Recruiting best practices
More than three-quarters (82 percent) of The Zweig Letter Hot Firm leaders cite hiring and retaining qualified employees as their top operational challenge in managing their firms rapid growth, according to ZweigWhite’s 2007 AEC Industry Outlook. "By making several small, mindful recruiting changes, firms can avoid the pitfalls that kept them from being a competitive recruiter in the past," says Jennifer Hu, an associate with ZweigWhite who specializes in human resources advisory services.
Engineering to preserve and progress
The "Mosteiro dos Jerónimos" (Jerónimos Monastery) in Portugal is a survivor. On Nov. 1, 1755, the Great Lisbon Earthquake, measuring an estimated 9 on the Richter scale, took as many as 100,000 lives and shook the city to its core. A tsunami and fire shortly after the earthquake almost destroyed what was left. The earthquake is credited with the birth of seismology because, in view of the massive destruction, its effects were scientifically studied.
Yet the average visitor is insensitive to the Monastery’s turbulent survival.
HDR economist touts transit benefits
On May 10, 2007, HDR Chief Economist and Senior Vice President David Lewis, Ph.D., testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, regarding the Federal Transit Administration’s implementation of the New Starts and Small Starts program. Lewis’ testimony centered on the economic value of transit projects, which he said falls into three main categories: congestion management, mobility for transit users, and community economic development.
The New Starts program is the federal government’s primary financial resource for supporting locally-planned, implemented, and operated transit "guideway" capital investments, including heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail, and bus rapid transit systems. The Small Starts program provides grants for capital costs associated with new fixed guideway systems, extensions, and bus corridor improvements. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) authorized $6.6 billion in New Starts funding through fiscal year 2009, with $600 million of this funding set-aside for Small Starts.
Supplier business briefs
Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc., signed a binding agreement to acquire one of the company’s top survey products distributors, Hayes Instrument Company of Shelbyville, Tenn. …
Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging acquired the technology assets of Acquis, Inc., a developer of web-based data editing software for Oracle Spatial …
Risk management for project control
Many seminars, classes, and articles have addressed the need for a risk management program to improve efficiency and reduce the liability involved in design work. There are many types of risks, controls, and management programs, however. What makes a risk management program successful, and when is it appropriate?
Risk management encompasses the complete evaluation, control, and monitoring of risks and their outcomes. This field, because of its history of application, is most often associated with human health and safety, especially with regard to hazardous chemicals, machinery, or energy. More recently, as the effects of legal liability and the costs associated with worker turnover, training, and client relationships have become recognized as real risks, the concept of risk management has evolved to include legal and financial "hazards" as well. While risk management is a tool to evaluate the controls and their effectiveness throughout a project life-cycle, it is of utmost importance to identify properly what risks affect your firm, and address the most critical ones first. This is the purpose of risk assessment and prioritization.