When to Look for a New Engineering Career

Like it or not, some workplaces simply aren’t the right fit. Many structural engineering jobs begin with challenging and engaging work, but employees lose their spark as projects become static. Some positions seem excellent on paper, but lack the corporate culture to help engineers thrive. Other engineering careers are chosen for outside reasons: pay, convenience, or family ties. In today’s work culture, changing careers lacks the stigma it had twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. If you’re not content with your current engineering firm, it’s alright to start looking . . . as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons.

3 Reasons to Find a New Job

  1. engineer asleep on the jobThe bad days outweigh the good. Everyone has a bad stretch at work now and then, but if you find yourself dreading project after project, it may be time to look for an engineering position with a fresh firm. Discontentment at work doesn’t just reflect poorly on your skills, it can also negatively impact your health, your business network, and your personal relationships.

  2. There’s no upward mobility. If you find yourself stuck in an engineering position with no room for advancement, take a step back and examine your goals. Can you continue indefinitely without growing bored of your current projects? Have you missed a potential career shift within your firm? If the answer to both questions is no, start searching elsewhere.

  3. You clash with the leadership team. No one gets along with the boss full time, but if you find yourself constantly questioning the decisions of your management team, you’re probably not utilizing your engineering skills effectively. Get out before you start burning bridges and find an engineering firm whose office culture aligns with yours.

If you’re ready to find a structural engineering career more suited to your talents, call Engineering Search Partners. We’ll examine your experience, niche skills, and preferred corporate culture to find the engineering firm that will help you build a better career.

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3 Buildings Famous for their Flaws

As a culture, we’re fascinated by design failures. Call it curiosity, a determination to do better, or a simple inability to glance away from impending train wrecks, but engineering failures like the Tacoma Bridge Collapse have captivated our attention throughout history. Some structural engineering failures, however, don’t result in rippling concrete and bending steel. These 3 historical buildings are famous for design flaws that, rather causing grandiose collapses, have become part of their appeal.

The Bent Pyramid of Dahshur

The Egyptian pyramids have fascinated structural engineers for centuries. These immense structures seem too precisely constructed for ancient construction and technology. One pyramid, however, shows that ancient Egyptian builders sometimes miscalculated architectural design, just as modern engineers do. The Bent Pyramid of Dahshur transitions sharply from a 54-degree slant to a 43-degree slant. Modern engineers postulate that ancient architects realized their initial angle would not be stable enough to prevent collapse. The bent pyramid remains a popular destination for tourists visiting Cairo, Egypt.

The Beauvais Cathedral

The Beauvais Cathedral proves that some engineers just won’t learn. The structure, started in 1225, promised to be the tallest, broadest, and most ornate cathedral in existence. The engineers, however, couldn’t account for the weight of the building. The vaulted ceiling collapsed in 1284, halting construction. In the following centuries, dozens of architects attempted to finish the French cathedral; each attempt ended in disaster. The Gothic cathedral remains unfinished, but architects, engineers, and art students still study its structural flaws and their role in the decline of Gothic architecture.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

leaning tower of pisa

Perhaps the most famous structural engineering miscalculation, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, has captivated the world since it began to sink into the earth just five years into its construction. The design flaw lays in the foundation: 12th century engineers constructed a foundation only 3 meters thick to support the weight of the Pisa Square bell tower. It continued to slant sharply during and after the last 95 years of construction, until 20th century engineers were forced to close the building to tourists to add stabilizing cables, trusses, and counterweights. Structural engineers predict the improved tower will remain stabilized at its 4 degree lean for 200-300 years. Today this engineering failure is one of Italy’s most famous tourist attractions.

Do famous structural engineering oversights captivate your attention? Call Engineering Search Partners for help finding a career in structural or forensic engineering.

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Top Engineering Firms to Work For

engineers examining blueprintsEvery year Zweigwhite releases a list of the top engineering firms for job candidates. These firms have the best company cultures, best employee benefits, and the highest level of satisfaction among their engineers. They also excel at leadership, vision, and project success in the civil and structural engineering sectors. Learn more about why these companies are the best engineering firms to work for.

Best Civil Engineering Firms

  1. Bowers + Kubota Consulting, Inc. – Based out of Waipahu, Hawaii, this civil engineering firm has a strong, positive company culture and abundant opportunities for a successful career in engineering. Winner of the Oihana Maika award for small business excellence.

  2. Nitsch Engineering, Inc. – This firm specializes in civil engineering, land surveying, site consulting and planning, and transportation engineering. Niche Engineering, Inc. in Boston is the largest Women-Owned Business Enterprise civil engineering firm in Massachusetts.

  3. Choice One Engineering Corporation – A high-efficiency, community-driven civil engineering and surveying firm based out of Ohio, Choice One Engineering also serves clients in Kentucky and Indiana.

Best Structural Engineering Firms

  1. Hinman Consulting Engineers, Inc. – A leading firm in protective design and risk mitigation structural engineering, this company hires mindful, detail-oriented engineers to provide structural solutions for potential catastrophes.

  2. Structura, Inc. – A structural engineering firm built on the principles of collaboration, flexibility, mindful innovation, and commitment. Located in Austin, TX.

  3. Finley Engineering Group, Inc. – Recognized internationally for its expertise in complex bridge projects, this Tallahassee, FL specialty engineering firm values experience, creativity, and innovation in its engineers.

Are you looking for an engineering position with a successful firm? Fill out our Career Wish List form and let Engineering Search Partners place you with a company that suits your experiences, niche skills, and ideal corporate culture.

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The Relevance of Indeed to Engineers

online networkingIn the world of social media, it’s nearly impossible to find a new job without a mastery of online marketing. Online marketing (and through it, personal branding) allows job seekers to find information, build relevant networks, and share specialized knowledge with potential employers. Job search wisdom differs drastically on the current relevance of job search boards and online postings. Many recruiters believe that LinkedIn is the only tool job searchers need to develop relevant contacts, build business relationships, and find job opportunities suited to their niche skills. Despite this assessment, job posting websites like Indeed bring countless candidates to job search success.

What You Need to Know about Indeed

  • You probably won’t find a job. Traditional job searches flounder due to lack of specificity, unsynced keywords, and lack of communication between the job poster and the job seeker. Most forensic, electrical, and structural engineers are searching for niche positions, many of which aren’t posted on job search boards. The positions that are listed are often misworded or poorly described, lessening the job hunter’s likelihood of finding a relevant opportunity.
  • But that doesn’t mean Indeed lacks merit. Despite missing the mark for many specialized job searchers, Indeed has merit in the search for an engineering position. Though it doesn’t always connect searchers with potential employers, Indeed offers another valuable service: information. The information recruiters gather through Indeed – as well as the information job seekers find about their target market – increase an engineer’s chances of finding a niche position with a strong engineering firm.

Use Indeed to Succeed

Indeed still offers value to engineering companies and candidates. Utilize the information and industry contacts on Indeed by:

  • Learning more about the job listings posted in the engineering industry
  • Honing your job search
  • Learning to articulate your particular skills
  • Connecting with niche recruiters in the engineering industry
  • Filling out our Career Wish List

Let Engineering Search Partners connect you with an engineering position that fits your unique skill set. Learn more about finding a fulfilling career in structural engineering.

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Engineering Mishaps: The Tacoma Bridge Collapse

The collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is one of the most dramatic – and best documented – engineering failures in history. The moment the deck was built, the bridge could be seen oscillating during high winds. Construction workers nicknamed the bridge “Galloping Gertie” for its persistent, rolling motion in windy weather. Transit authorities deemed the bridge structurally sound, and it opened to the public on July 1, 1940.

As tourists flocked to see “Galloping Gertie,” structural engineers attempted to arrest the rolling motion of the bridge. Several additional cables were installed, both to cement blocks offshore and to connect the main cables to the bridge deck at the midpoint. Builders also equipped the bridge with hydraulic buffers to damp motion. When each of these reinforcements failed, the Washington Toll Bridge Authority hired Professor Frederick Burt Farquharson to perform wind tunnel tests and recommend a solution to the bridge’s undulation in high winds. The bridge collapsed before his suggestions could be implemented, but video footage shows Professor Farquharson standing on the bridge moments before its collapse, studying the effects of the gale on the structure.

The collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which occurred on November 7, 1940, remains one of the most infamous structural engineering disasters of the twentieth century. The collapse was caught on film.

Later research attributed the bridge’s collapse to a number of factors, including:

  • Insufficient deck weight
  • Insufficient deck depth
  • An unprecedented deck width to center-span ratio (1 to 72)
  • Cables anchored too far from the side spans
  • Use of plate girders instead of open lattice trusses, which forced wind above and below the bridge

The bridge successfully rebuilt using a new, reinforced design by the University of Washington Engineering Experimentation Station, which utilized the original tower foundations and anchorage. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse led to innovations in the design and construction of suspension bridges that are still used by structural engineers today.

5 Things You Should Be Doing on LinkedIn

Creating a compelling LinkedIn profile is a crucial step in finding a satisfying engineering job, but many job seekers aren’t sure where to start. Filling out a bland, incomplete, or copy/pasted LinkedIn profile can undermine strong work experience, making you less likely to find a career. To make the most of your online job search, make sure you’re optimizing your LinkedIn profile with these 5 tips.

  1. social media networkingBe professional. In the digital age, many job seekers lose touch with what’s appropriate to post where potential employers might see. Set your Facebook and Twitter profiles to private and keep casual photos, comments, and articles off your LinkedIn account.
  2. Be personal. Unlike a standard resume, LinkedIn gives engineers the opportunity to understand the aspects of a company that employers don’t advertise, like corporate culture or mentorship. The same holds true for recruiters. Make your profile personable and compelling, Your LinkedIn profile doesn’t just represent your work experience, it represents who you will be as a member of an engineering team.
  3. Be different. LinkedIn presents an opportunity for engineers to show recruiters their leadership skills, innovative thinking, and passions. Don’t be afraid to list volunteer work, talk about projects you’re passionate about, and discuss the future of engineering in your field. LinkedIn allows job hunters to show potential employers that they’re driven, focused, and ready to dive in.
  4. Manage your settings. Make sure you know what information you’re broadcasting to your network. If you’re adding a new accomplishment, send out notifications to the professionals in your network. If you’re tweaking the wording on your profile, change your settings to private.
  5. Get connected. The professionals who get the most out of LinkedIn are the people who are the most involved. Update your profile regularly, expand your network of engineering professionals, and join engineering groups on LinkedIn. You’ll create a stronger web presence and make connections that could develop into meaningful business relationships.

Are you ready to connect with your dream job? Call Engineering Search Partners to help you find an engineering career in Atlanta.

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Attracting (and Keeping) Millennial Talent

staffing structural engineersIt’s trendy for business executives to bemoan the new generation in the workforce. Millennials have a reputation for being irreverent, lazy, and egocentric. But as scores of Baby Boomers retire from engineering firms, those newly graduated structural engineers become a sought-after pool of fresh talent. Top recruiting researchers have found that Millennials are motivated differently than their predecessors, but once engaged, work just as diligently. Engage the top engineering talent of the new generation with these tips for attracting and retaining Millennial engineers.

  • Stop hiring one-hit wonders. Engineering is a naturally diverse field, and like most Millennial talent, young engineers don’t like to become static in the workplace. New graduates want to hone their talents, knowledge, and skills on the job. For most, that means finding an company culture of mentorship, continuous education, and upward mobility.
  • Think outside the box. Engineers are innovative thinkers, known for finding creative solutions to problems. The Millennial generation applies this principle to every aspect of their careers, preferring to use their own methods to meet set deadlines. To keep top Millennial talent (and effectively utilize their skills), engineering firms should offer new hires flexibility within the set parameters of their positions.
  • Build a balance. Unlike previous generations, who took years to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives, recent college grads know the importance of a healthy work/life balance. Recent engineering grads are more than willing to put in the work, but they balk at the 24/7 careers many companies have adopted in the digital age. To retain Millennial talent, give employees the tools to work diligently along with the flexibility to meet their personal needs.

Engineering Search Partners provides a competitive advantage to engineering firms seeking to hire new talent. We analyze the needs of each company to find a candidate who fits the needs of the firm, the requirements of the position, and the office culture. Simplify your hiring process by allowing our experienced engineering recruiters to find top Millennial candidates for your firm.

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3 Popular Engineering and Recruiting Blogs

Engineer at New FirmEngineering Search Partners, Inc is dedicated to placing top talent with companies looking to expand their engineering and leadership teams. By studying each company’s corporate structure, company culture, and job specific candidate requirements, we remove the pressure of recruiting and provide companies with top engineering candidates most suited to the job at hand. But Engineering Search Partners does more than research placement opportunities, develop close relationships with engineering companies, and ease the transition from “recruiting” to “hired.” We provide current industry information, tips for companies and job seekers, and updates on engineering projects all over the world. Check out our most popular engineering and recruitment blogs this month.

How to Find a Company Culture that Aligns with Your Goals : Company culture (or “core business values”) can make or break career placement. As you interview for new positions, determine whether a company is a good cultural fit by asking these questions.

The Winners of the 2014 Global Best Projects Awards: Earlier this year the Engineering News-Record + Dodge 2014 Global Construction Summit honored the best international building projects. The judges awarded winners based on the safety, ingenuity, design, quality, and accomplishments of each global project.

Dragon Bridge in Vietnam Offers a Spectacular Show: We placed the spotlight on one winner of the 2014 Global Best Projects Awards. Louis Berger Group and Ammann & Whitney created an engineering marvel in Da Nang, Vietnam: the Dragon Bridge. The bridge is unique for its design, functionality, and ability to breathe fire.

Are you looking for a quality career in engineering, a leadership team who excels, or new engineers to revolutionize your company? Call Engineering Search Partners to help you through the recruiting and hiring process.

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