In episode 007 of the Civil Engineering Podcast, I will share some civil engineering career advice from a highly respected civil engineer who has five decades of experience tucked under his belt, Tom Otto, PE. Tom shares his insights on how as a civil engineer, you have a lot of opportunities to explore — regardless of whether you want to start your own small business, or work for a large engineering company. We also discuss the two different civil engineering career areas where you can flourish, the technical side, and/or the business side. This episode has lots of good civil engineering career advice from someone who has been there and made it as a civil engineer.
In this episode, you’ll get civil engineering career advice including:
- The different areas you can explore as a civil engineer — the technical side, and the business side.
- How being an expert is being more than knowledgeable in your chosen expertise.
- How to further expand your skills as a civil engineer in order to be more marketable.
- “The drive to work in a small company, or to have your own company, is very real, very early in your career.” Stay tuned to Ep 7! #TCEP #Podcast
- “Becoming an expert is the fact that you stand with the project, and respond to your clients.” Tom Otto on Ep 007 of #TCEP #Podcast
- Technical or Business? A civil engineer has more than two ways to succeed in his or her career. Find out how on #TCEP #Podcast Ep 007.
- Civil engineering career advice from a CE with 50 years of experience. Tune in to #TCEP #Podcast Ep 7
Project Name: US Capitol Visitor Center
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center provides a welcoming and educational environment for visitors to learn about the unique characteristics of the House and the Senate and the legislative process as well as the history and development of the architecture and art of the U.S. Capitol. The visitor experience is an intellectual and emotional encounter comprised of highly personal moments that inform, involve and inspire those who come to see the U.S. Capitol.
Beneath the East Front plaza of the U.S. Capitol at First Street and East Capitol Street.
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is the newest addition to the historic Capitol Complex. At nearly 580,000 square feet, the Visitor Center is the largest project in the Capitol’s more than two-century history and is approximately three-quarters the size of the Capitol itself. The entire facility is located underground on the east side of the Capitol so as not to detract from the appearance of the Capitol and the grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1874.
Project Budget (Construction):
The proposed cost was originally $71 million, but it has risen to $621 million.
Project Completion (Month/Year or Expected Completion Date):
Actual construction began in 2002. By the fall of 2003, excavation was essentially complete and build-up of the structure began. Personnel began to occupy the building in July 2008 and it was dedicated and opened to the public on December 2, 2008.
Special Design Features and/or Challenges:
The excavation for the Capitol Visitor Center required the removal of 65,000 truckloads of soil or 650,000 cubic yards of material and workers set more than 400,000 pieces of stone some weighing as much as 500 pounds. The stone used in the Visitor Center was selected based on how closely it matched the existing colors and textures of the stone in the Capitol. Sandstone, which was the principal material in the original Capitol, is the dominant stone in the Visitor Center, with nearly 200,000 square feet of coverage on interior walls and columns.
The Capitol Visitor Center was designed to incorporate as many sustainable and low-impact features as possible within the constraints of its unique requirements. The Center was built below an existing parking lot, and is a “redevelopment” of an urban site which has not increased the amount of hard surfaces relative to run-off. The East Capitol Grounds are greener now that landscaping is completed with a total of 85 new trees have been planted (more than were removed for construction) to revive the scenic views envisioned in Frederick Law Olmsted’s original landscape plan of 1874.
Additionally state-of-the-art high-efficiency fans and motors were used for mechanical systems and use outside air for cooling in place of chilled water when the outdoor temperature is 60 degrees and below. Light fixture occupancy sensors have been installed throughout office spaces and restrooms and compact fluorescent fixtures are used wherever possible.
Other features include low-flow bathroom fixtures and automatic faucets and toilets; low-emitting materials including paints, solvents and carpets were used during construction; recycling of 50 percent of construction waste; and six skylights allow natural light to fill many public areas thereby decreasing the need for electric lighting during daytime hours.
Benefits to Society:
Since opening in 2008, millions of people have visited the Capitol, entering through the Capitol Visitor Center. The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center provides an increased focus on visitor comfort, safety and security resulting in a seamless, positive visitor experience at the U.S. Capitol.
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below about how you can become an expert as a civil engineer, or any other questions related to civil engineering career advancement.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
The Engineering Career Coach
Civil Engineering Career Coach
Author of Engineer Your Own Success