In this episode of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk to Bret Tushaus, project director at Deltek, about digital transformation and how AE firms will need to be tech-savvy and innovative to survive and thrive in the world we live in today. He also shares an inspiring story about his career change that brought him into the software world.
In episode 124 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I will be taking you with me to Philadelphia where we will be visiting the offices of Pennoni to talk to Joseph Viscuso, PE, PLS, ENV SP who serves as Pennoni’s Senior Vice President and Director of Strategic Growth. We will be talking about smart cities and specifically about understanding how important it is to embrace technology and to be innovative in your career. Viscuso also elaborates on the next wave of technology which is heavily reliant on the 5G network and also the threats that cyber security has on smart cities. You can also view this episode on YouTube. You don’t want to miss this one!
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Joe:
- I know that you spend a lot of your time traveling to different cities and venues to discuss innovation and technology—why do you think that is important for the future of firms like Pennoni?
- How do you see innovation/technology changing the everyday landscape in the engineering profession?
- If I gave you a crystal ball, what would you see about the future of smart cities?
- If I gave you a magic wand, how would you use it to increase smart city momentum?
- We have heard a lot about cyber security threats – how can this impact smart cities?
- What are some of the challenges for cities to adopt smart technologies?
- What can residents do to move the conversation further on smart city solutions?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Smart Cities, Technology and Innovation:
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 99 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Dr. Marlene Kanga, who is the current President of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) about the business of engineering for sustainability. This is the second episode in a 3-part special global sustainability series that will both introduce you to and focus on the Global Engineering Congress 2018, taking place October 22nd through 26th in London at the Institution of Civil Engineering’s (ICE) Headquarters.
Here are some of the questions I ask Dr. Kanga in this global sustainability episode:
- This is the Federation’s 50th anniversary — what does this mean to you both professionally and personally?
- What was it that drew you to WFEO and has kept you so actively involved over the years?
- As WFEO encourages national and international members to collaborate in their contributions to solving global problems, what role do you see diversity playing in this effort?
- Why is the WFEO event important to the civil engineering profession, and what do you think should be one of the main takeaways from this event?
- What do you feel requires the immediate attention of the engineering profession’s resources to attack and to solve?
- Who are the typical attendees at one of these Global Engineering Congress events? What advice can you provide on how a participant should best prepare to come ready to actively participate in the event?
- We’ve been talking about the sustainable development goals, what other roles does WFEO play on behalf of the engineering profession?
- How do you keep your professional diary straight and know where to focus your mental energies?
Here are some key points discussed in this global sustainability episode:
In episode 095 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I am bringing you with me to the offices of Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers (MRCE) to sit down with Senior Partner Peter Deming and myself. We will be talking about the importance of your physical office layout and how it impacts productivity and culture. This is a topic you might not consider as important until you hear Peter discuss it.
Here are some of the questions I ask Peter Deming:
- How did you decide how to setup the people throughout your office?
- Can you talk about the importance of the library and the locker room that you have at your offices?
- What comes to mind when I say the word “culture”?
- How did you get to the point where you wanted to drive change in your career?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode on the impact of office layout and culture:
In episode 92 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I am taking you with me to visit T&M Associates headquarters in Middletown NJ, where we are going to sit down with Ihsan Al-Fayyomi to talk about business development skill building for civil engineers.
Here are some of the questions I ask Ihsan:
- Can you talk about how you became involved in expanding your company geographically?
- What was your mindset like when you started growing the company?
- Is smart decision making something you personally focus on?
- What is your overall philosophy on building relationships?
- How do you build trust?
- Tell us about having difficult conversations.
- What is your management style?
Here are some key points discussed on business development skill building:
In episode 88 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Stephen Morse, PE, LEED AP from Grant Engineering about growing a civil engineering company from the ground up. Stephen talks about the process he went through in growing his company from starting out in his apartment to now having a growing office in New York City.
Here are some of the questions I ask Stephen:
- What made you decide to start your own civil engineering company?
- Tell us about your experience of hiring your first employee.
- What types of projects are you currently working on, and what is your involvement in those projects?
- How many employees does Grant Engineering have?
- Can you explain what the organization: “Engineers Without Borders” is?
- What would you say to a civil engineer that might consider starting their own civil engineering company?
Here are some key points discussed on growing a civil engineering company:
In episode 078 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Robert Mora, PE, PLS, ENV SP about the philosophy that he and his partner are operating under in building Batture Engineers + Land Surveyors, a unique civil engineering firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Here are some of the questions I ask on building a Civil Engineering Firm:
- Tell us about your experience with land surveying and how that has helped in growing your firm.
- When did you realize that you might want to start your own business?
- What did you do to prepare for starting your own business?
- Tell us more about networking and personal relationships and how it has affected your career?
- What was your goal in creating a local mastermind group?
- Take us through the first year you started your business.
- At what point did you decide that you want to seek out a partner?
Here are some key points discussed and quotes from this episode:
- I always thought about the bigger picture in my career and looked for roles that would benefit me in the future.
- To a certain extent, I was not really focused on salary, it was more about mobility and opportunity. I would take less money to work someplace if it was going to give me the opportunity to do something that I wanted to get better at.
- Part of what made things easier for me is that I’ve always enjoyed the process more than the results.
- You become confident in certain things because when you are good at doing something, you are typically confident in it.
- Overreacting to something is not going to change what is happening. It’s just going to change your perspective on it.
- When building a civil engineering firm you might not immediately enjoy doing all of the different tasks, but through consistency, you can find enjoyment in it.
- It’s important to build relationships and to listen to people in doing it, and help them, instead of immediately just trying to sell what you are doing when building a civil engineering firm.
- Doing good work and being mission driven is more important than profits. You can’t do bad work and blame the price you gave the customer, for doing the bad work.
- Don’t let money drive your decisions and what you do, but also don’t ignore it. As you grow in your business, you have to think differently about your company finances than your personal finances.
More details in this episode…
About Robert Mora, PE, PLS, ENV SP
Bob Mora, founder of Batture Engineers + Land Surveyors, has over 15 years of experience in land surveying and civil engineering, providing civil design services for both private developers and municipalities. He has successfully managed and completed projects for the Sewerage and Water Board, the Department of Public Works, the Regional Planning Commission, the Orleans Levee Board, and St. Bernard, Ascension, and Plaquemines Parishes. As a sub-consultant for the Army Corp of Engineers, Bob managed the construction of over $100 million of flood protection, earning a Certificate of Appreciation for Exceptional Achievement from the Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System Mission. A native of New Orleans, Bob graduated from LSU with a degree in Civil Engineering and Land Surveying. He is the past president and an active member of the New Orleans Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, helping engineers identify pro bono opportunities both locally and around the globe.
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of civil engineering FE or PE exam preparations. Use promo code TCE8 for a 20 % discount at ppi2pass.com/resources
Books Mentioned in this Episode:
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on building a Civil Engineering Firm.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Mangement Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success
In episode 065 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Charles(Chuck) Marohn, a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in the State of Minnesota and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) about how our cities and towns are going broke and how civil engineers will play a role in developing strong towns in the future.
Here are some of the questions I ask Chuck:
- Why are so many towns and cities across North America going broke?
- What are some things that you’ve seen in your travels that don’t necessarily take thousands of dollars to implement, that have made stronger towns?
- How can we as civil engineers help to build stronger towns?
- What are some things that civil engineers can do to address this problem in civil engineering?
Here are some key points discussed on how our cities and towns are going broke and how civil engineers can help long-term. Chuck says:
In episode 060 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Martin Andrews, Military Sales Manager for Mabey Bridge Limited about the development of the Mabey Logistic Support Bridge from its origins in the Bailey Bridge.
Here are some of the questions I ask Martin on the Bailey Bridge:
- Can you tell us a little bit about what the Bailey Bridge is and the history of the Bailey Bridge?
- What made the design revolutionary at the time?
- What makes this bridge so useful in comparison to say, a more traditional site-specific bridge design?
- We’re decades on from World War II, so what types of design improvements have been made to the original design?
- Do you rely on an in-house civil/structural engineer design capability to support clients, or do clients use their own civil engineers to design bridge applications?
- What is the design service life for this type of bridge, and what is the longest in-service bridge that you’re aware of?
- What maintenance is required on one of these types of bridges?
- Say I’m a civil engineer and I want to source one of these bridges for a job, what do I need to know?
- Can you share a couple of examples of more recent Mabey bridge applications?