What is industrial engineering?

July 16th, 2010

A Changing Field of Study & Work

Industrial engineering is not a new specialty in the engineering field. In fact, it has been officially taught under this name for over one hundred years! However, just as the world has changed greatly over the past century, the work done by industrial engineers has also transformed.

A Quick History

In the beginning, industrial engineering was focused almost entirely on the factory systems that were revolutionizing the way goods were produced during the early part of the twentieth century. However, industry later expanded beyond the walls of factories, and industrial engineers began applying the same logic and skill sets that had worked in the factories to other industries such as health care and even finance.

Today’s Applications

Today, industrial engineering refers to the practice of making complex systems operate in a way that is both effective and efficient, making the best use of the available resources while still serving the interests of the company and employees.

In some ways, modern industrial engineering is still tied to its factory beginnings. One project completed by our staff involved relocating the headquarters of a manufacturing company, designing a facility that would serve their practical needs while also operating more efficiently than the previous one.

In other ways, the original industrial engineers would have no idea where to start on a modern project. Another Engineering Groupe industrial engineering project involved the placement of cell phone towers, a technological development that had no bearing on industry one hundred years ago. In another 100 years, industrial engineering will probably be changing the way that we get things done in ways we can’t even imagine right now!

Trends in Industrial Engineering

July 2nd, 2010

As an important part of the services offered by The Engineering Groupe, industrial engineering is an area that requires us to stay on top of recent trends. Industrial engineers incorporate a wide range of knowledge as they analyze existing systems in order to create optimized versions that make the best use of resources without affecting the service delivered or product created.

Today’s Trends

Three current trends in this engineering specialty include lowering energy consumption, minimizing environmental impact, and a greater focus on automation.

  1. Lowering energy consumption: Energy consumption is important to every type of business and almost every individual as the costs of energy continue to rise. Industrial engineers look for ways to allow systems to reduce the energy wasted by operating at certain times of the day and smarter building design.
  2. Minimizing environmental impact: While reducing energy can also be considered a way of reducing environmental impact, this is such an important trend that it deserves attention in its own right. Facilities that incorporate natural ventilation and are designed to be more inviting to those who walk or bike and keep the energy use as low as possible.
  3. Focus on automation: Finally, improved technology is bringing automation into almost every industrial engineering project in some way, as it helps to lower costs without affecting quality.

These trends toward “greener” living and reducing our environmental footprint can be seen in many areas of our lives today, and industrial engineering is no different.  However, one thing we know for sure is that the future will continue to usher in changes and engineers will seek better ways to adapt.

Trends in mixed use development

June 24th, 2010

Mixed Use Development Trends

While mixed use development (link to mixed use page) is not an entirely new development in the design and engineering field, it is an area that is constantly changing. As such, new trends emerge regularly as these developments adapt to the needs of those they are designed to serve whether individual residents, businesses, or retail tenants.

Three emerging trends include:

1.    A focus on community. Unlike other developments which tend to keep residential and business areas separated, mixed-use developments offer residents and tenants the ability to feel connected to their neighbors and neighborhood. By including common areas and a cohesive design, the modern mixed-use development offers the feel of a small town in the middle of a major metropolis.

2.    Walkability. As people are working to improve their health and fitness while limiting the amount of time spent in a car and fuel consumed, walkability is a logical focus for developers. Being able to walk to both the development itself and within the development makes it easier for people to leave their cars at home as they go to work, run errands, or visit friends. This is an important aspect of the mixed-use development.

3.    Transportation planning. Finally, mixed-use developments lend themselves to smarter transportation planning both within the development itself and on a larger scale as well. Instead of small suburbs connected by single routes to one another and the nearest major metropolis, mixed-use developments are increasingly working to develop multiple routes to popular destinations to allow traffic to flow more smoothly, even during rush hours.

Mixed use development defined

June 16th, 2010

The art of engineering efficiency and usefulness

Mixed-use development is a phrase that you may have heard recently. If not, you are certain to hear it in the future as this type of development becomes the norm in both urban and suburban areas.

So what is mixed use development, and what does it mean for those who choose to live, work, or live and work in such a development?

Simply put, “mixed use” refers to developing structures and communities that have a mixture of residential, business and retail uses.  By incorporating retail, office, and residential space into a single project, mixed-use developments take advantage of the land upon which they are built during more hours of each day and by more people than a single-use building would be able to do.

Those who live in these developments do not have the same dependence on a car that people who live in traditional neighborhoods have because they can walk or bike to work and to run many of their errands, making it easier for them to stay active and function without a vehicle.

Additionally, retailers benefit from the traffic flow of customers who reside so close to their businesses while residents enjoy the ease of proximity to so many options.

Brief History of Mixed Use

Before traditional zoning laws became the norm, mixed-use developments were prevalent throughout the United States. After disappearing for some time after World War II, they re-emerged during the 1960’s and 1970’s as part of ongoing efforts to bring life back into certain parts of cities.

In modern times, these developments are becoming the norm for progressive development because they offer a way to make the most efficient use of land while providing a higher quality lifestyle for those who live or work in the developments.

Engineering Groupe is now blogging!

May 18th, 2010

Now in our twentieth year of business, the Engineering Groupe is eagerly tackling new engineering, planning, surveying and environmental services projects.

And we are also very excited about the opportunity to share our observations, status and insights about commercial projects in the Mid-Atlantic through this blog.

We hope you share our enthusiasm for the future, as we look forward to posting useful information here!



Learn More About Our Headquarters Location At www.catonscrossing.com

Follow The Engineering Groupe on Facebook!

About Us | Projects | Services | Career Opportunities | Sitemap | News
Designed by Frost Miller Group