Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

August 2014    |    Volume: 46    |    Number: 8

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Work Perfect

The day we strive forLauren Hale 

Lauren Hale

Railroad designer
Hanson Professional Services Inc.
Bellevue, Wash.

Hanson Professional Services Inc., based in Springfield, Ill., specializes in engineering, architecture, planning and a range of allied services. I’m part of the railroad division, which provides design, construction management and associated services for capacity improvements, intermodal and port facilities, railroad yard design and reconfiguration, rail loading and unloading facilities, and commuter rail facilities.My duties align with project management and process improvement.

When project tasks occasionally go awry, I seek to get the issue resolved and work with the team to prevent similar issues from occurring again. I’m always putting my IE skills to work: How can I make this easier, faster, higher quality, and in the process make everyone else’s jobs more enjoyable?

A perfect day for me would start with a breakfast meeting with one of our clients to discuss an ongoing project or a site visit. A quick check on email as well as the schedule and budget for active projects, and then it’s time for an internal design meeting. The afternoon would include brainstorming ways to improve our operations and minimize the chance for error, or implementing ideas from the office or design team. The end to a perfect day would include a notice that we have won a proposal.

The best part of my job is when a client is impressed with our work, and the email of praise is shared with the whole team. I also love the days when clients and co-workers get as excited about process improvement as I am, and I see them take off with an idea and carry it to implementation.

Many of our clients require that project managers have their professional engineering license, so obtaining this will open the door to additional opportunities.

– Interview by David Brandt

David Brandt is the Web managing editor for IIE.