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ReEngineering the Engineer: Curiosity: Engineers Do Better than the Cat

March 30, 2020 - in Articles, Column

To date, my engineering firm has been a team member for two different Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) projects. Both included many regularly scheduled “Big Room” meetings. Almost all of those meetings start with an ice-breaker question to allow everyone…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Do You Have a ‘Plan B’ for the Totally Unexpected?

January 27, 2020 - in Articles, Column

I try to take some time over the holidays to reflect on the previous year. What good things happened? Were there any things we could have done better?…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Not ‘My’ Job? Engineers Don’t Have that Luxury

December 3, 2019 - in Articles, Column

One of our architectural clients approached us with an interesting renovation of an existing building. It was a relatively older building with an existing…

ReEngineering the Engineer: A Tale of Two Projects

October 3, 2019 - in Articles, Column

Every now and then, you get a project that just seems to run into headwinds no matter which direction you turn. This latest one, however, came at a time when we were closing out our Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) project. The difference between the two…

ReEngineering the Engineer: What Am I Missing?

August 8, 2019 - in Articles, Column

Historically, the kickoff keynotes for the NASCC Steel Conference are a must-see, and the 2019 conference in St. Louis was no exception. Orzan Varol presented the keynote this year titled “The Power of Contrarian Thinking.” The gist of the presentation…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Sustainability: How Can We Help?

June 21, 2019 - in Articles, Column

At about the time I was leaving my old firm in 2004, one of the large national architectural firms we worked with made a corporate announcement. Their firm would be focusing on the green movement (predominantly LEED at the time) and were committed to designing…

ReEngineering the Engineer: To Change or Not to Change? The Answer Usually Is to Change

May 20, 2019 - in Articles, Column

Codes have changed significantly through the years. When I started engineering, the structural section of the North Carolina Building Code was just more than 100 pages and was basically the “one-stop shop” for all our structural engineering analysis and…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Why Not Dream Big?

April 8, 2019 - in Articles, Column

When I started my company several years ago, I decided to play the “I need to be close to home” card. Instead of commuting 20 miles to Charlotte, N.C., every day, I found some office space close to our home. I was pretty sure I’d be spending a lot of…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Don’t Overuse Boilerplate Specs and Details in Engineering Documents

February 10, 2019 - in Articles, Column

In fall 2018, I was asked to go to a meeting to help one of our clients. It was a small project but rather unique: a 100-foot-long structure to support a sanitary sewer line across a creek. We had completed a couple of these for other people through the years…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Patience Is a Virtue

December 10, 2018 - in Articles, Column

My dad passed away about a year and a half ago. Being the oldest of three children, it was my task to help put together the eulogy for the service. I knew I wouldn’t be the one reading it (those types of potentially emotional talks are not in my repertoire),…