An industry in crisis: why we need more women in engineering

In 2016, Engineering UK announced a severe crisis in recruitment. More people are leaving the engineering sector than entering. Even with the best case scenario in mind (that is, given the lowest estimate of the numbers leaving), engineering’s future looks bleak: there are 69,000 people abandoning the sector every year, compared to around 46,000 apprentices and undergrads seeking to replace them.

It is thought that a combination of uncertainty around Brexit, along with rising wages in Eastern Europe, is playing a significant part in the crisis. After all, Britain has leaned heavily on its EU labour force in the recent past. Now that the world is changing, it is going to have to look elsewhere to fill the shortfall. It just so happens that the UK is abundant with a powerful natural resource - its population of women, who outnumber men by a slender margin.

We like to think of the UK as a hugely successful and progressive country, but remarkably it lags behind a lot of countries when it comes to the STEM fields. For example, the UK has the lowest number of women in the engineering sector out of any European country - with a figure of 11 percent.

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Materials, Construction

Continental Cement Teams Up with CemAI on Digital Solution for Hannibal Cement Plant

PR Newswire | January 04, 2024

CemAI, Inc. has teamed up with Continental Cement Company L.L.C.'s (Continental Cement) Hannibal, MO plant to install CemAI's predictive and prescriptive maintenance solution, combining a unique licensed software with a continuous monitoring and incident resolution service to further enhance its cement manufacturing performance." The CemAI solution uses Continental Cement's existing historical and real-time manufacturing data and applies machine learning, artificial intelligence and remote monitoring by cement experts to complement the expertise of Continental's local plant maintenance and reliability teams. This robust solution brings plant maintenance into the digital age." "We considered a number of approaches to utilizing our data to improve our maintenance efforts, eliminate downtime and increase equipment reliability," says Timothy J. Noud, Vice President of Manufacturing at Continental Cement. "CemAI offers a cement-centric, end-to-end machine learning/artificial intelligence service solution." Continental Cement has built its business on consistent quality, superior service, and delivering a safe working environment since they began producing cement at their Hannibal location in 1903. A leader in innovation and sustainable cement production, Continental Cement provides high quality cement for projects along the Mississippi corridor and is a subsidiary of Summit Materials, Inc. " "CemAI is proud to be collaborating with an industry leader on innovative ways to use data," says Scott Ziegler, Chief Executive Officer for CemAI. "We thank Continental Cement for their confidence in the CemAI solution to provide increased efficiency, improved reliability and optimized operations."

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Engineering Tech, Construction

QMB Launches New MASH Tested Road Safety Products

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

Driven by operational excellence and innovation, QMB proudly introduces its new cutting-edge line of products and movable barrier services across North America. Three Decades of Expertise QMB's evolution from a turnkey movable barrier operator and product distributor to an innovative manufacturer of specialized roadway safety products stands as a testament to three decades of passion and meaningful industry relationships. While QMB's sister company Versilis is well established as a leading manufacturer of automated gates and highway warning systems, it is no surprise that QMB is looking to bring its own wealth of experience to the market. Certified MASH TL-3 Crash Testing Success Amidst a busy year, QMB achieved certified MASH TL-3 crash testing for three groundbreaking products: The QUASH™ water-filled non-redirective crash attenuator, the TALL42™ Movable Barrier, and the HP-LOCK™ Portable Concrete Barrier. Comprehensive details, features, visuals, and videos are available on the new company website www.qmbsafety.com. QMB looks forward to gaining FHWA eligibility and state DOT approvals in 2024. Innovative Offerings and Turnkey Solutions While the QUASH™ attenuator and HP-LOCK™ technology will be available through distribution networks, QMB aims to provide turnkey solutions to movable barrier clients, covering mobilization, operation, and maintenance. This service guarantees optimized operation and efficiency, ultimately driving cost savings and ensuring peace of mind for clients. Marc Seguin, QMB's VP, enthusiastically shares, "This is an exciting new chapter in our history, and our team is fired up and ready for what's ahead.''

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Construction

VOLLERS, Inc. Enhances its Portfolio with the Strategic Acquisition of LAYOUT, Inc.

PR Newswire | January 02, 2024

VOLLERS, Inc. (VOLLERS), the holding company that owns or partners with quality construction services brands such as Vollers Excavating, HVI Services, Aspen Landscaping and Assuncao Brothers, Inc., proudly announces the acquisition of Layout, Inc. (Layout), one of New Jersey's most recognized construction survey firms. This acquisition broadens VOLLERS' array of services in the construction industry through its distinct and operationally independent entities. Brendan Murray, current President of VOLLERS, will expand his leadership role by assuming the role of President at Layout. Giuseppe Messina Jr., from VOLLERS, has been appointed as Vice President of Survey at Layout. James Flores, from Layout, has been appointed as Director of Project Management. "Success in construction is not just about project completion; it's about fostering a culture of efficiency, innovation, and excellence. We're not just building projects, we're building companies that lead the construction industry," states Brendan Murray. "Adding Layout, Inc. to the VOLLERS family of companies enriches our mission and enhances our service offerings across the entire construction community." Layout comes to VOLLERS as a robust business with a strong history of managing complex and substantial infrastructure projects in the region. The synergy between VOLLERS and Layout promises significant value for clients, combining VOLLERS' world-class management capabilities with Layout's surveying expertise to meet evolving market demands with industry-leading effectiveness. "I am very honored to be given the opportunity to bring these two well-respected organizations together," says Giuseppe Messina Jr. "I look forward to leading a diverse and talented team in our unwavering commitment and dedication to providing top-tier service in the Survey industry."

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Engineering Tech, Construction

PirTano Construction acquires Powerlink Electric

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

PirTano Construction Company, Inc. ("PirTano"), a leading Midwest-based infrastructure and utility services-focused underground construction company operating in the communications and sewer & water sectors, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"). The transaction closed on November 17, 2023. Mike Piraino, President of PirTano, said, "The acquisition of Powerlink will operate as a new electrical division, and brings additional service offerings and bench strength of employees as we look forward to continuing to support our customers while capitalizing on additional opportunities." Founded in 2006 by Doug Pantle and Steve Lipinski, Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"), is a full-service electrical and telecommunications contractor based in Vernon Hills, Illinois with an outstanding reputation in its regional marketplace and is well known for the reliability and quality of its service. Powerlink primarily focuses on commercial and industrial projects and operates in Northeastern Illinois and surrounding areas. Powerlink will continue to operate under the current leadership as a wholly owned subsidiary of PirTano. Rising Point Capital ("RPC"), commented on the transaction, "Doug and Steve have built a tremendous reputation in its marketplace. We are very excited to partner with them to help accelerate their growth and with leading a new division at PirTano."Generational Equity, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately held businesses, served as the exclusive advisor to Powerlink. Generational Equity Executive Managing Director of M&A – Central Region, Michael Goss, Stephen Dinehart, a Generational Group Authorized Affiliate, with support from Vice President, M&A, Lance Thomasson successfully closed the deal.

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