Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

Strategies for Engineers to Stay Current with Industry Trends

March 26th, 2015

In any engineering discipline, your education doesn’t end the moment you earn a Bachelor’s degree. A successful career in the field involves a figurative lifetime of learning new technologies and methodologies. Failure to keep up with the latest industry trends puts you at the risk of failing behind in your career. It can become easy to rest on your accomplishments, but to continue to advance in your career, there are a number of ways to keep improving.

With that in mind, here are a few strategies to help engineers stay current with the latest innovations in their industry.

Continuing Education is a Requirement for Engineering Licensure

When you are licensed as a professional engineer in your state, expect that some form of continuing education is a requirement for keeping your license. The National Society of Professional Engineer’s (NSPE) PE Institute is a great resource for the educational seminars, events, and classes specific to your engineering discipline that you’ll need to stay a licensed PE. As the latest industry trends enter the mainstream, you can expect the PE Institute to offer materials to help keep you up to date. Take advantage of those materials as they are continually offered.

Don’t forget to Nurture a Professional Network

Developing your own professional network is a key aspect of staying abreast of the latest engineering innovations. Become active on any LinkedIn Groups or any local organizations related to your field. LinkedIn Groups are a good source for articles and other materials on what’s new in engineering, while those local engineering organizations typically host seminars covering the latest in engineering. Don’t just read those articles. By commenting on articles that you find interesting, that fosters discussion and potentially leads to networking opportunities.

Becoming a Well-Read Professional Engineer

Self-study is another great way to keep up to date with new engineering trends. Engineering magazine subscriptions and books help you become a well-read engineer, and in many cases they facilitate the continuing education needed to maintain your PE status. Once again, the NSPE offers great resources of reading material worth checking out for any engineer.

Following these three simple strategies helps to keep your engineering skills and knowledge state of the art.

If you need additional insight on career development, talk to the insightful recruiters 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 today!

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!

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.

What to Watch out for in Petroleum Engineering This Year

January 14th, 2015

With 2015 now upon us, the coming year looks to be an interesting period in the world of petroleum engineering. With oil prices at a nearly historic low, there will undoubtedly be some challenges in the industry, but engineers working in this discipline still get the opportunity to leverage innovations that make their jobs interesting.

Let’s take a closer look at what changes the petroleum engineering industry can expect in 2015 and beyond.

Expect the Oil Industry to Rebound

While the oil industry doldrums have some potential students questioning a petroleum engineering program, experts expect things to turn around by the time those students earn their degrees. Dr. Jon Olson, a professor at the University of Texas’s Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, commented on how the industry reacts to low oil prices.

“Usually the service companies are the first to react because they’re the ones specifically doing the well work out at the fields. Those smaller companies are going to be retracting what they’re doing, at least staying away from high cost operations,” said Olson. Concerning potential petroleum engineering students he remarked: “four years from now, it will probably be totally different.” In short, expect things to improve.

Cavitation Technology Innovations Improve Petroleum-based Product Production

Cavitation technology is a new technique used in the production of petroleum-based fuels that leverages high-shear forces to provide superior mixing and thermal-heat generation. ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (EMRE) is developing the technology jointly with Arisdyne Systems.

“EMRE and Arisdyne are combining our strengths in petroleum processing technology to produce an industry-leading cavitation process to address today’s challenges across our Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals business lines,” said Vijay Swarup, Vice President Research and Development at EMRE. “We are optimistic that this technology will make an important contribution to improve today’s global petroleum processing.”

So even in an oil industry downturn, the innovative work of the petroleum engineer continues unabated. If you are interested in exploring this lucrative field more closely, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top Seattle engineering staffing agencies, we remain a great source for jobs and career insights. Schedule some time with us today!

New Technologies helping Children with Disabilities proven to be a Success

November 25th, 2014

One of the most rewarding aspects of the engineering field comes when the hard work of engineers helps humanity in some measure. Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering recently released the findings from a study using humanoid robots to help autistic children, and even Alzheimer’s patients, learn autonomous tasks.

Needless to say, their work appears to be very promising. Let’s take a closer look.

Robots helping Autistic Children to Learn

The USC study, led by Maja Matarić, Vice Dean for Research at the Viterbi School, leveraged humanoid shaped robots performing specific cues or prompts to help patients learn — or relearn — a variety of skills. The study subjects essentially played a game of copycat with the robots. Matarić commented on the study’s hopes.

“There is a vast health care need that can be aided by intelligent machines capable of helping people of all ages to be less lonely, to do rehabilitative exercises, and to learn social behaviors,” Matarić said. “There’s so much that can be done that can complement human care as well as other emerging technologies.”

The robots give feedback by saying “Good Job!” when the children successfully imitate their cues. If they aren’t successful, the robot simply repeats the cue. The ultimate hope is that the autistic children would learn the right social skills to help them better interact with other kids during gameplay.

Children who received the robotic feedback tended to show improved performance as the tests continued. Those in a control group with no feedback, showed no marked improvement. “The idea is to eventually give every child a personalized robot dedicated to providing motivation and praise and nudges toward more integration,” Matarić said.

The promising early results from the USC study once again display how engineering innovations hold the potential to benefit humanity.

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

Five Tips for writing an Effective Engineering Résumé

September 3rd, 2014

Even in today’s social media driven job marketplace, the old-fashioned résumé remains the most important part of a job hunter’s arsenal. Considering the amount of detail on an engineering résumé — work history accomplishments, technical abilities, etc. — format and clarity are vital. Here are five tips for constructing an effective engineering résumé.

A Clear Format helps the Hiring Manager

As mentioned earlier, the detail on an engineering résumé places the onus on quality formatting to help hiring managers quickly determine whether the candidate might be a good fit. With piles of potential employees to peruse, the HR staff works quickly during this first part of the hiring process. Leverage bullet points, a clean type face, selective text formatting (bold and italics), and wide margins to enhance the look of your résumé.

Focus on the Accomplishments in your Work History

Hiring managers want to see tangible accomplishments in your work history — not merely a listing of your job duties. Don’t shy away from using numbers to detail your on-the-job performance. If your engineering idea saved the company a certain amount of money in production, mention that fact.

Keep the Design Elements Simple

Remember that this is an engineering résumé, not something for the interior design or graphics arts industry. As such, keep the overall design of the résumé simple. Eschew the use of multiple font choices or other design elements that detract from your accomplishments and abilities.

A Career Summary works better than an Objective

A two or three sentence objective at the top of a résumé has become passé. Instead, use this space for a career summary that will attract the attention of the hiring manager.

Once it’s written, Network your Résumé

Once you’ve finished your résumé, it is important to get it out to the people who can help your career. Publish a version of it on your LinkedIn account. Meet with the top staffing agencies in your local region, as they are a great source for job leads and career advice.

As one of the top engineering staffing companies in the Seattle area, the Talley Group should definitely get a copy. They have the recruiters on hand who have a line on the top Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with them today!

Ten iPad Apps for Engineers

August 19th, 2014

For many engineers, a tablet computer has become an indispensible tool, whether it is an iPad or one of the many Android models. A whole host of engineering apps help make the work day more productive. Here’s a selection of 10 iPad apps for engineers available on the iOS platform.

1. iEngineer gets to the nuts and bolts of the matter. This app provides an easy to navigate database all about screws, bolts, and more.

2. HVAC Professional offers those involved in the heating and air industry a collection of formulas and other related information to help make their job easier.

3. Mechanical engineers will be pleased with Lux Calc Fluid Prop, an app that calculates the thermophysical properties of fluids typically involved in heat transfer.

4. Graphing Calculator is an app useful for professional engineers, scientists, and students studying anything related to mathematics. It is able to plot and trace multiple equations at once.

5. TouchCalc offers a range of mathematical functionality, including statistical analysis and bit logic. The app also easily handles traditional math calculations.

6. Mechanical Engineer is an app that lives up to its name. It provides over 300 formulas commonly used by mechanical engineers.

7. Another app with a name that hints at its use, Professional Engineer offers similar functionality as Mechanical Engineer, but with a formula collection that spans multiple engineering disciplines.

8. Engineering Unit Conversion is essentially a tablet-based version of those unit conversion tables needed by many professional engineers. Like TouchCalc, it is a useful app for engineers, scientists, and math students.

9. Engineers and designers looking for an app to do some quick technical drawings need to check out FingerCAD. The app can handle most drawings typical of larger desktop-based CAD systems.

10. Speaking of CAD, if you need an app able to view standard CAD DWG files, then TurboViewer X is your choice. The app can access drawings stored on the Cloud or through FTP.

If you are looking to take your engineering career to the next level, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in Washington State, they provide a robust collection of Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule a meeting with them today!

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