256 episodes

The Civil Engineering Podcast provides engineering career advice and success stories specifically for civil engineers. Civil engineers Anthony Fasano, PE and Christian Knutson, PE host the show and showcase civil engineering projects and professionals.



Each show includes an overview of an interesting civil engineering project and an interview with a successful civil engineering professional.

The Civil Engineering Podcast Anthony Fasano, PE and Christian Knutson, PE

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 98 Ratings

The Civil Engineering Podcast provides engineering career advice and success stories specifically for civil engineers. Civil engineers Anthony Fasano, PE and Christian Knutson, PE host the show and showcase civil engineering projects and professionals.



Each show includes an overview of an interesting civil engineering project and an interview with a successful civil engineering professional.

    TCEP 256: Unlocking Potential by Finding Passion in Engineering

    TCEP 256: Unlocking Potential by Finding Passion in Engineering

    In this episode, I talk with Dr. Bellandra Foster, P.E., about finding one's passion and purpose in engineering and making career decisions based on those factors. She also shares insights on coaching, the overlooked costs of being a boss, and the importance of family and self-time.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Bellandra:



    Can you share insights about the secret place of importance and its role in your life?

    Has mastering the art of active listening, including the challenges of silence, played a significant role in guiding your path in both professional and personal aspects?

    How would you advise someone to discover their passion and purpose, particularly in the field of engineering?

    How has recognizing your passion and purpose influenced your career decisions and achievements?

    Can you briefly discuss the importance of coaching from both the perspective of being a coach and having a coach?

    How does playing for the home team apply to you professionally and personally, considering the secret place aspect you mentioned?

    What are some frequently overlooked costs associated with being in a leadership position?

    Why are family time and personal time important?

    What last piece of advice would you offer to those striving for success in both their professional and personal lives?



    Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Unlocking Potential by Finding Passion in Engineering:





    Growing up in a religious setting, Bellandra stresses the importance of finding a quiet, spiritual space for guidance. Initially discussed in her success book, it has evolved into listening to God for direction. This space became crucial during her parents' passing and early business success, helping her make decisions in home, marriage, and business. Bellandra highlights the value of silent reflection in navigating life's challenges with spiritual guidance.

    In business, discernment and prayer guide decision-making. Recognizing not every client or opportunity aligns, setbacks are seen as potential blessings for others, leading to active referrals to better-suited companies. The core principle is doing for others what one would want in return, encapsulating a thoughtful approach to business.

    Bellandra's journey in engineering reflects a commitment to passion and purpose, navigating challenges and embracing joy in program management. Retirement isn't a priority as long as the work remains enjoyable. Recent recognition, including being named the Michigan State University distinguished Alumni in 2022, validates Bellandra's chosen path, affirming she is on the right track.

    Knowing your passion and purpose is crucial for fulfilling your unique destiny. Trust that your path is guided by a higher purpose, enabling you to mentor and coach others by setting an example. Leading with honesty and integrity, acknowledging imperfections while striving to be a positive influence. If you're exploring coaching, remember that commitment is vital. Coaching involves personal action steps and a shared plan.

    In your professional journey, mentors can play a vital role, even if you don't realize it. While coaching is an option, especially in areas like small business and life transitions, success depends on your commitment and effort. Coaching works best when you value your goals more than anyone else does.

    To strike a balance between work and family life, consider delving into entrepreneurship, drawing inspiration from your professional network's insights into diverse industries. Optimize efficiency and family time by maintaining a home office. Juggling business growth and family priorities means playing for your home team,

    • 33 min
    TCEP 255: Building a Sustainable Future with Climate Change Resiliency in Civil Engineering

    TCEP 255: Building a Sustainable Future with Climate Change Resiliency in Civil Engineering

    In this episode, I talk with Dr. Paul Chinowsky about the critical significance of climate change resiliency in the industry and the intriguing transition from research to consulting. We also delve into the differences between tackling climate change resiliency in academia versus the industry, and shed light on the essential skills required to effectively address this pressing issue.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Paul:



    When did you realize that your passion for addressing climate change would become your long-term career path?

    Having moved from academia to industry, can you share the main differences you've noticed in how each sector deals with climate change?

    How does your background in engineering and architecture prepare you for the specific challenges of climate change analysis?

    What essential skills do upcoming engineers need to address climate change resiliency issues effectively?

    How do civil engineers contribute to the environment compared to their counterparts in environmental science?

    How do you stay current and adjust your skills as new scientific developments emerge, and what methods do you use to stay informed?

    How do you handle controversies in climate change discussions, considering diverse perspectives and using your expertise to form arguments?

    What are your predictions for the future intersection of civil engineering and climate change in the next decade?

    What's your final advice for aspiring individuals looking to build a career in the ever-evolving and challenging field of climate change?



    Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Building a Sustainable Future with Climate Change Resiliency in Civil Engineering:





    Working on Alaska's coast, the impact of climate change hit home as entire villages faced erosion. This raised a key question about the vulnerability of coastal infrastructure. The excitement came from the convergence of diverse backgrounds to tackle climate change's multifaceted challenges. The crux of the profession lies in addressing new problems and making a real impact.

    In academia, it's about theoretical questions like water supply. Consulting is hands-on, solving real-world problems like preventing floods and prioritizing investments. The shift includes addressing practical issues like energy needs for vulnerable populations. The key is the difference between theory and hands-on problem-solving, depending on personal interests.

    Paul's background is a unique blend of architecture, engineering, and computing, providing a holistic understanding of how science affects the built environment. This rare combination, not as prevalent two decades ago, has empowered Paul to effectively address diverse global challenges.

    In this generational shift, new industry entrants need more than just engineering skills. They should understand climate science, particularly data analysis, and collaborate effectively with diverse groups. Engineers now play a frontline role in driving change, requiring proficiency in communication and environmental science, and reshaping expectations for the next generation.

    Addressing water runoff and climate change, the focus has shifted to fundamental design considerations. Understanding and explaining the environmental impact is crucial for prompt and credible client responses, even without being an expert.

    As the team lead, your role is to be the central communicator, translating complex science into practical impacts on road design and budgets. Embrace the challenge and find satisfaction in being the intermediary between different aspects of the project.

    Staying informed is vital in this field, with a daily commitment to reading new policies,

    • 28 min
    TCEP 254: Ground-Penetrating Radar: Cost-Effective Solutions for Infrastructure Visibility

    TCEP 254: Ground-Penetrating Radar: Cost-Effective Solutions for Infrastructure Visibility

    In this episode, I talk with Matt Aston, GPRS' founder, about the company's various services, including video pipe inspection, leak detection, laser scanning, and ground-penetrating radar. He shares the origin story of GPRS and its growth strategy, and also introduces the SiteMap initiative, which aims to create a comprehensive view of underground infrastructure for facilities.

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Matt:



    How does video pipe inspection work, and in which scenarios is it most useful?

    What is the technology behind infrastructure leak detection, and how does GPRS enhance traditional methods in this crucial aspect?

    How does the use of laser scanning services benefit your clients?

    What do ground-penetrating radar services entail, and how do they play a crucial role in construction and utility management?

    Could you share a bit about the origin story of GPRS, from its beginnings as a one-person venture to evolving into a company with 800 employees?

    How has the company's growth strategy evolved as it has expanded?

    Could you provide some information about your new initiative, SiteMap, including its goals and what distinguishes it from other services in the market?

    What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing a career in GPR services, and how can they best prepare for such a profession?



    Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Ground Penetrating Radar: 





    GPRS has introduced video pipe inspection, a method used to examine the interiors of sewers. This technology proves especially valuable in scenarios involving directional boring, as it detects issues like unnoticed pipe damage or cross bores, preventing potential collapses or sinkholes.

    GPRS uses an acoustic method that "listens" for water leaks. They specialize in solving water loss issues in aging infrastructure, particularly in critical places like hospitals and manufacturing plants.

    TruePoint Laser Scanning, now part of GPRS, uses LiDAR technology for precise laser scanning of spaces like mechanical rooms and refineries. By combining this with GPRS' ground penetrating radar (GPR), they enhance underground mapping, creating a more complete picture for Building Information Modeling (BIM) programs, revealing both visible and hidden aspects of a space.

    In concrete, GPR services locate electrical services and precisely map reinforcing steel placement, enabling accurate drilling. Ground-penetrating radar is also used for finding voids below the surface. Underground, the primary focus is on utilities, detecting them before excavation, but GPR is versatile, also identifying voids and underground storage tanks.

    GPRS started small in Toledo, Ohio, and quickly grew to nearly 800 employees. They expanded strategically into Detroit and Ann Arbor, gaining national attention through early online marketing. Shifting focus from fieldwork to business growth, GPRS is now in 54 markets across the U.S., with about 450 field employees and close to 800 staff overall.

    GPRS started by expanding widely into various cities, focusing more on coverage than depth. Beginning national expansion in 2006,2007, they initially had few representatives per city until around 2013. Now, markets like Southern California, Philadelphia, Northern California, and Seattle have over 30 project managers daily. This strategy aligns with population and construction spending, prioritizing broad coverage first and then increasing presence based on demand.

    GPRS launched SiteMap to tackle unreliable underground records. It acts like a Google Maps for facilities, consolidating accurate infrastructure plans for campuses and hospitals. The initiative transparently records GPRS findings, including utility depth and markings.

    • 33 min
    TCEP 253: 5 Tips for Becoming a Great Civil Engineering Leader

    TCEP 253: 5 Tips for Becoming a Great Civil Engineering Leader

    In this episode, I introduce you to the new co-host for this podcast, K. James Taylor, Jr., P.E., a licensed professional engineer and an associate vice president at Verdantas, and provide some great civil engineering leadership tips that can help you conquer even the most challenging projects.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are 5 Tips for Becoming a Great Civil Engineering Leader:





    The first tip is to establish a robust technical foundation in engineering, recognizing that while technical expertise is fundamental, effective communication is equally critical for success in leadership roles and collaboration.

    The second tip concerns using mentorship and knowledge sharing in civil engineering leadership. When experienced engineers mentor junior members, it creates a culture of learning and growth, boosting the team's abilities and sparking innovation. It is especially important given the ongoing need for more engineers in infrastructure projects and various industries.

    The third tip concerns being open to new ideas and trying new things in engineering leadership. Whether adapting to modern technologies like moving from blueprints to computer-aided drafting or taking calculated risks, success comes from figuring out what works best for the leader and the company. This approach helps create an environment that supports growth and innovation.

    The fourth tip advocates for diversity and inclusion in engineering teams. Successful leaders value diverse perspectives, recognizing that they drive innovation and contribute to the effectiveness of high-performing teams. Embracing different backgrounds enhances problem-solving and creativity, acknowledging that varied viewpoints lead to more effective approaches in engineering.

    The final tip is the importance of mastering delegation for successful engineering leadership. Effective delegation significantly influences workload, team efficiency, and client satisfaction by addressing challenges tied to being a people pleaser. Rejecting the idea of handling everything alone, the focus is on proper delegation—training others for success. Navigating various delegation levels is crucial, and understanding when to handle tasks personally versus delegating is key in this dynamic field.



    More Details in This Episode…



    About K. James Taylor, Jr., P.E.

    K. James Taylor, Jr., P.E., is a licensed professional engineer and an associate vice president at Verdantas, an emerging environmental, engineering, and technical consulting company with a green, sustainable, and people-first approach in the foreground. James has over 17 years of experience in civil engineering in the land development and municipal fields. Land development services include the design of subdivisions and site plans for compliance with local codes and ordinances, civil/site engineering, stormwater management, road design, and utility design. James has served as a project manager since 2018. In 2021, James was recognized with the Outstanding Project Manager Award at Duffield Associates (now Verdantas) for outstanding performance as a project manager and his consistent display of leadership traits valued by the company, including scheduling, management, proactive communication, collaboration, responsiveness, and client-focused service.



    James was selected as the 2021 Young Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Delaware Section. James serves as the President of the Delaware Engineering Society and served as the New Professionals Director on the NSPE Board of Directors from 2021-2023.

    Books Mentioned in This Episode:

    What Got You Here Won't Get You There





    Sources/References:

    Verdantas

    Connect with K. James Taylor, Jr., P.E., on LinkedIn

    • 28 min
    TCEP 252: Engineer Your Career: 3 Steps to Effective Goal Setting in 2024

    TCEP 252: Engineer Your Career: 3 Steps to Effective Goal Setting in 2024

    In this episode, I talk about three engineer-approved steps for effective goal-setting that will turbocharge your career every 90 days. Whether it's professional or personal, these steps are your secret sauce.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About How to Engineer Your Career: 3 Steps to Effective Goal Setting in 2024:





    Setting goals is like having a career roadmap. They help engineers make focused decisions, whether it's choosing a job or planning further education. Goals, like the book "Where Will You Be Five Years From Today?" suggests, make sure you're planning for success today. They not only maintain focus but also drive continuous improvement, a must for any engineer. Plus, goals keep you accountable when shared with a mentor or friend. So, embrace goals — they keep you on track, drive action, and ensure your career journey is purposeful.

    Performance goals are like your personal standards — whether it's maintaining a GPA or hitting billable hours at work, you set the bar. It's all within your control. Then there are outcome goals, the big wins like landing a job or getting a PE license. But these depend on external factors, like job availability. When setting goals, find what works best for you — mix and match process, performance, and outcome goals to stay motivated.

    Let's break down the goal-setting game:



    Step one: Set the foundation by defining your values and pillars, ensuring they align with what truly matters to you.

    Step two: Ask yourself key questions about your career goals, motivations, necessary steps, and potential helpers. Ensure your goals align with your established pillars.

    Step three: Make your goals SMART. Specific (clearly defined), Measurable (quantifiable progress), Attainable (reachable milestones), Relevant (aligned with your career vision), and Time-Bound (set deadlines for that extra push). Remember, SMART goals are the secret sauce for turning aspirations into achievements. Get specific, measure up, stay attainable, stay relevant, and set those deadlines!





    In summary, embrace a robust goal-setting process: Start by defining values and creating foundational pillars. Pose four key questions about career goals — where, why, steps, and who. Lastly, ensure goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This streamlined approach empowers individuals to translate aspirations into tangible career success.



    More Details in This Episode…



    Books Mentioned in This Episode:

    Where Will You Be Five Years From Today?





    Sources/References:

    BIM

    AutoCAD

    Pass the FE Exam YouTube Channel

    Pass the PE Exam YouTube Channel

    Engineering Leadership Accelerator Course

    This Episode Is Brought to You by PPI:

    PPI has helped engineers achieve their licensing goals since 1975. Passing the FE and PE exams can open doors to career advancement and new opportunities. Check out PPI's wide range of prep options, including Live Online courses, on-demand courses, and digital study tools, to help prepare you to pass your licensing exam. Check out PPI today at ppi2pass.com to see all the options available for FE and PE exam prep.



    We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you can share on the effective goal setting techniques you use.



    Please leave your comments, feedback, or questions in the section below.





    If you enjoyed this post, please consider downloading our free list of 33 Productivity Routines of Top Engineering Executives. Click the button below to download.



    Download the Productivity Routines





    To your success,

    • 19 min
    TCEP 251: Navigating the Dynamic Landscape of Transmission Engineering

    TCEP 251: Navigating the Dynamic Landscape of Transmission Engineering

    In this episode, I talk with Alexandra Lee, P.E., staff civil engineer at Burns & McDonnell, about her unique approach to engineering design, particularly in balancing traditional methods with innovative solutions in transmission and utility projects.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Alexandra:



    When did your initial exposure to transmission engineering occur, and what specifically ignited your interest in this field?

    What has been the most surprising or unexpected aspect of transmission engineering that you've encountered?

    Can you share details about the clients you work with within the transmission field, including their needs and expectations, especially for those who may not be familiar with transmission?

    Can you share which projects you've found particularly fulfilling or enjoyable among the ones you've worked on so far, and elaborate on the different types of projects that stand out to you?

    Do you consider the primary distinction between traditional transmission utility projects and renewables to be the schedule or timeline?

    How would you characterize the companies that provide our home gas and electric services, considering they're private entities but with a unique characterization?

    How do you maintain a fresh and innovative design approach in a field often perceived as rigid and traditional?

    Considering your background in natural resources and environmental sciences, how do you incorporate environmental considerations into your current projects?

    What advice would you offer young engineers aspiring to maintain a creative approach in their careers, especially in the highly technical and often rigid field of engineering?



    Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Navigating the Dynamic Landscape of Transmission Engineering:





    Alex discovered transmission engineering, initially thinking it might relate to cars. College courses felt disconnected until entering the transmission line industry, revealing the vital role of powering homes with renewable energy. The industry is evolving rapidly and grapples with challenges in adapting to renewables. Alex finds the problem-solving aspect of engineering fascinating amid the dynamic landscape.

    In transmission engineering, it's surprising how much we don't know. Even with years in the field, there's always more to learn. The ongoing discovery and problem-solving make the job consistently fascinating.

    In the transmission field, the main clients are traditional utility companies ensuring reliable power and renewable energy firms building projects nationwide. Traditional utilities have a deeper understanding of their regions, while renewable companies, newer to the field, seek quick, cost-effective solutions. Working with both offers diverse challenges and opportunities, educating traditional clients and providing value to the evolving renewable sector.

    Alex's favorite transmission line projects are the competitive transmission jobs influenced by FERC Order 1000. These projects stand out because they require starting from scratch and deciding on routing, structures, and power distribution. The process encourages a collaborative team dynamic despite time constraints. For Alex, it's a chance to craft innovative solutions that benefit end-users, emphasizing the goal of cost-effective utility bills for everyone.

    The difference between traditional utilities and renewables is how they fund projects. Traditional utilities, guaranteed an 8% return, recover costs through utility bills. In contrast, renewables that are funded differently see every dollar spent on getting the asset online directly impact their profit. This financial distinction shapes their decision-making mindset from ...

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
98 Ratings

98 Ratings

Rangers apprentice Book 8 ,

Refreshing variety of technical and professional advice

Great podcast for a mix of current issues and opportunities the civil engineering profession faces and stories of how other engineers are approaching and addressing these. It is always interesting and has valuable content, which keeps me coming back for more.

Buddykicker50000 ,

Great for All types of Engineers too.

As an avid podcast listener (I used to listen to 40 regularly with a spreadsheet to organize them.), I definitely recommend this podcast for anyone involved/interested in engineering. It does a great job balancing technical and soft skill information with personal stories, and I feel that I learn something new from each story. I think the every other week format is perfect, and helps keep the topics refreshing.

Taahakopp ,

Many thanks!

Thank you for much for creating this carefully curated podcast suitable for all CE wannabes around the world. Very interesting and insightful with great advise from world-class engineering experts.

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