In the spirit of the season, I thought it would be appropriate to unfold how we, as civil engineers, bring peace to the world. How do we spread peace when solving engineering problems?
Note: I understand my audience. I understand that this is corny. I understand I may receive torment and ridicule. I understand, and I shall continue.
First, it begins in the workplace. Creating a happy, comfortable environment where people feel appreciated is the best way to maximize efficiency and maintain a positive rapport. Key ways to keep peace in the workplace (rumor has it)…
- Communicate! (Seems to be the #1 key in life. Snore.)
- Be aware of other people’s workload – It’s not just you.
- Don’t put your stress on coworkers – don’t bring the vibe of the office down with your problems. Everyone has bad days! Don’t rub your bad day in someone’s face.
- Examine your behavior in light of how it affects others (!!! Be self-aware!!!)
Second, peace is fostered between the engineer and the client. Clients come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are knowledgeable, some are knowingly ignorant. Some are heavily involved, some are laissez-faire. Some are optimistic, some are conservative. Needless to say, we always strive to address each client as an individual and cater to the needs and expectations of the client or project. The last thing we, at D.L. Howell, want to do is bring stress and confusion to someone’s life. Our goal with clients is to provide clear communication. All projects have their obstacles and un-forecasted hiccups, but our approach is never to panic. Remain calm, engineer a solution. When we remain calm, our clients remain calm and things tend to work out…weird. Cue the peace.
Finally, the engineers dose their final linage of peace with a product that considers health, safety, and welfare. While we have individual clients with individual goals, we design for the community. The townships make sure of that. The DEP makes sure of that. The EPA makes sure of that. And while we may complain about the regulations bestowed by these government agencies, at the end of the day we are working towards a better quality of life for the public. The foundation of our lives is civil infrastructures: culture, relationships, and a strong economy all grow from a solid civil engineering foundation. So, when you think about it, we’re the instrument by which peace…is created…*mind blown.*
Lastly, I want to remind everyone to keep in perspective our problems as civil engineers in the United States relative to the greater problems of undeveloped countries. We design a lot of pool permit plans and subdivision plans and building additions, but we’re fortunate to have the infrastructure to implement these luxuries. Crazy to think that over the past 100 years, we have designed and constructed the sanitary, water, and roadway infrastructure for the entire population across all 50 states. Seems to take 3 years to fill in a pothole these days, but it only took 35 years to construct 40,000 + miles of roadway, also known as the Interstate Highway System. But I digress. My point is simply that the problems we have today pale in comparison to the problems of the third world or the problems of the civil engineers who came before us. Please remember this next time you’re building a house in “steep slopes” or AutoCAD 2018 surprises you with a “fatal error.”
And lastly lastly, I want to give D.L. Howell a big shout out for making my first job a difficult one to say goodbye to. Denny has fostered a one-of-a-kind work environment that has allowed me to learn entirely too much, while also being me: young, clueless, and enthusiastic. I have been completely myself here – and that’s hard for a lot of employees in the workforce to say. Let alone a woman in engineering. Speaks volumes. However, I’ve learned so much that I caught learning fever and am fleeing for Texas to pursue my masters. Everyone at D.L. Howell is constantly looking out for what is best for the client, while simultaneously directing us young(er) folk on paths to success. Can’t thank everyone here enough for what they’ve done for me, and if you work with them I’m sure you’ll say the same. I hope you continue to choose D.L. Howell for your engineering support in the new year.
Peace Out! Well wishes to all and to all a good night.