In my mind, the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico—like other technological disasters, such as those involving the Three Mile Island nuclear powerplant and the space shuttle Challenger—represents a management failure, more so than an engineering failure. Anything implying that the engineering profession as a whole somehow bears the blame for these regrettable events puzzles me, including ENR’s editorial on the subject in its June 7, 2010, issue. To understand why, it is worth noting what some others have said about the nature of engineering practice and its place in our culture. Related Links: EDITORIAL: The Gulf Oil-Spill
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.