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.

Evaluating Ethics in Engineering Candidates

April 23rd, 2015

Ethics continues to be a very important attribute for any professional engineer. In fact, the process of earning engineering licensure usually involves an ethics exam, so if your company wants to employ licensed engineers, a candidate’s ethical outlook needs to be part of your hiring criteria. Making ethics a vital part of your company’s culture also helps to position your firm as one to be trusted by clients and the public at large.

Let’s take a closer look at a few strategies for evaluating an engineering candidate’s ethical affinity.

Licensed Professional Engineers Remain the Safest Ethical Bet

When presented with a candidate already licensed as a professional engineer, chances are good that ethics remain at the forefront of their mind when solving problems and developing solutions for their clients. While the requirements for earning a professional engineering license vary by state, ethics remains a major component of the licensure process. For example, the Washington State Department of Licensing makes passing a Law and Ethics exam a requirement before engineers are even qualified to take the PE license examination.

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) publishes a Code of Ethics that all engineers must take very seriously. The NSPE’s Board of Ethical Review – made up of seven licensed PEs – helps to maintain the Code of Ethics while offering opinions on various cases where ethics and the practice of engineering intersect.

Ultimately, when interviewing candidates for an engineering position, licensed professional engineers remain your company’s best chance at hiring an engineer with an exemplary ethical outlook.

Research a Candidate’s Exposure to Ethics in Their Educational History

Determining the ethical outlook of a new engineer fresh out of college is a more difficult proposition. Obviously, research into a candidate’s educational history and social media conduct is a must. Pay close attention to any extracurricular activities that focus on charitable organizations and other ethics-based societies.

Spend some time during the interview querying the client about their own ethical outlook. Offer them the chance to describe a scenario in their educational career – or even as an intern – when an ethical decision needed to be made. This might provide some insight on how they would react when faced with a real-life work-related situation.

Consider giving a candidate an ethics exam to test their knowledge of the NSPE’s Code of Ethics or make up your own scenario-based test for the same purpose. The NSPE’s Milton F. Lunch Ethics Contest is another great way to make sure all your employees continue to be up to speed with engineering ethics. Being known as an ethical company is good for the public and is good for your business.

If your organization wants additional business insight or some excellent engineering candidates, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of Washington State’s top engineering staffing agencies, we can help your company achieve its ultimate goals. Schedule some time with us today!

New to Civil Engineering? Career Advice to Help You Plan for the Future

April 8th, 2015

So you are new to the rewarding field of civil engineering? Congratulations! Hopefully a long career full of meaningful accomplishments awaits you. This is an engineering discipline that benefits society as a whole.

Even when first embarking on your vocation, it is never too soon to plan for the future. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help ensure you enjoy a successful career until your retirement day – whenever that comes.

Know the Business As Well As Engineering

It is important that you understand the underlying business principles of your employer – even if you work for a government agency. Learn the budgetary concepts of profit and loss, which become more important in a government position considering taxpayer liability. A well-honed comprehension of business and engineering concepts puts you on the fast track to a management or executive level position.

Thrive When Working on a Team

Teamwork is extremely vital in civil engineering. In many cases, your team includes your clients or customers, which can be the public at large. Learn to keep your ego in check, develop strong listening skills, and leverage empathy to truly relate to your co-workers.

The Agile and DevOps movements within the information technology world illustrate how focusing on teamwork and collaboration allows more to be accomplished with fewer resources. These methodologies also apply to civil engineering.

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Honest self-analysis is a necessary part of any career and definitely applies to engineering. It is important to fully develop your professional strengths, while making the effort to improve any weaknesses in your work life. Continual self improvement is something any civil engineering professional should strive to achieve.

Always Strive to Learn New Ideas and Concepts

The engineering world is full of innovations and new ideas. Being set in your ways – especially when first starting out – leads to stagnation and a dead-end career. You need to always strive to learn new ideas and concepts. Remember that becoming licensed as a professional engineer also requires some form of continuing education.

If your company offers tuition reimbursement, take advantage of that benefit to earn an advanced degree. A master’s degree in engineering or even a MBA will definitely super charge your career prospects.

Make Integrity a Vital Part of Your Career

Integrity remains an important aspect of any civil engineer. When dealing with your clients, co-workers, or even the general public, honesty always needs to be on the forefront of your mind. Never become careless in your work.

If you need any additional insight on developing a fulfilling career as a civil engineer, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of Washington State’s top engineering staffing agencies, we can help both you with a robust supply of Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us at your earliest convenience.

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