Dragon Bridge in Vietnam Offers a Spectacular Show

A couple weeks back, Engineering Search Partners blogged about the 11 winners of Engineering-News Record’s 2014 Global Best Projects Awards. The winner for the bridge category, Dragon Bridge in  the port city of Da Nang in Vietnam, is especially interesting because it’s bright yellow and shaped like a dragon. Oh, and it breathes fire!

The 666-meter-long, $86-million project was built by a team led by Louis Berger Group and Ammann & Whitney after they won a design competition judged by the local government. Berger has had a long presence in Vietnam and brought in Ammann & Whitney upon learning about the design competition. The group came up with two bridge designs, the dragon shape and an alternate low-profile bridge that consists of a five-tube steel-and-concrete arch system that carries the superstructure through spider frames and suspenders placed at 8-m intervals. After presenting both options, the dragon-shaped bridge won. 

The bridge design was created with the ability for traffic to flow seamlessly onto local roads and preserve scenic views. The contractors faced challenges with the site, including a complex mix of sand, silt and clay on top of severely weathered rock. 

Chris Gagnon, SVP for Ammann & Whitney said of the project:

“The government was looking for a signature bridge, an iconic bridge. We came up with two designs, including a high-level cable-stayed bridge that met the original clearance requirements. But as we looked more into the site conditions, the high-level bridge posed a problem regarding existing infrastructure that abuts the river. Building high-level ramps to tie into the highway system would have posed issues with existing buildings. On one side, there is a museum with a plaza … that would have been disrupted.”

As for the fire-breathing part of the project, the local government provided the fire-breathing mechanism that creates weekend displays, which has become a thriving tourist industry has sprung up around the bridge.

Check out an awesome video of this bridge in all its fire-breathing glory:

How to Find a Company Culture that Aligns with Your Goals

As the changes in must-haves for job hunters continues to grow and change, many find themselves listing “company culture” as a must-have on their career wishlist. After a long and tiresome job search, the last thing you want to do is find out that the company you said “yes” to is ultimately not a good fit. Job recruitment and the selection process is slowly gravitating towards hiring based on core values (cultural fit) rather than technical competencies. According to an article published on 7Geese, “One of the reasons for this shift may be attributed to Gen Y entering the workforce and staying at a job for about two years or so, prioritizing meaningful work over pay as well as working for a company that is aligned with their own values.”

An effective workplace culture typically has a motivated and happy staff. So, how do you go about finding a company that has a positive culture? Start by asking yourself what you want from that company (aside from the job itself). Then, upon getting an interview, ask the hiring manager some of the same questions, as the interview is as much about you getting to know the company as it is about the company getting to know you. Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Ask them to describe the company culture in three words. What are they, and why?
  • What’s the working environment like? What’s the best part?
  • What are the most common complaints from employees who work here? (When asking this question, proceed with caution. While it will allow you to know some of the quirks* of the job, you don’t want to seem like you’re mining for negative responses.)
  • What do you love about working here? Get a little more personal and ask your interviewer what brings them to work each day. Save this question for last, as it will end the interview positively and will build a connection with your interviewer.

When it comes to company culture, don’t settle. You won’t want to make the most of a job where you don’t fit. Engineering Search Partners has experience placing job candidates in Atlanta engineering careers that prove to be a great fit. We even go beyond the hire, making sure that the hiring process is seamless for both the new employee and the hiring manager. Contact us today so we can help place you with your next dream job.


Are You 1 in a Million?

A few weeks back, we stumbled onto this amazing video called Henri’s Boogie, where piano aficionado Henri Herbert gave an impromptu performance in a crowded London train station. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s definitely a must-see!

After re-watching the video, we couldn’t help but think about how many talented people go unnoticed every day. In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook natural talent, as evident in the video clip of Henri. How did we get to this point? Henri, like anyone with a natural talent for a particular skill, is sitting in the center of masses of people, with his talent going unnoticed.

Finding Engineering Talent is Our Specialty

For us, finding those diamond-in-the-rough employees is the ultimate payoff. We specialize in helping engineering firms locate and hire the strongest candidates in the market. Finding and evaluating top talent that we can then place with their ideal job is what drives us. Ultimately, we want to help people put their natural talents to good use!

What Sets Us Apart?

Engineering Search Partners provides a competitive advantage to our clients with 25 years of engineering consulting experience in industry-specific practice areas. With an 85% success rate, our 4-step recruiting process encompasses four key components that enables firms find the right candidate for their needs.

If you’re interested in finding your “1 in a million” candidate, trust Engineering Search Partners to help you discover what many people may be overlooking. Contact us today to get started.

Henri’s Boogie video courtesy of Youtube.

4 Ways to Manage Your Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint, also known as the online trail you leave on various forms of digital communication, is very important when it comes to presenting yourself to potential employers. How does yours represent you? Will it have a positive or negative effect on your reputation? When searching for your next job, recruiters and hiring managers will seek out your profiles online to help them determine if you’re a good candidate. You can put your best online foot forward with the help of these suggestions from Engineering Search Partners.

The best way to track your digital footprint is by first typing your name into a Google search. What do you see? If you need to up your Internet ante, here are four ways you can start managing your digital footprint.

  • Make sure your online and offline personas match. If you’re passionate about forensic engineering or environmental science, make sure your profiles accurately depict those facts. Comb through your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ pages to create pages congruous to your goals – which are maintaining a specific appearance online.
  • Be sure your LinkedIn profile is complete, up to date, and compelling. Tell your story in such a way that people are engaged and want to learn more about you and what you do. Participate regularly in the Linkedin Professional Group that you feel helps you to develop relationships with your peers.
  • If you are comfortable  “marketing yourself” then expand your web presence and if you don’t already have a website, consider getting one with a URL that has your first name and last name. This step will help your site show up higher in search engines when a potential employer searches for your name. Set your LinkedIn URL (as well as other social networks) to be linkedin.com/firstandlastname to help buoy those search results even more.
  • Become a credible resource in your desired field. Participate in online discussions and digital communities that are related to the field you want to be found for. Additionally, if your new website has a blog, start blogging on topics that are related to your desired field.

Managing your digital footprint is no longer an option when it comes to searching for a job – it’s essential. By taking these steps, you’re on your way to putting your best foot forward, digitally speaking. Once you’re ready to find your dream engineering job, contact us to help you find the perfect fit.

Photo via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Award-Winning Masonry Project: Sentinel Plaza

The May issue of Structures Magazine, a print and online publication for structural engineers, featured an article about masonry and a record-breaking project in Tucson, Arizona. The tallest post-tensioned masonry building in the United States was completed last year in Sentinel Plaza, an Independent Senior Housing Development. The building is six stories high with 139,000 square feet and 143 individual units.

Four exterior wall systems were evaluated and considered for this project, including masonry, concrete, steel studs, and insulated concrete forms (ICF). The general contractor, W. E. O’Neil, suggested post-tensioned masonry as an alternate system for several reasons: durability, ease of construction, and similar insulating characteristics. Throughout the building’s construction, all lines of communication ran through the architect, so that all consultants would remain coordinated. Thanks to the thorough coordination effort during the design process, field coordination issues were kept to a minimum. With this practice in place, the award-winning Armory Park project was successfully completed ahead of schedule.

Below is a video via the City of Tucson Youtube channel interviewing a future resident:

To read the full article, you can visit Structures Magazine’s website or download it in a PDF format.

Potential Engineer Shortage for the Oil and Gas Industry?

Engineering Search Partners had the immense pleasure of attending the Oil & Gas Offshore Technology Conference in Houston last week. The biggest take away from the conference? There is a worker shortage in the oil & gas industry and many firms are looking to hire recruiters to help meet that shortage. This week on our blog, we wanted to share pieces from an article via Fuel Fix that focuses specifically on that need.

Written by LM Sixel, the article Poaching workers becomes business strategy for oil and gas as boomers retire explains that energy companies are aware that they’re facing a shortage of talent as the baby boomer generation begins to retire. Their solution? Steal from their competitors. Young engineers examining a blueprint

According to a survey completed by global consulting leader Mercer, 112 companies worldwide that employ more than 1 million workers indicated their plants to rely on the ability to ‘steal and poach’ to fill their job openings. A few weeks back, John Koob, the leader for the energy consulting practice for North America division of Mercer hosted a roundtable discussion with several oil and gas clients in Denver. Upon the discussion in regards to their plans to fill these key roles once this ‘great shift change’ begins to take place, the representatives from each company clearly stated their intent to steal experts from each other.

Koob explains that there has to be a large shift in the thinking going forward to increase the pool of available workers, and suggests increasing training, relying more on immigrant labor and contractors or making changes to current staffing models.

According to the article, petroleum engineers and plant/operations engineers will be in highest demand over the next five years. Additionally, plant managers, geoscientists, upstream product managers, finance managers, sales, traders and marine shippers will also be in short supply.

Photo via FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Greetings from the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference!

We’re in Houston, Texas this week attending the Offshore Technology Conference, an event that is expected to bring more than 100,000 industry professionals to Reliant Park, North America’s largest and most versatile complex of event venues. The OTC offers attendees the latest technology in offshore resources including drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection.

This conference offers an opportunity to see ground-breaking innovations as well as meet the leading providers of products and services packed into four days. The program is selected by knowledgeable and experienced professionals, and offers an opportunity to meet and network with thousands of individuals.

History of the Offshore Technology Conference OTC capture for ESP

Founded in 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference is the world’s foremost event for information and development on offshore resources. The conference is sponsored by 13 industry organizations and societies who work cooperatively to develop the technical program. Among the largest 200 trade shows held annually in the United States, OTC is among the 10 largest meetings in terms of attendance, which consistently exceeds 80,000 and more than 2,700 companies participate in the exhibition. OTC includes attendees from around the world, with over 120 countries represented at recent conferences.

The OTC is governed by a Board of Directors made of up 14 representatives, 12 from OTC’s sponsoring organizations and two from OTC’s endorsing organizations.

The primary goal of the OTC is to promote and further the advance of scientific and technical knowledge of offshore resources and environmental matters.

Engineering Search Partners will be attending the conference through the end of the week, so if you’re attending as well, we look forward to meeting with you!

 Photo via the OTC website.


Engineering Marvel: One World Trade Center

When we think about landmark buildings, especially those in the city of New York, we have to include the One World Trade Center building, standing at 1,776 feet tall, crowning it the tallest building in the western hemisphere, taking the claim from Chicago’s Willis Tower. Just last month, the television network PBS launched a series called Super Skyscrapers, featuring One World Trade Center as the first towering building in the four-week series. The building will be complete and open to the public sometime this year.

Construction of One World Trade Center 245px-OneWorldTradeCenter

The construction of this skyscraper started on April 27th, 2006, developed by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. Structural engineers who worked on the project include WSP Cantor Seinuk, Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, and the MEP engineer is Jaros Baum & Bolles.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designed the tower with the environment in mind. The tower will have a fuel cell that will generate 4.8 million watts to power its various systems and will also use waste steam for electricity. It will also feature a rainwater collection system and recycling scheme for its cooling systems. The construction process itself has been earth-friendly and uses recycled content building materials including sustainably-harvested wood. The construction from the site has also been recycled. Once the building is complete, it is expected to receive a Gold Certification by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The engineers and architects also designed the building with structural integrity and ease of evacuation in mind. The building has a reinforced, window-less base that will be able to withstand a truck bomb. The walls are three feet thick reinforced concrete for all stairwells, elevator shafts, risers, and sprinkler systems and emergency staircases were built to be extremely wide so that as many people as possible could exit as safely as possible. Additionally, there are dedicated stairwells exclusively for emergency teams and the ventilation system will be equipped with biological and chemical filters.

Once finished, the One World Trade Center will boast the following statistics:

  • Designed to be the safest commercial structure in the world and the premier commercial business address in New York.
  • 3 Million square feet of office space on 71 office floors, a grand public lobby, and an observation deck offering unparalleled views of the city.
  • 71 Elevators, with a top speed of 10.16 m/s
  • 91 floors above ground, and 5 floors below ground.
  • A rooftop observation deck at 1,362 feet with a glass parapet extending to 1,368 feet, the exact height of the Twin Towers.

Engineering Search Partners, along with most New Yorkers and Americans alike, are looking forward to seeing the completion of this great building. All organizations involved have created a new icon in the New York City skyline, one that the city and rest of the country are proud to recognize.

Photo via Wikipedia.

Three Reasons to Get Involved in Professional Associations

Many career experts agree that getting involved in professional organizations goes a long way toward making important connections that could benefit your job search. There are professional organizations for almost every profession, including many national, state and regional chapters. An association allows you to connect with other like-minded individuals, and could offer experiences that you may have otherwise missed out on. Here are some important benefits of joining a professional association.

Build Your Network

The size and quality of your Network will equal your Net Worth!

This is probably the most obvious reason to join a professional network, but it’s one of the most important! Creating professional relationships is the cornerstone of joining any network, usually with the goal of connecting with someone that can offer a synergistic relationship. It’s wise to also connect with these same people on social media sites like LinkedIn, and if you have worked with them, do them the favor of leaving a recommendation (most people will reciprocate and leave you one in return).

Take Control of Your Career Making important business connections

Many professional organizations have additional career resources, such as private job posting boards, or offer assistance in career marketing documents such as resumes or cover letters. Other benefits may include seminars, training or certification programs tailored to your particular profession, and by taking part in any of these, it shows a potential employer that you are dedicated to staying connected to your particular profession.

 Competitive Edge

Often, members of a professional association gain access to news specific to their industry as well as other developments affecting their profession. Association newsletters, LinkedIn Groups or seminars are a great way to stay current on the latest trends and news in your industry.

Professional Associations for Engineers

For structural engineers, there are a number of options for professional involvement. Organizations like the Structural Engineering InstituteNational Council of Structural Engineers AssociationsAmerican Concrete AssociationAmerican Institute of Steel ConstructionCouncil of American Structural Engineers.

If you aren’t already involved in professional associations for your industry, these are great reasons to start! Engineering Search Partners is proud to be a part of SEI-Georgia, and SEAoG.



Best of the Best: Engineering Projects Awarded for their Design and Construction Excellence

Have you ever said to someone, “You have to try this place, they have the best coffee!” Or “the best Caesar salad,” or “the best atmosphere.” As an engineer, have you ever said, “Wow, this is one of the most impressive structures I’ve ever seen?”

Recently, we spied a special report article on Engineering-News Record.com, an online resource for construction, building and engineering news that shared some of the best projects in 2013 ranked by a panel of independent industry leaders, including three safety experts. The projects were selected after months of meticulous judging as the best examples of design and construction excellence among completed projects in the United States between July 2012 and June 2013. The process began with independent panels of judges selecting winners in 20 categories for each of ENR’s 10 regional editions. Then, these top regional projects were selected for the national competition, with the winners of these categories chosen based on their teamwork, safety, innovation, quality and success in overcoming challenges. Engineer and Architect discussing building plans

As an extra honor, ENR’s editorial staff selected one standout project, a Seattle office building called the Bullitt Center selected as the winner for the Green Project, as Editor’s Choice. This ultra-sustainable green building is built to satisfy its own energy, water and waste needs in a revenue-producing environment. The center also serves as Bullitt’s living laboratory to further the Bullitt Foundation’s mission of elevating environmental awareness.

Engineering Search Partner‘s personal favorite of all the projects on ENR’s best of list was the Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Pedestrian Bridge, located in Fort Worth, Texas. This bridge is America’s first steel-arch and stress-ribbon bridge, and serves as a connection from the city’s central business area with the arts district and its largest and oldest park. The bridge measures at 366 feet and is 12 feet, 9 inches wide, and was built to withstand more than 12 feet of flood waters, as the area is sensitive to flooding.

Amazing projects like these remind us of the creative problem-solving skills that make an engineer great. Which of these engineering marvels is your favorite, and why? Share with us by leaving a comment below!

Photo via FreeDigitalPhotos.net