Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

Karl Probst Designed the Jeep in Two Days | Engineering Career Hero

March 14th, 2013

When looking at the pantheon of American vehicles, the legendary Jeep stands out for its versatile design. First seen in a reconnaissance role during World War 2, the Jeep effortlessly transitioned to the postwar commercial market as arguably the first SUV, currently serving disparate purposes from the campground to a night on the town.

The genesis of the Jeep began with a request from the United States Army in 1940 for bids to design and build a lightweight, all-terrain command and reconnaissance vehicle. They wanted a working prototype within 49 days. Pennsylvania’s American Bantam Car Company was one of only two companies to respond to the bid. However, Bantam had a singular problem — they didn’t have any engineers on staff!

Enter Karl Probst, Freelance Engineer

Karl Probst began his life in 1883 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. He earned his engineering degree at Ohio State University in 1906. At the time of the U.S. Army’s request, he lived in Detroit, serving as a freelance engineer. Bantam reached out to Probst, but he initially rebuffed their approach.

After the Army made a special plea to Probst, he agreed to take on the task for Bantam, beginning work on the design on July 17, 1940. After only two days of feverish work, Probst emerged with complete plans for the prototype, and on the next day he provided manufacturing cost estimates. Bantam delivered their bid, with blueprints, to the Army on July 22nd.

Bantam’s first prototype, the Bantam Reconnaissance Car (BRC), was built by hand and delivered to the Army for testing on September 21st, barely meeting the 49 day deadline. The vehicle passed all tests with flying colors.

The Jeep Goes into Battle

Concerned about Bantam’s financial situation and their ability to mass-manufacture the BRC, the Army provided the new plans to two other companies, Ford and Willys-Overland. All three companies initially produced 1500 vehicles, with Willys winning the final mass production contract.

Needless to say, what was originally the BRC ushered in a revolution in military transportation, and eventually civilian transportation as well. Willys registered the Jeep trademark after the war, and many of the current line of vehicles are made in Toledo, Ohio, like the original. This revolution all came from two days of extraordinary engineering by one Karl Probst.

As one of leading engineering staffing companies in the United States, The Talley Group is always looking for the next Karl Probst. Let them help you make a difference today.

Creating a Work Portfolio

June 29th, 2012

Recent engineering graduates and others seeking positions need to find ways to stand out from the pack. One of the ways to move ahead is to present a work portfolio at an interview, or when applying for a position.

Only about one out of every ten job seekers displays a portfolio. If you can walk in with photos of projects or even better—a website—of your projects, you will be ahead of the game. Most people remember visuals over a page of text any day.

So, what IS a work portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of projects. Engineering portfolios can take the form of a website, slideshow, video, PDF or be housed digitally on a CD. Experts say it is best to have both digital and traditional to cater to the preference of the hiring committee.

And if you do decide to create an online portfolio remember to create easy-to-navigate and quick-loading pages, and simple text and content. Try to refrain from creating a page on your school’s template as well. An original site works best. Some sites can also be created through easy-to-use blogs like WordPress or Tumblr.

How to select work for your portfolio

It’s not always about quantity in a portfolio, but quality. Think about what goals you want to achieve when showing the portfolio. What are you best at? Project management? Style? Creativity? Database work? Inventions? Think about what the position is asking you for, and display the projects that best relate.

It’s also completely acceptable to showcase awards, thank you letters, e-mails, recommendations or any other kind of item that shows your success.

Keep your portfolio around six to ten pages and include a title, graphic and narrative summary on each. Keep all samples consistent in the quality and organization.

Other things to remember…

Incorporate your portfolio into an interview. If they ask you a question about your skills, showcase a page where those skills were used.

Also, never leave your portfolio behind! Make sure if they would like to review further, that you have a digital or paper copy.

Remember that showing your successes and uniqueness will make you stand out! Best of luck!

Contact The Talley Group for more help with developing portfolios and finding open positions.

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