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What makes the Ideal Civil Engineering Manager?

January 20th, 2015

Project managers in any technical discipline bring a wide range of skills and abilities to the table. Those who work in civil engineering combine these capabilities with others unique to this niche within the engineering world. Needless to say, well-rounded individuals able to see a project from many different perspectives tend to thrive in this role.

So what makes an idea civil engineering project manager? Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding the Triple Constraint is Vital for Any Project Manager

Most projects — civil engineering and otherwise — rely on something called the triple constraint, which describes the interrelationship between time, cost, and quality within said project. A common refrain regarding this constraint states “you can have any two of those three.” In short, if you want something done quickly and cheaply, the quality will suffer.

Civil engineering project managers must have the ability to successfully balance the three items on the proverbial triple constraint. This takes great technical and analytical skills combined with intuition as well as strong communication abilities, especially when a project is taking too long or goes over-budget. Navigating the triple constraint is why project managers are well-paid.

Financial Skills are a plus for the Civil Engineering Manager

Most civil engineering projects must be completed on time with superior quality. Thus, being able to understand the financial aspects of a project is vital, considering that a project completed quickly with no defects will usually stress that project’s budget. Understanding costs and finances is an important skill of the project manager.

Don’t forget Leadership and People Skills

A civil engineering project manager is also a leader with exemplary people skills. The ability to inspire other engineers and team members plays an important role in the success of any project. Ultimately, the best engineering project managers are great leaders who inspire their team members to a high level of performance.

If you are a civil engineer looking to move into a management role, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top staffing agencies in Washington State, and a great source of Seattle civil engineering jobs, we can help your career immensely. Make it a point to meet with us today!

Civil Engineering Trends for 2015 — Which Skills will be the Most Valuable

December 9th, 2014

With the beginning of 2015 only a few weeks away, it is time to take stock of the world of civil engineering. This important scientific and technical discipline touches nearly all aspects of the human experience, from how we get the water needed for life to the roads where we commute to work everyday.

2015 is poised to be a big year for civil engineers. Let’s take a closer look at some expected trends for the practice over the next year.

Sustainable Development a Big Civil Engineering Trend

One of most promising civil engineering trends involves the increased emphasis on sustainable development practices. Considering the growing infrastructure problems in the United States and all over the world, engineers need to leverage sustainable techniques to improve the subsequent construction quality in building, road, and bridge design. It is also vital to improve energy efficiency when constructing buildings, considering the challenges of environmentally safe energy production in the 21st Century.

Nanotechnology and Smart Construction Materials gain Acceptance

Part of the move towards sustainable development in civil engineering involves the use of state of the art nanotechnology and smart construction materials to improve construction techniques. If you are currently working as a civil engineer with minimal exposure to these innovations, make the effort to research these new concepts as these skills are vital for your career development.

The Hot Civil Engineering Skills for the New Year

If you hope to become a civil engineer, or even look to improve your career prospects in the field, understanding nanotechnology and new construction techniques is paramount. Additionally, make sure you familiarize yourself with the latest versions of the engineering and design software and mobile apps used by engineers in their day-to-day work. No matter your engineering discipline, keeping abreast of new technologies and tools is an important part of your lifelong career.

If you need any additional advice on engineering career development, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, they are also a great source of Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with The Talley Group today!

Ethical Concerns for Civil Engineers

October 15th, 2014

The civil engineering field, like other engineering disciplines, relies on ethics to provide a moral center. Integrity, dignity, and honor remain the core traits for which all civil engineers strive. This happens through dedication to the hard work and problem solving that benefits both their clients and the public as a whole.

A Closer Look at the Core Principles of Engineering Ethics

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) maintains a Code of Ethics that gives guidance for how engineers can achieve the desired ethical impact on their profession. Four fundamental principles help execute this overall process.

  • Using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare and the environment.
  • Being honest and impartial and serving with fidelity the public, their employers and clients.
  • Striving to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession.
  • Supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines.

These same principles also apply for engineers of all disciplines. Leveraging skill and knowledge in an honest fashion to serve, while helping to raise the bar for the engineering profession as a whole is an inspirational charge that both motivates existing engineers while attracting new blood to the profession.

ASCE Code of Ethics offers a Roadmap for Engineers to Thrive

Beyond its core principles, the ASCE Code of Ethics offers additional detail on how civil engineers can energize their career by following their guidelines and fundamental canons. Whenever an engineer is faced with a difficult decision regarding project work or even a change in employer, the Code of Ethics serves professionals well as both a guidebook and a source of inspiration.

All civil engineers, and all engineers for that matter, would benefit greatly by studying the ASCE Code of Ethics, and use the content within to drive how they face each working day.

If you are looking to take your civil engineering career to the next level, talk to the staffing experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in the area, they provide a good source of Seattle engineering jobs and more. Make it a point to schedule a meeting with The Talley Group today!

Three Steps to Improve your Technical Writing

July 16th, 2014

While engineering ability and technical acumen are still vital attributes for anyone working as an engineer, it is important not to forget “soft” skills like verbal and written communication. Technical writing is especially relevant for an engineer, given the need for quality documentation in most projects.

Also, authoring an industry article or two helps to position yourself as a thought leader in the engineering field. In short, quality writing skills are good for your career. Given that fact, let’s take a look at three tips to improve your technical writing.

Find the Simple in the Complex

Considering the complex nature of most engineering disciplines, it is important for engineers to express these ideas simply in writing, especially when the audience is the general public. Even when producing technical documentation to be used in a project, take the steps to simplify the material by leveraging graphics, bullet points, and formatting. This helps make any documentation an easier read no matter the ultimate audience.

Leverage Templates and Modular Writing

For documentation that follows a standard format, leverage word processing templates to make the overall writing process easier. Some engineering firms also use modular writing techniques that allow each team on a project to contribute their own content to a larger, system-wide document. These templates and modular style usage also give the reader a familiar format that helps with understanding the underlying material.

Consider taking Formalized Technical Writing Classes

Since written communication skills definitely help your career prospects, it makes sense to consider taking a formal technical writing course. In addition to improving your writing, the best courses also help focus your mind on clearly defining the modular aspects of any engineering project. This clearer thinking also can ultimately sharpen your engineering skills in addition to your writing capabilities, so the benefits to improving your communication skills are many!

If you need any additional advice on engineering career development, including improving your written communication abilities, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in the Seattle area, they can help ensure your career stays on the right path. Schedule some time with them today to find out about the great civil engineering jobs in Seattle!

ASCE Certifications: What they do for you

April 9th, 2014

If you are already enjoying a successful career as a civil engineer, and are looking for a way to boost your standing or maybe transition into a leadership role, consider acquiring one of the certifications provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Becoming certified shows that you take your career seriously and have the right mix of skills and knowledge to be an asset to any civil engineering company in the business.

Let’s take a closer look at the types of available ASCE certifications and the process to acquire them.

The Available ASCE Certifications

The ASCE created an organization called Civil Engineering Certification, Inc. (CEC) to manage the process of certifying civil engineers in a variety of disciplines related to the field. Various academies within the CEC also offer these specialized certifications. These include water resource engineers, coastal ocean, port and navigation engineers, and geo-professionals.

Promoting the certification process through CEC achieves four main goals for the ASCE. They include: developing leadership, advancing technology, advocating lifelong learning, and promoting the civil engineering profession as a whole.

The advantages to you as a certified engineer are profound. Expect to be considered as a leader in your field; demonstrating a superior aptitude for the practice of civil engineering, along with a desire to stay on the leading edge of technology. Your clients are assured that you are highly qualified to work on their project needs.

The Certification Process

The specific certification process and requirements depend on the individual academy. You need to be actively employed in the specific civil engineering discipline, with over 10 years of experience and a PE license. An advanced degree or upwards of 30 hours of graduate level classes are another requirement.

A written application with all supporting documentation, three professional recommendations, and a series of oral examinations followed by an oral defense round out the application process. Becoming certified takes a lot of effort, but it is definitely worth it, considering the advantages for your career.

If you need any additional advice for career development in the engineering field, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in Washington state, they have knowledgeable recruiters on hand, providing a great source for civil engineering jobs in Seattle. Schedule some time with them today!

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Civil Engineer Job Salary Review in Seattle WA

March 14th, 2014

Civil Engineer Jobs in Seattle: Salary Breakdown

Like most other engineering disciplines, civil engineers enjoy robust career benefits, including the rewards that come from performing a job needed by the public as a whole. Of course, civil engineering is also a well-paying profession with many opportunities for career development. The Seattle, Washington area is a solid place for the engineering profession in general, and civil engineering is no exception.

Average Civil Engineer Salary in Seattle

Civil engineers in the Seattle metropolitan area can expect to earn an average salary of $81,000 per year according to data from March of this year. This salary is about four percent higher than the average civil engineering salary for the entire United States. Once again, the Seattle region of the Northwest U.S. is a great place to be for engineers!

The national salary trend for civil engineers has held steady over the past two years. There have been some hills and valleys, but the salary index has remained close to 1.0, according to Indeed.com. As the economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, expect civil engineering salaries to trend upwards.

It pays to be an Experienced Civil Engineer

Becoming a “lifer” as a civil engineer can pay off in the long run, like most technical professions. Seattle’s average salary for a senior-level civil engineer comes in close to six figures at $98,000, but you can expect to find many senior positions in Seattle above the $100,000 level. Senior civil engineers specializing in highways average a little less salary at $81,000.

Structural engineering is another offshoot of civil engineering that can be lucrative with an average salary of $93,000. Engineers that want to move into project management will find a slightly higher pay rate. The average salary for civil engineer project managers in Seattle is $83,000.

If you are interested in many of the lucrative civil engineering jobs in Seattle, talk to engineering staffing experts at The Talley Group. As one of the leading engineering recruiters in the Seattle area, they are poised to help you and your career. Be sure to schedule some time with them today with a quick phone call or email.

 

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Bechtolsheim of Sun Microsystems Speaks on Engineering Innovation

November 26th, 2012

Andy Bechtolsheim is one of the greatest engineering alumni to ever attend Stanford University. The school recently inducted him into its second class of “Engineering Heroes,” a distinct group of 16 of Stanford’s School of Engineering’s finest.

Bechtolsheim created the SUN workstation and co-founded SUN Microsystems. He is also one of the original investors in Google. To say he has strong beliefs in the power of engineering innovation would be an understatement. He truly believes in the power of technology to enhance lives and create greater engineering marvels.

“What one can learn from the Apples of the world, the Googles of the world, the Amazons and the Facebooks, is that innovation is the essence of high technology and business,” Bechtolsheim said. “Over the years, the content changes but the underlying processes of how to focus on innovation, how to do the right things, don’t really change.”

In the early 1980s Bechtolsheim studied and created as an engineering graduate student at Stanford. He invented the workstation, a more affordable computer for engineers that mirrored the PC for an average American. It allowed engineers and companies to expand and innovate as they never had before, bypassing the hundreds of thousands of dollars they were spending on expensive IBM, DEC, and Wang mini-computers and mainframes that were the only option at that time.

The SUN (Stanford University Network) workstation was a 32-bit machine that allowed companies to run the same kind of programs they would on a gigantic computer on a smaller machine. It cost around $10,000 compared to hundreds of thousands. Because of this invention, Bechtolsheim was able to split his time between Stanford and XEROX PARC. Bechtolsheim and Stanford built and sold 15 of the workstations together before stepping aside. This was when Sun (a nod to Stanford) Microsystems was born.

Bechtolsheim maintained a strong connection with Stanford, the place that allowed him to birth his ideas and teach him the fundamentals he needed to succeed.

“I wouldn’t have done what I’ve done in my life, if I hadn’t been here,” he said. “Little did I know that I would come exactly to the right place where you couldn’t just learn about how to do this but you could actually then go off and start a company. I was very fortunate.”

Because of his connection to Stanford, Bechtolsheim was one of the first to see, experience and invest in what would be known as Google today. In 1998 professor David Cheriton invited Bechtolsheim over to see what his two students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had created. Bechtolsheim was immediately won over by the inner workings of Google search, remembering his experience in scientific research and publishing.

Page and Brin shared their revenue model of sponsored links and pay per click advertisements and Bechtolsheim was sold. He went out to his car and returned with a check for $100,000, made out to Google, Inc.

Bechtolsheim is a true engineering hero because not only did he create successful inventions, he recognized great innovations.

Contact The Talley Group finds the best positions for every engineering superhero out there. Call us today.

If you know someone that is looking to be an engineering hero, please refer an engineer today!

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