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The Engineering Mystery of the Baalbek Stones

July 13th, 2012

Everyone talks about Stonehenge and the Coliseum being some of the great accomplishments of the ancient world, but the Baalbek Stones in Baalbek, Lebanon are one of the great engineering and architectural mysteries in history.

The ancient Romans built some of their most impressive works in the remote area of Beqaa Valley. Roman emperors would travel over 1,500 miles to make offerings to their gods at the Temple of Jupiter—the largest and grandest to scale temple that the Romans ever constructed.

Several stones of extreme weight have been found in the ruins of this temple. The largest dressed stone block in the world, Stone of the South, weighs 1,000 tons—the equivalent of THREE Boeing 747 aircraft. The Stone also holds own mystery, as it seems abandoned, by just laying on its own, away from the other structures.

Three stones, “smaller” in comparison, weigh 800 tons each and fit together to form a wall of 20 feet.

In modern engineering, we have all sorts of tools to allow for the ease of movement of large materials. Even then, it is a calculated process with many calculations and equipment involved.

How exactly did the ancient Romans build such magnificent structures with only manpower and simple machinery? Also, not only erecting, but transporting the materials to such a remote location, remains one of the greatest engineering mysteries.

Topography: This may have changed over the thousands of years since the structures were built, but the terrain was full of terraces and valleys, and still is surrounded by numerous mountain ranges.

Manpower: The stones do show work gang inscriptions, but it is uncertain who exactly these work gangs were. No one is sure if it was the Romans that did the grunt work, or other indigenous peoples. Archeologists say that the Stone of the South itself would have taken over 40,000 men to move.

Movement: The stones would have had to be dragged to the site, and cut. It is more than likely that the Romans used their ancient wooden tools of rollers and lifting frames, as well as ropes and simple manpower. However, the simple size of the stones would have more than likely crushed any wooden tool.

The Baalbek Stones are truly one of history’s greatest architectural and engineering mysteries. For more information and photos of the site, check out http://www.world-mysteries.com/mpl_5b1.htm.

Navigate the mysteries of engineering recruiting with The Talley Group today!

Hot Job Openings in the Western United States

June 8th, 2012

The Talley Group has several hot jobs we are looking to fill immediately. These opportunities need to be filled at companies ranging from small firms to Fortune 500 located in the Western United States.

These companies are looking for experienced individuals with distinct engineering backgrounds to fill permanent positions.

Sr. Mechanical Engineer (Electronic Packaging)
Our client in Idaho has a direct placement opening for those experienced in electronics packaging design.

This is an excellent position for someone who has a passion for materials sciences and challenges themselves to get work done in a quick and efficient manner, appreciation for design and quality customer needs execution.  The work will include:

  • Mechanical/electromechanical design of products
  • Assisting the sales team on cost analysis and project coordination
  • Working with customers to establish design definitions
  • Developing future technology requirements and design standards
  • Executing projects in alignment with the Mechanical Development Process.
  • Reviewing designs with Manufacturing to ensure product is manufacturable.
  • Responsible for all levels of deliverables (documentation, fixtures and tooling) required to produce a quality part on time.

We are looking for a passionate design engineer that works well with other teams.  A BSME with 5-10 years of relevant product experience is required. You must also have experience with

  • Designing and analyzing multi-part mechanisms and mechanical/electromechanical assemblies.
  • Manufacturability and designing for speed are essential including experience with plastic, elastomer, and metal part design and fabrication.
  • High-end CAD tool experience, preferably with ProE or Solidworks.
  • Experience with 2D CAD tools.
  • Familiarity with ISO 9000 practices.
  • Familiarity with FDA, TUV, EC, FCC, etc. agency requirements.
  • Familiarity with Reliability Engineering methodologies including worst case, stress, durability analysis and HALT.
  • Familiarity with Industry Drafting Standards.

Excellent customer communication and management skills are also desired, as well as the willingness to travel.

Sr. Propulsions Engineer
Does internal combustion get your gears going? Then this is the position for you.

Our client in Oregon is looking for a senior propulsions engineer. The prime candidate will be an independent worker and developer, and also have a serious interest in the ins and outs of engines. Position responsibilities include:

  • Develop new UAV engine systems and engine component specifications to achieve reliability, durability, manufacturability and performance targets
  • Plan, verify and execute the engineering approach, design and development testing to allow for mass-production of engines, guaranteeing production units’ compliance with strict acceptance standards
  • Research all aspects of engine’s lifecycle, usage modes and conditions statistics, and failure trends to define target performance and identify and prioritize areas requiring improvements
  • Work with other aircraft system engineering functions, sustainment operations, manufacturing, quality engineering and outside vendors to solicit improvement ideas and ensure the cross-compliance of specification changes
  • Teamwork with supporting engineers, technicians, CAD operators, and technical writers to ensure uniform project progress
  • Write functional product specifications, test plans, test reports, and design study summaries.
  • Create technical documentation to support the creation of technical publications/manuals such as assembly instructions, production unit verification procedures, product operation and maintenance instructions.

The desirable candidate will have a BS/MS/Ph.D. degree in engineering (mechanical, auto, aero), and 10 years experience as an engineer with a background in product development. As well as:

  • Experience with internal combustion engine design and theory (two-stroke and four-stroke), combustion chemical and thermodynamic theory, fuels, lubricants, thermal management, materials, electronics, and vehicle performance.
  • Demonstrated advanced practical knowledge of and experience with carburetor and fuel injection tuning.
  • Familiarity with laboratory research equipment and computer software skills is also a plus.

Contact The Talley Group for more information on these engineering positions or to apply today!

Job Openings in the Western United States

May 31st, 2012

The Talley Group has just received several engineering-related positions in the Western United States. These opportunities need to be filled at companies ranging from small firms to Fortune 500.

These clients are looking for qualified individuals with distinct engineering backgrounds to fill permanent positions.

OBD Validation Engineer (2 Openings)
Our client in Western Washington has two openings for those experienced in on-board diagnostics.

This is a great position for someone who enjoys the mechanics of engineering, but also desires to take on a leadership role. The work will include:

  • developing test strategies for OBD validation
  • conducting OBD validation tests and interpreting results
  • budgeting and scheduling the validation projects
  • recommending and implementing process improvements
  • possible mentoring of junior engineers and technicians.

We are looking for an independent self-starter that is also adaptable to teamwork. A BSME is required or an equivalent degree with three to five years of relevant work experience. You must also have an in-depth knowledge of OBD systems and validation strategies. Be ready to communicate, analyze, present and manage multiple projects. Experience with Class 8 diesel trucks is desired for this opportunity.

Powertrain Validation Engineer
If you like the rev of an engine and seeing the power of a vehicle on the road, this position is for you.

Our client in Western Washington is looking for a powertrain validation engineer. The prime candidate will not only manage and serve as the main communicator in the powertrain testing projects, but will get their hands dirty testing the products as well. Position responsibilities include:

  • Developing and conducting test plans to validate powertrain components meet design and performance requirements upon installation
  • Analyzation, interpretation and presentation of test results
  • Communicating with requestors to manage, budget and schedule project requirements
  • Designing fixtures and specifying instrumentation, equipment, vehicles, loading configurations, and data processing techniques.
  • Verifying that equipment meets specific requirements
  • Undertaking projects of significant scope

Off-site testing requires up to 10% travel.

The desirable candidate will have a BS degree in an appropriate engineering discipline or PE license with two to six years of relevant work experience. They must also be able to work and communicate effectively in a team environment. The position also requires flexibility and an initiative to respond to project demands. Ten percent travel is also required.

Aftertreatment Development Engineer

Interested in working in a creative environment that prides itself on innovation and generating world class products? Check out this aftertreatment development engineer position in Western Washington.

Use your knowledge to develop an optimal in-vehicle diesel exhaust aftertreatment system. This industry finds emissions an ongoing struggle to deal with. Be part of the future by recommending optimal calibration guidelines and performance specifications. You will also be required to:

  • Define and specify control strategies for diesel exhaust aftertreatment systems
  • Develop and implement test plans to verify aftertreatment hardware and software performance on test rigs, Hardware-in-the-loop systems and in-vehicle.
  • Coordinate with other divisions to support successful product launch.

The ideal candidate has a BS in the appropriate technical field, two to three years of relevant work experience in truck or automotive engine/aftertreatment system controls, and familiarity with active diesel particulate filters, urea selective catalytic reduction systems, NoX reduction systems, diesel engines and Class 5-8 vehicles and exhaust systems, in-vehicle engine calibration and data acquisition systems, OBD and engine control systems.

The candidate should also be able to work independently or part of a team, communicate effectively, use self-directed analysis and engineering judgment, and manage a demanding and flexible workload. An ability to travel 10% of the time is also desired.

Contact The Talley Group for more information on applying for these positions.

Importance of CAD Knowledge in the Engineering World Today

May 18th, 2012

It’s safe to say that computer-aided design, or CAD, revolutionized modern day engineering. CAD allows for the easier development of products and product management integration. It also allows for greater modeling and even provides a basis for virtual networking!

In the engineering world, CAD is extremely important and widely used to design and develop products to be used by consumers. This knowledge is a hot commodity for those employing engineers, because of its benefits in the engineering workplace.

CAD Drawing Benefits

CAD drawings offer the flexibility to draft and design in a digital sphere, which were previously done by hand. The digital format makes data handling easier, safer, and quicker. Prior hand drawn blueprints can be scanned and then can be expanded upon digitally. Many CAD programs are now using three-dimensional drawings to maximize productivity and provide quicker, better product results, allowing for the development of the tiniest details.

Project Management Benefits

CAD’s excellent ability for comprehensive documentation and communication allows for an easier product management environment. Team communication is simpler and less stressful due to the easy sharing properties. Engineers working in teams on complex projects can establish a CAD library, allowing for the storing and reference of certain projects.

CAD Networking

The information age has allowed CAD data to be shared throughout the industry, revolutionizing best practices. There are many virtual open CAD libraries providing a wealth of online resources for engineers.

Manufacturers can also supply CAD drawings of products for review before purchase in a way that could not be shared before, allowing for less travel and shipping.

Engineering professionals can also offer advice to the next generation of engineers. Online support is available through a variety of CAD networks.

The Talley Group can help you find the right CAD engineering position. Contact us today!

The Art of Negotiation: Know Your Value!

May 3rd, 2012

The most important things job seekers look for are a great work environment, satisfaction in their job, benefits and flexibility. But let’s not kid ourselves. Salary is also important, and negotiations can be one of the quickest parts of the job hunt process, usually taking less than a minute. Whether you are accepting a new position or renegotiating your current worth, here are some great suggestions for your approach.

  • Most offers you will receive are negotiable. If not, there is no harm in asking. There are two main types of companies in the world that do and do not accommodate this. The first feel that their first offer is their best offer. Companies in this category do a lot of industry research, and do their best to offer a fair, competitive salary. They find little advantage to low-balling and bringing in underpaid personnel. The second type of company is very accustomed to negotiations, and considers it to be an acceptable reality of the hiring process.
  • The salary range is divided into three roughly equal segments. The lowest third of the range is reserved for inexperienced workers who show potential; the middle third of the range is for competent workers; and the highest third is for people who bring something extra to the job.
  • Do not include your salary requirements. Very few companies will hold it against you, and this information is only to their advantage. If your number is too small, there is no room to negotiate, and if it’s too high, you won’t get a call back.
  • Preparation is key. Put together a rough personal budget, keeping in mind that income tax, loan payments and health care will probably account for a huge chunk of each paycheck. Then determine three figures: how much money you think you need; how much you want, and what you think you can live with.
  • Always wait until a job has been offered before you begin negotiating.
  • The person on the other side of the table is an experienced negotiator. Whoever mentions the first price usually loses the battle. And NEVER mention the smallest amount you are willing to take. After they are forced to name a figure, NEVER jump right on top of it. Research shows that if you acknowledge the offer, contemplate it for a few seconds, and then explain how that figure is smaller then you had expected, the hiring manager will almost always immediately offer more.
  • Defend your worth. Showcase examples of your work-related skills and positive benefits to the employer.

Salary negotiation resources:

Wage Web: http://www.wageweb.com
The Salary Calculator: http://www2.homefair.com/calc/salcalc.html
Careers at WSJ: http://public.wsj.com/careers/resources/
documents/cwc-salariesindex.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/
Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook http://stats.bls.gov/oco/oco1000.htm

Or, let us negotiate for you! http://www.thetalleygroup.com/

Defying Gravity: One Man’s Quest to Develop ZBLAN Glass in Space

April 26th, 2012

How would you feel about having your product launched into space?

That is exactly what Dr. Martin Castillo from Queensland University of Technology’s science and engineering faculty has to look forward to. Dr. Castillo is a researcher for the university’s micro-gravity drop tower and has partnered with the United States Air Force to fund research in the development of ZBLAN glass.

This special glass will also be the first QUT project to be launched into space.

ZBLAN glass is the most stable fluoride glass known and is most commonly used to make into optical fiber. The advantage of ZBLAN over other glass, such as silica, is superior infrared transmittance.

According to Castillo, the glass contains a variety of heavy metals that upon cooling “create internal stresses which lead to crystallization of the material, an undesired property for glass.”

‘True ZBLAN glass fibers can only be made in the absence of gravity,” Castillo said.

Working with the material in space allows for the absence of gravity and the ability to overcome the crystallization issues.

The Importance of ZBLAN Glass

We live in a telecommunications whirlwind. However fast our connections are now, we are always looking for faster, better, stronger products and networks.

The glass could revolutionize the way we make fibers for telecommunications and medical imaging tools. Dr. Castillo has found that there is little to no signal loss occurring within the material.

“Signals would be able to be transmitted over much greater distances than in current silicate glass fibers,” he said. “The result of this is potentially eliminating power consuming amplifiers and repeaters while significantly increasing bandwidth.

The glass has been made in several places, but no one has yet figured out how to form it into a fiber.

Dr. Castillo will first conduct research at QUT’s micro-gravity drop tower in an experiment that will see the glass undergo ~2.1 seconds of microgravity over a 21.3 meter drop inside a drag shield.

Dr Castillo, who has previously worked for space programs in the United States and Japan, will then board NASA’s parabolic flight plane, dubbed the ‘vomit comet’, before launching the project into space via a USAF suborbital satellite by mid next year.

“In order to stay at the leading edge of the synthesis of specialized glass, all traditional methods have to be abandoned,” Dr Castillo said.

Are you ready to find your dream engineering job? Contact The Talley Group today!

“Talking E”: An Engineering “Superhero” Story

April 5th, 2012

Meet Shwetak Patel, an assistant professor in the departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. He’s also a MacArthur Genius.

In September 2011, Patel was named one of 22 MacArthur Fellows, commonly known as the MacArthur Genius Award. The prize comes with $500,000 — no strings attached.

What did he do to achieve this honor? You may as well ask, what didn’t he do?

Among Patel’s inventions: A device that can detect noise on electrical systems to monitor the energy usage of specific appliances and electronics in homes. Zensi, the company founded on that technology, was acquired last year by computer peripheral company Belkin from Patel and his colleagues from Duke and Georgia Tech.

More recently, Patel has been working on a way of using electrical wiring as an antenna to receive signals from a variety of low-powered sensors around the home, to monitor conditions such as air quality

Spin-off research includes the “Humantenna” project, led by UW student Gabe Cohn, which uses a receiver on the human body to determine a person’s position in relation to electrical noise emanating from a home’s wiring system — like Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensor, without the need for the Kinect hardware.

Patel’s research is broadly in the areas of ubiquitous computing, human-computer interaction, and user interface software and technology. He has published over 50 articles since 2003 and has received numerous best paper awards.[2] Patel focuses on developing easy-to-deploy sensing technologies, activity recognition, and applications for energy monitoring. He also has developed novel interaction techniques for mobile devices, mobile sensing systems, and wireless sensor platforms, many of which in collaboration with Microsoft Research, where is also a visiting researcher.

Patel founded Zensi while he was a graduate student at Georgia Tech. After Zensi was acquired by Belkin, Patel made the cover of Seattle Business magazine and was named newsmaker of the year and one of the top 10 start up stories of 2010 by TechFlash.

What will he think of next?

At Talley, we know engineering. Contact us today for more information on how to find your company’s next shining star.

Resume Tips For Engineers

March 15th, 2012

At The Talley Group, we know a good engineering resume when we see one. Do you? Is your resume a powerful marketing tool or a big wordy mess?

While there are engineering jobs across a wide range of disciplines, effective resume strategies are applicable for all of them. Here are 6 pieces of advice to keep in mind when putting together your engineering resume.

Be Precise

Precision is vital when it comes to engineering projects, and the same holds true for engineering resumes. You need to proofread and correct all errors on the resume. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, ask someone whose attention to detail you trust.

Be Concise

Engineers tend to go into information overload on their resumes. Don’t make that mistake. Resumes get accepted or rejected in a matter of seconds, so you must be efficient in presenting your information. Create a resume that goes straight to the point.

Remove the Objective and Add a Summary

If you’re changing careers, an objective may be warranted. Otherwise, leave it out.  You don’t want it to hurt your candidacy if your objective doesn’t match the specifics of the position opening.

Replace the objective with a qualifications summary. Create a few hard-hitting sentences that spotlight your most marketable qualifications.

Tailor Your Resume to the Job Opportunity

Personalize your resume every time you send it out, according to the open position. You need to make it clear that you are responding to a specific job, not just sending out your resume to any and every job. Customize for the specific role and engineering specialty you are targeting.

List Key Accomplishments

Use bullet points to make your resume easier to read. It will also help you focus on the most key points. You should also quantify the results so employers understand the significance of your work.

Add a Project List

Depending on your engineering specialty and years of experience, you may include a dozen or more key projects on your resume. When this causes your document to overflow onto a third page, a separate project list sheet is an effective solution. List projects by employer or client, and give a short — even one-sentence — description of what you did. And don’t forget to include your project outcomes.

An honest and well-crafted resume will facilitate your job search. If you’d like more advice on how to find the right job for you, contact The Talley Group today!

“Talking E”: Exposing teens to engineering can double their interest in the field

March 8th, 2012

 It turns out the problem of America turning out fewer engineers might be easily solved. A recent survey of teens commissioned by Intel Corporation found that a major barrier to American teenagers pursing engineering careers is just a lack of familiarity with the profession. Once exposed to the facts about engineering, such as descriptions of what various engineers actually do and how much money they earn, more than half the teens surveyed said they’d consider engineering as a career.

What kind of facts influenced the teens? Realizing engineers’ roles in:

  • rescuing the Chilean miners who were trapped in 2010
  • delivering clean water to poor communities in Africa
  • designing the protective pads worn by athletes
  • constructing dams and levees that keep entire cities safe.

The study turned up some interesting numbers:

  • Fifty-three percent were more likely to consider engineering after learning about the role of engineers in the development of music and video games
  • An even fifty percent were influenced by the understanding that engineers make driving, texting, and social networking possible;
  • Sixty-one percent were influenced after learning engineers make an average annual income of $75,000;
  • More than 50 percent were more likely to consider the field upon learning that the unemployment rate amongst engineers is more than 4 percentage points lower than the national rate.

Currently, American university students tend to drop out of engineering programs. But experts are finding that the majority of students who concentrate on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in college actually make that choice during high school.

Colleges and professional societies across the country are encouraged to continue offering creative initiatives to stimulate student interest early. Inspiring youths to solve the problems they see around them, as they learn how things work and discover how to improve products and processes, is an important step toward careers in engineering.

Most engineers can recall when their interest in engineering was sparked. Some recall taking toys apart and rebuilding them. Others had a parent in the industry or an outstanding teacher or extracurricular activity that ignited their passion. Giving current and future generations the chance to explore the career possibilities in engineering will certainly create more such sparks.

Any questions about the engineering field and your place in it? Need to hire an engineering professional? The Talley Group is here to help, so contact us today.

Engineering in Action: The Man Who Made Flying Safer

February 23rd, 2012

You’ve never met Don Bateman. But he might have saved your life.

More than 40 years ago, Bateman invented the “ground proximity warning” system that prevents pilots in poor visibility from flying a functioning airplane into a mountain or other obstacle.

Bateman’s technology eliminated “the number one killer in aviation for decades,” according to Bill Voss, chief executive of the Flight Safety Foundation.  “It’s accepted within the industry that Don Bateman has probably saved more lives than any single person in the history of aviation.”

How He’s Done It

Motivated by an airplane disaster he witnessed as a boy, Bateman has tracked air disasters for 40 years to devise ways of preventing them.

He developed his first system by taking data from the technology that was already on airplanes—the radar altimeter, the airspeed indicator—and synthesize the information to create a warning system. Twenty years later, he integrated GPS technology with ever-improving terrain data to upgrade his system and what it can do.

After 50+ years at Honeywell, Bateman is still working, still fine-tuning his technology. His constantly updated digital charting of terrain around the globe, which includes data derived from detailed maps compiled for the Soviet-era military, has created a priceless database used to keep fliers safe.

Bateman’s Technology Becomes the Law

Bateman devised his original ground-proximity-warning system (GPWS) in the early 1970s, using an airplane’s radar altimeter to detect rapid altitude changes as a plane approached terrain. A warning sounded if a plane was too low without the landing gear deployed or if the descent was too fast.

After a TWA 727 crashed into a Virginia mountainside in December 1974, the FAA ordered that Bateman’s technology be installed on all large airliners. That rule was later extended to all airplanes carrying more than six passengers.

Since 1994, when Bateman integrated GPS technology into his system, most airlines have installed  the enhanced system on their entire fleets.  Today, it is installed on about 55,000 airplanes worldwide. And Bateman studies each new aviation accident for even further enhancements.

Well-Deserved Honors

It’s impossible to quantify precisely how many lives Bateman’s technology has saved.

Since the FAA certified the enhanced system in 1994, Honeywell has identified about 80 incidents where pilots reported that the warnings averted disaster. Overall, Bateman’s technology has reduced the likelihood of a once-common type of airplane crash by 99.9 percent.

In September 2011, President Obama awarded Bateman the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. He had already earned induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005.  All of this for an electrical engineer who started off working at a telephone equipment company.

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TOC Graphic

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