A Giants list
I love lists. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a whiteboard both at home and at work, and I use them all the time. Also, I carry around lists of all sorts of things: people to call, projects to finalize, ideas. I even have a pad of paper by my bed so if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can add one more thing to my list.
Some may consider this torture, while I consider it soothing. Who doesn’t like to check things off a list? And isn’t there a famous song about “making a list and checking it twice”?
I have the feeling that many of you like lists too. That’s why I have been receiving phone calls and email messages requesting the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2010 MEP Giants list, which appears in the October issue (available in print in mid-October).
The MEP Giants list alone doesn’t tell the whole story. In addition to what you find in the five feature articles in a special section put together by Patrick Lynch (also a list lover), there is a lot more information to digest.
Nearly 12% of all engineers employed by the MEP Giants firms are LEED APs; in 2009, it was only 10%. This is interesting because many of the Giants listed sustainability, energy efficiency, and green building practices as the areas for which they’d like to see more articles from Consulting-Specifying Engineer.
In relation to the above point, only 2% of the Giants firms subcontract energy modeling and 5% subcontract LEED certification out to other engineering firms, so most MEP Giants are handling these tasks in-house. For example, in the 2010 National Engineering Study (see August, page 30), 51% of the respondents are using energy modeling/simulation software.
Thirteen percent of the respondents are still having trouble retaining old and finding new engineering staff, even in this down economy. Eleven percent of 2010 MEP Giants find the quality of young engineers to be a problem; 2% find training more experienced engineers (and keeping them current with new technology) to be a problem. These are surprisingly good numbers. It means there’s an 89% satisfaction rate for young engineers and 98% success rate in handling older engineers. I believe this shows that MEP Giants firms are successfully mentoring and providing for continuing education. MEP Giants firms are countering this with lots of mentoring, paid membership to societies, approval of e-learning, and paid attendance at conferences and trade shows.
It’s no surprise, but most engineering work is being conducted in the United States. If a firm is working outside North America, most of the international work the MEP Giants are doing is in the Middle East, specifically the United Arab Emirates.
When asked about their two or three most significant projects recently completed or now underway, many respondents mentioned military projects (think Army and Air Force bases) or schools (both K-12 and post-secondary institutions). Most of the trickle-down effect from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is finding engineers who work in military or school projects.
For more lists, check out the 2010 MEP Giants coverage. And add this to your list: Provide information to us about your firm when we ask you in early 2011, so you can see where you rank next year.