Auld Lang Syne for 2002?

At the beginning of this decade, the big debate was which year the millennium officially started—2000 or 2001. The burning question now is when will we pull out of this current economic morass—2003 or 2004? One thing is certain, with respect to the business climate—I don't think many of us will miss 2002.

12/01/2002


At the beginning of this decade, the big debate was which year the millennium officially started—2000 or 2001. The burning question now is when will we pull out of this current economic morass—2003 or 2004? One thing is certain, with respect to the business climate—I don't think many of us will miss 2002.

But in answer to the latter question, CSE, this issue, presents its annual economic forecast for 2003 (p. 18). The news is not terrific, but we hope the content—thanks to one of our new company partners, Reed Construction Data—is useful in helping firms gauge the markets to come and hopefully land more work.

Although nebulous, the new year is something I'm personally looking forward to seeing realized. From this reporter's perspective, 2002 was fraught with travail, as all of us, I'm sure, have been forced to make do with less, yet still strive for excellence—seemingly contradictory goals.

In recognition of those who are pushing forward despite today's multiple obstacles, we are proud to present CSE's inaugural "ARC" Awards (p. 23), highlighting projects and engineers we believe are Advancing, Reinvigorating and Cultivating excellence in engineering.

In this spirit, CSE itself is also committing to further excellence. Starting in January, we hope to launch a number of initiatives. Frankly, I'm not quite sure how we're going to do it, although the partnership with the former Construction Market Data is a good start. But in my gut, I believe I need to tap even deeper into the wisdom of our readership. That being said, I'm happy to announce the addition of two fine gentlemen to our advisory board: Syed Peeran , chief electrical engineer with WB Engineering & Consulting, Woburn, Mass.; and Pat Banse , a senior mechanical engineer with Smith Seckman Reid, Houston. Syed, who's written for the magazine a number of times—and appears in this month's roundtable on motor control centers (p. 16)—will bring an expertise in power quality to the table. Pat brings substantive knowledge of the health care industry and a forte in codes and standards.

Now the onus lies on me to bring this knowledge to bear. And as I contemplate just how I'm possibly going to meet this labor, my mind drifts to Walt Disney. When I took this position not too long ago, it was not without trepidation, but strangely, a song from one of my kids' Mouse-made videos inspired me—"Go the Distance," the theme from Hercules. In fact, it became my personal mantra and one that was frequently and severely tested in 2002. CSE said goodbye to a lot of good people this past year, including our rock-solid reporter Barbara Horwitz, who was just married and moved to Israel—Mazaltov! But these changes have made moving forward a difficult road—something I'm sure many of us are currently traversing. I hope I make it as I hope do all of you, for in reaching down deep we can certainly pull through tough times, particularly if we're there for each other.

Have a happy and blessed New Year.





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