Harry O. Ward, PE, is a registered professional engineer, a state licensed contractor and certified in machine control. He is president of Harken-Reidar (www.harken-reidar.com), a new infrastructure solutions company. He has been a member of the engineering faculty at George Mason University since 1997. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Yesterday, Pres. Obama announced a $50 billion funding plan for public works. Do you see what the power of the blog is? My White House sources tell me that Obama read my blog (he is an avid reader of POB and RPLS.com) and decided it was time to fund our profession.
I wrote about this a year or more ago, and my position was and still is that the economy isn’t coming back. This is our new economy, one of indecision, uncertainty, huge debt and literally no future. The Apple iPhone and iPad is not what is going to save us, but infrastructure could if we would let it!
A guild is an association of individuals with the same interests. According to Wikipedia, guilds are “organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel and a secret society.” That’s what I’m talking about-a secret society! I envision a close-knit group of like-minded surveyors that have the math, science and secrecy similar to the Priory of Sion and the Knights Templar.
I can say one positive thing about this recession: It definitely has us relearning the value of money. As my partner and I recently reviewed some accounts payable, we were astounded to find that we were being charged for all sorts of things we didn’t order or didn’t expect.
As I was recently updating my contacts in the industry, I came to a sad realization: Many of my colleagues are gone. While this is true to some degree in both engineering and surveying, it seems that in surveying it is particularly evident.
As we move into this new year, I am noticing a lot of enthusiasm. Developers are starting to commence new housing projects, builders are getting back to work, and big box sites are now beginning to pick up where they left off. Any firm that has not invested in technology over the past year or so might need to catch up rapidly to better compete for this work. Several key technologies are available as we enter the new year.
In the May issue of POB, find out how survey teams used multiple technologies to aid public safety and speed up flood response in Midland County, Michigan, after a freakish storm dropped more than seven inches of water on the area in just 36 hours.