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.

Charles Parsons — A Mathematician by Trade

September 23rd, 2013

A mathematician by training and an engineer by trade, Charles Algernon Parsons earned his fame by inventing the steam turbine engine in the mid 1880s — an invention that would revolutionize ocean travel and merchant shipping, as well as naval warfare. His robust career is yet another example of the contributions of engineering to the world of human endeavor.

Charles Parsons — Childhood, Scholastic Accomplishments, and Early Career

Charles Parsons was born in 1854, the youngest of the six sons of famous English astronomer, William Parsons. A mathematical and mechanical engineering prodigy, Parsons and his brothers built their own 4-horsepower steam carriage when Charles was only 12. He parlayed that natural talent into a first class mathematics honors degree from Cambridge’s St. Jamescareer-in-engineeri College in 1877.

After serving an apprenticeship for a Newcastle-based engineering firm, Parsons joined Kitson and Company, located in Yorkshire, where he designed rocket torpedoes. In 1884, he became the Director of Electrical Equipment Development for Clarke, Chapman, and Company, a ship engine manufacturer located near Newcastle.

The Invention of the Steam Turbine Engine

While at Clarke, Chapman, and Company, Parsons developed a multi-stage turbine engine, using an innovative design the restricted the stream in each stage to derive the most kinetic energy possible. This engine allowed electricity to be generated at a much lower cost, revolutionizing shipping and ultimately other industries as well.

In 1889, he founded his own company, C.A. Parsons and Company to build these new turbo generators. Parsons’ turbine design also saw wide use in electricity generating stations. His crowning achievement was the ship, Turbina, which used three parallel-flow turbines able to reuse the steam. The ship reached speeds of over 34 knots, which was very fast for the time.

Parsons’ turbines saw wide use throughout the shipping fleets of the day, including the Titanic, and also became the industry standard for on-land electricity generation. Parsons was knighted in 1911 and died in 1931.

Charles Parsons’ career features the kind of innovation that inspires current and fledgling engineers to enter the practice. If you want to enhance your prospects in this rewarding field, talk to the experts at the Talley Group. One of the leading engineering staffing firms in the Seattle area — they can help supercharge your career.

Diversity in Engineering Education

September 12th, 2013

Diversity is important in all aspects of society, including the world of education. Even with the introduction of a variety of international educational programs tailored to encourage the participation of minorities, the percentages show that more could be taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

Trying to Foster Cultural Exchange at an International Level

Meaningful cultural exchange improves the process of education by introducing different perspectives and experiences. Increasing Diversity in International Careers: Economic Challenges and Solutions, a recent study from the Institute of International Education (IIE) reveals that more can be done to increase minority participation in these programs.

“Although an unprecedented 3.7 million students around the world currently cross international borders to obtain a higher education and an international experience, participation by American minority students in international education opportunities and in international careers has not witnessed a similar growth,” the IIE survey concluded.

Diversity Abroad is an organization formed to connect minority students and young professionals with overseas educational opportunities. Their founder, Andrew Gordon, agrees with the IIE study. “Ethnic and minority students and those with high financial needs aren’t participating in international programs in proportionate numbers. All students should have an opportunity to participate in education abroad programs, so the playing field will be more level upon graduation,” said Gordon.

Taking Advantage of the Available Scholarship Money

Significant scholarship money is available for diverse students looking to take advantage of these copious international education opportunities. The IIE administers The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, which is funded by the U.S. State Department. This program has awarded over 10,000 scholarships since 2001; largely for students involved in fields within the STEM disciplines.

IIE President Allan Goodman feels international education is a vital aspect of making a better planet. “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries. It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace,” said Goodman.

If you want to take advantage of these international educational opportunities to further your engineering career, be sure to talk to the experts at The Talley Group. One of the leading engineering recruiting companies in the Seattle area, they have the staff on hand to help you explore continuing your education and taking your career to the next level. If you are looking for a career in engineering, contact the Talley Group today.

A Path to Engineering Success

September 6th, 2013

It’s not surprising that an engineering degree from a well-regarded U.S. school puts your career on the path to success. Following up a Bachelors degree with a Masters — either in technology or a MBA — helps to supercharge your career prospects. It is important to take education seriously both at the beginning of and throughout your professional life.

Aspiring Engineers must do well in Math and Science in High School

It is vital that high school students perform well in their math and science classes if they expect to gain admission to a college engineering program. “Most universities, with the exception of smaller liberal arts colleges, feature a College of Engineering, which has separate admission criteria from other colleges within the university,” commented Peter Davos, the founder of Carian College Advisors.

Additionally, students need to score at least a 550 on the math portion of the SAT, or risk that their application to a college engineering program gets rejected. One major advantage of engineering programs at larger universities is their endowments lead to more money spent on the labs and other facilities that support the scientific learning process.

Does Getting a MBA make Sense for the Professional Engineer?

Many of you reading this are already a professional in the engineering field, and the days of worrying about SAT scores and college applications are long over. However, getting an advanced degree, like a MBA or something in engineering, can help jumpstart your career.

Most MBA programs require you to be actively working, with at least a few years of experience. References from your current employer definitely help the admission process, and in most cases you will need to pass the GMAT test, so those days of fretting over tests like the SAT and ACT aren’t completely over. An MBA paired with an active engineering career, positions you to take a leadership or executive role in the engineering industry.

If you are looking to advance your engineering career; maybe finding a company willing to sponsor furthering your education, make a plan to talk to the experts at The Talley Group. One of the leading engineering staffing companies in the Seattle area, they have the staff on hand that will help you further your career, whatever path it takes.

Breaking News — Stay Current with the Power Engineering App

July 24th, 2013

Those of you interested in the keeping a finger on the pulse of the power engineering industry need to download the Power Engineering app from POWER-GEN International. Essentially a mobile version of Power Engineering Magazine, this app — available for both the iOS and Android platforms — provides an excellent resource for all things related to power generation: articles, videos, and more.

Power Engineering for the iPhone, iPad, and Android Features

  • Watch the Latest Power Industry Newscasts
  • Save and Share your Favorite Magazine Articles
  • Social Network Integration: Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Review Event Floorplans and Sessions
  • Research Event Exhibitor Profiles
  • Available as a Free Download for both iOS and Android

The app’s content is curated by the editorial staff from Power Engineering magazine. The magazine has covered the operations, maintenance, engineering, construction and development of all types of large-scale power generation across North America for the last 110 years.

Power Engineering App also Provides Coverage of Solar and Nuclear Power

In addition to traditional power engineering, the app’s content covers both articles and conference material from emerging energy sources, including nuclear, solar, and other renewable options. It includes convenient access to information on the over 1,200 companies that exhibited at the POWER-GEN International, NUCLEAR POWER International, Coal-Gen and Renewable Energy World North America Conference & Expo events.

The Power Engineering app regularly receives updates as new conferences occur. Anyone currently working in power engineering or with an interest in the industry will find the app to be an invaluable resource for news, information as well as the latest and greatest in products and practices.

Power Engineering magazine has been in business since 1896, and their smartphone app is an excellent example of how technology makes it easier to conveniently access a cornucopia of industry expertise and information.

If you are not a regular reader of Power Engineering, see if your favorite publication has a mobile or online presence. Staying current with news in your industry is essential during your job search.

If this app inspires you to take a closer look at the practice of power engineering or engineering in general, make sure to give the folks at The Talley Group a call or email. As one of the leading engineering staffing companies in the Northwestern United States, they have the expertise to help you further your career.

An Engineer Named Bush who was way Ahead of his Time

July 3rd, 2013

There was a Bush involved with the Presidency long before those two named George lived in the White House. Vannevar Bush effectively served his country as a de facto Presidential science advisor throughout the mid 20th Century. He played an important role in the genesis of the Manhattan Project and headed up the United States Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during World War 2.

His long career proves how engineering work remains a vital part of society throughout history.

The Beginnings of Vannevar Bush

Bush was born in 1890 in Everett, Massachusetts. He graduated from Tufts University in 1913 with both Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees. He followed up that schoolwork with a dual Doctorate in Engineering from both MIT and Harvard in 1917.

His early employment included a stint with the American Radio and Research Corporation (AMRAD) all while engaged in research work with the Electrical Engineering department at MIT. Soon after that, Bush co-invented a device called the S-Tube which enabled the nascent radio technology of the time to run off of AC power. The company Bush formed to market the S-Tube grew to become Raytheon.

After some innovative work designing analog computers, Bush was named a Vice-President and Dean of the Engineering school at MIT in 1932. But his most important work was soon to come.

Bush during World War 2

In 1938, with the world on the brink of war, Bush was named to the fledgling National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a predecessor to NASA. After becoming chairman of this new organization and soon after the German success in Western Europe in 1940, Bush reached out to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with the idea for the National Defense Research Committee, hoping to improve the collaboration between the military and civilian sides of engineering.

The next year, FDR created the OSRD, naming Bush as its chairman. Both the NDRC and OSRD served a vital role during World War 2, with the latter organization helping with the initial development of the Manhattan Project. Many of the engineering feats that helped the Allies win World War 2 were projects led by Vannevar Bush, who continued to serve his country and practice of engineering until his death in 1974.

The rich career of Vannevar Bush should inspire all engineers. If you want to take your engineering work to the next level, talk to the staff at The Talley Group. One of the leading engineering recruiting firms in the Seattle area; they can help you be the best engineer possible.

Solving Energy Challenges — Lessons Learned in Nuclear

June 19th, 2013

While nuclear power has the potential to solve many of the nation’s energy challenges, the risks are still wide-ranging. The disasters at the Japanese Fukushima reactor, the Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl still strike fear in many of the people responsible for making decisions on our energy future.

Nuclear engineers remain hard at work researching ways to make nuclear energy safer and a relevant part of any energy policy. They continue to apply the lessons learned at Fukushima and Chernobyl.

Engineers Devise System to Clean Contaminated Fukushima Water

A collection of engineers from the Washington-based company, AECOM, designed a system that helped to clean the contaminated water used to cool the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant. Kurion, the California company responsible for the project, choose AECOM to perform the engineering portion of the work.

They were able to design, build, and ship the system to Japan in five weeks; a similar project after Three-Mile Island took nearly 18 months to fully implement. Within the year after the tsunami hit the power plant, the Kurion system has cleaned over 36 million gallons of contaminated water.

Oregon State Engineers Develop a Nuclear Reactor that can’t Meltdown

The engineering students at Oregon State University developed a reactor they believe won’t meltdown, with the added benefit of a 30-40 percent improvement in energy output resulting in only half as much radioactive waste.

“You can’t get the thing hot enough to melt the core down so you’re really limiting the potential for these types of traumatic accidents that we’ve seen in the past with nuclear power,” said Brian Woods, an associate professor of nuclear engineering at OSU. Woods hopes the technology reaches a marketable state within the next 20 to 30 years.

Engineers once again prove that their innovation and ingenuity can make the world a better place. Do you want to improve the world through your engineering career? Talk the people at The Talley Group; they are one of the leading engineering staffing companies in the Seattle area, and they can help you reach your career goals.

Engineers Can Solve Third World Problems — Even Global Warming

May 10th, 2013

As climate change continues to be an important topic, there remains little doubt that engineering plays a relevant part in mitigating the effects of Global Warming. From students at the University of Wisconsin winning first place in the SAE 2013 Clean Snowmobile Challenge, to geo-engineers poised to change the climate at a global scale, engineers remain at the center of innovation.

Engineering Badgers Win 2013 Clean Snowmobile Challenge

It is obvious that the combustion engine is a factor in contributing to pollution all over the planet. Any engineering attempt to lessen this kind of environmental damage remains vital. Students from the University of Wisconsin won this year’s Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge, a yearly event that focuses on lessening emissions while maintaining vehicle performance.

The Badgers team modified a four-stroke Skidoo Ace snowmobile to win the challenge. “We added a turbocharger and engine controls, which allows us to maintain performance and decrease our emissions and make it quieter as well,” said UW team captain Mike Solger. Wisconsin won the title for the fifth time in the competition’s 14-year history.

Geo-engineering the Planet to Stave Off Climate Change

Another group of engineers are at the leading edge of innovation as they research the geo-engineering concepts which they hope can someday reduce the planet’s overall temperature. A variety of ideas are being researched: giant orbital mirrors to manage solar radiation, injecting sulphate particles in the stratosphere to simulate the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption, and giant machines that remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Steve Rayner, James Martin Professor of Science and Civilization at Oxford University in the UK, feels those methods, even if practical, make up only part of what’s necessary to reverse the negative effects of Climate Change. “Generally these ideas are seen as a complement to and not a substitute for adaptation and mitigation”, says Rayner.  “And the challenges are enormous. For example, to put the sulphate injection idea into action would mean we would have to create an enterprise something on the scale of the global cement industry.”

Does that kind of specialized engineering inspire you? Talk to the Talley Group if you are looking to make a positive difference in humanity, while advancing your career in engineering. As one of the leading engineering staffing firms in the Northwest, they have the recruiters on hand to help further your career.

Is Engineering Boring? How Big is Bertha?

April 19th, 2013

A career in engineering doesn’t necessarily mean being tethered to an office and a desktop computer running a version of AutoCAD. In many cases, engineering entails a day spent out in the real world getting dirty. And in the case of “big” Bertha, it means getting real dirty!

Introducing Bertha: The World’s Biggest Single-Bore Drill

An example of something boring that is also quite exciting; Bertha is the world’s biggest single-bore drill. Made up of 41 separate pieces, with a cutter head that weighs 886 tons, Bertha sports a width of nearly 60 feet. This massive drill is currently being used in a two billion dollar project to build a tunnel for Highway 99 underneath downtown Seattle– from Sodo to South Lake Union.

When the Highway 99 tunnel project is completed in 2016, it will permit the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. With that eyesore removed from the Seattle waterfront, the opportunity exists for new parkland development. But first they actually have to get Bertha tunneling underneath the Emerald City!

Starting Bertha on her Underground Journey

Just getting Bertha in place is a large engineering project in itself. Transported to Seattle from Japan, Bertha arrived, un-assembled, in late March. The drill’s parts are shuttled one by one at walking speed from the dock to a 100-foot pit where the final assembly is completed. Fully put together, Bertha weighs 6,800 tons — the same as 38 jumbo jets!

A figurative ton of concrete will surround the drill, keeping it aimed squarely at its final destination in South Lake Union. The concrete helps keep groundwater from flooding the drill, causing realignment. Additionally, beams under the Alaskan Way Viaduct are wrapped in carbon fiber to prevent tunneling vibrations from damaging the viaduct while it is still in use.

A conveyer belt system is being used to move soil from the tunnel project back to the dock area, where barges will ship it to a quarry. All told, this is a multi-faceted modern engineering operation.

Interested in working on exciting projects that involve something like Bertha? Contact the recruiters at The Talley Group, as one of the Northwest’s leading engineering staffing firms, they can help make sure your engineering career is never boring.

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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