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From the Editor: Time to Enjoy Nature for Its Beauty … and Engineering

August 6, 2020 - in Articles, Column

The last few months have certainly been different. Many people are working from home, and there’s much less travel leading to jokes about commute times to the office and how many weeks per gallon cars are reporting as their efficiency standard. This different…

Thoughts From Engineers: Dam Management in the 21st Century: Collaborative and Community-Based

July 30, 2020 - in Articles, Column

The breach of the Edenville Dam in Michigan, which sent floodwater over the downstream Midland Dam and forced thousands to evacuate on May 19, 2020, tragically…

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…

Infrastructure Outlook: The Mysterious Breakdown of America’s Bridges

July 6, 2020 - in Articles, Column

Alarm bells are ringing desperately as disasters are waiting to happen on America’s bridges. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, more than 47,000 of the country’s 616,087 bridges are “structurally deficient” and…

Executive Corner: Three Critical Actions Will Help Your Firm Survive … and Thrive

June 29, 2020 - in Articles, Column

In 2008, I had just taken a position with a large, international engineering firm as chief financial officer. The firm was coming off a good run of profitable years, solid cash flow and expansion into new markets, but it was starting to feel the strain as…

From the Editor: Graduating Engineering Students Face New Challenges

June 22, 2020 - in Articles, Column

The stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic are beginning to be relaxed in some places. For me, at least for some time yet, I’m choosing to act as if everything is not yet back to normal. Whatever I’m called—baby boomer, dinosaur or grandpa—I’m at…

Thoughts from Engineers: More than a Pump and a Toilet: Communities Worldwide Need Critical Water Supply and Sanitation Systems

June 12, 2020 - in Articles, Column

A day rarely goes by in the United States without some news about drinking water and the physical, social and administrative systems needed to deliver it. We hear about lead contamination in Newark, N.J., Flint, Mich., and other cities. We hear about water…

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…

Project Management Insights: Where Does Project Management Fit into a Strategic Plan?

June 1, 2020 - in Articles, Column

I was recently working with a 250-person engineering firm, helping them develop a new strategic plan. In the ramp up before the meetings, I sat with leaders and managers across the company, talked to them individually about the future, and listened to their…

Executive Corner: You Just Revalued Your Share Price as of the Year-End, Then This Happened …

May 29, 2020 - in Articles, Column

So 2019 was your firm’s best year EVER, and with the stock market soaring and the economic outlook for 2020 looking strong, your share price also hit an all-time high. And then this happened: A viral pandemic sweeps across the globe, states begin shutting…