10 simple ways to ensure a successful infrastructure project

Keith Howells | August 4, 2021 | 139 views

In amongst the chatter about how we can 'do' infrastructure better, there's now a growing consensus that we need to improve the way we design our interventions - 'design' in the broader sense of the word, rather than the narrow sense we tend to use as engineers.

My front-end principles for better infrastructure
Over the course of my career, the following front-end principles have served well to ensure we think through, before we rush in where angels fear to tread.
  • Be clear about the purpose and the expected outcomes, and engage communities in decision-making through an effective communication strategy.
  • Prioritise the user, aiming to offer services that are modern, effective and affordable.
  • Seek to improve people's quality of life and support the transition to a more sustainable future, while also facilitating the functioning of the economy, enhancing productivity and accommodating growth (to the extent possible, given other competing objectives).
  • Extract greatest value from existing infrastructure through timely maintenance, repurposing, renewal and upgrading. Seek to remove constraints and bottlenecks.
  • Aim to make best use of data, automation, innovation and technology (including for future asset management), recognising the complexity and risks this may introduce.
  • Recognise, analyse, mitigate and manage technical, environmental and climate risks, and complete any surveys necessary to support this.
  • Improve governance, with robust, timely and transparent decision-making, supported by strong evidence-based planning, clear prioritisation, and best practice technical design and delivery.
  • Seek an appropriate funding balance between 'user pays' and general taxation which incentivises behaviours in the best long-term social, economic and environmental interests.
  • Complete well-evidenced business cases and risk assessments of proposed initiatives before embarking on projects, including financing proposals. Aim to allocate the risks identified to those best able to carry them.
  • Facilitate collaboration between the government and business to promote delivery of the broader social, economic and environmental benefits.
  • Clearly, there are many other issues to consider as a project develops, and the above principles may seem obvious to some, and a counsel of perfection to others, but it's surprising how many are overlooked in the rush to build.

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What is Environmental Engineering?

Article | July 30, 2021

Environmental regulations are tightening, resource extraction sites are nearing the end of their useful lives and must be cleaned up, and the list goes on. Environmental engineers are needed to take advantage of these career opportunities in order to ensure that human impact on the environment is sustainable. But exactly what is environmental engineering? What is Environmental Engineering? Environmental engineering entails both the protection of people from the environment and the protection of the environment from people. Environmental engineers, for example, help to protect people's health from the effects of pollution by designing pollution mitigation systems. When an environmental engineer, on the other hand, designs a system that treats waste to ensure that any spills into groundwater are less toxic, they are protecting the environment from the negative effects of humans. Environmental engineers rely on knowledge from a variety of disciplines, including chemistry, geology, physics, biology, soil science, and others, to complete their work; it is a highly interdisciplinary field. In which industries can environmental engineers work? Environmental engineers work in a wide range of industries and for a wide range of companies due to the wide range of tasks they perform. In this section, we will look at some of the most common areas in which they work. Oil, mining, and forestry are all resource industries that have a significant environmental impact. Companies in these industries frequently hire environmental engineers to minimize the impact these industries have on the environment in order to comply with government environmental regulations. For example, in the mining industry, an environmental engineer may be hired to treat mine waste to make it less toxic. Many environmental engineers go on to work for government agencies, assisting in the verification of companies' compliance with environmental regulations and, in some cases, developing environmental regulations themselves. Public infrastructure projects, such as dams and bridges, are another area where environmental engineers are needed. They are required to ensure that the environmental impact of these projects is kept to a minimum. Environmental engineers are responsible for safeguarding the environment against human impact as well as safeguarding humans against any serious negative effects caused by the environment. They can work in the resource industry, government, education, research, environmental clean-up companies, and engineering consulting firms. Environmental engineers are more needed than ever as stricter environmental regulations take effect around the world and there is a greater need to clean up anything that has a significant impact on the environment.

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Midyear Deals in Engineering 2022

Article | August 17, 2021

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Industrial Robots Popular for Engineering

Article | August 25, 2021

The report "Global Industrial Robot Market: Analysis by Industry, by Type, by Region, Size and Trends with Impact of COVID-19 and Forecast Up to 2026" valued the global industrial robot market at $33.90 billion in 2021 and projected it to $61.09 billion by 2026. Because of increased productivity and efficiency, lower manufacturing costs, and lower overall product purchase prices. Industry 4.0 has accelerated the development of collaborative robots and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled robots, allowing industries to streamline processes, increase productivity, and reduce errors. Sectors are investing in robotic systems as the next generation of industrial robots becomes cheaper, autonomous, more mobile, cooperative, and adaptable. During the forecast period of 2022 to 2026, the industrial robot market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.50%. The Dynamics of the global industrial robot market Growth Drivers: Automation boosts productivity, raises quality, and decreases errors. Rising automation demand has increased the adoption of robots in various industries, and rising automation demand is a major market driver. The growing electronics industry, rapid installation of industrial robots, high wages, and the growing role of AI in robotics are all expected to drive growth in the industrial robot market. Challenges: The purchase and installation of robots requires significant capital investment, and the benefits provided may take many years to outweigh the initial cost. The high initial investment required for industrial robot-assisted production automation may act as a barrier to the market's growth. Other market challenges include safety concerns and privacy concerns. Trends: The development of collaborative robots, or co-bots, is a growing trend in robotics. Cobots are designed to collaborate with humans and are increasingly being used in industrial applications. Cobots use safety-rated sensors, which allow laborers to work in the same area without being harmed. Other trends that are expected to drive the growth of the engineering industry with the help of robot market during the forecasted period include the use of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), the rise of the cloud robotics market, next-generation tech accessories, and job opportunities in industrial robotic advancements.

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Top Software Engineering Trends That Will Prevail in 2022

Article | July 11, 2022

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OpenSpace | September 29, 2022

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Holcim | September 29, 2022

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Telegraph | September 27, 2022

Telegraph, a Chicago-based startup building next-generation software for the freight rail industry, and Watco, a highly diversified transportation company, recently announced their new collaboration. The combination of Watco's decades of rail logistics experience and Telegraph software is helping shippers solve their toughest logistics challenges, especially rail transportation. The enhanced technology provides customers visibility of their railcars beyond Watco facilities or tracks. "We recognized a distinct need for software designed for the rail-centric supply chain, The industry presents unique challenges that this collaboration allows us to address. Together, we're making rail a more compelling option for shippers." -Shachar Astor co-founder Telegraph. Telegraph helps railroads, shippers, logistics providers, and railcar lessors work more efficiently via a singular platform. The company uplevels the consumer experience, making it easier for businesses to incorporate rail into their procurement and execution processes. "Telegraph's tool helps us be more effective and efficient so we can focus on solving common rail issues for our customers. It is quick, it is easy, it is powerful, We help our customers keep their freight moving and provide cost-saving opportunities such as rate negotiations and demurrage risk mitigation." -Michelle Bowling Vice President of Logistics Sales Watco. Telegraph provides exceptional predictability and visibility for carload and intermodal shipments. Leveraging EDI, API, and telematics integrations, the platform delivers best-in-class forecastability and pipeline management. To date, the company has saved customers thousands of hours in manual work and millions of dollars in accessorial charges. It's a pleasure to build alongside the team at Watco. Both organizations share an operational grit and customer focus that has unlocked immense value. We're excited about our shared pursuit of making it easier for everyone to incorporate rail into their supply chain, added Telegraph CEO Harris Ligon. About Telegraph: Telegraph provides a cloud-based operating system for railroads, shippers, logistics service providers, and railcar leasing companies. With an innovative platform that provides price transparency, shipment visibility, and proactive business intelligence, Telegraph empowers customers and makes shipping by rail easier and more effective. About Watco: Watco is a leading transportation service and logistics company that provides transportation, material handling and warehousing, logistics, railcar repair, and design and development for customers throughout North America and Australia.

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OpenSpace Welcomes QBS Software to Partner Network, Widening Access to 360° Construction Site Capture Across Europe

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Holcim US, the leader in sustainable building solutions, announced today plans to unite its legacy brands in Colorado. The regional rebrand will advance Holcim's innovative ideas to build progress for people in the Centennial State, while maintaining the existing teams and products responsible for unmatched customer satisfaction. A trusted partner for decades in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and Fort Collins, Holcim's Colorado-based legacy brands and operations include aggregates, cement, concrete, and asphalt and will join the Holcim Portland cement plant in Florence under the Holcim name. This next phase of the Holcim US transition will impact the Mountain Region, including Aggregate Industries, Metro Mix Concrete and Transit Mix Concrete. "In joining the state's legacy brands and operations, our goal is to continue leading the industry into a more sustainable future, while providing the same distinguished products and services we're known for in Colorado, Uniting these brands as Holcim builds on the market strength of each and streamlines the company's collective work as a sustainable builder of progress. Operations at each of the locations will continue to provide the same level of quality service and products customers have come to expect over the years, now under the Holcim name." -Chance Allen, general manager, ACM Mountain Region, Holcim US. The timely transition kicks off just after the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law, containing roughly $5 billion for various programs that aim to accelerate the industry's shift toward low-embodied carbon building material, making now a critical time to band together and maximize innovation. Uniting these brands as Holcim builds on the market strength of each and streamlines the company's collective work as a sustainable builder of progress. About Holcim: Holcim builds progress for people and the planet. As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim is enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy Holcim is becoming a net zero company, with its people and communities at the heart of its success. The company is driving the circular economy as a world leader in recycling to build more with less. Holcim is the company behind some of the world's most trusted brands in the building sector including ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cement, Disensa, Firestone Building Products, Geocycle, Holcim and Lafarge. Holcim is 70,000 people around the world who are passionate about building progress for people and the planet through four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products.

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