineers an advantage in problem solving.”
As our cities’ infrastructure decays, having a background in civil engineering seems to bring an added benefit to the political table. It would be interesting to see if cities with civil engineering trained Mayors have better infrastructure at the end of their term than similar cities.
What do you think?
By Rich Bedell
General Counsel, Greenhorne & O’Mara, Inc. and
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Maryland University College, Graduate School of Management & Technology
Who is Montgomery Scott? How about Geordie La Forge, B’Elanna Tores, or Trip Tucker? Every engineer I know secretly wishes he or she could have their job. Getting close requires a lot of hard work, professional experience, dedication, and training. Formal training includes formal engineering programs that require specific engineering classes to successfully complete whichever engineering program chosen. Those programs also include various electives to help round out that young potential promising engineer. English literature, history of the western world, romantic arts, and even pottery making are known electives. Some of the more progressive schools offer Contracting 101. When I was in school, oh so long ago, I heard classmates complain that all they wanted to do was design and/or operate. The mechanics of contracting could easily be left to others. Oh how wrong they were.
By now you realize that I was talking about Star Trek, STNG, Voyager, and Enterprise. Each of them have had dealings with a race called the Ferengi. Ferengi have a mercantile obsession with profit and trade. Think about that. Without profit and trade our current society would fall into the dark ages and there would be no need for engineering or the sciences. Ferengi have what are commonly known as the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. There are hundreds of rules. Do a Google search for yourself and you will find that many of them actually apply.
For example consider the following rules:
#138 – Law makes everyone equal, but justice goes to the highest bidder. We all know that is true.
I couldn’t resist showing that one first but consider the top ten (10).
1) Once you have their money, never give it back.*
2) You can’t cheat an honest customer, but it never hurts to try.
3) Never buy anything for more than is absolutely necessary.*
4) Sex and profit are the two things that never last long enough.
5) If you can’t break a contract, bend it.
6) Never let family stand in the way of opportunity.*
7) Always keep your ears open.*
8) Keep count of your change.
9) Instinct plus opportunity equals profit.*
10) A dead customer can’t buy as much as a live one. Never kill a customer unless the profit you make off his death is larger than the profit you can make off his life.
Yes very funny, but consider Contracting 101 in relation to the above Top 10:
1. It is so important and difficult to collect from the client that you don’t want to do anything foolish that would require you to have to give it back. Think indemnification clauses in a contract where you indemnify for anything arising out of the performance of your services. Insurance doesn’t cover that. Insurance covers for the negligent performance of services.
2. How often have you found that the engineer is being cheated? If the engineer allows himself or herself to be cheated it is their own fault. Think about the fiduciary obligations owed.
3. Think competitive bidding and the contracting procedures associated with that.
4. Well that goes without saying.
5. How often have you found terms in a contract that allow termination for convenience?
6. How often have you been told to use a particular subconsultant only to find out that the subconsultant has some sort of relationship with the client?
By now I hope you get the idea…Some of the morals are questionable, but how true an application to Contracting 101!