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ReEngineering the Engineer: Security 101: COVID, a New Level of Growing Pain

November 30, 2020 - in Articles, Column

Life was seemingly simple when I started engineering. We printed out a large floor plan from the architect and drew the floor framing on tracing paper. Then we designed one beam after another, writing the reactions on the plan, then the girders, then on to…

ReEngineering the Engineer: It’s All in the Delivery

September 28, 2020 - in Articles, Column

My engineering firm works on a large variety of project sizes, even within the same building type. We work on significant expansions for hospitals, but…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Engineers Are Experts at Following the Rules

July 27, 2020 - in Articles, Column

Well, here we are in August. It’s hard to believe the year is more than half over, and many of us spent about two thirds of that time working out of…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Have We Learned Anything Yet?

June 8, 2020 - in Articles, Column

One of the qualities of a good learner is being able to take in information, process it and use it to your advantage. Failure often is just as helpful as success. Having an example of “what not to do” can be just as beneficial as having a great “what…

ReEngineering the Engineer: What Was I Thinking?

May 11, 2020 - in Articles, Column

A funny thought crossed my mind this week. I started my career at a slow time in the early 1980s and considered myself lucky to find work at a small engineering firm doing what I was educated to do. I managed through slow spots in the early 1990s, Y2K and…

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? Do our employees have the proper skill sets for their current positions? Is there any software we’re missing…

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 tenant in one half of the building and several vacant suites in the other half. The owner had purchased…

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…