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Executive Corner: Is It Time for a Shareholders’ Agreement Tune-Up?

November 10, 2018 - in Articles, Column

A well-crafted shareholders’ agreement is the foundation of any professional service firm’s ownership transition plan. In privately held firms (which make up the vast majority of firms in the A/E industry), this is the document that governs how ownership…

Code Update: A Seismic Monitoring Systems Snapshot for Building Code Compliance in California

October 29, 2018 - in Articles, Column

California is most associated with earthquake risk, but the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) points out that while all U.S. states have some potential for…

Infrastructure Outlook: We Need 21st Century Solutions for America’s Infrastructure

October 9, 2018 - in Articles, Column

Americans know how bad the country’s infrastructure has become, particularly our roads and bridges. The growing U.S. population, currently at 328 million…

From the Editor: Managing a $10 Trillion Construction Industry

October 5, 2018 - in Articles, Column

Several years ago, the trillion-dollar global construction industry (projected to hit $10 trillion by 2020) caught the eyes of Silicon Valley and Wall Street. Much has been written (including in this column) about the industry’s inefficiencies, and there’s…

Final Thoughts: Which Costumes Have You Worn Throughout Your Engineering Career?

October 5, 2018 - in Articles, Column

It’s Halloween season: the time of year when we get to dress up and act like a different person or character for a day. We can take on another role, different from the role we play at home or at work. I asked my young neighbor what he was going to be for…

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 system. Most of the design team (everyone but the architect) as well as the general contractor and his…

Infrastructure Outlook: The Competitive Cost of Waiting to Invest in Infrastructure

September 14, 2018 - in Articles, Column

As the U.S. population keeps growing, we can’t simply maintain the status quo. And to bring change, we need infrastructure investment: approximately $57 trillion during the next 12 years. In the past, the United States spent billions of dollars on improvements…

From the Editor: Where Do You Go When You’ve Reached the Peak?

September 10, 2018 - in Articles, Column

For the last 17 years, I’ve worked with surveyors, contractors, and engineers to help them lower their costs and increase profits. In doing so, I’ve seen many firms get to the point where they’ve reached “peak efficiency.” It’s exciting when an…

Code Update: SMDI Updates Guide Specification for Highway Bridge Fabrication

September 3, 2018 - in Articles, Column

High-Performance Steels (HPS) have been used in bridge projects for more than two decades, helping builders reduce weight, ease construction and improve design flexibility. HPS made a rapid entry into the bridge industry, with the first HPS 70W bridge completed…

Executive Corner: Why Is My Company’s Valuation Lower When Selling to Key Employees vs. Selling to Another Company?

August 27, 2018 - in Articles, Column

I’ve spoken with countless exasperated A/E firm owners through the years who’ve asked why their firm’s internal valuation doesn’t reflect a number similar to what they believe they can reasonably expect from an external sale. Most, but not all, are…