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Executive Corner: Is Your Business Focus Hurting Profitability?

July 12, 2019 - in Articles, Column

Companies often say they’re client-, design- or employee-focused. The purpose of identifying your focus helps to communicate how you execute business strategies with your employees, clients, competitors and shareholders. Firms employ these focused strategies…

Thoughts From Engineers: Look to the Watershed to Protect Water Quality

July 8, 2019 - in Articles, Column

The results of an in-depth study of groundwater released in early 2019 showed that 42 percent of private wells in southwest Wisconsin are contaminated…

From the Editor: The Vocabulary and Eras Change, But Smart Engineering Is Timeless

June 26, 2019 - in Articles, Column

Thousands of words are added to the dictionary every year. Some are “made-up” words added because they’re often used, like “buzzy” or “guac.”…

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…

Executive Corner: Want to Increase Value for Your Firm? Pull These Levers!

June 5, 2019 - in Articles, Column

As advisors to design professionals, we’re often asked by owners and key executives, “How can I make my firm more valuable?” Although value is in the eye of the beholder, there are some things you can do to make your firm more valuable to whomever you…

Thoughts From Engineers: A First for the Great Lakes: Water Piped Out and Back In

June 3, 2019 - in Articles, Column

The city of Waukesha, Wis., received permission in 2016 to divert 8.2 million gallons of Lake Michigan water per day as a new source of drinking water. Waukesha will use Milwaukee’s existing infrastructure to pump water out of Lake Michigan and 12.5 miles…

Final Thoughts: When Did You Choose Your Career?

May 27, 2019 - in Column

Some people have known all their life what their chosen profession would be, perhaps because of a particular skill or because a relative was a successful example. Others may postpone that decision until later in life, perhaps during college, because they’re…

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…

Infrastructure Outlook: Power Play: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber-attacks

May 9, 2019 - in Articles, Column

Governments generally define the essential assets of a functioning society as its critical infrastructure, including electricity, communications, heating, healthcare and transport networks. For the United States, attempted cyber-attacks on these systems continue…

From the Editor: Use Different Viewpoints to Uncover the Unknown Unknowns

May 9, 2019 - in Articles, Column

I read a meme-like quote a few days ago: “It amazes me that I can wirelessly transfer data from my brain to another brain by vibrating the air with my voice box.” Simultaneously whimsical and thought provoking, it reminds me to think of everyday things—like…