Business advice: In print and in person

September is a great month to be involved with CE News because we are providing two distinct ways to help you learn more about "the business of civil engineering." This month’s issue has many great articles specifically geared to help civil engineers make informed business decisions, considering trends, technology, and management practices.

Additionally, we provide two "live" opportunities to learn more about business management.

The cover story, "Trends in municipal wastewater treatment and management" by Rusty Schroedel, Jr., P.E., DEE, a senior program director with EarthTech, is another article in our 2004 Public Works series. This article provides an update on nutrient and biosolids treatment, as well as effluent reuse, and other surfacing trends, such as membrane technology for wastewater applications.

Regardless of your professional specialty, this article provides an inside look at trends in water quality that are of interest—and importance—to all citizens.

Also in this issue of CE News, we present a business-oriented article about high-definition surveying, also known as 3-D laser-scanning technology. As demand for this service grows, more firm leaders are faced with considering whether their firm should invest in this technology; this article will assist you with your decision.

Based on interviews with representatives of Leica Geosystems HDS Inc., and Meridian Associates, Inc., a civil engineering firm headquartered in Danvers, Mass., the article provides advice from a manufacturer and lessons learned from a firm that was an early adopter of the technology.

We also highlight two firms from a business perspective in this issue. In "Profiting from peer reviews," Jennifer Goupil, P.E., relates her experiences in the ASFE Peer Review program, during which she and three representatives of the engineering consulting industry assessed the operations and management of Denver-based CTL | Thompson, Inc. Bob Drake, the new editor of CE News, writes about professional development initiatives at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., based in Northbrook, Ill.

We also share thought-provoking letters from our dedicated readers on page 8. Keep those letters coming! Send your comments to

As I mentioned, CE News is sponsoring two events this month: the final program of the ExCEL Management Series and our inaugural Best Firm To Work For™ Summit. The events will take place simultaneously at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco during Sept. 23-24.

David Wahby, our Management Q&A columnist and a management consultant to the A/E industry, will facilitate discussion and active learning among leaders of small- to mid-sized civil engineering firms during the ExCEL event.

I hope to see you at this most unique and invigorating management training roundtable.

Attendees at the Best Firm To Work For Summit will experience a variety of learning environments to help them create a better workplace. The agenda includes a presentation by James F. DiVito, vice president of human resources for Haley & Aldrich, Inc., the winner of the 2004 Best Civil Engineering Firm To Work For Contest; a human resources workshop, led by Po-Sun Chen, formerly the head of West coast management consulting for ZweigWhite; panel discussions with leaders of firms topping the lists of the Best Civil and Structural Engineering Firm To Work For Contests; and networking opportunities. We’ll also announce the winners of the Best Civil Engineering Firm To Work For Contest at an awards banquet on Sept. 23. Don’t miss the exciting opportunity to learn specific ways to improve the quality of your firm’s human resources offerings and to honor the winners of this tough competition. Go to to learn more.

Posted in Uncategorized | January 29th, 2014 by

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