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.

Cyberattacks and Copyright Theft Threaten Country’s Engineering Efforts

June 14th, 2013

The United States has traditionally been home to innovative engineering that has changed the world in so many positive ways. Recently though, the growing scourge of cyberattacks, state-sponsored rogue hacking, and outright copyright theft, places our advantage in engineering work at risk.

United States’ new Military Cyber Command goes on the Offensive

The cyberattack problem is so acute; the United States recently created a new military Cyber Command to protect the country and its intellectual assets against attack. But this new team follows the edict that the best defense is a good offense.

“I would like to be clear that this team, this defend-the-nation team, is not a defensive team,” said Gen. Keith Alexander, chief of both the National Security Agency and the new Cyber Command. “This is an offensive team that the Defense Department would use to defend the nation if it were attacked in cyberspace. Thirteen of the teams that we’re creating are for that mission alone.”

The U.S. Demands China Reign in their Cyberattacks

Many of the reported cyberattacks appear to originate from China. Because of this, government officials continue to demand that the Chinese exert more control over rogue hacking within their country by investigating said attacks in addition to joining a program with the U.S. and other countries to combat cyberattacks. For what its worth, the Chinese claim they’ve been the victim of cyberattacks, with two-thirds of those attacks coming from the United States.

The U.S. feels many of the cyberattacks from China are the responsibility of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The Chinese government denies any involvement or relationship with the PLA. No matter who is responsible for the rogue attacks, there remains little doubt that the United States takes the problem very seriously, as the new offensive-oriented Cyber Command illustrates.

Don’t let the specter of attacks on intellectual property deter you from beginning or advancing your career in engineering. In fact, there may be engineering opportunities to work in defending the U.S. from cyberattacks. When looking to further your engineering career, be sure to talk to the people at The Talley Group. One of the leading engineering staffing companies in Seattle, they know how to take your career to its highest potential.

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.

The Father of Earthquake Engineering – John Blume

April 4th, 2013

 Born in California in early 20th Century, John Blume grew up hearing his grandparents’ stories about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Both sets of his grandparents survived the earthquake and subsequent fire. His father, who worked as a builder, helped in the reconstruction of the city, including the legendary Palace Hotel.

As he grew older, Blume assisted his father in construction and also paid witness to other California earthquake events, including in Santa Barbara in 1925, where the coastal town was destroyed. Blume noted that most of Santa Barbara’s houses survived while the downtown commercial buildings saw heavy damage. Given his nascent experience in construction, Blume felt he could make a difference regarding earthquake safety.

Studying Engineering at Stanford University

Thus inspired, Blume enrolled at Stanford University in 1929 to study engineering. One of his professors was Lydik S. Jacobsen, known for his experimental designs for multi-story dynamic buildings able to withstand the shaking caused by an earthquake. Blume himself designed a more elaborate model based on San Francisco’s 15-story Alexander Building. His graduate thesis covered the principles of dynamic response in buildings.

Notable among Blume’s initial work after graduation was a two-year stint from 1935 to 1936 as a construction engineer on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. As his career progressed, he formed his own engineering practice, John A. Blume and Associates in 1945. Four years later, Blume played a role in the establishment of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).

A Leader in Earthquake Engineering

Over his career, Blume and his company played a leadership role in the practice of earthquake engineering. He was involved in the design and/or analysis of a host projects engineered specifically to withstand earthquakes, including the Stanford Linear Accelerator, San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center, and the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. At the crux of his career, Blume spent time studying at Stanford ultimately earning his PhD in 1967.

His legacy as the Father of Earthquake Engineering was cemented in 1974 with the opening of the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center at Stanford. His career is one to inspire any engineer. If you are interested in furthering your career as an engineer, make it a point to talk to the Talley Group. As one of the leading engineer staffing agencies in the United States, the Talley Group can help inspire you to do great things in engineering.

The Future of Engineering Apps | Careers in Engineering

March 27th, 2013

One of the nice things about mobile apps is the convenience they provide to a variety of technical disciplines, including music creation and software development. Traditional engineering is no different; a variety of useful engineering apps enhance the daily work of engineers in the field.

As mobile development becomes more prevalent with more software engineers moving over from desktop platforms, expect the quality and efficacy of engineering apps to continue to improve. Electrical and civil engineers currently enjoy a wide variety of apps, and while there aren’t as many available for mechanical engineers, that number is currently on the rise.

iPhone Mechanical Engineering Apps Provide Value and Convenience

Despite the relative lack of mechanical engineering apps on the iPhone compared to their electrical and civil brethren, there are still a few on the iTunes App Store worth checking out. One such app is called Mechanical Engineer, and it sports a collection of over 300 mechanical engineering formulas, including 300 conversion formulas and 70 area formulas. The interface fits perfectly on the iPhone, and as a universal app, it looks great on the iPad as well.

AutoCAD users need to check out AutoCAD WS which allows the viewing, sharing and editing of drawing files on both the iOS and Android platforms, as well as the web. Despite being a mobile app, AutoCAD WS also features a decent subset of the functionality found on the desktop version of the software.

The Future of Engineering Apps Remains Bright

By 2015, the mobile application market is slated to grow to $25 billion, an increase of nearly $20 billion compared to 2010. As software engineers get used to programming for mobile devices, and cross-platform tools mature, expect a growing number of engineering apps on the iOS, Android, and even the Windows 8 platforms.

With younger engineers continuing to enjoy higher productivity through the use of apps, it stands to reason that their valuable feedback will improve the quality of future generations of engineering apps.

Looking for an engineering job where you would get the chance to use the latest tools, including the best engineering apps? Check out The Talley Group. As one of the leading engineering recruiters in the Northwestern United States, The Talley Group can help you become the best engineer possible.

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