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  • 1.  Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering - Mentoring?

    Posted 07-03-2019 01:06 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 07-23-2019 10:10 AM

    CASE, SEI, and NCSEA jointly adopted the current Vision for Structural Engineering featured in the current issue of Structure Magazine. 
    High on the list of priorities are 1) reforming structural engineering education and 2) mentoring young structural engineers.

    In this season of new graduates entering the workforce, what are your recommendations for engaging and mentoring new staff entering our profession?

    Angela Fante P.E.,M.ASCE
    Philadelphia PA

  • 2.  RE: Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering - Mentoring?

    Posted 07-10-2019 09:23 PM

    These are very good and difficult questions.

    In my experience, colleges have been putting more emphasis on their structural students having knowledge of software packages before graduating. This can be a great resource for new engineers and I think it's an attempt by those institution to keep up with the industry as they see it.  Unfortunately, over reliance on software can be a detriment.  I've mentored some young engineers whom did not have a good grasp on the fundamentals (ex. statics, load paths, internal stresses) because the focus in college was on the software.  This breeds the attitude of "whatever the software says must be correct" which can be very dangerous design philosophy.

    Mentoring young engineers is one of the greatest challenges I've faced in my career.  I can contribute my success thus far to 1) having an open door policy where the engineer is comfortable coming to my office at anytime to ask questions and 2) knowing how the person learns and answering their questions in an appropriate manner.

    Joseph Neeley EIT,P.E.,M.ASCE
    Modjeski and Masters, Inc.
    Charleston WV

  • 3.  RE: Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering - Mentoring?

    Posted 07-12-2019 10:45 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 07-12-2019 10:45 AM
    When I  began my  career   (1971)   my  superiors took  me to  construction  sites to observe  construction practices.  Shortly  there-after I  made  my  own on-site  construction  observations  (inspections).   Being  on the job  site I  learned lots  lots  of what you  never  learned in school.  At the  end  of my career ( 2012) I was  brought  out of retirement to  perform  additional  inspections.  The  comment  I  heard was  young  staff while extremely  skilled in computers did not have experiences of real world construction on the project  site.     

     Bob Johnson     F.ASCE   
    Check out  my posts@  www.twitter.com/EngineerGuySE reaching out to the next generation of Civil/Structural Engineers.

  • 4.  RE: Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering - Mentoring?

    Posted 07-11-2019 10:22 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 07-11-2019 10:21 AM
    The new vision for the future of structural engineering is a great statement developed by these partner organizations. Mentoring and educating young engineers is and will always be a challenge due to multiple circumstances. The important thing to realize is that there needs to be a change of mentality in how we are learning and teaching. There are so many ways to teach a concept and so many ways the students receive them. I graduated from college almost 2 years ago, and I realized that there was still a lot that I didn't know, both technically and non-technically, that I needed to learn if I wanted to succeed. As I said, there needs to be a change in mentality to be able to be engaged more in the profession. At the mentor level, I think we need to be more patient and open to new ideas. As @Joseph Neeley said, having an open door policy when possible is huge as young engineers feel welcomed and are more likely to seek help.  ​Finally, we need to engage students before graduation to try to fill the gaps that education may not be able to for. Some of the soft skills and technical skills learned only through practice are hard to teach at the university level. I think the ASCE Mentor Match program has been a great way to try to fill those gaps, for what I can tell, there is still a lot of potential for this program to succeed but it needs to be promoted more at the university level in order for the students to be more aware of it.

    Luis Duque EIT,A.M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Broomfield CO

  • 5.  RE: Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering - Mentoring?

    Posted 07-13-2019 09:50 AM
    Interneships during college summers has worked very well for our firm as far as a method of mentoring. This helps assimilate the engineer from course work into real world engineering. An employee fresh out of college with no experience may get either bored with minor tasks that the employer assigns at in order to gauge the employee's abilities and slowly assimilate them into higher level design, or they are overwhelmed if their assignments are of more complicated nature on the first day..

    The internship allows the employee to slowly be exposed to how an engineering firm operates. The tasks may be menial, but if hired after graduation, the employee can hit the floor running. Also, the firm gets a low cost employee during the summer months.

    Most beneficial that the intern can make the decision if this is the company he would like to work full time with after graduation, and the firm can decide if this employee will be a good fit. Both parties can walk away from future employment with no harm done.

    Roger Waltemath P.E.,M.ASCE
    Senior Engineer
    Veenstra & Kim INC
    Liberty MO
    (816) 781-6182

  • 6.  RE: Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering - Mentoring?

    Posted 07-19-2019 08:11 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 07-19-2019 08:11 AM

    I have long worked at being a mentor to fellow engineering personnel especially those that I supervised.  There are many difficulties with trying to accomplish this, one of which I presented at a major engineering conference around 2000 was entitled "Diminishing Constructability Exposure and Training Stifles Students Introduction Into the Design Field"  [Note although it was presented at a conference session it was never published as part of any conference documents] .  The  other pertinent Publication was entitled "The Antidote to Value Engineering Phobia", Presented at the AACE International 1997 Annual Meting.  Both of these papers discuss a number of the issues facing the full implementation of "Mentoring".  I was responsible for supervising the design and field implementation oversight for a complex nuclear power station.  While it was not possible to see that the large number of design personnel got to the field to be exposed to the realities of the construction of the final product I did take numerous slides of each construction phase on while on my many trip to the site.  I then held sessions with the design crew illustrating what was drawn, some times how the rebar was detailed, and how it worked (or did not fully work) when implemented in the field. [sometimes I was able to have lunch during a presentation].
    These slides and from other projects (about 18,000)  became the the source of a number of industry, college and high school presentations. I still do an occasional topical presentation.

    If you (or any one else) would like a copy of the above mentioned Technical Presentations (or a list of some others that are availability) just send me an email at ajhulshizer@....  I have been in the engineer and construction field since 1953 and have enjoyed its challenges and accomplishments  very much.

    The best to you,

    Allen Hulshizer

    Allen Hulshizer P.E.,F.ASCE
    Consulting Structural Engineer
    Chalfont PA

  • 7.  RE: Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering - Mentoring?

    Posted 07-20-2019 02:10 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 07-20-2019 02:10 PM
      |   view attached


    Thursday (7/18/19)  I offered to provide a copy of a paper on "The Antidote to Value Engineering Phobia." You will find it attached so at least you can get the crux of how  some the issue was envisioned  about 19 years ago at this time.  This is a subject I have always been interested in!!!!!

    Allen Hulshizer P.E.,F.ASCE
    Consulting Structural Engineer
    Chalfont PA


  • 8.  RE: Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering - Mentoring?

    Posted 03-23-2023 07:58 AM

    You have a point Mr.Allen Hulshizer, I think this collaborative efforts to work in a team while exploring techniques that can enable engineers to overcome obstacles (fear), is very important in the practice. The last 70 years of development in Structural Concrete education present to students theories vs practical design to be unbalanced, as not rational or transparent like in the 1900's truss analogy mechanism for torsion and shear (ASCE-ACI Joint Subcommittee 445).

    The educational teaching has some artificial divisions in the subjects of reinforced concrete, prestressed or post-tensioned concrete, even plain concrete that should be integrated in the Structural Concrete module only, because Strut-and-tie is a simple form to oversee general structures and  solve all of those types mathematically. 

    SEI President Glenn Bell FY2021, said in the Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering: "we don't like to work on isolation"  so we should thrive on Teams...  What is happens... sometimes when you work by yourself, and knowing that you are providing an autonomous service for and architect or wherever is another engineer,  difficult things like  corruptions levels are high in some community will be a lot people trying to assume the profession of another,
    and our work is substantially influenced by politics, you can expect to be in outside of an habitable zone... or the shadow one.. 
    I know we must adapt, be a optimist!! start to develop strategies too!!
    Structural Engineers are the key point for establish long-life service buildings, with resilience and sustainability, the Infrastructures serve society! 
    this changes everything, so now we have a purpose, and not surprised when If I now know how to advocate for your work in those essential days.
    So VE (Value Engineering) is a great concept! and also a good solution for Success!
    Thank you for your complementary contribution here, Allen

    Andre Newinski S.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Santo Angelo

  • 9.  RE: Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering - Mentoring?

    Posted 07-21-2019 10:51 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 07-23-2019 10:13 AM
    I have done almost the same, but also internationally and I agree with you on all aspects.
    Let's talk and see how together we can do more for our younger CE students, faculty and consultants.

    Gajanan Sabnis P.E.,Dist.M.ASCE
    Powai-Mumbai MH
    9191 9821859112