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.
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 105 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I speak with Lindsay O’Leary, PE, LEED AP about her career path from a civil engineer to now working full-time as the Executive Director for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Texas Section where she is helping civil engineers to achieve success on a daily basis.
Here are some of the questions I ask Lindsay about how she went from being a civil engineer to helping civil engineers on a daily basis:
- How did you go from being a civil engineer to Executive Director for the ASCE Texas Section?
- Do you think you would be able to do this job successfully if you weren’t a civil engineer?
- What are some of the challenges the organization is facing that you have to deal with?
- What were you dealing during the Hurricane Harvey disaster?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode:
In episode 104 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I am taking you with me to the offices of AECOM to talk with Anthony Attanasio, B.A, Vice President and Senior Program Manager at AECOM. We’ll discuss his career which has spanned both the public and private sectors, and we also talk about connected and autonomous vehicles, and what to expect in the short and long terms.
Here are some of the questions I ask Anthony Attanasio:
In episode 102 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I speak with Jennifer Sloan Ziegler, a Project Engineer focusing on water resources, specifically watershed management and coastal restoration. We discuss government policy and its importance in civil engineering, and why all civil engineers should in some way get involved in policy.
Here are some of the questions I ask Jennifer
In episode 101 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, which is the third episode in a 3-part special series focused on preparing us for the Global Engineering Congress 2018, I am bringing you with me to the offices of Mott MacDonald to sit down with Global Sustainability Leader Davide Stronati. Get ready for a great conversation around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and how civil engineers can tactically support the achievement of these goals.
Here are some of the questions I ask Davide:
- What role does a corporate, or strategic, sustainability managing director play and what responsibilities do they hold?
- What is the primary outcome, with regards to GEC18, that you wish to see?
- From a civil engineering perspective, what does sustainability mean to you?
- What does your role as the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Sustainability Leadership Team Chair entail?
- What is your call to action regarding the SDGs for civil engineers listening to this podcast?
Here are some key points discussed on the UN SDGs and the ICE Global Engineering Congress:
In episode 98 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I speak with Ben Walpole, a writer and editor for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) strategic communications team. We will talk about a few very important management skills that civil engineers should build in order to increase their effectiveness as civil engineering managers.
Here are some important management skills you should build as a civil engineer to increase your overall success:
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:
Here are some of the questions I ask Nick about his journey and his work as CEO:
- How did you decide that you wanted to go into engineering?
- What are some of the things that civil engineers can do in preparation to become a CEO of a civil engineering firm?
- How big is the Mott Macdonald “family”?
- What is the hardest part of being a CEO?
- How do you decide what work you should focus on each day?
- As a CEO of a company, how do you maintain a work-life balance?