3 Ways Leading Civil Engineers Avoid Complacency and Its Risks
After spending more than four decades in this industry, we’ve learned one thing without a doubt: what civil engineers do is of fundamental importance. They help keep the lights on, but their efforts do much more than that.
Society Depends on Civil Engineers
Every critical infrastructure system essential to minimizing societal and economic disruption functions effectively thanks to the continued efforts of conscientious civil engineers.
Why Engineers Become Complacent
One need only look at the negative impact of the failure of a portion of a single power grid to know we cannot afford to take our guidelines, standards, codes, and recommended practices for granted.
The temptation, when inundated with stories about infrastructure collapse in Puerto Rico, or blackout in New York, is to focus our attention forward. But looking to the future alone is insufficient. We must duly consider the past. Perhaps we’re tempted to think it’s not our problem if the infrastructures with which we directly work are not among those impacted.
If we ignore failures in civil engineering or gain little more than a surface comprehension of them, complacency is imminent. Without our failures as constant signposts on the journey toward improvement, our complacency threatens stagnation, and perhaps catastrophe.
The Antidote for Complacency
If you work in the infrastructure industry, you cannot afford complacency for the sake of your business, your integrity, your local and regional economy, and the lives of people in your community.
The antidote for complacency is contained in what our friend and colleague Rob Carrington calls the 3 Cs.
- Commitment: We must be committed to ongoing learning of infrastructure best practices. We must be dedicated to improving performance and preserving the highest possible standards for excellence and efficiency.
- Compromise: Maintaining the highest standards requires compromise. We must work together with peers from varied corners of the infrastructure industry in order to find the best possible solutions.
- Consensus: The goal of any work in civil engineering policy and procedure must be consensus. But that consensus must go beyond what the best practices are. We must come to an agreed-upon understanding of the intent and reasons driving our guiding principles and standards.
Opportunities for Excellence
If you’re looking for opportunities to contribute to greater excellence in civil engineering, many are afforded through service as an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) committee member.
Committee members learn guidelines for transmission design, substation structure design, steel pole standards, and more.
Exo is proud to have team members striving toward better engineering through active, engaged membership in ASCE committees.
Taking Pride in Our Industry
Exo takes pride in our industry and we support leaders in diverse fields who are committed to responsible setup, realization, and maintenance of infrastructures.
We are proud to be staffed and managed by team members with decades of engineering expertise and experience.
We take our ASCE committee membership seriously, and we put the same care into our asset program management for leaders throughout the infrastructure industry. Improve your asset planning today. Contact our team for a consultation.