In this episode, I talk to Christian Knutson, CEng, P.E., PgMP, F. SAME, who has co-hosted this podcast in the past and now serves as the Europe Program Manager for Stanley Consultants. He is responsible for managing and coordinating Stanley Consultants’ activities in the U.K. and Europe as well as providing program/project management delivery and master planning solutions for clients in the U.K. and Europe. In this episode, which is part of a series we are publishing focused around the four key drivers of engineering managers, we talk about the third key driver: the ability to manage projects. Chris talks about the fundamentals of project management and how project management skills can help you to become a great engineering manager.
In this episode, I talk to Ann Tomalavage, PE, PMP, LEED AP, a licensed professional engineer who has spent the last 20+ years training engineering professionals on how to become great project managers. Ann talks about some of the key points to becoming a successful project manager, and she also discusses the role of project management in consulting engineering.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Ann Tomalavage:
- How did you get into project management training and how did you become so interested and passionate about the topic of project management?
- What differences could an engineer expect when transitioning from a project engineer to a project manager role?
- What made you decide to start a project management training course?
- You recently talked at an ACEC event on project management; could you tell us about it and the feedback that you received from the audience?
- What would you say is one of the biggest challenges for engineers in terms of making the transition to project management?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About The Role of Project Management in Consulting Engineering:
In episode 121 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I will be bringing you with me to visit with William T. Thomsen, PE, who is the President and CEO of Urban Engineers of New York, DPC. We will be talking about his career journey and what has factored into his success and progression from engineer to Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He’ll also talk about how his Engineering Management degree has helped him in his career.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Bill Thomsen, PE:
- Take us through your career progression from engineer to CEO?
- At what point in your career did you become part of the executive leadership team?
- What does it take to manage large scale projects like the ones you have managed?
- Your father was the President of a construction company, how did his career influence your career?
- You have a degree in Engineering Management, how has that degree helped you?
- What worries you about the Civil Engineering industry right now?
- Is it possible to have work-life balance as an engineering executive?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Going from Engineer to CEO:
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 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:
BIM as an Effective Tool in Project Management is a guest post by Shakti Prasad
BIM (Building Information Modeling) has been revolutionizing the AEC industry in terms of economic and technical viability, over the past few years. The advantages of the long-term application of BIM can be leveraged most efficiently in the field of project management. The need for management of an asset is a continuous process; from inception to demolition, a true cradle to grave cycle which involves handling large volumes of data, handling a lot of responsibilities, and so on for which BIM is the one-stop solution. Project managers need to embrace Building Information Modeling, interrogate the BIM information and reap the maximum benefits out of it for effective project management.
How Building Information Modeling (BIM) facilitates effective project management?
There are 2 broad aspects of Building Information Modeling which enables it in facilitating project management:
In this episode, Chris Knutson, PE will answer some questions from listeners and give advice on why engineers should consider studying and learning about project management. He will also expand on why project management will be good for your engineering career, as well as your engineering organization.
Engineering Success quotes:
Here are the key points from this episode on Project Management for Engineers:
Whether you want to become a project manager or not, you’ll be running a project at some point in your life and in one of your capacities. It might be in the role you hold at your firm, or in the role you occupy in a technical or professional organization, or even a role you fill in a community group. The point is, many of activities we undertake are projects. That is, they are what Project Management International (PMI) defines as a, temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal.
Before I dive into one possible answer to this question (the option I’ll suggest is one worth following!), I’m not advocating earning a credential, certificate or degree in project management. I don’t believe a practicing engineering professional must earn one of these to be proficient in applying project management concepts to efficiently bring about intended benefits to the customers and clients they serve. What I do believe, is that one cannot leave development of a methodology of project management to on-the-job training or simple observation.
Learning about project management by osmosis might make you proficient, however, I doubt it. Relying on casual observation to learn, internalize, and then apply knowledge in a fashion that enhances ones proficiency in any topic is a path that’s fraught with long lead-time. Simply put, you’re going to get a better return on investment of time if you actively study project management methodology and know the basic concepts.
So how is knowing project management concepts going to make you a better engineer?
In episode 022 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, Todd Hay, who has 23 years as a civil engineer working on multidisciplinary firms, talks about cross marketing, communicating effectively, working on proposals for multidisciplinary projects, and more.
Here are some key points discussed in this episode:
- Communication: understand how other disciplines works and when you need to get help. Understanding the key roles of other disciplines is critical to an engineer as he/she grows in his/her profession; get a better handle on what each discipline does. [Read more…] about TCEP 022: Working Effectively on Multidisciplinary Projects as a Civil Engineer with Todd Hay of Pennoni Associates
In episode 021 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, Jon Weinstein, President of Line-of-Sight Consulting, talks about change management, what it is and why it is important to understand it in the context of an engineer involved in projects as well as management and leadership of people.
Here are some key points discussed in this episode: [Read more…] about TCEP 021: Leading Change in Your Civil Engineering Career