Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

A Day in the Life of a Petroleum Engineer

April 3rd, 2014

Petroleum engineering is a field that involves a lot of travel and excitement. Those of you hoping to combine a love for the scientific and problem-solving aspects of engineering with the ability to travel to interesting locales all over the world need to explore becoming an oil and gas engineer.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what is involved in the life of a petroleum engineer. One thing for sure: it is definitely not a boring desk job.

“It’s a gambler’s life”

When asked to describe his profession, one petroleum engineer remarked: “It’s a gambler’s life.” Spending most of your time on the road in a variety of unusual locations while applying time-honed engineering skills, also seems like a life of adventure. Most petroleum engineers become involved with all aspects of their work — from selecting a drilling location to helping extract the oil from the ground.

It’s a high-risk field that combines engineering, risk, and a bit of thrill-seeking. Petroleum engineers are able to use their heads and also get their hands dirty while out in the field.

Scouting Potential Drilling Sites

A petroleum engineer’s day might involve scouting a potential drilling site. After one is chosen, samples need to be taken for further analysis. This detailed look at the site determines the potential amount of oil or gas in the area, at what depth it is located, and the type of equipment necessary to extract the product.

If the site meets requirements, the engineer helps to supervise the construction of the rig, extraction operations, and finally the rig removal and site clean-up. Self-confidence and the ability to make important decisions quickly is a must, as dealing with drilling failures or barren sites is an important part of the job. An undergraduate degree in one of the earth sciences is a requirement, and many petroleum engineers also hold advanced degrees.

If you like to take risks and have a sharp mind for engineering, then a career as a petroleum engineer might be for you. Make a call to the engineering staffing experts at The Talley Group, one of the best sources for petroleum engineering jobs. Schedule some time with them today!

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Growth in the Renewable Energy Sector

March 26th, 2014

Hybrid renewable energy systems are currently a hot item. The flexibility provided by hybrid energy sources appears to make a good fit for deriving power off the grid in remote regions. Using renewable energy for back-up in the event of a power outage is another intriguing use-case.

Flexibility is Key for Companies Specializing in Renewable Energy

Companies in this sector are discovering that it makes sense to be knowledgeable in multiple areas of renewable energy, instead of merely focusing on a certain type, like solar or wind. Using only one energy source may not provide enough power when compared with a more flexible hybrid option. Solar energy is especially a victim of this issue during the winter months or cloudy periods.

In situations where enough power isn’t available, batteries or diesel gasoline power makes up the difference. Leveraging a hybrid system mitigates the need for additional carbon-based backup power sources; simplifies the logistics around providing diesel fuel, and is ultimately better for the environment.

In remote areas, where battery backup is typically used instead of fuel, a hybrid system is involved in charging the batteries. Providing both solar and wind energy offers a better opportunity to keep those batteries fully charged during calm, cloudy periods.

Businesses taking Advantage of Hybrid Renewable Energy

Telecommunications companies, with a need to keep remote transmission stations powered on a 24/7 basis, are one business taking advantage of these new hybrid renewable energy systems. Typically dependent on diesel fuel for backup, hybrid power allows these companies to save money. A market research firm predicts the number of remote stations going “off-grid” will increase from 13,000 in 2012 to 84,000 in 2020.

Verizon and T-Mobile are just two of the telecommunications companies expected to reap the benefits of hybrid renewable energy. One Verizon site testing a hybrid system saw savings of over $8,000 in one year.

If these advancements in renewable energy applications inspire you to start or further a career in engineering, be sure to contact the friendly people at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in the State of Washington, they are an excellent source for Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with them today!

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Inspiring Next Generation Engineers?

April 10th, 2013

There remains little doubt that as our society grows more dependent on technology, developing a new generation of engineers is paramount to ensuring the speed of technical growth continues to advance. But what are the best methods to inspire young, fledgling engineers — be they boys or girls. What follows is a collection of gifts sure to make understanding complex concepts fun and quite possibly inspire children into considering an education and career in engineering.

Engineering Books Aimed at Young Readers and More

There are a host of excellent books that do a great job of explaining technology for the budding engineer. Some even are an enjoyable read for those currently in the industry or anyone with an interest in science. One such book is 1001 Inventions That Changed the World, an absorbing tome chronicling inventions that held, or continue to hold, a profound influence on daily life in the worlds of medicine, transportation, electronics and more. In addition to providing inspiration for a young engineer, it also serves nicely as a reference volume for the entire family.

This world needs more women engineers. A book aimed at girls in grades fifth through eighth, Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women, offers a glimpse at a range of innovations developed by women. The book covers a variety of subjects, from the mother of The Monkees’, Mike Nesmith, inventing White-Out to a female engineer working for NASA, who created the “Space Bumper.” This is a title sure to invoke the possibilities for future female scientists.

Toys for the Engineers of the Future

How many current engineers received a LEGO set when they were younger? Is there a better toy to help youngsters discover the joy of devising and building their own contraptions? LEGO’s Builders of Tomorrow set features 650 colorful LEGO bricks that can used to construct nearly anything. It is aimed at children aged 4-10, a perfect age for inspiring a future engineer.

A book series with a small construction set aimed at young girls is GoldieBlox, developed by Debbie Sterling, a Stanford engineering graduate looking to foster the growth of more female engineers. A successful kickstarter funding campaign means GoldieBlox should be hitting the toy stores around the United States very shortly.

Inspiring the next generation of engineers is important, as is inspiring today’s current generation. Helping you find the best in engineering jobs, the Talley Group is known as one of the top engineering recruiters in the Seattle area. Schedule some time to talk with them today.

Solar Powered Backpacks

March 14th, 2013

Getting back to nature in the 21st Century doesn’t necessarily mean losing connectivity with today’s wired society. A perfect accessory for the hiker, that’s also a fan of technology, is a solar powered backpack. This innovative piece of engineering provides the necessary juice to power a decent array of electronic devices when truly on the go.

A Military Device Gets a Commercial Application

Like many other technological innovations, the solar powered backpack had a partial genesis in the military. In 2010, the U.S. Army announced it was deploying a device called the Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System (REPPS) in Afghanistan. The device features a 62-watt solar powered blanket that is stored inside a backpack.

While not a true solar powered backpack, REPPS earned accolades from soldiers in the field for its ability to quickly recharge batteries and other military electronics without depending on fossil fuels. The Army expects to roll out REPPS to other units after its successful Afghanistan trial.

The key point allowing REPPS to seamlessly transition into a commercial application was the success of the flexible solar panels used in the design. Solar backpacks on the market today typically contain one or two flexible monocrystalline silicon panels, capable of providing a lightweight, portable power source when combined with a battery pack.

Solar Backpacks in Use Today

In today’s market, solar backpacks typically range in cost from $75 to $300 depending on their wattage and other features. Some companies even offer portable solar powered laptop chargers for around $500. For the backpacks themselves, expect a power rating around 10 watts, with 5 hours of full sunlight needed to fully charge a smartphone.

Most units on the market feature a battery with a USB connector and special adapters for most of today’s popular portable smartphones, including the iPhone, Motorola Droid, Samsung Galaxy, as well as recent BlackBerry devices. Many backpacks also include AC and DC charging adapters to fully charge the battery before leaving the grid.

The solar powered backpack is another example of innovative engineering leading to a better enjoyment of life. The Talley Group is always on the lookout for innovative engineers. One of the leading engineering recruiting firms in the Northwest, make time to talk with them to send your career into the stratosphere.

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. Those days due to the limitations in technology, one had to choose to freelance in the field they specialised. Unlike now, how you can look up the 25 best online jobs that can help you make good money right from the comfort of your living space.

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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