As an engineer that is in the process of starting up his own LLC, my scope of work has varied greatly. A young engineer starting out begins a career concerned primarily about design, certifications, and job opportunities. As a “more experienced” ( I’m not going to say OLD) engineer that is planning on starting a new LLC, the concerns include designs, certifications & licensing, business development, accounting practices, insurance coverage, planning for emergencies, etc. One of the unexpected issues I’m addressing today is the failure to back up the blog prior to switching hosting plans.
Monthly Archives: July 2014
Starting a LLC (2014-06-04)
At some point in a person’s career, the topic of forming a LLC may arise. While running a company may or may not be an ambition that everyone shares, we should focus on how an engineer may be compensated. When working for others, you can be hired as a W-2 direct hire, a W-2 contractor, or a 1099 contractor. Continue reading
Lunch & Learns: Inquire about the Content (2014-04-17)
On a regular basis, professionals will attend lunch and learns. It’s an easy way for most employers to offer classes to the employee for the cost of lunch. However, not all lunch and learns are effective for developing an employee. Continue reading
Professional References: To Burn or Not (2014-04-03)
When growing up, we hear the expression “Don’t burn bridges”. Typically, I avoid telling people how they should live their live, and I am going to attempt to keep that same philosophy. The only thing that I am going to touch on is the need for professional references as an engineer.
Sizing Motor Disconnects (2014-02-24)
Motor disconnects are simple devices used to open a circuit providing power to a motor. Disconnects are rated by amperage, fused or non-fused, and enclosure rating. Typical amperage ratings for a disconnect switch are 30, 60, 100, and 200 amp frames and higher. To properly size a disconnect for the circuit, Continue reading
Emergency Panels and UPS Panels (2013-12-17)
Yesterday, a young engineer was reviewing some drawings and noticed some drawings would reference a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) panel and others would reference an emergency panel. The question was simple; what is the difference between a UPS panel and an emergency panel?
NEMA Enclosures (2013-11-21)
NEMA refers to the National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association. This group focuses on developing product standards, government standards, and market economics (per their website www.nema.org). The electrical industry has adopted NEMA’s standard and testing requirements for rating electrical enclosures. Although NEMA does not offer any testing or certifying services, we refer to enclosures by their NEMA rating. Continue reading
Scope Creep (2013-10-12)
For those of you not familiar with managing projects, there’s a concept called “scope creep”. Typically, a project will identify a goal to accomplish with a defined start and anticipated stop date. Scope creep occurs along the way when additional parties continue to request additional tasks be performed along the journey to completing the final goal. Continue reading
Slowing the House Electric Meter (2013-08-06)
In 2012, I lived in a 1600 sq.ft. home. It was a 1-story house that I had renovated in 2006 due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Over the course of the summer, the highest the electric bill reached was $161.44. The 2012 12- month average for electricity is $96.35 In fairness, it’s worth pointing out that the home had gas service which added an additional $22 (approximately the minimum balance to maintain service) per month. Continue reading
Streamlining the Engineering Process (2013-08-05)
The methodology of engineering consists of the following actions; identify the goals (requirements), identify the restrictions, draft a plan, verify the plan complies with all parties (code, owners, etc.), revise as necessary until all parties accept the plan, and implement the plan. Many engineering firms formalize steps in the project to help reduce costs. Continue reading