In this episode of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I interview Paul Eng-Wong, Professional Engineer and Principal in the Newark office of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB). We talk about professional ethics, mentoring, and the importance of being able to communicate effectively. Eng-Wong also gives 10 insightful strategies to help you advance your career as a civil engineer. Also in this episode, for our Civil Engineering Project of the Week Segment, we take a closer look at the Great Wall of China.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- The importance of ethics and mentoring in civil engineering, and how to put them into practice
- The importance of developing effective communication skills
- How to write, speak, and listen more effectively as a civil engineer
- 10 strategies to help you advance your career as a civil engineer
- “Ethics is a tough decision with a payout in the long term.” – Tune in to #TCEPodcast Episode 3 here:
- “Today, in our field, communication is everything.” Tune in to the Civil Engineering Podcast ep. 3 here #TCEPodcast
- What are 10 Important Things You Need to Know & Remember as an Engineer? Tune in and find out on #TCEPodcast Ep 3
Civil Engineering Project of the Week: Great Wall of China
Project Overview: The Great Wall of China is the biggest object ever made by humans. It stretches across mountains, deserts and grasslands for over 6,000 kilometers. The ancient Chinese built the wall to keep invaders from the west out of their country. Today tourists from all over the world come and see it.
The Great Wall began as a series of many smaller walls that were not connected with each other. The first sections of the wall were built as early as 600 B.C. As time went on Chinese emperors connected them together to keep Huns, Mongols and other tribes out. Thousands of soldiers, criminals and peasants worked on building the wall. It was finally completed during the Ming dynasty in the 17th century.
Project Location: The Great Wall of China extends over 8,850 kilometers (5,500 miles – double the width of the US from East to West Coast) from northeastern to north-central China, including trenches and mountains in addition to a collection of wall sections. The main series of walls stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Lake in the west, roughly outlining the southern border of Inner Mongolia.
Project Size: The Great Wall is one of the largest building construction projects ever completed. It stretches across the mountains of northern China, winding north and northwest of Beijing. It is constructed of masonry, rocks and packed-earth. Its thickness ranged from about 4.5 to 9 meters (15 to 30 feet) and was up to 7.5 meters (25 feet) tall.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Great Wall was enlarged to 6,400 kilometers (4,000 miles) and renovated over a 200-year period, with watch-towers and cannons added.
Project Budget (Construction): While it is impossible to know exactly what the Great Wall of China cost to build, modern calculations estimate the cost to be approximately $360 billion.
Was Project Over/Under Budget: Project budgets weren’t measured closely in those times, and we can’t find anything to suggest that they were. If you can, please leave a comment at the end of this post.
Project Completion (Month/Year or Expected Completion Date): The first Great Wall of China was finished during the reign of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shihuang, from 221 BC – 206 BC.
The most recent portion of the Great Wall, the one that most of us envision when we think of the Great Wall of China, was finished toward the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Paul Eng-Wong’s Achievements and Awards:
- 2014 Edward F. Weston Medal for Professional Achievement
- 2009 Alumni Achievement Award from the New Jersey Institute of Technology
- 2010 Institute for Transportation Engineering (ITE) President
- Ivor S. Wisepart Transportation Engineer Award
- Institute of Transportation Engineers – Distinguished Service Award
Links and Resources Mentioned in Episode
- VHB (http://www.vhb.com)
- Eng-Wong, Taub & Associates (http://www.eng-wongtaub.com/)
- The RBA Group (http://www.rbagroup.com/)
- Institute of Transportation Engineers (http://ite.org/)
- International Chinese Transportation Professionals Association (http://ictpa.org/)
- Newark Regional Business Partnerships Transportation Council (http://www.newarkrbp.org/about_nrbp/Transportation.aspx)
- The Civil Engineering Podcast (civilengineeringpodcast.com)
- Engineering Management Institute (engineeringmanagementinstitute.org)
Books Mentioned in Episode
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success