What is a Concrete Engineer and How do you Become One?

concrete engineer

What is a concrete engineer

The field of engineering is as vast as the ocean. There are a lot of things that you can do. Rather than doing general engineering, why not think about specializing in a certain fields? Specialization sets you apart in the market and enables you to become an authority in the field. It should be noted that some clients are particular that want a professional who has experienced vast knowledge and experience in a specific field.

Prior to embarking on any career, evaluate what the course entails, and see if that is something you love doing. If you take a course that you do not love, then, you are going to waste a lot of money and resources, and you will still change the career. Think about the cost of taking the program and the available work opportunities. And at the same time, think about whether there is any chance that you can start your own firm and be independent.

One of the areas of specialization that you can explore is how to be a concrete engineer. This article will guide you on the career of a concrete engineer and how you become one:

Roles and Responsibilities of a Concrete Engineer

The role and the responsibility of the concrete engineer largely depend on the position that you have assumed. Generally, be prepared to perform some of the following functions:

-Preparation of concrete mix

-Designing infrastructural projects

-Building infrastructure projects

-Budgeting when executing a project

-Ensuring safe processes and outcomes

-liaising with authorities and the attorney on meeting legal requirements

-Research projects in the field of concrete

Concrete engineers can work as production or technical managers. It is not uncommon to find them working in high level management positions. In some cases, the concrete manager could work in production distribution, sales, and marketing.

A concrete staff engineer could be required to offer a professional opinion and recommendation to the firm, and at the same time, apply engineering principles and best practices in construction projects. You could be asked to embark on a complex construction project which is not only demanding but will consume a lot of time, but sometimes it could be as simple as designing a concrete shower. You may need to visit the laboratory in order to test the quality of testing and give approval thereof of the continuation of the project. You may also need to perform an investigation through a non-destructive technique and prepare the report for the client. Note that much as you could be based in the US, you could be sent overseas for assignments.

There are ample opportunities for growth and expansion. For example, if you become an authority in the field, you could offer consultancy services. If you decide to teach in a university, you can easily do that, and you just need a master degree. The reason why it is easy to lecture is because, in STEM courses, professionals are in high demand. In addition to that, you can become a project manager. However, if you think that college teaching in concrete engineering is a field you can take, you have to start looking for experience early enough. Applying for a research assistant position in the university is not a bad way to start.

concrete engineers working

Qualification and Accreditation

In order to practice in the US as a concrete engineer, you will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, and it has to be accredited by authorities in the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). If you are located in Canada, you need a four year bachelor’s degree awarded by an accredited school. Some employment positions might require a master’s degree (with a major in civil engineering).

Course work includes and not limited to: fluid mechanics, computer-aided design (CAD), and integrated design. A curriculum of concrete engineering informs the student on the manufacturing, testing, and utilizing concrete.

In order to practice as a concrete engineer in the US, be sure to be licensed. The following are the main requirements for obtaining a Professional Engineering (PE) license:

-A degree obtained from an accredited engineering school

-Passing the exam (Fundamental Engineering exam)

-The appropriate work experience

Note that if the authorities know that you are practicing concrete engineering without a license, then you are going to be in a big problem. Such an allegation is taken seriously and could lead to a long and expensive legal process. This is because the authorities cannot compromise on the safety of the public. Again, if you have legal problems, it will be very difficult for you to start your own firm or to secure employment.

Soft Skills Engineering

Engineering is a skill that requires the use of hard or technical skills. However, successful engineers appreciate the importance of the use of soft skills in order to enhance career prospects. Perhaps, the most important soft skill is communication skills. As an engineer, you are going to interact with various parties including the owner, the government, the construction workers, and the clients. Therefore, you must learn how to communicate professionally. For example, you cannot make a comment that is sensitive to others. Bear in mind that when you will be working, you will be dealing with people who have knowledge in engineering, and others who do not have any knowledge in the profession.

As a concrete engineer, you have to have intellectual curiosity which will help you be updated in the latest trends affecting the field. The field of engineering is fluid and dynamic. Techniques which are in high demand now could become obsolete in a few years. At the same time, technology brings in better equipment. Therefore, you must be updated in order to be relevant in the field of engineering.

As an engineer, you should think about trial and error as a tool of innovation. Do your research well, and present your ideas to funding organizations or imminent individuals who can invest in your idea. At the same time, think about protecting your ideas by reading the relevant intellectual property laws applying to your state. This is because as you pitch your ideas, your project can be stolen, and you might not easily recover it.

You are not going to learn soft skills in a single day. On the contrary, it will take time and effort. The best thing of doing this is through breaking down your objectives to achievable milestones. At the same time, think about the most effective ways of seeking mentorship so that you can grow. A mentor is going to criticize you and give you an opportunity to grow.

Work Environment

Most of the civil engineers, including concrete engineers, work in an office setting. However, a concrete engineer will still out in order to physically inspect the project.

Where to Get Experience

If you want to work as an engineer and in deed the practical courses, do not think about starting your own firm right away. Think about an experience first. In fact, during your college breaks, apply for an industrial attachment, and it will give you practical skills in exposing yourself to the benefits and challenges of the market. Upon graduation, apply for a job first. As far as possible, align your attachments to the position you want to take in the future. For example, if you want to do concrete engineering for many years, request the human resource department in the office that is responsible for the same.

Possible Employers

As an engineer, the path to your career should be starting your own firm, someday. Now that starting your own firm requires capital and experience, why not consider working for someone else first. The following are some of the possible employers in the market:

-The construction sector is the biggest employer

-Building infrastructure related to building and construction

­-In house work opportunity with a multinational organization

-Government departments

-Local authorities

The Job Application Process

After identifying the job position, you need to ensure that the employer may ask that you be screened for drugs. Due to the sensitive nature of the construction industry, some employers do not like being associated with employees who abuse drugs.

concrete slabs used for construction

Starting Your Own Firm

Starting your own concrete engineering firm requires a lot of courage, and it carries a lot of risk. However, it is equally a rewarding experience. The first thing you should do is to view engineering as a business. Any business course will teach you that business is not about the professional, but rather, about the client.

When you are starting a business, you need to realize that you are not going to have all professionals at your disposal. In fact, you are going to be a jerk of all trade. With time, think about hiring more staff. There are critical services nevertheless, accounting and taxation for instance.

The greatest risk that comes with starting your own firm is that you may not have enough construction projects throughout the year. In addition to that, construction projects may be affected by weather factors such as flooding. The best thing to manage this is through exploiting business opportunities when they are available. The good news is that states such as Florida have favorable weather year-round.

If you are to start your own firm, think about partnering with others in the field. This will help you work with a team which is ready to give you a referral. Again, in the case where starting a business requires high capital, then, it is good to think about seeking a partnership in order to raise the required capital.

The Role of Marketing

In most of the businesses, one cannot survive without a proper marketing strategy. The best ways through which engineer can market themselves is doing a perfect work for the existing projects. Any client would want an engineer who has a perfect record in past projects. The main rationale behind having an aggressive marketing strategy is to realize an optimal outcome and a high stream of revenue.

As marketing professionals penetrate the market, they learn about new opportunities of doing business. This is done through exploring consumer behavior and identifying possible future areas of doing business. In other words, research can be active or passive. What is important is to capitalize on the learning process when one is interacting with the others in the market.

The future of business is going green in order to save the environment. Concrete engineering professionals can enhance green processes, products, and services. For example, they can save as much paper as possible through the use of electronic correspondence.

The Role of Technology

The construction industry is going through a process of transition from manual processes to automatic processes. Drone technology plays a critical role in improving the efficiency of the business and increasing the productivity of the firm. In a situation that a human being cannot reach a certain area, then the use of the drone can be of much help.

As a concrete engineer, you can get real time data from where you are located. This can help you in placing the relevant safety measures and making a timely intervention should things go wrong.

The use of 3D technology plays a critical role in ensuring that construction projects are not only durable but also, have a strong aesthetics. Such a technology is important because it reduces waste and enhances saving of resources. By the end of the day, what is important is to realize maximum profits with the use of available resources.

At the same time, an increasing number of construction companies are outsourcing services such as data entry. In such a case then, technology comes in handy in collaborating with members of the team irrespective of their geographical location. For example, the use of zoom can help you liaise with your team in order to execute a certain project. Such video technology can also help in explaining situations.

Conclusion

The field of concrete engineering has a lot to offer to anyone who is interested. Like in any sector of the economy, there are inherent, structural, and systemic challenges that come with the profession. However, with the right preparation and planning, concrete engineering is a viable and sustainable career.

 

History and Engineering of the Diesel Engine

Rudolf Diesel
Rudolf Diesel

 

 

The Diesel Engine has been around for a very long time. And there is no reason to believe that it will go away anytime soon. The diesel engine was named after Rudolf Diesel, the man that invented it.

History

Rudolf was a German Engineer. He spent his childhood in France. Circumstances like the Franco-German War eventually compelled him to travel to England. Though, his determination to expand his understanding of engine design eventually drew him back to Germany.

Rudolf started working on the diesel engine at a time when trains were driven by steam. While they had their merits, steam engines were expensive. They relied heavily on coal and their design had several inefficiencies.

Larger corporations didn’t care because they had the financial means to meet the cost of maintaining steam engines. But small and medium-sized entities were not as lucky. Their budgetary constraints prevented them from making effective use of steam engineering.

This is where Rudolf entered the picture. He realized that a small internal combustion engine that could convert heat into work could easily exceed the power of a steam engine. After studying thermodynamics, Rudolf started working to make his idea a reality.

His internal combustion engine was a hit in the 19th Century, finding a market among owners of horse-drawn carriages and anyone that used steam-powered engines. Rudolf’s success wasn’t instant and it did not last long.

He spent many years tinkering with various designs. At one point, he toyed with the notion of creating a solar-powered engine. He also hoped to create an internal combustion engine capable of turning 75 percent of heat into energy. He failed. The final product was only 25 percent effective.

Though, that still made his engine considerably superior to his rivals. Rudolf’s products were a mixed bag. While his engines were highly efficient for their time, they were also unreliable and many of his customers eventually returned them.

Rudolf Diesel's Engine
Rudolf Diesel’s Engine 1894

Their demands for refunds brought the engineer to the very edge of ruin. He had better luck with the military, with the French eventually adding his engines to their submarines in 1904. That wasn’t enough to save Rudolf from his financial woes, which is why some people believe that he jumped to his death in 1913.

Official records state that he went overboard during a trip across the English Channel. He was supposed to meet British navy officials to discuss the possibility of introducing his engines to their submarines. It has been theorized that he was thrown overboard. Some people believe that certain petroleum companies were threatened by his work.

It has also been suggested that coal magnates thought that his engine would make their industry irrelevant. If conspiracy theorists are to be believed, the Germans wanted to stop him from revealing the designs of their new U-Boats to the British.

Whether he accidentally fell overboard, committed suicide, or was murdered by his enemies, no one knows for sure. Ultimately, his engine found success. At first, armies around the world started using it for all their vehicles and vessels.

Then it became commonplace in civilian cars and factories. It is still present today in most parts of the world. People use it to operate all kinds of machinery.

Engineering

If you’ve never seen a diesel engine in action, this is what you should know:

1). Before diesel engines were invented, trains relied on steam engines that utilized external combustion mechanisms. Coal was added to a boiler. This produced fire. The heat turned the water to steam. The steam was transmitted to a piston which it moved back and forth. In doing so, the steam got the wheels of a train to move.

2). A diesel engine is called an internal combustion engine because the fire is inside rather than outside. They were immediately recognized as the superior option because they did not waste any energy.

diesel engine
Diesel Engine of Today

In a steam engine, the heat had to travel from one part of the system to another to play its role, permitting energy loss and wastage to occur. But in a diesel engine, the heat played its role in the same place that it was created. This made for a more efficient system.

3). The diesel engine works by drawing air into the cylinder where it is compressed one or two dozen times by the piston. These compressions generate a lot of heat The gasses normally reach a minimum of 500 degrees centigrade.

At this point, a fuel injection system sprays a mist of fuel into the cylinder. The high temperature of the air causes the fuel to ignite immediately. The result is a controlled explosion that forces the piston out of the cylinder.

This generates the immense power that is required to make a vehicle or machine operate. The amount of fuel sprayed will depend on the amount of power the driver or machine operator needs.

4). The Piston doesn’t stay outside the cylinder. Rather, it slips back into the cylinder once more as the exhaust gasses escape through the exhaust valve. That is the end of the process. After this, everything starts again. That procedure sounds slow but a diesel engine goes through this cycle thousands of times every minute.

5). Diesel and gasoline engines are not the same, though their operations are somewhat similar. A gasoline engine also features metal cylinders. A mixture of air and fuel is drawn into the cylinders. The piston compresses the mixture before a sparking plug sets it ablaze with an electric spark, producing an explosion that forces the piston out of the cylinder, moving the wheels.

As you can see, a gasoline engine uses sparking plugs to create an explosion. A diesel engine doesn’t. The gasoline engine doesn’t compress the mixture as thoroughly as its diesel counterpart.

Diesel machines and diesel performance parts and vehicles are typically more efficient because of their engines. They can do more work using the same fuel as a gasoline engine because they compress their fuel-air mixtures more. This produces higher temperatures and more energy.

The absence of spark plugs is also beneficial because it allows engineers to use a simpler design to produce more energy by burning the fuel at higher temperatures.

How Should an Engineering Company Deal with an Online Negative Review?

Ripoff Report Reputation Management

 

Bad online reviews are inevitable. And despite what some people say, they matter. There is too much competition. Customers have far too many service providers to choose from. For this reason, they rely on the opinions of others to identify the engineering firms with whom they should transact.

A bad review on sites like Ripoff Report can ruin a company’s reputation. It can also affect their sales. This is why some businesses have gone so far as to sue people that have published what they consider to be unfairly negative reviews and ratings on the internet.

Tactics like this rarely end well, mostly because lawsuits are expensive and they do not always end favorably for the companies in question. More importantly, such aggressive tactics can sour a company’s image, painting them as bullies that will stop at nothing to silence critics.

There are ways of dealing with negative reviews that will protect your company’s reputation whilst also polishing your image in the eyes of the public, for instance:

1). You have to start by monitoring your reviews.

This is a critical aspect of every company’s reputation management strategy. Some people post negative reviews on sites like Ripoff Report because they have pressing matters. They publish scathing complaints in public forums because they want to draw your company’s attention towards their plight. They are convinced that shaming you in public is the only way to compel you to resolve their situation.

To assuage them, you must respond quickly, providing answers where necessary and resolving the cause of their complaints. Any delays will make the situation worse. But the only way for you to respond promptly to complaints is to monitor your reputation.

There are tools that you can set up to alert you whenever someone mentions your company. If you have a reputation management team on hand, they should scrutinize all these alerts, apprising you of any negative opinions and giving you the opportunity to address them.

2). While it is important to respond promptly to critics, you are also encouraged to apply patience.

Negative reviews on Ripoff Report are annoying. And anyone that has ever been on the receiving end of a customer complaint knows that it is very easy to respond in anger. No one likes criticism. But the easiest way to ruin your reputation in the eyes of the public is to engage in a shouting match with an unhappy consumer.

This is why you have to take a breath before you respond to online criticism. Wait a few minutes or even hours. This will give you the opportunity to produce a constructive response. Wait long enough for that first wave of irrational rage to pass. But don’t wait so long that the public starts accusing you of negligence where the concerns of your customers are concerned.

ripoff report reputation

3). Do not act blindly.

When you encounter a bad review on Ripoff Report, start by gathering information. Look at other reviews. Try to determine whether or not other customers have expressed similar complaints. Some customers publish bad reviews because they have a personal bias that has nothing to do with the products or services they received.

Other people have legitimate grievances. You have to differentiate between the two. This is the only way to craft an appropriate response. Find out whether the angry reviewer is a real customer. Explore their history with your company. Talk to the people that engaged them. Try to base your response on all the information you have gathered.

Make your response personal. Do not adhere so closely to templates. People can tell that you are simply copying and pasting the same answers to every single dissatisfied customer.

4). Take a personal interest in the bad review.

If you have too much on your plate, assign the Ripoff Report review to a specific department or employee. Do not presume that someone will eventually tackle the issue. Identify a specific individual that you can trust to manage the disgruntled customer. If at all possible, resolve the matter yourself.

5). You don’t have to engage the reviewer online, and neither do you have to restrict yourself to the Ripoff Report forum in which the customer chose to publish their review.

If you have their contact information, reach out to them online. If possible, make an appointment to talk to them in person. The public doesn’t have to follow every single stage of your exchange with the customer.

It is easier to come to a resolution when your conversations are not being scrutinized by external parties.

Remove Ripoff Report from Google

6). Even though you are encouraged to engage the reviewer offline, you are still expected to publish a public response.

You can publish this response at the start to let people know that you have begun in-depth discussions with the reviewer. You can also wait until the end to let people know that you have reached an amicable agreement with the reviewer.

This will show transparency. It will also show potential clients that you are not afraid to tackle negative reviews on Ripoff Report.

7). Taking responsibility for your mistakes is very important.

Some companies lose face because they respond defensively to negative reviews on Ripoff Report on the internet. They are too quick to go on the offensive and to try and prove that the reviewer is at fault. However, if you believe that the customer’s complaint might be valid, take responsibility, and acknowledge that you were in the wrong.

8). Avoid angry confrontations.

It is quite easy to pick fights with negative reviewers on Ripoff Report. But this will only make a bad situation worse. Your response should be calm, controlled, and measured, regardless of how vulgar or insulting the reviewer chooses to react. You have to act like a professional. Your customers expect more from you. Do not disappoint them by getting embroiled in arguments with reviewers whose only objective is to bait you into publishing an angry response.

If you don’t know how to respond to negative reviews without losing your cool, use templates. Most Ripoff Report Removal strategies rely on tried and tested templates to diffuse heated conversations with negative reviewers. Don’t be afraid to use them. The key is to personalize them. Templates are supposed to give you an idea of the direction your response should take. You are not supposed to copy them outright.