Innovating our way through the recession

One of the best things about being in the engineering field is that we get to witness new technologies and processes as soon as they're on the market--new products, groundbreaking projects, and unique engineering solutions.

06/27/2012


A difficult--and yet rewarding--outcome of this recession has been the boom of small engineering firms and other businesses. Individuals, once cut loose from larger firms that have trimmed back on the workforce, have launched their own firms--a dream they may have never considered unless pushed. By forging their own paths, engineers have been forced to succeed independently. Small firms have had to expand their capabilities by adding new services or refocusing their business. Even large firms, seemingly untouched by the recession, have repositioned themselves, bringing in new business development teams or expanding services to include previously untouched markets. Kudos to those firms who are staying competitive and innovative in our industry.

One of the best things about being in the engineering field is that we get to witness new technologies and processes as soon as they're on the market--new products, groundbreaking projects, and unique engineering solutions.

The engineering firms that fill these pages with technical articles each month are at the forefront of innovation. For example, the cover story on emergency lighting discusses the most important issues in life safety and lighting with special coverage that includes relevant new products.

In another article, best practices for documenting ASHRAE Standard 90.1 compliance are detailed. While many of these tips seem obvious, they are frequently overlooked in the documentation phase, so they remain vital to any successful project with ambitions to comply with and exceed ASHRAE Standard 90.1.

To me, innovation means staying ahead of the competition, making decisions quickly, thinking differently, and setting the curve, not responding to it. I've been fortunate in my career to work at innovative firms--CFE Media LLC (the publisher of this publication and others in the engineering field) is one of these cutting-edge companies. While my response time may sometimes seem slow to you, I can assure you that my brain is moving at about 100 mph--along with the brains of our staff. Our company is celebrating its 2-year anniversary with the June 2012 issue, and we got here by practicing innovation in action.

No matter the size of your firm, I'd like to hear about how you and your team have been innovative in the past year. We'll post these innovations online at www.csemag.com for everyone to learn from. Please send me your success stories, tips, tricks, best practices, photos, videos, etc. Keep it short, and we'll help you show off your own innovative spirit. Contact me at arozgus@cfemedia.com.



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This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
How to use IPD; 2017 Commissioning Giants; CFDs and harmonic mitigation; Eight steps to determine plumbing system requirements
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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