Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

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.

Water/Wasterwater jobs in Washington State

February 21st, 2013

The Talley Group has several urgent needs for Electrical and Control Systems Engineers with experience in the Water/Wastewater industry for its Washington State locations.  Current job titles include: Project Manager, Project Engineer, Sr. Electrical Engineer and Sr. Controls Systems Engineer.  All are direct placement positions with well established companies offering competitive salary ranges, outstanding benefits and relocation assistance.  If interested in learning more about these opportunities, please contact Matt Sawicki at  Job details are as follows:



  • Experience with 4.16kV and 12.47kV substation power systems equipment including transformers, circuit breakers, conductors, protective relays, substation automation (SCADA) and power system analysis software such as SKM.
  • Water/waste-water experience and a power and control background below 600V is a strong plus.
  • Minimum requirements include a BSEE
  • 10 years of related industry experience
  • Washington State PE license a plus
  • Strong project management, business development, leadership, communication and interpersonal skills are essential.



  • Industrial power and controls experience preferably with water/waste water systems
  • experience with 480V power distribution; motor control including VFD’s; lighting; PLC’s; SCADA; relay control logic; and process instrumentation.
  • Minimum requirements include BSEE degree
  • 10+ years of related consulting experience developing design plans and specifications.
  • WA PE license (or ability to obtain within 6- months)
  • Strong control system focus, troubleshooting, communication and interpersonal skills are essential.



  • BS in engineering related to Electrical, Control Systems, Chemical or related field.
  • 7-10 years working as a Project Manager in an Electrical Controls environment.
  • Ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects at one time.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work with internal teams and external customer.
  • Well rounded technically to understand the software, hardware and programming requirements of the work.


Effectively manage the complete project lifecycle for 10-15 electrical controls projects at any one given time.

Once project is assigned, handle the following:

  • Meet with estimators and learn the scope and definition of the work to be done.
  • Handle all contract administration with the customer.  Get customer all necessary PO’s, contracts, credentials of engineers, etc.
  • Build project plans and put together forecasts.  Completely lay out the job based on fixed dates and timelines and review overall scope of the job of the job as to how many hours will be involved in each department to finalize the ship date of the project.
  • Complete a budget forecast assessing all the quotes made and what the actual will be.
  • Define schedule and tasks for project teams to execute on.  Work with sales/estimating team to understand their bid and who they had in mind to assign to the project.
  • Work with engineering team to help, create the BOM’s and instruments design.
  • Participate in bi-weekly updates analysis of dollars out on a job.
  • Manage the schedule of each job.
  • Provide monthly updated forecast & actuals to COO.
  • Manage the HW submittal design process with the client.  Respond to questions or projections from reviewing engineer.
  • Manage expectations of the customer and their interpretation of outlined specifications created in the original estimate.
  • Manage the purchase process.  Assist in purchasing negotiations. Transmit all necessary data to vendors when making purchases.
  • Write letters of intent to lock in pricing for delivery timeline of the job.
  • Review materials received and get necessary documentation into shop for fabrication.
  • Oversee the creation of documents necessary to ship out final product.  Manage the production of OEM manuals for customer.
  • Coordinate with service group to get the project up and running.  Handle any issues that come up onsite at time of delivery and install.


The Project Engineer is responsible for the engineering, design, integration, programming, and troubleshooting of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Process Instrumentation, Human Machine Interfaces (HMI), SCADA & Telemetry Systems, and Industrial Networks for systems controlling a wide variety of industrial applications including; water and wastewater plants, fish hatcheries, public transit systems, and power plants. This person will also ensure accuracy and completeness of associated technical documentation and support custom panel fabrication and field startup and commissioning processes.


  • Bachelor’s Degree and three or more years’ experience designing, installing, commissioning, and troubleshooting industrial controls systems to include PLCs, OIT/HMI’s, VFD’s, and industrial networks (specifically Ethernet, Controlnet, Devicenet, and Modbus/Modbus+) preferred.
  • Strong working knowledge with control system troubleshooting and tuning skills, experience with Ladder Logic and IEC programming of PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), and knowledge of Process Control.
  • Ability to use electrical test equipment, troubleshoot electrical problems, and be familiar with National Electrical Code (NEC), UL508A design and construction, wiring in Hazardous Areas and related regulations, standards and practices.
  • Experience with iFix, Wonderware, Panelview, RS logix, RS View, AutoCAD, Visual Basic, Allen-Bradley Controllogix and Modicon Quantum PLC hardware is preferred.
  • Ability to plan, implement and document structured programming is essential.
  • Knowledge of process instrumentation, control theory and various types of control systems, data acquisition, and industrial data communication coupled with experience working with industrial process controls, IT / networking processes and general analog and digital electronics required.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication skills and teamwork skills required.


  • Develop electrical controls design by researching, analyzing, selecting, and applying electric controls engineering concepts, approaches, techniques, and criteria including panel layouts, distributed control systems, Operator Interface Terminals (OITs), Programmable Logic
  • Controllers (PLCs), Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA)
  • Adapting and modifying electrical controls engineering options
  • Developing and evaluating new electrical controls engineering architectures and algorithms
  • Preparing layout drawings, schematics, and wiring diagrams; collaborating with related engineering design teams
  • Evaluating components, materials, and suppliers; identifying and resolving design integration/interface issues
  • Determining and establishing design specifications.
  • Develop PLC and SCADA programming with an emphasis on Rockwell/Allen-Bradley, Modicon and Siemens in an industrial automation environment. This includes; documentation of programs, implementation, start-up and support.


Matt Sawicki


Piping Designer positions in Washington State

January 4th, 2013

The Talley Group is currently seeking Piping Designers with Oil & Gas and Bentley AutoPlant experience for Washington State.  We currently have 5 long term contract positions available for immediate hire.


  • 5+ years experience in process pipe design in hydrocarbon service, including layout, production piping, and checking. Strong communication, organization, and computer skills (Microsoft software).
  • Proficient in AutoCAD and Bentley AutoPlant – 3D modeling design experience in Bentley AutoPlant a plus.
  • Applicant should be motivated, have good analytical skills, and enjoy working in a challenging team environment.
  • Field trips to job sites (local and/or remote) will be required, so applicant must be open to travel and remote site assignments.
  • Able to provide project design on small to medium projects ($50K-$250K) from conception through detailed design.
  • Works closely with the Project Manager and/or Engineer during all phases of a project.
  • Can lead the design effort for a component of a large complex project (i.e., when reporting to a Senior Designer).
  • Demonstrates ability to design retrofits in congested operating areas.
  • Finished product meets all safety in design requirements and is easily operable and maintainable.
  • Maintains an excellent understanding of AutoCAD, or similar software.


Duties involve all aspects of process piping design, including:

  • Equipment and Piping layout
  • Responsibilities include producing all documents and drawings required to:
  • Fabricate pipe spools
  • Purchase materials
  • Assemble piping systems

If interested in getting more details regarding these and many other positions, please contact:

Matt Sawicki


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!

Are Engineering Certifications Worth It?

November 8th, 2012

The engineering industry is open with many possible opportunities, but it is still a highly competitive field. If you are looking to change positions or move up in your own organization, engineering certifications can help.

Certifications can take time, and off-the-clock studying and work, but the general consensus from human resource professionals is that the effort taken to acquire an advanced certification is worth it.

Engineering certificates are a way to diversify yourself from the crowd, as well as to validate your professional skill. Certifications measure you higher in the engineering field against colleagues that may not have them.

The goal of a certification is to define your expertise and acknowledge your individual abilities in your field. They cannot replace a degree or professional license, but add value to your current resume and level of expertise. Some of the best reasons for attaining a professional certification include:

  • Increased marketability
  • Showcase of knowledge
  • Proof of credibility
  • Mark of respect

In a survey given by, 100% of participants preferred engineering certifications when hiring for new positions and for internal promotions. These certifications are guarantees that an employee has great knowledge in their preferred sector, and sets a high standard for the measurement of employee skill.

Engineering certifications can cover an array of topics including thermal system design, computer-aided manufacturing and applied mechanics. Common certificate programs include:

  • Advanced material mechanics
  • Convection heat
  • Stress analysis
  • Integrated manufacturing systems
  • Advanced control systems
  • Finite element analysis

If you are looking for an organization to go to that provides these certifications, there are many that offer product and personnel certifications. Product certification assures that an applicable American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standard is fulfilled. Personnel certifications provide a uniform standard for evaluating professional knowledge. Many can be attained through the ASME. The ASME has certified more than 6,000 manufacturers in 7 countries and serves as the standard for the industry.

Contact The Talley Group for the best positions in the engineering industry and to be represented as a top candidate.

Test Engineer II

September 21st, 2012

At The Talley Group, we specialize in the recruitment of engineers and related staff for clients ranging in size from small firms to Fortune 500 companies.

We are currently seeking three Test Engineers (levels I, II, III) for Everett, WA.  These are direct placement opportunities with a stable organization offering a competitive salary range, outstanding benefits and relocation assistance.  The ideal candidates should have a strong working knowledge of analog systems.

• Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (EE, EET). 3-10 years technical experience in manufacturing and systems design.
• Understanding of analog and digital circuitry design. Strong analog experience is the key for this position.
• Written and verbal communication skills.
• Project management skills.
• VB, Java, LabView programming languages.
• Excellent troubleshooting and problem solving techniques.
• Test system design and execution.
• Metrology and systems design

• Design new production test systems for company products. Responsibilities will include: coordinating, performing, and documenting tests which cover performance verification, TUR analysis, hardware and software design, process metrology, resource management, DFT, and working with design teams adhering to cost, schedule, and performance objectives.
• Support the needs of sustaining engineering in the transition of new products from NPI engineering into manufacturing. The engineer will be responsible for the continuous improvement, robust systems design, yields, productivity, and sustainability of test systems. Documentation and training for sustaining engineer on all new test systems.
• Provide engineering support for production to achieve quality, cost, and delivery goals.
• Propose and implement design changes to improve product performance and manufacturability.
• Management of cross-functional team to assure that test systems are delivered on schedule.
• Perform analysis of alternate components; recommend alternate components or design changes.
• Review and evaluate new product design to determine calibration specifications, functional and/or environmental test requirements.
• Data analysis to determine root cause and corrective action to help drive quality initiatives
• Direct the work of other engineers, and perform other related duties as assigned.
• Occasional travel.
• Provide leadership and input to the design team.

For more information on this position and The Talley Group, please visit

Think only high-tech companies employ graduates with your skills? Think again.

August 13th, 2012

Engineers know how to problem solve. Employers are extremely attracted to such a skill. Because of this, you have an ability to attract all sorts of companies, not just technology and engineering firms.

If you are a computer engineer, information technology jobs in all sorts of arenas can be extremely appealing. You can be autonomous, working as your own department at places like nonprofits or financial or health agencies. People will depend on you and give you more credit, as you may be one of very few with technological knowledge, instead of one of many.

Engineers as Problem Solvers

“The ability to solve complex problems is very attractive to a variety of companies,” said Robin Hammond, director of Career Services at Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, Arizona State University. She used the financial industry as an example:

 “Companies in this sector are always trying to make internal processes more efficient and more effective. Engineers are rigorous problem solvers, highly analytical, and proficient in math and quantitative skills. These attributes are key competencies for such companies as American Express, Goldman Sachs and U-Haul, to name a few.”

“Those with engineering degrees are also highly recruited at universities because companies see these candidates as potentially great leaders,” Hammond said.

Engineers as Data Organizers

Because of the intense mathematical background required for engineers, many companies take a liking to them for their ability to read and organize data. Today, almost every company has lists and piles of numbers and information. Engineers can make sense of such information, providing an organization with great knowledge and insight.

Universities, the government, healthcare organizations, corporations, utilities, contractors and a multitude of other industries value such assets in their organizations.

No Limit to Jobs

Nowadays, good job opportunities are not always available in every industry. However, academics are encouraging students to go into engineering for the excellent job security because of the variety of ways engineers can work for companies.

Jim Turnquist, director of Career Services at Michigan Technological University notes how industries you wouldn’t think of, like investment and insurance firms, use engineers:

“Investment firms hire engineers to do research on potential investments and new products that could affect the stock market (for instance, alternative energy, mining, new manufacturing methods),” he said. “And insurance companies hire them to investigate accidents, fires, and other damages to facilities. Also, engineers may investigate a potential customer to evaluate their facilities to determine if they want to insure their operation.”

Although you may have an engineering degree, you must continue to develop your service and communication skills. You will still need to work with others, and even though jobs are available, organizations believe a well-rounded individual is still the best employee.

Contact The Talley Group for a variety of engineering positions. 

Defying Gravity: One Man’s Quest to Develop ZBLAN Glass in Space

April 26th, 2012

How would you feel about having your product launched into space?

That is exactly what Dr. Martin Castillo from Queensland University of Technology’s science and engineering faculty has to look forward to. Dr. Castillo is a researcher for the university’s micro-gravity drop tower and has partnered with the United States Air Force to fund research in the development of ZBLAN glass.

This special glass will also be the first QUT project to be launched into space.

ZBLAN glass is the most stable fluoride glass known and is most commonly used to make into optical fiber. The advantage of ZBLAN over other glass, such as silica, is superior infrared transmittance.

According to Castillo, the glass contains a variety of heavy metals that upon cooling “create internal stresses which lead to crystallization of the material, an undesired property for glass.”

‘True ZBLAN glass fibers can only be made in the absence of gravity,” Castillo said.

Working with the material in space allows for the absence of gravity and the ability to overcome the crystallization issues.

The Importance of ZBLAN Glass

We live in a telecommunications whirlwind. However fast our connections are now, we are always looking for faster, better, stronger products and networks.

The glass could revolutionize the way we make fibers for telecommunications and medical imaging tools. Dr. Castillo has found that there is little to no signal loss occurring within the material.

“Signals would be able to be transmitted over much greater distances than in current silicate glass fibers,” he said. “The result of this is potentially eliminating power consuming amplifiers and repeaters while significantly increasing bandwidth.

The glass has been made in several places, but no one has yet figured out how to form it into a fiber.

Dr. Castillo will first conduct research at QUT’s micro-gravity drop tower in an experiment that will see the glass undergo ~2.1 seconds of microgravity over a 21.3 meter drop inside a drag shield.

Dr Castillo, who has previously worked for space programs in the United States and Japan, will then board NASA’s parabolic flight plane, dubbed the ‘vomit comet’, before launching the project into space via a USAF suborbital satellite by mid next year.

“In order to stay at the leading edge of the synthesis of specialized glass, all traditional methods have to be abandoned,” Dr Castillo said.

Are you ready to find your dream engineering job? Contact The Talley Group today!

Human-Faced Robots Are Now a Reality

January 5th, 2012

Not even the Jetsons had one of these.

German and Japanese researchers have created a new robot that not only has a human face but can replicate realistic human expressions.

The new “Mask-bot” has a smooth, featureless face, onto which its creators can project any number of realistic human expressions. It can use any 2-D photo of a human face to create a lively 3-D face of its own, one that is capable of looking happy or sad, quiet or loud. It can also become a human avatar by projecting real-time video of a person’s face onto itself during teleconferences, or perhaps helping distant family or friends connect.

“Mask-bot will influence the way in which we humans communicate with robots in the future,” said Gordon Cheng, a neuroscientist at the Institute for Cognitive Systems at Technical University Munich in Germany.

Mask-bot doesn’t quite avoid the “uncanny valley” feeling caused by faces that only look partially human. Still, projecting realistic faces may be much easier compared with creating a fully robotic face that would require many motors to simulate different facial expressions.

This type of robot builds on a concept pioneered by Walt Disney, who created exhibits in his “Haunted Mansion” ride by projecting the scary faces of actors onto featureless busts from the front. Instead, Mask-bot researchers installed a small, strong projector inside the robot head that beams a human face onto the back of the mask.

The most immediate use of Mask-bot could arise during video conferences, where the device could be used as an alternative to having people watch one another on screens. “With Mask-bot, you can create a realistic replica of a person that actually sits and speaks with you at the conference table,” said Takaaki Kuratate, an engineer at Technical University Munich. “You can use a generic mask for male and female, or you can provide a custom-made mask for each person.”

Mask-bot can create its own face based on computer algorithms that select the best facial expressions from real human faces recorded through motion capture. And it can already speak anything typed by a keyboard in English and Japanese, with German next on the list. Emotion software helps lend the expression and voice nuances to indicate emotions.

But making Mask-bot the face for a semi-intelligent robot remains tricky, because it can’t yet interact normally through human conversation. It remains limited to certain responses based on fixed programming.

That has not stopped the German-Japanese team from pushing ahead. They are already planning their next-generation robot, which would have a mask, projector and computer control system all in one package.

And as for more personal usage? “These systems could soon be used as companions for older people who spend a lot of time on their own,” Kuratate suggested.

Mask-bot is the result of collaboration with AIST, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan.

How Social Media is Changing How Employers Find Talent

November 17th, 2011

While some companies still sort through piles of resumes,  and referrals still rank as the top means by which to bring on new talent, more and more companies are realizing that social media is now an important tool for identifying potential talent. If you’re looking for the perfect hire, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find that person through a social media platform.

By engaging in social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, employers can target the talent they need and allow potential employees to learn valuable information about their businesses in a more transparent way than ever before.

Here are 5 tips for using social media to find potential hires:

1. Understand Their Demographics

Keep in mind the demographics of the most popular social media sites so you can target the right candidates. On LinkedIn, where users create online resumes within their profiles, users tend to be professionals with higher incomes. A high percentage of users are 55 and older. Twitter has the most diverse group of users in terms of race, income level and occupation, and Facebook’s demographics are starting to mirror the demographics of the U.S. The fastest-growing demographic on Facebook is women aged 55 and older.

2. Create a Centralized Platform

Create two pages on Facebook: a page for your business and a separate page strictly for recruitment purposes. This second page can serve as a centralized platform for your social media efforts. On your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, direct job-related inquiries back to your Facebook recruitment page, where potential hires can see videos, photos, job postings and other information about your company. There are some applications that allow candidates to apply for a position through a social media site. If you’d rather receive applications through your company’s Web site, make sure you post a link that takes candidates directly to that page.

3. Be Proactive

Finding the right talent for your business isn’t just about screening people out based on the content you don’t like on their profiles. Screen people in, instead.

LinkedIn has an “Advanced” search box that allows you to search profiles based on keywords, industry, company and other criterion. If you want to go beyond LinkedIn’s free basic account, it offers three levels of paid accounts that provide features like organizing candidates’ profiles into folders and seeing more search results.

Facebook and Twitter have simpler search functions than LinkedIn, but you can find potential candidates by typing in the name of an industry, job title or university into the search bars.

4. Build Trust

Social media bridges the gap between the employer and the potential employee, giving candidates the opportunity to learn more about the employer and its brand.

Listen to what your audience is saying about you online. If you understand what people are saying, you’re going to be able to respond better to their questions. Establish user-to-user trust instead of just brand-to-user trust.

5. Allocate Time and Resources

Social media should only make up about 15% to 20% of your hiring efforts – whichever makes the most sense for your business. Social media shouldn’t replace traditional recruitment but should be a supplement.

A good rule of thumb is that if you have five employees who you trust to help with recruitment, ask each person to take 10 minutes a day on social media sites to hunt for potential candidates.

Is social media just a fad?

While social media is a fad that could pass with developments in future technology, what’s not a fad is the fact that social media has created a marketplace where employees can have a real discussion with future employers, instead of a static one. That more transparent avenue of communication is the evolution in recruiting that’s here to stay.

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