Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

Sustainable Growth and the Role of Engineering

May 13th, 2015

A career in engineering offers you many benefits – most notably the potential for a lucrative salary and a sense of professional and personal accomplishment. That latter benefit really comes into play when working on an engineering project that helps the general public. The civil engineering discipline definitely provides many opportunities to use your skills for the common good.

Achieving a sustainable growth model is a worthy goal for many entities in the world – countries, municipalities, and more. With the specter of climate change, it becomes even more important when contrasting business development and growth against the environment’s ability to provide the necessary natural resources that support expansion. Let’s take a closer look at how civil engineering makes a difference in this area.

Sustainable Engineering in the 21st Century

The importance of technology’s influence on sustainability has led to a new term called sustainable engineering. While many areas of engineering can contribute to improved sustainability, civil engineering offers you the greatest chance to make a significant difference. Water supply systems, sustainable housing development, energy efficient transportation networks, and waste management are all areas of civil engineering that directly contribute to sustainability.

Applying green engineering techniques to these kinds of projects allows professionals to make a significant difference in the conservation of natural resources, while still providing the economic growth and development that benefit both the business world and the public. Discovering new techniques and processes to improve efficiency is one way engineers are able to make a positive impact using their skills and experience.

The Three Dimensional Model of Sustainable Development

A three-dimensional accounting framework known as the “triple bottom line” generally gets applied during the planning stages of projects leveraging sustainable engineering techniques. The three domains in this model describe a project’s impacts on the economy, the environment, and society as a whole. Some refer to these domains as the “3 Ps” which stand for people, profit, and the planet.

The ultimate goal for any project involves finding that sweet spot in the middle where all three areas are satisfied in a sustainable manner. In many cases, input from civil engineers helps a project hit that sweet spot by leveraging additional efficiencies derived from engineering innovations. This is especially notable in public transportation systems and improved water and waste utilities.

Ultimately, every civil engineer needs to pay close attention to the 3 Ps in the triple bottom line to ensure their work benefits the public both now and in the future.

If the promise of sustainable engineering inspires you to take your career to the next level, talk to the industry experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we are a great source of Seattle engineering jobs and business insight. Make it a point to meet with us at your earliest convenience.

How to Differentiate yourself as an Engineer

December 13th, 2013

While the economy is slowly improving after the Great Recession, the job market — a lagging economic indicator — remains in a perpetual recovery state. Therefore, it is important to stand out from the pack when beginning a job search, especially in the world of engineering. There are a few steps to take that will help differentiate yourself from others in the field.

Let’s take a look at how you can put your best foot forward during an engineering job search.

A Testimonial Carries more Weight than merely a Reference

While most hiring managers want a few references if they need more information before making a final decision to hire you, take the extra effort by getting your references to compose a brief testimonial about your capabilities. Include the testimonials with your résumé reference page with their contact information, so your potential employer can get additional feedback on your job performance.

Providing testimonials with your references also shows you are going the extra mile in your job search and reflects well on your work ethic.

Consider Hand Delivering your Résumé

If you are interested in working at an engineering firm, consider hand delivering your résumé. This is a tactic that can be especially effective at smaller firms. You never know, you may actually be able to meet your potential new boss and score an interview that same day.

Include Sample Design Documents with your Résumé Package

In the graphic design world, a portfolio containing examples of the candidate’s previous work is part of a complete résumé package. Why should engineering be any different? Considering including non-proprietary sample design documents that illustrate your work on prior projects. This is an excellent extra step that gives a prospective employer insight into your engineering capabilities.

If you are beginning a job search in the engineering field and think you need some extra help in preparing a résumé, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the leading engineering staffing companies in the Seattle area, they have the knowledgeable recruiters to ensure your job search is successful. Schedule some time with them today! If you are looking to advance your career in engineering, contact us today.

A Path to Engineering Success

September 6th, 2013

It’s not surprising that an engineering degree from a well-regarded U.S. school puts your career on the path to success. Following up a Bachelors degree with a Masters — either in technology or a MBA — helps to supercharge your career prospects. It is important to take education seriously both at the beginning of and throughout your professional life.

Aspiring Engineers must do well in Math and Science in High School

It is vital that high school students perform well in their math and science classes if they expect to gain admission to a college engineering program. “Most universities, with the exception of smaller liberal arts colleges, feature a College of Engineering, which has separate admission criteria from other colleges within the university,” commented Peter Davos, the founder of Carian College Advisors.

Additionally, students need to score at least a 550 on the math portion of the SAT, or risk that their application to a college engineering program gets rejected. One major advantage of engineering programs at larger universities is their endowments lead to more money spent on the labs and other facilities that support the scientific learning process.

Does Getting a MBA make Sense for the Professional Engineer?

Many of you reading this are already a professional in the engineering field, and the days of worrying about SAT scores and college applications are long over. However, getting an advanced degree, like a MBA or something in engineering, can help jumpstart your career.

Most MBA programs require you to be actively working, with at least a few years of experience. References from your current employer definitely help the admission process, and in most cases you will need to pass the GMAT test, so those days of fretting over tests like the SAT and ACT aren’t completely over. An MBA paired with an active engineering career, positions you to take a leadership or executive role in the engineering industry.

If you are looking to advance your engineering career; maybe finding a company willing to sponsor furthering your education, make a plan to talk to the experts at The Talley Group. One of the leading engineering staffing companies in the Seattle area, they have the staff on hand that will help you further your career, whatever path it takes.

An Engineer Named Bush who was way Ahead of his Time

July 3rd, 2013

There was a Bush involved with the Presidency long before those two named George lived in the White House. Vannevar Bush effectively served his country as a de facto Presidential science advisor throughout the mid 20th Century. He played an important role in the genesis of the Manhattan Project and headed up the United States Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during World War 2.

His long career proves how engineering work remains a vital part of society throughout history.

The Beginnings of Vannevar Bush

Bush was born in 1890 in Everett, Massachusetts. He graduated from Tufts University in 1913 with both Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees. He followed up that schoolwork with a dual Doctorate in Engineering from both MIT and Harvard in 1917.

His early employment included a stint with the American Radio and Research Corporation (AMRAD) all while engaged in research work with the Electrical Engineering department at MIT. Soon after that, Bush co-invented a device called the S-Tube which enabled the nascent radio technology of the time to run off of AC power. The company Bush formed to market the S-Tube grew to become Raytheon.

After some innovative work designing analog computers, Bush was named a Vice-President and Dean of the Engineering school at MIT in 1932. But his most important work was soon to come.

Bush during World War 2

In 1938, with the world on the brink of war, Bush was named to the fledgling National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a predecessor to NASA. After becoming chairman of this new organization and soon after the German success in Western Europe in 1940, Bush reached out to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with the idea for the National Defense Research Committee, hoping to improve the collaboration between the military and civilian sides of engineering.

The next year, FDR created the OSRD, naming Bush as its chairman. Both the NDRC and OSRD served a vital role during World War 2, with the latter organization helping with the initial development of the Manhattan Project. Many of the engineering feats that helped the Allies win World War 2 were projects led by Vannevar Bush, who continued to serve his country and practice of engineering until his death in 1974.

The rich career of Vannevar Bush should inspire all engineers. If you want to take your engineering work to the next level, talk to the staff at The Talley Group. One of the leading engineering recruiting firms in the Seattle area; they can help you be the best engineer possible.

Cyberattacks and Copyright Theft Threaten Country’s Engineering Efforts

June 14th, 2013

The United States has traditionally been home to innovative engineering that has changed the world in so many positive ways. Recently though, the growing scourge of cyberattacks, state-sponsored rogue hacking, and outright copyright theft, places our advantage in engineering work at risk.

United States’ new Military Cyber Command goes on the Offensive

The cyberattack problem is so acute; the United States recently created a new military Cyber Command to protect the country and its intellectual assets against attack. But this new team follows the edict that the best defense is a good offense.

“I would like to be clear that this team, this defend-the-nation team, is not a defensive team,” said Gen. Keith Alexander, chief of both the National Security Agency and the new Cyber Command. “This is an offensive team that the Defense Department would use to defend the nation if it were attacked in cyberspace. Thirteen of the teams that we’re creating are for that mission alone.”

The U.S. Demands China Reign in their Cyberattacks

Many of the reported cyberattacks appear to originate from China. Because of this, government officials continue to demand that the Chinese exert more control over rogue hacking within their country by investigating said attacks in addition to joining a program with the U.S. and other countries to combat cyberattacks. For what its worth, the Chinese claim they’ve been the victim of cyberattacks, with two-thirds of those attacks coming from the United States.

The U.S. feels many of the cyberattacks from China are the responsibility of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The Chinese government denies any involvement or relationship with the PLA. No matter who is responsible for the rogue attacks, there remains little doubt that the United States takes the problem very seriously, as the new offensive-oriented Cyber Command illustrates.

Don’t let the specter of attacks on intellectual property deter you from beginning or advancing your career in engineering. In fact, there may be engineering opportunities to work in defending the U.S. from cyberattacks. When looking to further your engineering career, be sure to talk to the people at The Talley Group. One of the leading engineering staffing companies in Seattle, they know how to take your career to its highest potential.

Engineers Can Solve Third World Problems — Even Global Warming

May 10th, 2013

As climate change continues to be an important topic, there remains little doubt that engineering plays a relevant part in mitigating the effects of Global Warming. From students at the University of Wisconsin winning first place in the SAE 2013 Clean Snowmobile Challenge, to geo-engineers poised to change the climate at a global scale, engineers remain at the center of innovation.

Engineering Badgers Win 2013 Clean Snowmobile Challenge

It is obvious that the combustion engine is a factor in contributing to pollution all over the planet. Any engineering attempt to lessen this kind of environmental damage remains vital. Students from the University of Wisconsin won this year’s Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge, a yearly event that focuses on lessening emissions while maintaining vehicle performance.

The Badgers team modified a four-stroke Skidoo Ace snowmobile to win the challenge. “We added a turbocharger and engine controls, which allows us to maintain performance and decrease our emissions and make it quieter as well,” said UW team captain Mike Solger. Wisconsin won the title for the fifth time in the competition’s 14-year history.

Geo-engineering the Planet to Stave Off Climate Change

Another group of engineers are at the leading edge of innovation as they research the geo-engineering concepts which they hope can someday reduce the planet’s overall temperature. A variety of ideas are being researched: giant orbital mirrors to manage solar radiation, injecting sulphate particles in the stratosphere to simulate the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption, and giant machines that remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Steve Rayner, James Martin Professor of Science and Civilization at Oxford University in the UK, feels those methods, even if practical, make up only part of what’s necessary to reverse the negative effects of Climate Change. “Generally these ideas are seen as a complement to and not a substitute for adaptation and mitigation”, says Rayner.  “And the challenges are enormous. For example, to put the sulphate injection idea into action would mean we would have to create an enterprise something on the scale of the global cement industry.”

Does that kind of specialized engineering inspire you? Talk to the Talley Group if you are looking to make a positive difference in humanity, while advancing your career in engineering. As one of the leading engineering staffing firms in the Northwest, they have the recruiters on hand to help further your career.

Is Engineering Boring? How Big is Bertha?

April 19th, 2013

A career in engineering doesn’t necessarily mean being tethered to an office and a desktop computer running a version of AutoCAD. In many cases, engineering entails a day spent out in the real world getting dirty. And in the case of “big” Bertha, it means getting real dirty!

Introducing Bertha: The World’s Biggest Single-Bore Drill

An example of something boring that is also quite exciting; Bertha is the world’s biggest single-bore drill. Made up of 41 separate pieces, with a cutter head that weighs 886 tons, Bertha sports a width of nearly 60 feet. This massive drill is currently being used in a two billion dollar project to build a tunnel for Highway 99 underneath downtown Seattle– from Sodo to South Lake Union.

When the Highway 99 tunnel project is completed in 2016, it will permit the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. With that eyesore removed from the Seattle waterfront, the opportunity exists for new parkland development. But first they actually have to get Bertha tunneling underneath the Emerald City!

Starting Bertha on her Underground Journey

Just getting Bertha in place is a large engineering project in itself. Transported to Seattle from Japan, Bertha arrived, un-assembled, in late March. The drill’s parts are shuttled one by one at walking speed from the dock to a 100-foot pit where the final assembly is completed. Fully put together, Bertha weighs 6,800 tons — the same as 38 jumbo jets!

A figurative ton of concrete will surround the drill, keeping it aimed squarely at its final destination in South Lake Union. The concrete helps keep groundwater from flooding the drill, causing realignment. Additionally, beams under the Alaskan Way Viaduct are wrapped in carbon fiber to prevent tunneling vibrations from damaging the viaduct while it is still in use.

A conveyer belt system is being used to move soil from the tunnel project back to the dock area, where barges will ship it to a quarry. All told, this is a multi-faceted modern engineering operation.

Interested in working on exciting projects that involve something like Bertha? Contact the recruiters at The Talley Group, as one of the Northwest’s leading engineering staffing firms, they can help make sure your engineering career is never boring.

The Father of Earthquake Engineering – John Blume

April 4th, 2013

 Born in California in early 20th Century, John Blume grew up hearing his grandparents’ stories about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Both sets of his grandparents survived the earthquake and subsequent fire. His father, who worked as a builder, helped in the reconstruction of the city, including the legendary Palace Hotel.

As he grew older, Blume assisted his father in construction and also paid witness to other California earthquake events, including in Santa Barbara in 1925, where the coastal town was destroyed. Blume noted that most of Santa Barbara’s houses survived while the downtown commercial buildings saw heavy damage. Given his nascent experience in construction, Blume felt he could make a difference regarding earthquake safety.

Studying Engineering at Stanford University

Thus inspired, Blume enrolled at Stanford University in 1929 to study engineering. One of his professors was Lydik S. Jacobsen, known for his experimental designs for multi-story dynamic buildings able to withstand the shaking caused by an earthquake. Blume himself designed a more elaborate model based on San Francisco’s 15-story Alexander Building. His graduate thesis covered the principles of dynamic response in buildings.

Notable among Blume’s initial work after graduation was a two-year stint from 1935 to 1936 as a construction engineer on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. As his career progressed, he formed his own engineering practice, John A. Blume and Associates in 1945. Four years later, Blume played a role in the establishment of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).

A Leader in Earthquake Engineering

Over his career, Blume and his company played a leadership role in the practice of earthquake engineering. He was involved in the design and/or analysis of a host projects engineered specifically to withstand earthquakes, including the Stanford Linear Accelerator, San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center, and the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. At the crux of his career, Blume spent time studying at Stanford ultimately earning his PhD in 1967.

His legacy as the Father of Earthquake Engineering was cemented in 1974 with the opening of the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center at Stanford. His career is one to inspire any engineer. If you are interested in furthering your career as an engineer, make it a point to talk to the Talley Group. As one of the leading engineer staffing agencies in the United States, the Talley Group can help inspire you to do great things in engineering.

The Future of Engineering Apps | Careers in Engineering

March 27th, 2013

One of the nice things about mobile apps is the convenience they provide to a variety of technical disciplines, including music creation and software development. Traditional engineering is no different; a variety of useful engineering apps enhance the daily work of engineers in the field.

As mobile development becomes more prevalent with more software engineers moving over from desktop platforms, expect the quality and efficacy of engineering apps to continue to improve. Electrical and civil engineers currently enjoy a wide variety of apps, and while there aren’t as many available for mechanical engineers, that number is currently on the rise.

iPhone Mechanical Engineering Apps Provide Value and Convenience

Despite the relative lack of mechanical engineering apps on the iPhone compared to their electrical and civil brethren, there are still a few on the iTunes App Store worth checking out. One such app is called Mechanical Engineer, and it sports a collection of over 300 mechanical engineering formulas, including 300 conversion formulas and 70 area formulas. The interface fits perfectly on the iPhone, and as a universal app, it looks great on the iPad as well.

AutoCAD users need to check out AutoCAD WS which allows the viewing, sharing and editing of drawing files on both the iOS and Android platforms, as well as the web. Despite being a mobile app, AutoCAD WS also features a decent subset of the functionality found on the desktop version of the software.

The Future of Engineering Apps Remains Bright

By 2015, the mobile application market is slated to grow to $25 billion, an increase of nearly $20 billion compared to 2010. As software engineers get used to programming for mobile devices, and cross-platform tools mature, expect a growing number of engineering apps on the iOS, Android, and even the Windows 8 platforms.

With younger engineers continuing to enjoy higher productivity through the use of apps, it stands to reason that their valuable feedback will improve the quality of future generations of engineering apps.

Looking for an engineering job where you would get the chance to use the latest tools, including the best engineering apps? Check out The Talley Group. As one of the leading engineering recruiters in the Northwestern United States, The Talley Group can help you become the best engineer possible.

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.

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