Hiring, onboarding, and training new employees have been difficult during the pandemic. This is especially true for junior engineers in the water industry, who are typically trained by senior professionals in-person on the job. The design of wastewater treatment plants, in particular, is a complex endeavor and requires many years of practice to be proficient.
Our clients – utilities, EPCs, and OEMs – consistently mention that their junior staff hasn’t had the opportunity to be mentored by seasoned wastewater engineers throughout the pandemic. They haven’t been able to do site visits to learn how things look on the ground. They haven’t been able to sit beside senior process engineers as they explore various scenarios for a project and incorporate client preferences and limitations. These firms are finding it takes much longer to get junior engineers fully onboarded.
An unexpected, but popular, use case for the Transcend Design Generator (TDG) over the past two years has been as a training tool for new engineers. Each of our clients has configured TDG to match their processes and design principles. The tool brings standardization and consistency to conceptual wastewater designs, and junior engineers have been using TDG to learn their organization’s design processes. They are diving into the “why” of TDG outputs and opening a dialogue with the senior engineers who drive the design standards at their company.
It can be difficult for junior engineers to constantly be reaching out to their seniors with questions and learn how to optimize their skills. This is particularly hard when working remotely because every interaction needs to be scheduled and senior members of the team are solidly booked for weeks!
TDG provides junior engineers an opportunity to:
Since TDG outputs include bespoke, but standardized documents for every design, the tool provides a common ground for junior engineers to experiment, test out their theories, and learn the ins and outs of WWTP design. They can bring specific questions to their seniors and have the visuals to drive their conversations. As one engineer told us – “This tool is an amazing sanity check. I use it to see if the work I’ve been doing makes sense, and it also gives me the option to evaluate far more scenarios then I could’ve ever considered before.”
Here’s a real-world example of TDG in practice:
One of our clients is an equipment supplier and they leverage TDG to generate budgetary proposals for their clients. They have had 2 new engineers join in the past 6 months and have used TDG as a means of training them on this key part of their process. The senior engineers at the company configured TDG so they are confident that the outputs from the tool are a good starting point for the junior engineers.
The tool allows these new engineers to dive into the calculations that drive the design for the product, and not worry about copy-pasting and formatting the document. They learn to evaluate TDG outputs, identify ways to optimize the design and deliver value to their customers. There is more standardization at the company, which makes onboarding faster, easier, and a lot more fun!