Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

Questions all Civil Engineer Candidates Should be Prepared to Answer During an Interview

March 10th, 2015

So, you’ve got an interview for a civil engineer position at one of the top companies in your area. Congratulations are in order. Before you can truly celebrate, however, you need to perform well when under the gun. You want to earn a second interview, or better yet, a job offer.

With that in mind, here are a few lines of questioning all civil engineer candidates need to feel comfortable with during their interview.

Expect to Detail the Tangible Engineering Achievements in your Career

Before the interview, spend some time reviewing previous projects from your work history while focusing on the innovative engineering solutions you either derived or helped to implement. If your resume is filled with these career examples – as it should be – the interview offers you the opportunity to go into more detail. You can illustrate how you’ll make a positive difference for their company when on the job.

Hiring Managers Want to Know How You’ll Work within a Team

Teamwork is very important in civil engineering, as is the ability to deal with clients or the public at large. Expect some questions aimed at finding out how well you work as part of a team, as well as your general communication skills as it applies to handling clients. Additionally, you can expect to be asked about the organizational structures you’ve been a part of throughout your career.

An Affinity for Technology Remains Important

Interviewers will want to understand your grasp of the state of the art when it comes to technology. This includes your comfort level with engineering software, as well as the mobile apps many engineers use while in the field. Civil engineering is a rapidly changing world, and companies want to ensure you will always strive to learn new things.

If you need any additional insight into interview preparation for a civil engineering position, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington, we are also a great source of Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us at your earliest convenience.

Top Skills Needed to Become a Petroleum Engineer

March 4th, 2015

If you are interested in becoming an engineer in the oil and gas industry, you’ll need to make sure you boast the right skill set to be a success. Petroleum engineering remains a lucrative field, even considering the recent downturn in oil prices. The best engineers in this discipline typically command salaries in the six-figure range.

Are you still interested in becoming a petroleum engineer? What follows is a look at some of the skills you’ll need to bring to the table before beginning your job search.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering is a Must

Before embarking on a quest to find a position in petroleum engineering, you need to make sure your education level is up to snuff. A bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline is a must, and hiring managers tend to give preference to candidates with a degree in petroleum engineering or chemical engineering.

An engineering degree ensures that you’ve learned the math and science skills necessary to thrive as an engineer. Expect to study calculus and trigonometry as well as biology and physics. Petroleum engineering programs also focus on geology and other natural science coursework relevant for a professional life in oil and gas exploration and extraction.

Useful Skills for the Petroleum Engineer

In addition to the skills learned as part of an engineering degree program, petroleum engineers also benefit from other “softer” skills. It is important that you can thrive outside of an office environment, as many engineering in the oil and gas industry spend significant portions of their career in the field. The ability to work well with others is also vital considering that teamwork plays a large factor in the success of many petroleum engineering projects.

Analytical and creative skills also benefit the petroleum engineer, as problem solving is a vital aspect of professional success in the oil and gas industry.

If you are interested in exploring your options for becoming a petroleum engineer more closely, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, and a great source of Seattle engineering jobs, our recruiters can help ensure your career gets off to a great start. Schedule some time to chat with us today!

Is Coal the Fuel of the Future?

February 25th, 2015

As the nation continues on a pathway towards energy independence, that venerable old standby — coal — is rumored to be on its way out as a source for power generation. But those stories about coal’s demise may actually be premature as engineers continue to devise new methods to reduce the emissions created when burning coal to generate electricity. Still, mining and transporting the commodity carries a large environmental cost.

Will engineering innovations allow coal to be the fuel of the future, or will its cheap cost cause developing nations to ignore the environmental risk? Let’s take a closer look.

Engineering a Cleaner Burning Coal?

A variety of engineering innovations are being leveraged with the hopes of reducing coal’s carbon footprint. Scrubbing emissions is one common technique used to lessen pollution from coal-fired power plants. This is very expensive, however, with a newer $5.2 billion power plant in Mississippi producing electricity at a cost of $6,800 per kilowatt. Simply put, this is the most expensive power plant ever built.

Other techniques like pulverization and gas extraction also require too much investment to make clean coal economically viable for most of the world.

Coal Still Expected to Be Used Decades from Now

Undaunted by the risks of climate change, much of the world relies heavily on coal as a power source, even as mining becomes a more difficult and expensive process. The Federal Energy Information Administration predicts that the United States will still generate 32 percent of its electricity from coal, which is only down 10 percent from today.

Even as other wealthy countries — including China — are hoping to ramp up their use of other energy sources, India and others on the African continent looking for the most inexpensive solution, are expected to increase their coal consumption over the next few decades. This creates an opportunity for engineers to make green energy options more feasible from an economic standpoint.

If improving the carbon footprint of power generation is something that inspires you, furthering a career in energy engineering makes sense. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in Washington State and a great source of Seattle engineering jobs, put The Talley Group on your contact list. Make it a point to meet with us as soon as you can!

Career Outlook for Environmental Engineers in 2015

February 19th, 2015

With the New Year in full force, interested environmental engineers probably are wondering what the job outlook looks like for their chosen profession. The continued recovery from the Great Recession combined with an increased emphasis on green initiatives to combat global warming means career prospects are great.

In short, now is the time if you are interested in exploring new opportunities in environmental engineering, or if you want to actually enter the field. Here is a closer look at the career outlook for environmental engineers.

The Environmental Engineering Field Continues to Grow

If considering a move into environmental engineering, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers some hope for a successful career transition. According to the BLS, the number of environmental engineers is expected to grow by 15 percent over the decade from 2012 to 2022. Engineers in the field enjoy a median salary of $80,890.

In this profession, you can expect to spend many of your working hours devising, developing, and deploying a variety of solutions aimed at solving environmental problems. This can include systems for recycling, pollution control, waste disposal and more.

Educational and Skills Required for Environmental Engineers

A four-year engineering degree combined with skills in mathematics and analysis are a must for fledgling engineers. Additional coursework and licensing may be a requirement in some states to work as an environmental engineer. If you ever want to move into management, an advanced degree and exemplary communication skills are a must.

Those still interested in the field, but without the full math skills required of engineering should explore working as an environmental specialist or even an environmental engineering technician. The job prospects for both professions are also as promising as those for environmental engineers, albeit with a smaller average yearly salaries. In addition, most technician positions only require a two-year degree.

If helping the environment is something to inspire you to take your career to the next level, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in Washington State, we are a great resource for Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us at your earliest convenience!

Soft Skills to look for when hiring a Civil Engineer

February 10th, 2015

When searching for a civil engineer to add to your team, his full range of technical abilities can’t begin to describe how they’ll perform when on the job. Of course, engineering skills remain vital for any candidate, but work ethic and communication abilities also play an important role in the success of any engineer. Hiring managers need to determine and analyze a candidate’s soft skills – weighing those nearly equally with their technical acumen.

So what soft skills are important for a civil engineer? Let’s take a closer look.

Excellent Communication Ability is a must for Civil Engineers

One aspect of civil engineering that is highly important, compared to other engineering disciplines, involves public interaction. The practice is called civil engineering, after all. As such, excellent communication skills — both verbal and written — are a must for top-notch civil engineers.

Pay close attention to a candidate’s verbal communication skills during an interview. Try to picture them meeting with local government personnel during an important project. Additionally, note the writing quality in their cover letter and any thank you notes you receive during the hiring process.

Look for Clues about their Work Ethic

A robust work ethic is another soft skill that separates the top civil engineers from the pack. Notice the tangible work achievements detailed on their résumé, and ask them to further explain their efforts on these projects during the interview. The ability to do whatever it takes for the completion of a successful project denotes a special candidate.

Leadership and Teamwork are Vital

Even if you aren’t hiring for an engineering manager role, make it a point to explore a candidate’s potential leadership capabilities as well as their comfort level with collaborative project work. Grooming a top-notch civil engineer hire as a future manager remains a great opportunity for your organization.

If your company needs any additional advice on hiring and developing top notch civil engineers, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As a leading Seattle engineering staffing agency, we can help your company to grow and achieve success. Schedule a meeting with us today!

Are Composite Planes the Future?

February 5th, 2015

Many industries are looking for ways to improve their carbon footprints, and the world of aviation is no exception. Lighter aircraft, leveraging composite materials, is one way aeronautic engineers are helping the environment through their innovative research. One study predicts that if the world’s entire stock of aircraft used composite materials, it would reduce carbon emissions by a factor of 15 percent.

Let’s take a closer look at how some engineers are researching the use of composites in aircraft design to save fuel and ultimately reduce carbon.

British Universities study Life Cycle of Composite Airplanes

That 15 percent reduction in carbon emissions noted above comes from the results of a study conducted by the UK-based Universities of Sheffield, Cambridge and University College London. Researchers analyzed data from a comprehensive life cycle assessment of composite aircraft, including the Boeing Dreamliner 787 and Airbus 350. This data was then extrapolated to take into account a worldwide fleet.

The original assessment covered everything from a plane’s manufacture through its normal usage period, and finally its disposal. The study-derived data was compared to standard aluminum-based aircraft models. While emissions are higher for composite planes during their construction, this is more than made up by their 20 percent fewer carbon emissions during flight compared to aluminum planes.

Professor in Advanced Materials Technologies at the University of Sheffield, Alma Hodzic, commented on their findings. “This study shows that the fuel consumption savings with composites far outweigh the increased environmental impact from their manufacture. Despite ongoing debates within the industry, the environmental and financial savings from composites mean that these materials offer a much better solution,” said Hodzic.

The aircraft industry as a whole hopes to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent by the end of this decade. The use of aircraft created with composite materials is one of the methods that will help achieve this goal.

If innovations in aircraft design inspire you to further your career in the world of aviation, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in Washington State, we remain a great source for Seattle aeronautic engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us today!

Big Data and Engineering: How Can You Use All of Your Information?

January 28th, 2015

One of the biggest trends in information technology revolves around the concept of “Big Data,” essentially large data stores driven by any number of sources — social media and any variety of scientific processes being some of the largest. Deriving actionable information out of the mass of Big Data has led to a growth in the importance of data analytics by creating a new profession known as a “data scientist.”

But what about leveraging the promise of Big Data within the practice of engineering? Let’s take a look at how some engineering professionals are making use of massive amounts of data in their jobs.

Big Data helping the Process of Mining Engineering

Mining engineers in Australia are taking advantage of the Big Data generated by the mining equipment used in the country. Faced with information overload from this data, some companies are using remote operation centers where data analysts spend their days searching for the meaningful information contained within this real-time data.

One scenario where Big Data is making a difference involves improving the time of the haul cycle where trucks pick up and deliver freshly-mined coal (or other minerals). Analysts were able to determine the issues causing trucks to be delayed. Speeding up the haul cycles by just one minute allows a fleet of 50 trucks to carry an additional 36,500 loads each year!

Improving Engineering Design with Big Data

Wired Magazine recently noted that engineers and designers are taking advantage of human behavior — translated into data points in a Big Data store — to improve their design models before the costly process of prototyping. The valuable information stored within the data offers additional context, improving the designs themselves while speeding up the creative process and helping products reach the marketplace more quickly.

If these engineering innovations derived from Big Data inspire you to take your career to the next level, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the leading engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we remain a great source for Seattle engineering jobs. Make it a point to schedule some time with us today.

Environmental Engineering Processes to limit Pollution in 2015

January 22nd, 2015

Whatever your opinion on global warming or climate change, there’s no denying that limiting pollution is a good thing for the environment. One of main reasons talented engineers move into the world of environmental engineering is the hope that their innovative work benefits humankind as a whole.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some new initiatives aimed at reducing pollution over the next year and beyond.

MIT’s Mission 2015 to limit Industrial Pollution

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) continues to be one of this country’s leading educational institutions focused on science and engineering. MIT’s Mission 2015 hopes to develop solutions to meet the many challenges affecting the planet’s biodiversity including the reduction of industrial pollution. Mission 2015 recognizes that solutions to this complex problem involve a multi-faceted approach.

According to MIT, “any action plan to reduce industrial pollution will need to be tailored toward specific pollutants to work well and not pose undue risks on either the economy or the environment.” MIT’s plan focuses on the reduction of multiple types of industrial pollution at their source, while leveraging the U.S. Superfund model to clean up sites that are severely polluted.

Bloomberg launches 2015 Campaign for Clean Energy

The private sector is also hopping on this green energy bandwagon. Bloomberg Philanthropies is launching a plan to start green energy initiatives helping local, state, and national stakeholders implement the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

“With the price of clean power falling, and the potential costs of inaction on climate change steadily rising, the work of modernizing America’s power grid is both more feasible and urgent than ever. Pollution from power plants takes a terrible toll on public health, and it’s the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint. But smart investments can reduce it while also strengthening local economies,” said Michael R. Bloomberg.

Hopefully, these efforts from MIT and Bloomberg improve the environment while also spawning the economic development that helps the green energy movement expand.

If this work in environmental engineering inspires you to take your career to the next level, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we are a great source for Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us today!

How to encompass Solar Energy more as an Engineer and Organization

December 23rd, 2014

Solar energy is one form of environmental friendly power that remains on the upswing. Whatever your opinions on climate change, lessening the dependency on fossil fuels offers benefits that include energy independence as well as the typical advantages to becoming more “green.”

Recent advancements in solar power technology are making it more cost effective to implement at both the home and the business. Let’s take a closer look at how to better encompass the power of the sun by using solar energy.

Solar Power Farms popping up all over the United States

Commercial solar power farms are being implemented all over the United States. The Indianapolis International Airport is the home of the U.S.’s largest airport-based solar power farm. The airport recently saw an expansion that doubled the size of its solar power installation, which now stands at 151 acres capable of generating 31.7 million kilowatts of power — enough for 3,200 average-sized homes.

Airports are finding that leveraging unused space on their property offers a great opportunity for solar power farms, which become a revenue source for the airport. Denver’s international airport is also home to a large solar power farm. Forward-looking engineers need to step up to the plate and help similar solar installations take flight in their own town.

Making a Difference with Solar Power at the Residential Level

Many engineers are taking steps to use solar power at home, by installing panels that continue to drop in price and improve in efficiency. In Austin, Texas, a local energy company is offering credit to customers who make the investment in solar panels for their homes.

Austin Energy hopes that 55 percent of its energy generation will come from renewable sources by 2025. As such, the company is constructing a 600 megawatt solar energy generating plant, as well as a 450 megawatt wind facility. As solar power continues to become cheaper, engineers need to lead the way in showing how its implementation benefits all of us.

If you are interested in exploring a career in renewable energy, talk to the 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. Schedule a meeting with Talley today!

The Growing Environmental Engineering Job Market

December 17th, 2014

As the intellect and skills of environmental engineers continue to be leveraged to help battle climate change, one positive impact is the growth of the environmental engineering job market. If you are interested in this engineering discipline or even if you currently work in the field, now is the time to explore opportunities to make a vital difference both locally and on a larger scale.

With that in mind, let’s explore the surge in environmental engineering jobs a bit more closely.

The Green Engineering Job Scene transcends Disciplines

Green engineering initiatives offer hope for an improved environment and they are also providing lucrative opportunities for companies innovating in many areas of engineering. Grant Trump, president and chief executive of Calgary-based Environmental Careers Organization (ECO Canada), feels this is due to the importance of green engineering techniques transcending traditional engineering sectors.

“Environmental employment is cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary. We are the thread that links almost every industry sector in the Canadian economy, because almost every organization has environmental considerations,” said Trump.

Environmental Engineering Innovations abound in many Areas

Everything from waste water treatment to renewable energy benefits from the application of new engineering technology. This has created copious employment opportunities in many locations in the United States and Canada, including the Seattle area. Kathleen Lyons, editor of Green Job Idea Blog, remains bullish on the employment prospects of the environmental engineer.

“Employment in renewable energy, waste-water treatment, forestry and natural resources will grow, but so will adjunct areas such as finance, hospitality, building, skilled trades. In any industry there is an environmental twist. There is a green cast; a new view of the whole work environment. It’s a paradigm shift,” said Lyons.

In short, if you want a green-friendly engineering job, the market remains promising, so make it a point to edit your résumé and brush up on your interviewing skills!

Partnering with a top notch engineering staffing agency is a great call when looking for employment in any engineering sector. As one of the top employment agencies in Washington State, The Talley Group is a perfect source of Seattle green engineering jobs. Make it a point to talk with them today!

Follow us: