Episode 2 – Dollars and sense: the future of civil engineering

An in-depth discussion with VERDUNITY's Kevin Shepherd, P.E., on the past, present, and future of the civil engineering profession—and the lasting fiscal and social impacts their work has on communities.

Here’s what’s in store:

1:30 – What does is mean to be considered a "creative engineer”?

5:15 – What the conventional approach to civil engineering misses, and how Kevin’s thought process changed as his career progressed

9:50 – The impact of considering financial implications in the design process, vs. the assumption that “the money’s always going to be there”

15:00 – What is the engineer’s role and responsibility with regard to financial viability?

16:20 – Why Kevin left his big A/E firm to start VERDUNITY, and how he approaches his work with cities

17:55 – Why desperation makes cities more interested in fiscally viable infrastructure decisions

23:20 – How city planners tend to think differently than engineers, and the constraints on how much impact they can have

25:00 – Why a conventional approach to engineering is so prevalent, despite its broad lack of sustainability

27:50 – Why exactly did we start designing and building in such a destructive way to begin with?

32:00 – We can't let the planning profession off the hook, either

33:30 – Why other engineers used to think Kevin was crazy, and now they’re getting curious—and why it’s hard for engineers at big, status-quo-affirming companies to shift their organization’s approach

37:00 – Guiding cities and technical professionals to a more fiscally-informed and people-friendly approach to city-building

39:30 – What does it actually look like to give a city recommendations for a more financially viable infrastructure project?

43:00 – A “plangineer’s” approach to spanning silos and working at different scales

45:50 – Return on investment for infrastructure projects

---

(This episode features music from Custodian of Records and Tours)

Bonus Episode – A student's perspective on engineering: Nadia Whitehouse interview

Bonus Episode – A student's perspective on engineering: Nadia Whitehouse interview

(Re)introducing VERDUNITY