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.
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?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode:
In episode 87 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, which is the second episode of our 5 episode Infrastructure Series, I talk with Professor Bilal M. Ayyub, PhD, PE, Dist.M.ASCE from the University of Maryland about how civil engineers can adapt to climate change and its effects on infrastructure.
Here are some of the questions I ask Professor Bilal:
- Tell us more about risk mitigation in general.
- How will you assess an existing piece of infrastructure against potential climate change concerns?
- Does the government assess certain points of existing infrastructure that are more susceptible to climate change than others?
- How do you analyze the risk associated with something as variable as climate change?
- How can civil engineers move towards more climate-resilient designs?
Here are some key points discussed on climate change and its effects on infrastructure:
In episode 083 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Mel Lester, Management Consultant from BizEdge, about how civil engineers can create added value for clients. Mel gives some very specific strategies that you can start implementing right away in your career to create added value for your clients.
Here are some of the questions I ask Mel:
- Why is it so important to create added value for your clients?
- Can you talk about developing a client centered perspective?
- How do you deliver business-driven results?
Here are some key points discussed on how you can create added value for your clients:
Career Advice from AE Leaders from Across the Country
In episode 071 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I am going to give you advice from some of the most successful AE Leaders in the country. I talk to Brett T. Hart, PE, SE, PEng, Will Schnier, P.E., Mike Nelson, Ernesto Guevara Ortiz M.ASCE and Randy Wilburn about different leadership aspects in the everyday life.
Here are some of the questions I ask the AE Leaders:
• What is one of the biggest things your firm is looking to find in civil engineers?
• How do you help your engineers to be able to focus, but at the same time foster communication?
• Tell me what mindset you take on to serve your staff and keep them going in the right direction?
• What are AE firms looking for when hiring civil engineers?
• Name one of the biggest challenges facing civil engineers today in their careers?
• What are some of the things a President/CEO of a company do on regular basis?
Here are some key points discussed on career advice from AE leaders across the Country:
In episode 066 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Scott Jennings, P.E. principal of SJ Construction Consulting, LLC about the importance of cost estimating for civil engineers.
Here are some of the questions I ask Scott:
- Can you walk us through the process of putting together an construction cost estimate? What is involved?
- Do contractors use unit pricing for their estimates, or do they evaluate each individual item in a job and customize the pricing to each of the construction activities?
- How is job site and/or corporate overhead incorporated into a bid?
- How is profit/markup handled?
- Is industry standard for bids to often be unit priced (versus lump sum). How are the unit prices determined by contractors (or civil engineers)?
- Is there a difference between estimates on bid day and change order estimating?
Here are some key points discussed on Construction Cost Estimating:
This is a guest post by Shoots Veis, P.E.
The boss and I were talking the other day about hiring a young engineer. The person we were considering checked a lot of the boxes we were looking for and they had a decent interview. There was no doubt they would meet all the requirements we had in the engineering skills job description. During the first 90% of the conversation, I would bet they were going to get the job. Then came this question:
“Do you think if they had to present in front of a city council I could trust them to go to the meeting without me?”
Unfortunately, the answer to that question was “No.”
That ended any chance the engineer had of getting that job.
I don’t know where they landed and I suspect they were able to get a job. However, it was evident throughout their interview that public speaking was never going to be their strong point. At least, not if they didn’t make an effort to improve their public speaking.
Most engineers need to be trusted to be able to stand up in front of an audience and communicate with that audience. Those engineers that do it well will catch the attention of clients, the public, and the boss because communication skills are highly valued in an engineer.
PSMJ Resources polled a number of public works departments about the engineers that work for them. They asked them to list the most important skills needed to do a good job. Here is the list they came up with:
In episode 061 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Shalene Thomas who is the is the Emerging Contaminants Program Manager for Amec Foster Wheeler about understanding emerging contaminants and Regulatory Matters for Civil Engineers.
Here are some of the questions I ask Shalene:
- What is PFAS?
- Why are these substances a concern now or have they been for a while?
- What kind of work is underway to help us better understand the effects these substances have on humans?
- What are the current drivers for action?
- What are some key EPA or state regulations related to PFAS one should be aware of?
- What are options for remediation and clean-up?
- As a civil engineer, what are three important take-away items to know about PFAS?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode on emerging contaminants and regulatory matters for civil engineers:
Ground Penetrating Radar in Civil Engineering
In episode 045 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I interview Daniel P. Bigman, PhD on Ground Penetrating Radar in civil engineering also known as GPR. Daniel also answers some questions from our listeners on technical items and other issues they are facing with Ground Penetrating Radar in Civil Engineering.
Here are some of the questions I ask Daniel Bigman about Ground Penetrating Radar in Civil Engineering:
- What is your background with GPR?
- What are the benefits and limitations of the technology?
- How does GPR get priced?
- What have you seen in popularity and the current state of use in civil engineering?
- How can firms get started with GPR and what are the common mistakes beginners run into?
Quotes from the episode of The Civil Engineering Podcast:
Here are some key points discussed in this episode with regards to ground penetrating radar in civil engineering:
- Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a non-evasive imaging technology which allows you to create a 3-Dimensional image of surfaces prior to, or in lieu of excavation.
- GPR is one of the most dynamic, subsurface imaging technology that is available.
- GPR produces an electromagnetic pulse, which is an electromagnetic radio wave that get pushed into the ground. Radio waves travel at a very certain speed in any given material, and the benefit of GPR is that as a wave changes it speed, meaning that it transfers from one material into another material, some of the energy of that wave, reflects off that interface. When it reflects, it can get recorded in both the 2-way travel time and the amplitude of the reflection back at the ground service. You can use that then to create a 3-Dimensional sketch of the subsurface.
- Pairing GPR with some sort of a verification scheme, may produce the most successful approach as it allows you to limit time and money but still obtain a large data set.
- One of the biggest drawbacks of GPR are site conditions. The two most difficult soil conditions to work in are wet clay or saltwater (brackish conditions). Both conditions can make it difficult to collect GPR data, however, they are not impossible to use GPR.
- GPR can get priced on an hourly, daily or an physical area rate. Prices can range from $100 per hour to $2500 per day.
- The role of civil engineers in ground penetrating radar (GPR) is to provide a much deeper analysis of GPR data, and to offer additional layers of information that GPR can offer in relation to what other people can’t offer.
- Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) can be used in so many different areas including agriculture, environmental, archaeology, evaluating a diseases inside of a tree and many more.
- If you would like to find out more about Daniel Bigman and GPR, you can visit his website or any of Learn GPRs Social Media Platforms as listed below.
More details in this episode…
About Daniel Bigman:
Daniel P. Bigman, PhD received his PhD from the University of Georgia and is an expert in non-invasive subsurface mapping and 3D imaging. His graduate research focused on the applications of near-surface geophysics to archaeological and historical contexts and has since taught at several universities in Georgia. He has collaborated with scholars across the southeastern United States on innovative research pertaining to applied geophysics and damage prevention, especially as it relates to the protection of cultural resources. The results of these projects have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals of international reputation.
Daniel is also the founder of LearnGPR.com, which is the most comprehensive, fun, and accessible Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) training on earth. They have put together programs to help civil engineers, structural engineers, Geo-technical engineers, utility locators, concrete scanners, archaeologists, and environmental professionals learn this critical technology to grow their businesses, develop their skills, and protect their resources. He is excited about the prospects for Ground Penetrating Radar in civil engineering.
TCEP 040: 10 Tips Every Civil Engineer should Know about Managing Engineering and Architectural Design Services Contracts
A Guide to Managing Engineering and Architectural Design Services Contracts: What every project manager needs to know
Daniel Bigman’s FREE Introductory Training Video On Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
Learn GPR Youtube
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Learn GPR LinkedIn
Learn GPR Twitter
Learn GPR Instagram
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of civil engineering FE or PE exam preparations. Use promo code CIVIL for 20% discount at PPI2Pass.com/coach.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on ground penetrating radar in Civil Engineering.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED APEngineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success