Posts filed under ‘Infrastructure’

Sustainable Highways, Transportation & GREENROADS?

The CivilEngineeringCentral.com blogs have often discussed the need for sustainable transportation in the US. Whether we discussed transit, high speed rail, the SCHWEEB or SkyTran, we are fascinated with the concept of finding a way to be better to our planet while getting where we need to go when we want to get there. One thing is for sure, the majority of us will not give up our cars and highways will always be needed.

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) has developed the Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool, INVEST (Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool), version 1. INVEST was built using the FHWA concept of sustainability. FHWA describes how sustainability in highways:

A sustainable highway should be planned or replaced, financed, designed, constructed, inspected, operated and maintained in a way that provides sustainable benefits related to three principles: Social, Environmental, and Economic. 

 with the understanding that highways are one part of transportation infrastructure, and transportation is one aspect of meeting human needs. In addition to addressing environmental and natural resource needs, the development of a sustainable highway should focus on access (not just mobility), moving people and goods (not just vehicles), and providing people with transportation choices, such as safe and comfortable routes for walking, cycling, and transit.

Sustainable transportation may be described or defined in many ways that broadly address environmental, social and economic impacts, safety, affordability, and accessibility of transportation services. Transportation agencies address sustainability through a wide range of initiatives, such as ITS, livability, smart growth, recycling, planning and environment linkages…Transportation planning processes that incorporate these values and integrate the elements of sustainability should be the foundation from which to implement sustainability decisions as a project moves forward. Measures of project success include a wide range of indicators, such as travel performance, gains achieved through material selection, and construction methods.

Are you familiar with GREENROADS and the GREENROADS rating system? Do you think it is worthwhile to worry about sustainability  with our highways and “promote environmental stewardship, accountability and integrity”  or is this just another “roadblock” to development?

 By Carol A. Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com
  View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

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August 15, 2012 at 11:39 am Leave a comment

Civil Engineering & Local Politics: Should You Run For Office?


By Carol A. Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com
  View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn

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?

May 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm 5 comments

Your Civil Engineering Career :: A Lesson From Peyton Manning


Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner, CivilEngineeringCentral.com
View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

Change is good.  Just ask Peyton Manning.


After 14 illustrious years with the Indianapolis Colts,  11 Pro Bowl Selections, 4 MVP Awards, and 1 Super Bowl victory, Peyton Manning has easily secured himself a bust in his image and a nicely fitted gold jacket in Canton.  But even after all that success, earlier this month Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts parted ways.

What can you, as a Civil Engineering professional, learn from Peyton Manning’s recent career situation?

*Hone your craft as a civil engineer, constantly strive to learn, surround yourself with other successful civil engineers and team members, take on challenges and challenge those around you to be better, be a leader, make a difference, treat people with respect, network.  Peyton Manning mastered these traits as a professional athlete, and as a result, when the time came where he separated from his employer, he had many different options as a result.

*Should you lose your job, if you have the opportunity to do so, be sure to EXPLORE your options; just don’t take the first thing that is presented to you. Peyton Manning did have the opportunity, so he met with the Broncos, the 49er’s, the Titans, and maybe even a few others.  After spending 14 years with the same team, he wanted to make sure he made a well thought out decision.

*Keep a positive attitude.  Your instinctive reaction is to become negative when you learn that you are laid off.  Fight those feelings of negativity and bitterness off.  Look back at all you’ve learned and accomplished and be proud of it.  Then look forward.  There are other organizations out there that are waiting to learn from you and all you have to offer.  Look ahead at the potential for you to learn new skills, new techniques, new clients, new processes, etc.  I am sure Manning is dealing with some difficult emotions after spending so many years in Indianapolis, that is natural.  But he does not dwell on that.  Peyton brings a great deal of success and knowledge to a new team, and he understands this.  As much as he may learn a new system with new plays and new teammates, he of course has plenty to offer that will make the Broncos a better organization.

 

If you have ever seen Peyton Manning play, he is the master of the audible.  From time to time in your career you will step up behind center and realize that YOU need to call an audible.  You have the perfect plan laid out in your mind for that situation, but that situation can change in an instant.  If you come prepared to work each and every day as Manning came prepared for game time, and there is a sudden shift in the situation, you will be prepared to call the perfect audible that will lead to pay dirt!

If your career calls for an audible, put yourself in the position to make the right call.  A layoff or RIF can truly be a refreshing experience that can reinvigorate your career and maybe even lead you to the Hall of Fame…or at least an OPAL Award!

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

March 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm 10 comments

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