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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),…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Teaching IPD: Integrated Project Dharma

October 4, 2018 - in Articles, Column

In 2016, Fitzpatrick Engineering Group was invited to be a signatory for a true Integrated (Lean) Project Delivery (ILPD) project for a regional hospital…

ReEngineering the Engineer: To Fail or Not to Fail?

August 2, 2018 - in Articles, Column

True confession: I didn’t always want to be a structural engineer. I grew up in the 1960s when the space race with Russia was at its peak. In those…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Written vs. Oral Communication: You Make the Call

June 4, 2018 - in Articles, Column

I admit I haven’t really embraced the whole texting thing, and I don’t believe it’s an age gap. Although I communicate with our kids that way about half the time—out of necessity—I rarely do so with our clients (unless, of course, I’m running late…

ReEngineering the Engineer: What’s Ice Got to Do with It?

April 2, 2018 - in Articles, Column

For some reason, I wasn’t much of a reader when I was young. Maybe it was the engineering gene; I don’t know many engineers I would consider voracious readers. However, through the years, I’ve come to enjoy reading a good book, mostly non-fiction. So…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Reasonable Resolutions That Can Last All Year

March 12, 2018 - in Articles, Column

Historically, I try to use the holiday break as a chance to regroup, reflect on the last year and get prepared to do it all over again for the next 12 months. This year, however, was an unrelenting race right to the bitter end. “Sleeping” projects came…

ReEngineering the Engineer: Making Way for the Future

December 11, 2017 - in Articles, Column

Like many others, my firm had a very busy 2017. We were fortunate to pick up a couple new clients at the beginning of the year, and that led to additional projects and a workload that caught us a little by surprise. We didn’t realize the pent-up demand for…

Structural Solutions: Nuggets of Wisdom for Engineers Young and Old, Part 3: The Final Chapter

October 2, 2017 - in Articles, Column

My previous two columns covered two main pieces of advice I like to share with students at the Direct Connect session at the NASCC conference: careful use of computer software, and mastering verbal and written communication. In this issue, I’ll finish my…

Structural Solutions: Nuggets of Wisdom for Engineers Young and Old, Part 2: Communication Is Key

August 7, 2017 - in Articles, Column

In my previous column, I mentioned the Direct Connect session for students that happens each year at the NASCC conference. My company has attended the session for several years now; not for recruiting necessarily, but to share our small-firm perspective. In…

Structural Solutions: Nuggets of Wisdom for Engineers Young and Old, Part 1

May 29, 2017 - in Articles, Column

If you haven’t been to the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) NASCC Steel Conference, you really need to go. It’s not just about the PDHs; there’s an awful lot to learn.