In episode 118 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I visit with Karen Morgan, P.E. who is the owner and founder of the AEC Proposal Institute. We discuss what information civil engineering professionals need to seek up-front for proposal writing success. Morgan discusses 5 specific points that you can use as a checklist to ensure you write more winning proposals.
TCEP-The Civil Engineering Podcast
In episode 117 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I visit with Tracy Bratton, PE. who is the Land Development Division Manager at Doucet & Associates, based in Austin Texas. We talk about the importance of staying calm, cool, and collected as a civil engineering professional. We also talk about the role that sound technical experience plays in an engineer’s confidence level as well as the ability to manage projects.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Tracy:
- Tell us about your career journey.
- Tell us about the time you spend in Venezuela.
- When you started working in Land Development, was it something that you initially liked doing?
- Talk about the importance of having sound technical knowledge in your field in order to become a successful manager.
- What are some of the things you learned about managing teams in different locations?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Staying Calm, Cool, and Collected as a Civil Engineering Professional:
In episode 116 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I visit with Matthew K. Loos, PE, LEED AP, a licensed professional engineer who wrote a book called The Business of Engineering: A New Mindset for the Engineer of the Future. Matt realized that what helped engineering professionals to be successful up to today, will not work going forward with complex projects and fast-changing technology, and I strongly agree and believe that this book and mindset will change the way engineers think about their careers forever.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Matt:
- What does The Business of Engineering mean to you?
- What prompted you to write this book?
- Where did all the experience you wrote about in your book come from?
- Talk about the topic of “identifying the problem” that you talk about in your book.
- What is your goal with this book?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About The Business of Engineering:
In episode 115 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I visit with Stephanie Buckingham, APTD, PHR, an Associate Professional in Talent Development and part of Freese and Nichols’ Organizational Development team about dealing with difficult people on your engineering projects.
Here are some of the questions I ask Stephanie about dealing with difficult people:
- What made you decide to focus on this topic?
- Tell us more about the root of difficult people?
- How do you get back on track after you had an encounter with a person who is being difficult?
- How do you disagree with someone while still being respectful to them?
- Do you have any stories you can tell us that have influenced your perspective on dealing with difficult people?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode about dealing with difficult people:
In episode 114 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Scott Harrigan, who is the CEO, Co-Founder and Chief Pilot at Harkin Aerial about the use of drones in civil engineering and specifically what civil engineering firms need to know about providing drone services for themselves or hiring outside firms to do so.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Scott About Providing Drone Services:
- What will people in the A/E industries use drones for?
- What is photogrammetry?
- How have the software and programs evolve in the drone industry?
- Talk to us about the regulations and guidelines for using drones.
- Do you work for companies that use drones and/or firms that have no drones at all?
- What are some things that people should be aware of when purchasing a drone?
- When purchasing a drone, what do you need to think about in terms of insurance?
- Explain one example of a project you’ve worked on before?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Drone Services:
In episode 113 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Gina Rock who is the Program Delivery Manager at Jacobs. We talk about her career journey from the circus to Disney’s longest flying Tinker Bell (yes she was Tinker Bell) and then into the world of engineering. What I love about this episode is it really emphasizes how it’s never too late to make changes in your career path.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Gina About Her Journey as Disney’s Longest Flying Tinker Bell:
- How did you end up being Disney’s longest flying Tinker Bell?
- What did it feel like for you when you found out you got the job as Tinker Bell in Disneyland?
- Tell us about your performance as Tinker Bell?
- What made you decide to go back to the engineering field?
- How did you feel when you started with your first individual assistance job?
- What makes a manager or leader effective in your experience?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode:
In episode 112 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I’m taking you with me to the offices of Louis Berger where I will be speaking with the Department Manager, Muzamil Husain, PE. We talk about the importance of managing mega civil engineering projects and how to stay calm during stressful situations.
Here are some of the questions I ask Muzamil Husain:
- In terms of project management, what would you say are some things that you have done that made you successful?
- How do you determine what tasks to work on each day?
- Can you describe the Magnetic Levitation project?
- As a project manager you need to get good at understanding your resources and deploying them in the right areas. How does one get good at that?
- What do you do to improve the culture on your team?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode about managing mega civil engineering projects:
In episode 111 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I am going to give you five reasons why ALL civil engineers should get field experience on project sites as early on as possible in their careers. The purpose of this episode is to reinforce the importance of on-site experience for civil engineering professionals.
Here Are the Reasons Why I Think All Civil Engineers Should Gain Field Experience
1. It Helps You to Be a Practical Engineer
I started out in high school doing land surveying (see photo above) over the summers and it really changed my career. Because of my field experience, I was able to make my designs more practical and create better details for the contractors who had to construct the projects I worked on.
2. Engineering Field Experience Allows You to Start with the End in Mind so You Don’t Just Start with the Design First
A lot of civil engineers start designing projects immediately, without seeing the project sites, however the problem with this is if you didn’t see the site, there may be a condition out there that you are not aware of. When you are forced to think in reverse and you’ve seen projects built before and then you start to do your design work, those construction issues comes to the forefront of your mind, which forces you to think with the end in mind first.
3. Engineering Field Experience Forces You to Interact with People
Civil Engineering to me is about people. We work on project teams, we work with architects, contractors, developers, real estate developers and other engineers constantly. If we are not focused on improving our people skills 100%, we are going to battle to be great civil engineers.
4. You Get to Know the Industry and Construction Lingo
Field experience helps you to learn how to talk to other civil engineering professionals effectively. It improves your overall confidence as an engineer and makes you stand out from the crowd.
5. Once You Get Promoted and Move up in Your Career, Your Chances of Gaining Field Experience Diminish Greatly
Civil engineering managers typically send younger engineers into the field to do inspections, reports etc. While you are young and you have the chance, you should grab the opportunity with both hands as this will have an incredibly positive impact on your engineering career.
More details in this episode…
Engineering Management Accelerator Workshop (Online) | 5 PDHs
Engineering Management Institute Professional Membership
Engineer to Manager: On-demand
Engineering Management Institute YouTube Channel
ASCE Careers and Leadership Column
EQUATION: The Engineering Management Skills Trilogy Plus the Theory of Constraints Equals Effective Engineering Managers
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of civil engineering FE or PE exam preparations. Visit ppi2pass.com to find essential licensure exam prep books, digital review, and helpful tips and advice.
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on gaining field experience in your career.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success
In episode 110 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I speak with Karen Jehanian, P.E. who is the President & Founder of KMJ Consulting, Inc. We talk about how she went from engineer to owner in her career and discuss the important role that entrepreneurship plays in the civil engineering industry.
Here are some of the questions I ask Karen:
- Tell us about the journey you took in going from engineer to owner?
- What is your philosophy around culture in a company?
- Tell us about the importance of the client experience?
- What is your opinion on creating a culture of creativity?
- What is the difference between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode about going from engineer to owner:
In episode 109 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Nils Gransberg, MS on topics related to Construction Engineering. Nils also tells us about the research he is conducting into negotiated bid contracts, and about his military background and experience.
Here are some of the questions I ask Nils:
- Tell us more about the discipline of Construction Engineering?
- Why did you decide to get your PhD?
- Tell us about your research on negotiated bid contract delivery in public projects?
- Can you talk about what it was like being a civil engineer in the military?