Are you always making a project plan for your engineering projects, no matter how small? If so, you're helping to make yourself more attractive to civil engineering recruitment programs, private businesses, and anyone else in need of an engineer. Creating solid project plans helps demonstrate your competency to them, as well as bringing a wide range of benefits to your own career.
These are just a few of the benefits that you'll see, once you make project plans a part of every project you work on.
Five Major Reasons to Always Create A Project Plan
1 - Improved communication
No matter how perfectly you can visualize your project in your mind, you still need to communicate that vision to everyone else involved in the project. That's exactly what a detailed project plan can do. It ensures everyone is on the same page and understands what needs to be done.
2 - Adds motivation
When you have a well-imagined plan to work off of, that makes it much easier to maintain motivation in a project. It can be treated like a roadmap, with major hurdles and features checked off one-by-one. As the project drags on, the plan can become what you focus on to always understand that you are making progress.
3 - Predicting future problems
One of the things that separates a good engineer from a great engineer is having the ability to predict problems that are likely to occur and have contingency plans in place to deal with such eventualities. The more detailed your project plan is, the more likely you'll be able to see such possibilities - and be able to deal with them.
4 - Control the project, rather than being controlled
One of the biggest existential dangers in engineering is the project that becomes so huge that it gets out of control. Choices aren't dictated by larger goals, but by day-to-day reactions to things happening with the project. The more detailed your plan is, the less likely this is to happen.
5 - Stay on track
If you ever lose your way on a project, the plan will be there to remind you of what needs to be done. It can remain rock-solid, no matter how much anything else changes.
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3D printing is disrupting many markets, but one might not -at first- think of transportation engineering as being boosted by 3D printing. After all, you can't 3D print a train... can you? Well, you can't 3D print an entire train, but the convergence between 3D printing technologies and new techniques for working with carbon fiber are opening entirely new ways to create train components! We've recently been following a fascinating initiative in Europe, called Run2Rail, which is all about utilizing cutting-edge technology to improve rail service across the EU. With partners in 15 countries, it's a truly continental project - and one with the potential to greatly advance the state-of-the-art in railways.
What Run2Rail Could Do for Transportation Engineering
According to a recent interview with Run2Rail researchers, the project has four broad goals:
1 - Improved use of passive and active sensors for condition monitoring, providing greater feedback on the state of the train while in operation.
2 - Developing active suspension technologies which can be predictive, rather than relying on springs and other "dumb" reactive suspension techniques.
3 - Finding better ways to utilize modern composite materials and the latest manufacturing techniques, like 3D printing, in train construction.
4 - Improved noise dampening, to prevent larger/heavier trains and more frequent runs from becoming a noise hazard to the surrounding environment.
At present, the project is focusing most of their attention on the third item on that list, the materials, and manufacturing goals. They're exploring multiple highly-innovative techniques for improving train and component manufacture. 3D printing is a major part of this since it greatly simplifies the process of prototyping and testing.
Along with 3D printing, they are also exploring what robotics and automation bring to the picture. Robots can work with materials at micro scales beyond easy human craftsmanship, such as working with carbon fiber on a fiber-by-fiber basis for maximum precision. This also allows them to experiment with adding a range of materials to the basic carbon fiber, looking for new composites which add strength or reliability.
The rail industry tends to be conservative and tied closely to traditional materials like steel. They'll be facing an uphill battle pushing adoption of new methods - but if their transportation engineering projects work out, the result could revolutionize the railways.
Are you looking for transportation engineering jobs? GeoSearch is a leading civil engineering recruitment agency. Contact us to learn more!
The world has more need of engineers and other geospatial specialists than ever before, but that doesn't mean getting a job as an engineer is easy. Civil engineering recruitment firms see plenty of people who have the skills and the talent but find they just can't quite manage to seal the deal when applying for jobs.
Based on our years of experience in civil engineering recruitment and extensive industry contacts, we can offer some tips on how to land those job offers you want.
Four Specialists' Tips on Landing the Engineering Jobs You Want
1 - Find good fits
As tempting as it is to take a "shotgun" approach to job applications, such an approach rarely yields improved results. Take your time, do plenty of research, and look for positions where you honestly believe you will be a good fit. If you find yourself thinking you'll have to bluff your way through your resume, or interviews, you should probably keep looking for a better match.
2 - Keep researching your key prospects
If you want to impress a recruiter or hiring agent, few things will do it better than demonstrating genuine knowledge about their company and its needs. Review their website. Look them up on LinkedIn and other social outlets. Search for articles written about the company. See if they're attached to papers in professional journals.
Then, when you walk into the interview, you won't be asking "What can I do for you?" You'll be declaring "Here's what I will do for you."
3 - Make friends on the inside
To really push your chances of a job offer over the edge, you want a person on the inside promoting you from within. If that means taking some time cultivating contacts via social media or real-world social circles, do it! Internal referrals are an incredibly powerful driver of job offers. If someone on the inside says, "Yes, this person is the right hire," you'll probably get the job.
4 - Really prepare for the interview
Don't walk in cold. Practice! Have a friend play the role of the recruiter and throw questions at you. Few people can truly "wing" an interview and pull it off. They're putting in plenty of work, even if they won't admit it.