Doable, Measurable and Sustainable Engineering – GineersNow

 

Doable, Measurable and Sustainable Engineering

It is now time to scale this initiative and integrate measurability as a key element in business sustainability blueprints.

Source: Doable, Measurable and Sustainable Engineering – GineersNow 
Read more at: https://gineersnow.com/engineering/environment/doable-measurable-and-sustainable-engineering#comment-20440

Globally, responsible businesses are taking the lead in embedding sustainability in their operations. It is now time to scale this initiative and integrate measurability as a key element in business sustainability blueprints. The landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018 was a powerful clarion call for climate action. Underscoring the unprecedented and immediate need for collective effort to limit global warming, the report emphasizes the role of businesses[1] as an important factor.

The quantifiability of the 1.5-degree-Celsius goal and the measurable steps to achieve it as outlined in the report have created a global sustainability mission that combines social, environmental and economic dimensions.  To save the world, we must strive to move the needle across all three targets.

 

For a business, a measurable sustainability target is a powerful starting point. The concept of measurability is embedded in business thinking, in the form of audits, quarterly and annual reports. Metric-based decision-making enables corporations to vigilantly course-correct towards desirable outcomes.  Similarly, measurability must be the lens through which businesses engage, deliberate courses of action, and ultimately achieve sustainability goals.

Pre-Assessment and benchmarking

The starting point of measurability is understanding the current sustainability status quo and benchmarking the intended goals. A pre-assessment entails analysis of the current environmental, social and economic impact and then contextualizing it with the purpose and overall strategy of the business. The most common performance metric is the mitigation of CO2 emission. With quantification of larger, long-term impact on society, a business can proceed to the next level – making informed decisions to create a more sustainable ecosystem. Considering the immensity of the 1.5 C goal (e.g. reducing greenhouse emissions to net-zero by mid-century), challenging but realistic targets need to be set for measuring performance. These can be distilled down to specific key performance indicators for employees, operations, and the enterprise at large.

Track of progress and proof of impact

Once underway, sustainability needs to be tracked vigilantly so that material issues that arise are addressed swiftly. The short and medium-term milestones also need to be mapped out; these can be examined for delays or inefficiencies. At the same time, an understanding of what is working well for one department can be replicated in others.  Measurability drives action in an organisation. After all, what gets measured properly, gets managed properly and eventually gets done properly. Measurable metrics directly impact a business’s current performance and set the tone for the future as well. Consistent measuring of progress provides clarity on the level of performance or the lack of it. Moreover, tracking progress and communicating milestones within and outside the organisation creates a culture of accountability and transparency. Having a metric also offers two benefits. If underperforming, a company can realign its resources by immediately assessing if there is a lag at any point between intention and outcome. On the other hand, targets achieved ahead of schedule must be made even more ambitious. After all, environmental responsibility is not a one-time campaign to be executed and then forgotten; it is a new transformative agenda for businesses across the globe. Charting a new course is also good for the bottom line. Business sustainability always goes hand-in-hand with long-term profitability and provides a clear incentive to strive to be greener and more sustainable. Customers want products that have a low carbon footprint; employees look up to businesses that can deliver social good on a substantial scale. Climate Action is also part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Achieving them can unlock an estimated[1] $12 trillion in potential growth and generate or retain millions of jobs.

Leading by Example

Responsible business must also define how operations are powered, raw material is sourced, new products are created, and supply chains are made resilient against climate change.  A measurable sustainability-oriented approach is, therefore, at the core of business growth and resilience. Responsible businesses around the world have already started on this path to sustainability. An example is the Ford Motor Company’s[2] measurable sustainability goals: it plans to use 100 per cent renewable energy for all manufacturing plants by 2035 and achieve zero air emissions from its facilities. With these measurable goals, it is streamlining its portfolio, improving fuel efficiency, and lowering emissions, energy use and water consumption. To increase transparency about the resiliency of its climate change strategy, Ford recently published a Climate Change Scenario Report. Despite the climate and business benefits of such plans, greening the business strategy does not get the attention that it deserves. According to a 2018 PwC report[4], only 27 per cent of 700 global companies include the Sustainable Development Goals into their business strategy. The corporate world is an integral stakeholder in the journey towards a sustainable future. It is incumbent upon all of us to not only scale up our efforts but also embed measurability in every step of the way. The time window to curb global warming is slowly shutting. We do not have an option to be oblivious. The time to act is now or never.

Read more at: https://gineersnow.com/engineering/environment/doable-measurable-and-sustainable-engineering#comment-20440

Project Engineers Win Construction Contracts Putting These Skills to Test – GineersNow

Project Engineers Win Construction Contracts Putting These Skills to Test

Project management in engineering is a growing discipline where engineers apply project management techniques to better manage their role on site

by GN Feature Story

Read more at: https://gineersnow.com/leadership/project-engineers-win-construction-contracts-skills-test
Source: Project Engineers Win Construction Contracts Putting These Skills to Test – GineersNow

Becoming a project engineer goes hand in hand with being a good project manager. Engineers help build structures through accurate technical reading. Project managers facilitate the design-build-operation process by managing people. What makes the two so distinct yet very similar? Their purpose—which is to put their individual strengths toward project completion. Managing the technical and people side of the business isn’t a skill honed overnight; a project engineer jumps through many hoops to assimilate a strong culture of caring into tight bottom lines. Project management in engineering is a growing discipline where engineers apply project management techniques to better manage their role on site. Responsible for product design, engineers prepare detailed sketched and engineering reports after reviewing drawings built by architects to ensure compliance with code and client specifications.  Enormous technical detail and support go into materializing the final design, which creates an equally big room for errors if consistency and accuracy are affected. The bid-to-win ratio of construction contracts has diminished over the past two decades, where in the pre-financial crisis era more projects would be up for auction to a select few contractors in local areas. Today, the sheer growth in construction activity has also generated a parallel growth in the number of contractors, except now those that are digitally inclined bring more business due to the cost and time saved in managing bids vis-à-vis manual processes. The reality can be improved by turning a fresh leaf in the way project engineers approach contracts. For aspiring engineers looking to join large construction firms as project engineers, mapping out your career doesn’t have to be daunting. Procore informs of the many aspects of project engineering to help you make a well-informed decision. In its essence, good project engineering draws from a good education as an essential first step. If you’re at the crossroads of choosing to study further, reading this might ease your decision-making process. Alternatively, those at the crossroads of applying for project engineer jobs often get stumped creating resumes; this post could inspire you to build a compelling application. Still hanging on to discover tricks to win more construction contracts? We might be onto something. Project Management for Engineers How Construction Project Engineers Communicate PEs work with multiple teams for months until the end of a project. Communication about daily project events helps them collaborate even under pressure—something that young PEs easily give in to before weighing their options to get to an agreeable solution. Construction projects are volatile and that brings ambiguity even to the most thoroughly-planned project items. The superintendent and PE are in close quarters which can lead to as much efficiency as anxiety for PEs to prove themselves on the job. When things don’t go according to plan, PEs can take on more than is reasonably manageable without raising queries, since they may view themselves as seeming incompetent if they raised difficult questions. Read more  5 Myths That Will Change the Way You think About Engineering Management This can deter effective teamwork as the focus drifts away from the task on hand to pandering to the perceived interests of the project stakeholders. Hence, it’s always advisable to raise issues when they arise to ensure that everyone involved has enough bandwidth to arrive at a fair solution. Stabilized communication increases your chance to convey what’s deliverable to a client, resulting in greater accuracy in bid proposals which in turn is likely to improve your winning odds. How Project Engineers Build Relationships Project engineers, as already seen, collaborate with a variety of stakeholders. From clients to subcontractor teams, they’re deeply involved throughout the project lifecycle, which requires them to nurture relationships to achieve desired outcomes. Strong internal relationships determine their success at bidding events since a full and fair estimation of projects enables them to promise only what’s achievable—not what they think the client would want in an effort to outdo their competitors. Setting yourself apart from the competitors is a multi-faceted process, one that needs clarifying what type of work you can do and at a price that beats direct rivals. If you’re on strong terms with your customers, you can glean valuable insights from their past engagements with contractors to prepare and price your projects accordingly. Many times, bidding at the lowest price isn’t feasible while coming in at a higher price point isn’t entirely risky since you must be on the same page with the client about the value your resources and expertise will deliver. Avoid speculating on what your client wants. Instead, actively work with them to form a proposal that appears to hit their targets. For instance, you can include a list of past projects showing how you surpassed the schedule and result expectations through pictures of similar projects. Draft a phased schedule of delivery to help your client think about how you intend to complete the project. Aim to include appealing added services to your proposal that prove you can reach your completion date with no pending work and all obligations met

Onboard a Construction Estimating Software Using software is yet to become a universal SOP; however, a construction estimating tool is effective to centralize bid information and define workflows to control costs and schedule. Should your company find value in a digital solution, here’s a comprehensive guide on construction project management software to move to the next level. Construction bidding software is widely integrated into project management software to cover a variety of activities across project phases. It automates costing jobs and comes with a range of integrations and product support that smoothens tasks from creating drawings to billing clients. Being a smart data management tool, it regularly notifies users of price fluctuations in the market, labour costs, material supplies, and offers a plethora of bidding resources that come in handy wherever you are in the construction bidding process. The database adapts to the method you use to cost jobs while updating with the incoming market and industry trends. This minimizes errors and risks and gives contractors, engineers, owners, and clients the confidence to visualize the project to completion. Lean Construction for Higher Bid Wins The most viable approach to greater bid wins is to have the lowest possible costs and the most efficient field project management process. Field teams must adopt lean and productive approaches to executing on project design requirements with zero downtime, lags, quality slip-ups, and errors. With everyone managed according to lean construction parameters, your jobsite will function as was laid out during the planning phase. Here are some tactics to help you imbibe lean construction project management: Present a realistic proposal Onboard digital solutions and show their application Offer specialized services Offer a complete package of trained staff and value-added engineering services Provide proof of being well-financed alongside permits and liability coverage Give a walkthrough of a schedule to show faster project completion Develop a partnership and promise to do whatever it takes to account for what you’ve proposed

Read more at: https://gineersnow.com/leadership/project-engineers-win-construction-contracts-skills-test

Source: Project Engineers Win Construction Contracts Putting These Skills to Test – GineersNow

40 Crazy Ideas To Change Engineering Education – GineersNow

40 Crazy Ideas To Change Engineering Education. Traditional approaches are obsolete and inefficient

Source: 40 Crazy Ideas To Change Engineering Education – GineersNow

We live in the dynamic time of changes and improvements. All areas of human life undergo transformations, and it seems quite natural to bring something new to education. Traditional approaches are obsolete and inefficient, should be revised in order for educational institutions to keep up with time.Academics come up with original ideas on how the learning process may be changed. In this article, experts have outlined the most interesting strategies and tips. Some of them may seem vague. The ways how these ideas may be combined with other methods, their Pros and cons should be studied more in detail. But that’s okay. 

After all, we are dreaming here, and there is nothing wrong if we would get a little crazy.

  1. Teamwork and interdependence should become a basis for all educational processes.
  2. Allow young people to set their own quality criteria, choose the most suitable assignments and information channels.
  3. Do not state nakedly that each student will be proficient. Better explain what you will do to provide such result.
  4. Schools should be proud of their efficient learning models rather than loud names and history. This is the best way to show educational institutions in action instead of focusing on empty mascots.
  5. Students should choose places where they want to learn. For example, lectures may be held in a park or a cafe.
  6. Do not force learners to come to a class. Make attendance optional.
  7. Allow young people to use gadgets in the classroom.
  8. Stop assessing proficiency based on demographic data. Pay more attention to individual indicators.
  9. Ask the teachers in your school to outline the 10 most useful skills they have and the 10 most valuable things they know. Find patterns in answers and compare them with state standards.
  10. Purchase tablets which should be used at all lessons instead of textbooks and notebooks.
  11. Build a school with walls made of glass.
  12. Create a website where parents would check information on their kids’ academic performance.
  13. Do not be afraid to admit your mistakes, accept the fact that some theory is wrong or some assignment is boring. Do not waste learner’s time just because state standards force you to do so.
  14. Open your mind for advanced technologies, strive to create an educational space of the future, attract the best specialists and innovations.
  15. Do not encourage students to enroll in expensive, prestigious universities practicing outdated approaches and not providing the knowledge necessary to succeed in the modern world.
  16. Add gamification elements to an academic routine, allow junior learners to play more, stimulate their creativity, make learning fun and entertaining.
  17. Teach adolescents to conduct self-analysis, control their emotions and behavior, develop useful communication habits, create strong interpersonal relationships, undertake responsibility, and treat information they come across cautiously.
  18. Help senior students to set career goals, develop skills and competencies which may come in handy at a workplace, instill corporate values.
  19. Use artificial intelligence.
  20. Fund schools like promising startups which should produce human capital and benefit society.
  21. Treat the leading professors like rock stars. They should enjoy fame, money, sign profitable contracts, and participate in TV shows.
  22. Students should be accountable for underperformance. Find mild and fair ways to control their work, avoid offensive and humiliating punishments, provide polite and substantiated criticism, reprimand young people one-on-one rather than in front of a class.
  23. Make learners accountable to each other – not educators. For example, a group may work on a project without the teacher’s support and provide a ready result when a task is accomplished.
  24. Education should cease to be a tedious duty and turn into an exciting adventure. Celebrate learning, and then scientists would be as popular as musicians and movie stars.
  25. Do not think that technology gives answers to all questions. Even though innovations are necessary in some situations, it is not worth introducing them mindlessly.
  26. Your grading system should start with 0 – not 100. This scale is much more objective.
  27. Budgets should be transparent. For example, educational institutions may publish financial reports on their websites. This information should be available to all learners, educators, and parents.
  28. Get rid of letter grades and standardized testing. Students should get more information on their mistakes and knowledge gaps.
  29. Stop oversimplifying course materials and allow young people to train their brains.
  30. Allow teachers to change policies and use authorial educational programs, provided that they lead students to uniform standards adopted at the state level.
  31. Ban scripted curricula and compile learning plans based on students’ inquiries.
  32. Measure process rather than results, in-class activity rather than test scores. Encourage learners to be active, curious, ask questions, and influence the way how lessons are held.
  33. Evolve teaching instead of teaching evolution.
  34. Create a brand in education just like Apple did with gadgets, Coca-Cola – with sugar water, and Instagram – with social networks.
  35. Stop blaming educators for all students’ failures.
  36. Exempt schools from state control. Governmental bodies know nothing about what teachers do at a front line.
  37. Assign a mentor for each student.
  38. Focus on developing thinking habits rather than transmitting knowledge.
  39. Teach young people to compile their own learning strategies.
  40. Invite parents, community members, and businesses to take part in the educational process.Read more at: https://gineersnow.com/students/40-crazy-ideas-change-engineering-education

Source: 40 Crazy Ideas To Change Engineering Education – GineersNow

Confessions: Two Years After Earning My Engineering Degree, I Still Feel “Lost” – GineersNow

Confessions: Two Years After Earning My Engineering Degree, I Still Feel “Lost”

Source: Confessions: Two Years After Earning My Engineering Degree, I Still Feel “Lost”   – GineersNow

I am one of those millennials who absolutely feel hopeless despite having graduated two years ago. It feels disappointing that I still feel lost today.

“Adulting is so hard.” – a common phrase we hear from every millennial everywhere. Lifestyle magazines for the young and the hip often bank on this concept and other industries have found ways to profit from “adulting”. Well, if you have millennials who feel clueless about what they’re doing, it’s easy to persuade them to do what you want in an attempt to make their lives feel better.
I would know since I am one of those millennials who absolutely feel hopeless despite having graduated two years ago. It feels disappointing that I still feel lost today. I thought this was just something college students would feel as they go through a phase of existential crisis. But in my case, it got worse. Way worse. Not only do I have to feel this way, I can no longer ask for financial support from my parents. I’m a civil engineering graduate and I’ve been working on a private company for more than a year already. What the internet promises as a fulfilling career with a high salary doesn’t really apply in reality. In my country, we are paid the minimum wage despite the cost of living in our area. I am left to pay my own bills, learn how to budget my money just to make it through the month and develop a certain lifestyle to stay fit and healthy. Everything gets more challenging when the competition gets tougher everyday. With thousands of civil engineers competing for few positions, one has to standout and be the best just to get that raise. So, now, I often ask myself, “What am I supposed to do with my life?”
It doesn’t help that everyone around us lives in a way that they have figured out the secret to success. Some have gone to further develop their knowledge by taking Master’s while others have gone abroad to get better and high-paying jobs. There are people my age who are starting their own business and buying their own cars. I know it’s bad to pity myself and compare, but here I am, still working at a private company with no signs of personal and professional developments. The more I start comparing myself to other people, the more I feel lost. Am I supposed to follow what they’re doing? Am I supposed to apply for a job abroad? Should I get back to school? Will life be easier if I just find someone rich I can marry? Clearly, everything gets confusing nowadays. It also doesn’t help that our parents have different ideas on how we should be living our lives and they look at our actions with a constant look of disapproval.  While this confession may seem to be more of a rant with no resolution, I do know that what I feel is not something I only have. A lot of my peers also share the same sentiment. Some gave in to the pressure and followed the path everyone else is taking while a few special people chose to create a new way for them to take, unafraid of what will come tomorrow as long as they believe in their dreams. I admire these brave souls and hopefully, one day, I will start enjoying the feeling of getting a little lost with my professional (and personal) life and explore what the world can offer with a strong faith in myself and my engineering degree.
So if you’re reading this and you feel lost as well, hang in there.

Read more at: https://gineersnow.com/engineering/confessions-two-years-earning-engineering-degree-still-feel-lost

Source: Confessions: Two Years After Earning My Engineering Degree, I Still Feel “Lost”   – GineersNow

‘100-year’ floods will happen every 1 to 30 years, according to new flood maps

‘100-year’ floods will happen every 1 to 30 years, according to new flood mapsby Princeton UniversityResearchers at Princeton University calculated flood risks for 171 counties across four regions: New England (green), mid-Atlantic (orange), southeast Atlantic (blue), and Gulf of Mexico (red). They found that what used to be considered 100-year floods will occur far more often depending on the location. Credit: Reza Marsooli et alA 100-year flood is supposed to be just that: a flood that occurs once every 100 years, or a flood that has a one-percent chance of happening every year.But Princeton researchers have developed new maps that predict coastal flooding for every county on the Eastern and Gulf Coasts and find 100-year floods could become annual occurrences in New England; and happen every one to 30 years along the southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shorelines.”The historical 100-year floods may change to one-year floods in Northern coastal towns in the U.S.,” said Ning Lin, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University.In a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers combined storm surge, sea level rise, and the predicted increased occurrence and strength in tropical storms and hurricanes to create a map of flood hazard possibility along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. Coastlines at northern latitudes, like those in New England, will face higher flood levels primarily because of sea level rise. Those in more southern latitudes, especially along the Gulf of Mexico, will face higher flood levels because of both sea level rise and increasing storms into the late 21st century.

Source: ‘100-year’ floods will happen every 1 to 30 years, according to new flood maps