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Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

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  • 1.  Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 22 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hello,

    Welcome to the May edition of Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything! Featuring @Glenn Bell and @Rosemarie McClure​​. (Review their bios).

    One of the staple events at SEI's Structures Congress is the Meet the Leaders breakfast where students and young professionals get the chance to sit down with leaders in small groups and pick their brains in an informal mentoring session and gain career insights. With the pandemic and (most) everyone working from home we've moved this online. Last month we had David J. Odeh, P.E., S.E., SEC, F.SEI, F.ASCE, and Cherylyn Henry P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE, join us for the inaugural thread.

    This month Glenn and Rose have agreed to answer your questions on this thread. We have asked the leaders to keep their answers concise. This thread will be open for questions until 4:00 p.m EST Friday, May 15. The leaders will reply to all questions by Monday, May 18. Please skim the thread before posting to avoid duplicate questions. Please make sure to direct your question to a specific leader or both if you would like them both to respond.  Moderators reserve the right to remove or consolidate duplicate questions.

    If you're looking for a place to start with your questions view “A Conversation with SEI President Glenn Bell and Rose McClure on Young Professional Involvement in SEI/ASCE” from the October 22, 2019 interview done at Northeastern University.

    Just a reminder – questions must comply with the ASCE Collaborate Code of Conduct.

    See you in the thread!


    ------------------------------
    Brittany Boyce Aff.M.ASCE
    Senior Coordinator, SEI Communications & Operations
    bboyce@...
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 22 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hello, what a great conversation in the video "A Conversation with SEI President Glenn Bell and Rose McClure on Young Professional Involvement in SEI/ASCE" I really appreciated the discussion on specialization.

    My question is directed to @Glenn Bell. In my work, I'm often involved in selecting the project delivery method, the design professionals and the build teams (mostly vertical structures). In my experience, structural engineers are typically up for any challenge I present them, even when challenged with advanced methods like prefabrication, modularization, or large timber. However, architects tend to be vocal on which structural engineers they prefer to work with. Sometimes, the engineer they prefer doesn't have much experience in the advanced methods I'm interested in. While I feel confident that diligent engineers are capable of learning what is needed, I prefer not to be their primary learning curve. Often the team talks me out of pursuing advanced methods in the project.

    Lately, there has been talk within ASCE of providing certification programs, could you envision individual or firms having "board certifications" with specialties as we see within the medical field? When I'm selecting the project teams it would be most useful to see specialty certifications within the project team resumes and might further advance R&D in the construction industry.

    As a follow on question, I see this as related to some issues in errors and omissions I've encountered stemming from delegated design between specialties and fabrication. Would you see specialty certifications as a solution or further complications to some of the problems found with delegated design issues?


    ------------------------------
    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 22 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.

    Hi Jesse,

    Thanks for getting us kicked off with the May edition of AMA. I'm glad you enjoyed the video of the conversation between Rose and me. Rose is a terrific role model. I'm looking forward to reading her contributions to this thread.

    I love your lead-off question about specialty certification, as your rationale for it speaks to SEI's Vision for the Future for Structural Engineers and Structural Engineering https://www.asce.org/structural-engineering/structural-engineering-institute/. The Vision seeks a future in which structural engineers are consistently recognized for their leadership, creativity, and ability to embrace advanced and multidisciplinary topics. I'm glad to see that this seems to be exactly what you desire of structural engineers on your projects.

    Specialty certification may well be the means (or part of the means) by which we gain that recognition. One challenge for us is to define a compelling set of certifications in terms of the granularity of specialties and the level of expertise. If the categorization is too general and the bar too low, there may not be sufficient differentiation from our current PE and SE licensure requirements to be attractive. If there are too many specialties and the bar is too high, the program could be too expensive, too complicated, or unrealistically lofty. Exactly what type of system may gain acceptance is what ASCE is studying now in careful detail.

    You may be interested to know that in the UK, the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) requirements for "Chartering" of structural engineers are roughly equivalent to SE licensure in the US. In addition, IStructE relatively recently introduced "Specialist Diplomas" in areas like Fire Engineering, Offshore Structures, and Seismic Engineering. It's something to keep an eye on.

    Your follow-on question is also great. In my years of experience as a consulting structural engineer and as a current Director of Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety – US, I more frequently see problems with delegated design caused by poor communication and lack of clarity of roles than by lack of engineering competency. There are some exceptions in areas of niche work where specialty certification might be helpful.

    Thanks again for your advocacy of the Structural Engineering profession.

    Kind regards,

    Glenn



    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 22 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.

    My questions to the SEI leaders is as follows:

    - What do you think of applying the distributed workforce model in engineering companies from now on? What are the currently known potential challenges, and solutions to those challenges?
    - What do you think of applying the distributed workforce model in the construction environment from now on? What are the currently known potential challenges, and solutions to those challenges?
    - From your experience, what are the top three new inclusion initiatives (such as hiring, corporate giving, work hours, diversity, skill sets, etc) for companies to launch now in order to address the remote working environment? Why are they more important as compared to other initiatives?





    ------------------------------
    Silky S. K. Wong, Ph.D., S.E., P.E., CEng MICE, LEED AP
    ______________________
    The Dow Chemical Company
    Civil Engineering Department
    Lead Civil/Structural Engineer TES
    Central Engineering – Houston
    HDC Phone : 281-966-2077
    SSWong@...
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.

    Hi Silky,

    Wow. These are tough but very relevant questions for today. Let me start by saying that I consider myself far from expert in this area. Many have more relevant experience with distributed workforce models than I. But let me give this a shot, based on (1) my 22 years as CEO of a structural engineering company that grew to over 600 people with nine locations and (2) the recent experience we've all had with work-at-home/social distancing restrictions.

    Are we ready to apply the distributed workforce model for engineering companies now? If a distributed work force model can mean some time in a common office environment and at least periodic face-to-face interactions, then perhaps yes.   If it means nearly all individuals working in remote isolation with rare personal interaction, I don't think so at this time. I have been amazed, however, at how far the current pandemic has successfully pushed us in this direction.

    There are many potential benefits of distributed workforce models, among them: ability to attract and retain diverse professionals from a broader geographic space, potentially distraction-free workspaces, flexible work hours, time, cost, and reduced carbon footprints from not commuting, and enhanced personal productivity through ability to embrace different work styles. But you asked about challenges. Here are a few that come to mind:

    • Work teams are most effective when built on relationships of trust, and, in my experience, that trust is built through face-to-face personal interactions, not necessarily continuously but at least occasionally. The solution: provide periodic opportunities for important personal relationships to be built through personal interaction. Some of that interaction can be professional and some social.
    • Information and system security is much harder to ensure with a remote workforce. The solution: perhaps this will improve to acceptable levels at reasonable cost with increases in technology.
    • Certain types of work, particularly creative team endeavors, are more effective with in-person teams. As much as technology has advanced, it cannot replicate the spontaneity, subtlety, and synergy of face-to-face exercises. The solution? Short term: accommodate in-person team events when needed. Long term: maybe technology will get there some day.

    Can we apply distributed workforce models to construction companies? I imagine for office operations it's little different than for engineering companies. For field construction I think we're some ways away from robots doing it all.

    Top three inclusion initiatives for remote working environments? Off the top of my head I would say that creating cultures with communication and support systems that make people feel valued, accepted, respected, and equitably secure would be most important. The reasons are self-evident. Tolerance for different work styles is critical. Clear, equitable, and transparent recognition and advancement policies are a must. All of this must be backed up by effective, company-wide training.

    Thanks for challenging me today. I hope you find this informative.


    Sincerely,

    Glenn



    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 20 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi Silky,

    Thank you so much for this thought-provoking question! About a month ago, I participated in an open discussion on how individuals and firms were adjusting to the new work-from-home arrangements. There were perhaps 40 people and over 30 engineering firms represented on the call, and it was fascinating to hear the various viewpoints shared. Though the conversation ranged widely to include discussion of firm strategies and the economic impacts of COVID-19, here are a couple of takeaways which resonate with Glenn's thoughts above and relate specifically to your question about distributed workforce:

    • The biggest challenge at the moment is simply staying connected, and maintaining the personal relationships we rely on to do our work effectively. The traditional engineering mentor/apprentice model also breaks down a little as we struggle to draw, analyze, and teach without in-person interaction.
    • Interestingly, individuals who were already working remotely prior to the pandemic observed a shift in the common perception that remote work is ineffective. Perhaps those who were skeptical before may now realize there are ways to remain accountable while physically separated from the office environment.
    As Glenn noted, the distributed workforce model has many potential benefits, chief among them the ability to offer more flexible working arrangements, and the ability to attract and retain a more diverse workforce. To me, these two are inextricably linked, as women and other under-represented minorities are also traditionally more likely to request work flexibility. However, in recent weeks and months, I have observed and am encouraged by our industry's ability to accommodate flexibility for any number of unique working situations, and look forward to seeing how things continue to shift.

    So while I don't have a great answer to your specific question regarding company inclusion initiatives, I do think that individuals and firms should strive to:
    • Acknowledge the need for flexibility, now and potentially well into the future
    • Honestly assess the impacts of flexible schedules and hours on everyday business practices and operations, and
    • Create a culture where it is acceptable to work remotely or alternative hours, so long as you actively hold yourself accountable to clients and coworkers (this last one is easier said than done!)
    I think firms who are able to achieve this will likely navigate the current and future work environments with the highest staff engagement and retention.

    Thanks again for the great question. I would love to hear your thoughts and to continue the conversation at any time. Best regards,
    Rose

    ------------------------------
    Rosemarie McClure P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Consulting Engineer
    Simpson Gumpertz and Heger
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi, All

    Just a quick question concerning gaining structural engineering experience.

    What would you recommend for the young professional who starts off in a firm that is not engaged in structural engineering, in terms of preparing themselves to enter into the field when an opportunity eventually becomes available?

    Kind Regards,
    Justin Redman

    ------------------------------
    Justin Redman Aff.M.ASCE
    Graduate Civil Engineer
    Port of Spain
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.

    Hi Justin,

    Congratulations on becoming a graduate civil engineer. First let me say, be patient and don't loose your dream of becoming a structural engineer. It's the greatest profession! I entered the workforce during a recession in 1975, and although I was able to find employment at an engineering company fairly soon, it was many months before I was doing the kind of work I wanted to do. I'm so glad I stuck with the profession and the company (where I worked happily for 45 years).

    My short answer to your question about preparing yourself to enter the workforce until an opportunity becomes available is (1) improve your skills and (2) start building your professional network. Details below.

    Improve your skills: A career in structural engineering requires a lifelong commitment to learning. Your degree in civil engineering is a great accomplishment, but you must keep going. At your stage of development, I would particularly recommend investment in soft skills: written and oral communication, time management, leadership, creativity, team building, and collaboration. Study of the building codes and standards that are employed where you will work will help you get a head start once you do find an engineering job. And in your part of the world, knowledge of principles of resilience against natural hazards is important and developing. There are many great resources available through ASCE/SEI, such as webinars, short courses, and publications. Find out what the requirements are for professional registration in your area and work towards that goal

    Building your professional network: Building and maintaining a network of professional colleagues will serve you well your entire career. While it does not seem there is an ASCE Section or Branch in Trinidad and Tobago, you can make virtual connections through SEI/ASCE resources like ASCE Collaborate. You could also make in-person connections through your university, with your classmates, and with other professionals in your area. Keep in touch with all your colleagues.

    Please write to me when your job opportunity arises. It will!

     

    Best wishes,

    Glenn

    (grbell@...)



    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 20 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Dear Rose and Glenn,

    Thank you both for the insightful responses.

    Looking forward to further discussions in the near future.

    Kind Regards

    ------------------------------
    Justin Redman Aff.M.ASCE
    Graduate Civil Engineer
    Port of Spain
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hello, all. So many great questions already. Thank you @Glenn Bell and @Rosemarie McClure for taking questions and @Brittany Boyce for setting up this opportunity!

    Like @Justin Redman , my question is also concerns the young professionals in our profession. What resources do you recommend young professionals get familiar with to supplement their work experience to refine their technical skills?
    ​​​​

    ------------------------------
    Danielle Schroeder EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Associate Engineer
    Pennoni Associates
    Philadelphia PA
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi Dani,

    Thanks for the follow-on question. Building off of Glenn's response to Justin, I would like to emphasize the importance of self-study and professional registration. Becoming licensed early in your career increases your exposure to core technical concepts that all practicing structural engineers should master. This is especially useful if you do not have the opportunity to work with different structural systems or materials on a regular basis in your first job out of school. Pursuing professional registration also sets the stage for your commitment to lifelong learning. In my office, everyone from Graduate Engineer to Senior Principal keeps a running list of self-assigned "homework". These are technical problems or subject areas we want to learn more about on our own.

    Regarding specific resources, in addition to the textbooks and study guides engineers commonly use to prepare for professional exams, I would recommend any number of online courses, webinars and seminars offered through ASCE/SEI and other industry organizations. Design guides and examples published by AISC, ACI, and NDS or AWC are also great references when working to improve your knowledge of specific materials. You may also find that familiarizing yourself with as many analytical tools and software as possible will really broaden your experience as a structural engineer.

    Thanks again for the great question! Best,
    Rose


    ------------------------------
    Rosemarie McClure P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Consulting Engineer
    Simpson Gumpertz and Heger
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi, this question for SEI president,

    Dear sir,

    I'm a Structural engineer practicing in Sri Lanka. I may be looking for opportunities to gain experience. I'm interested to involve your design works.

    ------------------------------
    Kuranage Akila Nadishan Perera A.M.ASCE
    Ja-Ela
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi Kuranage,

    Happy to help.  So that I might better answer, could you tell me a little bit about what kind of experience you are looking for?  In Sri Lanka, in the US, elsewhere?  Project-type experience, company-type experience?  What is your experience level?

    Glenn

    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 20 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Dear Sir,
    Thank you very for your prompt reply.  I'm looking to gain experience on structural design projects. I have 2 years of experience in the building design industry. My aim is to competent on structural designs and become P. E.

    ------------------------------
    Kuranage Akila Nadishan Perera A.M.ASCE
    Ja-Ela
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 19 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi Kuranage,

    Thank you for the clarification.  That's very helpful.

    Since your goal is to become a PE (I assume in Sri Lanka) the experience requirements are important to understand.  I was not previously familiar with the registration requirements but found them here.  They are quite comprehensive and specific - and, in terms of years of experience, more than most countries I am familiar with. See Figure 1. of the document:

     - Following a four year accredited degree you need two years of work experience in the form of structured training under the supervision of a Chartered Engineer.  (I don't know if the two years' experience you have to date meets that criterion.)
     - Then you need two additional years of experience working under a Chartered Engineer at which time you are eligible for C Eng Registration.
     - Then you need a minimum of additional 3 years experience of independent work experience in charge of significant engineering works to be eligible for P Eng Registration.

    In total, 7 years experience post degree.  This may seem like a lot but in my experience is a worthy goal to strive for.  Good for you.

    In terms of where you would find this experience my advice to young engineers has always been to look (1) at the people you will be working with (mentoring, integrity, and care for your personal development) and the (2) types of projects you will be working on (where you will get relevant and varied experience and have opportunity to grow) are the most important.  I don't know the situation in Sri Lanka sufficiently to advise you on how to find such a firm, but if you talk with your collogues and ask around about the reputations of various companies that would be helpful.  Also ask questions in any interviews that would probe on the two criteria I mention.

    I also should point out that I'm not expert on the Sri Lanka P Eng requirements, so I would recommend you find someone local who has experience who can advise and guide you along the right path.

    I learned something in researching the answer to your questions.  Thanks for asking.

    Best of luck.

    Glenn

    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Dear Glenn and Rose,
    Thank you so much for hosting such a wonderful and unique round the table meeting in this time of pandemic. I would like to ask you about setting up my own venture as a freelancer in the beginning ultimately leading to an entrepreneurship eventually in India, especially being based in my own hometown due to certain constraints. I am pursuing my Masters in Structural Engineering and also have knowledge of interior Designing. How can being a member of ASCE help me achieving my goals?
    Thank you in advance!
    Regards
    Arzoo Jain

    ------------------------------
    Arzoo Jain A.M.ASCE
    Ludhiana
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi Arzoo,

    That's wonderful to hear that you are planning to start your own venture. I am sure you will be able to offer a unique client experience with your interest in both structural engineering and interior design. To help in your goals, I think you will find that being a member of ASCE has many benefits. In addition to the professional networking opportunities (see Glenn's earlier response to Justin in this forum), connecting you with others who run their own engineering practices, ASCE/SEI has a Business Practices Committee, which focuses on common business challenges we face as structural engineers. I have attended several sessions developed by this Committee at Structures Congress, and have always appreciated the unique perspective they offer to business owners for small and large firms alike.

    Best of luck with this endeavor!
    Rose

    ------------------------------
    Rosemarie McClure P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Consulting Engineer
    Simpson Gumpertz and Heger
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Dear Rose,
    Thank you very much for your revert. I shall definitely pay heed to your recommendation. Looking forward to more fruitful discussions with you!
    Regards

    ------------------------------
    Arzoo Jain A.M.ASCE
    Ludhiana
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 21 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi Arzoo,

    Good for you to have a vision of starting your own enterprise!    I see that Rose already gave you some great advice.  Let me offer a few supplementary suggestions:

     - ASCE has a lot of excellent resources on starting and running your own practice.  They include publications, webinars, and short courses.  Recently I attended an on-demand webinar entitled "From Engineering to Entrepreneurship: How to Prepare For, Start and Manage Your Own Engineering firm (AWI022715)".  You can find it here: ASCE Webinar.
     -  You may find that your practice has global components.  ASCE recently published a Global Practice Guide.  Find it here:  SEI Global Practice Guide
    - ASCE has an International Section in India, which has over 8000 members. ASCE India Definitely get involved with them.  Terrific networking opportunities.
     - I have a professional acquaintance who recently started his own structural engineering company in India.  I'd be happy to share his name and contact information with you. Just send me your email address to grbell@... and I will connect you.

    Best of luck.


    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 20 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi Arzoo,

    Thank you for posting the question. As of today, being an entrepreneur is still considered as a non-traditional career route in the civil and structural engineering field. I am glad to hear about your passion in entrepreneurship.

    Besides the resources and networking opportunities offered by ASCE and our peers here, CERIC partners with leaders in career development to present webinars in order to build knowledge and skills in the field. Some of the webinars are free, and they have been very helpful to develop my own career and training plans for my mentees.

    https://ceric.ca/ceric-events/webinars/

    ------------------------------
    Best regards,

    Silky S. K. Wong, Ph.D., S.E., P.E., CEng MICE, LEED AP
    ________________________________________________________________
    Civil/Structural Modular Construction & Productivity Focal Point
    Structures Expertise Area & Technical Solutions Team
    Central Engineering – Houston | Technical Expertise & Support
    Dow, Inc
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/silky-wong-s-e-p-e-leed-ap


    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 20 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Thank you, Silky.  Great information.

    Everyone:  This is a great example of how any of you can contribute answers and advice - not just Rose and me.  Join the conversation on the question and the answer sides!

    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 17 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Dear Silky
    Thank you very much for your kind revert and the wonderful piece of information and encouragement. I shall definitely look into the source link provided by you. Wish you many more successful future endeavors.
    Regards


    ------------------------------
    Arzoo Jain A.M.ASCE
    Ludhiana
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 17 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Dear Glenn
    I apologise for a late reply because I was facing some networking issues in here due to some breakdown of the system. I was trying to email you over the mentioned address but I couldn't do so. Could you bother to send me some alternate source to contact you personally?

    ------------------------------
    Arzoo Jain A.M.ASCE
    Ludhiana
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 20 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hello,
    I just finished my first year of college in Civil/Structural Engineering and my summer internship was cancelled due to COVID19. Do you have any recommendations for how I spend my summer as an aspiring structural engineer? I want to continue to grow, even though I'll have to do it from home.
    Thanks,
    Caleb

    ------------------------------
    Caleb Stevenson S.M.ASCE
    Peoria IL
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 20 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi Caleb,
    Several ideas come to mind:
    1)  See if there are any coop or similar employment opportunities in some related field. For example, many employers of structural engineering graduates value candidates with construction experience.  Work such as housebuilding would be great.  Any business that needs programming or other tech skills like AutoCAD or SolidWorks.    At your stage of development, gaining related experience in any related field would be valuable.  The farther you advance towards graduation the more will be the expectation will be to concentrate your experience, so think of this time as an opportunity to gain breadth. Of course, you only want opportunities that involve appropriate workplace practices.
    2) Build knowledge and skills.  Think about what courses you took last year where you either felt your knowledge could use a boost or that particularly inspired you and engage in some self study.  And think about what courses you will take next year and get a head start.  There are tons of resources on the ASCE and SEI websites.  Consider taking some webinars, short courses, or reading some of the pubs.  While some of this material would appear to be focused on graduate practitioners, don't be intimidated.  I bet you will be able to comprehend much of it. Think about improving your programming skills (I've been learning Python while working at home.) or writing skills.
    3) Engage with ASCE and SEI student groups.  Does your university have an ASCE student chapter?  Network, volunteer to get involved in some of their activities.
    4) Contact some of your professors at your university and see if they have any research-related tasks you might be able to volunteer to help them with.
    5) Contact your community leaders to see if there are any activities you could volunteer for that might involve employing or building skills that are relevant to your professional development.  Think broadly about this.  It doesn't have to be engineering calculations.  Anything to do with teamwork, time management, communication, marketing, accounting and finance, tech skills, etc. would be a good use of your time and good for your resume.

    I hope this helps.  If you have any further specific questions based on the above, please reply.

    Best of luck,

    Glenn


    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 17 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.

    Hi Caleb -

     

    I'm sorry to hear your summer internship was cancelled - you're definitely not alone! Glenn has already provided a great list of ideas. I especially like his suggestion to consider areas of development more broadly. At this point in your academic and professional development, almost any experience is good experience, so think about what interests you the most and start there.

     

    If you do decide to sign up for a course, or do some self-guided learning, I highly recommend picking up AutoCAD Revit and other BIM technology skills. Consider what tools and skills are most valuable to a future employer. With any luck, you'll be able to complete the internship you were planning to do this year next summer.

     

    Best wishes,

    Rose



    ------------------------------
    Rosemarie McClure P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Consulting Engineer
    Simpson Gumpertz and Heger
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 19 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hello everyone,

    I'm glad I decided to visit this thread which contains a plethora of advice and insight. I somewhat have a plan mapped out in my head to kickstart my career, however, I would like to engage by directing a question to both SEI leaders dealing more with the implementation of the plan.

    I'm a non-traditional student (a few years late), due to graduate with my BSCE in Fall 2020 and planning to take my FE in the summer, needless to say, I feel like I have wasted valuable time having to overcompensate in order to get ahead. I currently intern at a multi-disciplinary design firm with their nuclear division's structural group, but most of the workload is supporting mechanicals and electricals which can get repetitive and feel insignificant at times. So I need some direction deciding where I should begin my professional career, construction is the reason I got into civil but green energy is also a secondary interest.

    Do I switch to the construction industry now? Do I continue in design and jump to construction later? Which career path is easier to switch from to the other?

    Thank for your time and efforts.

    Kind regards,

    Saeed

    =====================
    Saeed Abazid S.M.ASCE
    Chattanooga, TN
    =====================

    ------------------------------
    Saeed Abazid S.M.ASCE
    Chattanooga TN
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 18 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Brittany,

    Great question - and an easy one to answer.

    PE licensure is vitally important to the infrastructures improvements across the country because:

    1) It provides a demonstration of competence in engineering work that is vital for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
    2) It requires PEs to commit to doing the right things and advocating for the right things in improving infrastructure.
    3) It helps to assure the public that their investments in infrastructure improvements are well placed.
    4) It helps to assure the public that their infrastructure is safe.

    We all know that as a society we need to increase our investment in infrastructure - the current pandemic has highlighted that in new ways for us. PE's are critical in making it happen.

    Glenn

    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 18 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hello Saeed,

    Thank you for your question.  First let me say that I don't think you should sweat the fact that you're a few years behind in your development.  I don't know what you were doing in those few years, but there's a good chance that experience  will be valuable to you for the rest of your life. In my own youth I had several periods of months at a time that I felt were wasteful in my development, and in hindsight proved to be very useful.

    It's hard to give a direct answer to your question because it depends on so many things that are nuanced and contextual, most particularly (1) the quality of the opportunities on one path vs. the other and (2) your degree of preference for one type of work vs. the other.  But here are a few points that I hope will guide  your decision:

     - If you're intent is to become a PE (and I would highly recommend it) then you need to gain experience (generally 2 to 4 years depending on the state) doing "engineering" work under the supervision of a PE.  This is generally easier to do in a design environment than construction.  There are, however, sometimes opportunities to do engineering work for a construction company - for example design of temporary shoring and bracing, crane lifts, or temporary earth support systems.  If you were to jump to construction now, make sure you could get experience that will put you on a path to PE.
     - If you are to continue on an engineering design path for the foreseeable future, I would highly recommend pursuing a variety of work. It sounds like your current work is narrow, repetitive, and uninspiring.  Talk with your superiors to see if you can get reassigned to other work - or if that's not possible think about changing companies.
     - The overarching consideration is to find work that is interesting and fulfilling to you - because then you will throw yourself into it with enthusiasm.

    Also remember that whatever path you chose it does not need to be forever.  Make a decision, go forward, and if it doesn't work out you can change.

    Best of luck.  In A-E-C you have a lifetime of wonderful opportunity ahead of you.

    Best regards,

    Glenn

    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 17 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi Saeed,

    I think it's natural to be torn between construction and engineering. In fact, this is something I hear often discussed by civil engineering students, and something I considered myself when graduating. Like Glenn said, it's rarely a straight path and you can always change your mind later. Though I chose the engineering design path and have never regretted it, I know many many people who have switched, sometimes multiple times, between the two.

    Regarding repetitive, uninspiring work, I think we've all experienced this at some point in our careers, and those of us who haven't are very fortunate. In addition to discussing with your supervisors to see if you can broaden your exposure, it sometimes helps to contextualize the work - to think about why it's important to your employer or client, and to see if you can identify some other lessons learned. Sometimes, repetitive work presents opportunities to redirect and focus on other aspects of the job, such as more efficient analytical tools/processes or client relationships.

    Lastly, because you said you were interested in green energy, I wanted to point to some great work that the ASCE/SEI Sustainability Committee is doing. The resources highlighted on this page are just some examples of how to apply your engineering skills and knowledge to the broader discussion of resilient infrastructure for the future.

    Best of luck to you!
    Rose

    ------------------------------
    Rosemarie McClure P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Consulting Engineer
    Simpson Gumpertz and Heger
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 19 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    @Glenn Bell and @Rosemarie McClure,
    We have a question fron The Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors on Twitter.

    "We are wondering your thoughts on the importance of professional licensure as it relates to infrastructure improvements across the country."

    Let me know your answer and I will share back with them on Twitter!

    ------------------------------
    Brittany Boyce Aff.M.ASCE
    Senior Coordinator, SEI Communications & Operations
    bboyce@...
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 16 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Brittany,

    Great question - and an easy one to answer.

    PE licensure is vitally important to the infrastructures improvements across the country because:

    1) It provides a demonstration of competence in engineering work that is vital for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
    2) It requires PEs to commit to doing the right things and advocating for the right things in improving infrastructure.
    3) It helps to assure the public that their investments in infrastructure improvements are well placed.
    4) It helps to assure the public that their infrastructure is safe.

    We all know that as a society we need to increase our investment in infrastructure - the current pandemic has highlighted that in new ways for us. PE's are critical in making it happen.

    Glenn

    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 18 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Thank you for all your great questions and for participating in the Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything. This thread is now closed. Any submitted questions will not be published. The leaders will respond to any unanswered questions by Monday, May 17. Thank you for your participation in this "Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything." Have a great weekend! 


    ------------------------------
    Brittany Boyce Aff.M.ASCE
    Senior Coordinator, SEI Communications & Operations
    bboyce@...
    ------------------------------


  • 34.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 18 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Thanks so much, Brittany, for organizing this thread.  Thank you, Rose, for teaming with me.  It's always fun and uplifting to work with you.
    A big thank you to all who submitted great questions and joined the conversation.  I'm sure I took more out the experience than I provided.  Most important, it was inspiring to correspond with a group of youthful students and engineers - from around the world! -  who have great careers ahead of you.  You are our profession's future.
    Glenn

    ------------------------------
    Glenn Bell P.E., S.E., CP, F.SEI, F.ASCE
    Glenn R. Bell Consulting
    Acton MA
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 17 days ago
    No replies, thread closed.
    Likewise, Glenn - I enjoyed participating in this forum with you! Thanks, Brittany, for organizing, and thanks to everyone who submitted questions. Reading and responding to your questions reminded me of why I chose structural engineering in the first place, and reinforces my passion for this profession. Thank you, all!

    Rose

    ------------------------------
    Rosemarie McClure P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Consulting Engineer
    Simpson Gumpertz and Heger
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------