Hey! Good news!

Rough year, eh? Prices for gasoline, metals, fuel oil, airline tickets, and food: going up. Real estate values and consumer confidence: going down. Floods, earthquakes, cyclones, tornadoes, and wild fires: running rampant. Unsettled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; unsettling developments in Africa and Iran.


Rough year, eh? Prices for gasoline, metals, fuel oil, airline tickets, and food: going up. Real estate values and consumer confidence: going down. Floods, earthquakes, cyclones, tornadoes, and wild fires: running rampant. Unsettled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; unsettling developments in Africa and Iran.

Well, unless you’re selling real estate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed, helpless, frustrated, or numb from it all, and finding ice on Mars didn’t mollify your mood for long. Need some good news with shelf life?

We have just the tonic for you this month: Consulting-Specifying Engineer ’s first crop of “ 40 Under 40 ” honorees. These are 40 engineers and allied professionals involved in the buildings industry under the age of 40 as of May 1, 2008, whom the CSE editorial team judged as winners based on their accomplishments, their community service, and testimonials from colleagues and clients.

If you’re of the temperament to claim “age discrimination,” as some of you have in e-mails sent to me when we launched this program, please swallow your bile and reconsider. CSE adopted the 40 Under 40 template to call attention to an important and under-recognized demographic making its way in a profession that needs a boost. Fees and schedules are under stress, work/life balance is out of whack, and the visibility of engineering for building design and performance is almost nil. What is there to catch the eye of a new generation?

These 40 Under 40 are not just surviving under such conditions—they’re thriving. These are the role models we hope will lure promising students and young professionals into the buildings industry and away from such droll fields as nanotechnology, bioengineering, and medical technology.

The 40 Under 40 generation grew up with computers; they would log on to the Internet for a pick-up game of Capture the Flag, forming virtual teams with strangers from around the world, and collaborate to solve problems and achieve goals on the fly. Also, this generation is rooted in concepts such as IAQ, energy efficiency, and sustainability. In a globalizing and greening world, where collaboration, integration, complex software, and constant change are the norm, their skills and mindsets are vital.

Damn—we need these people. And we need you older engineers, too. Your experience and wisdom are crucial, and too soon, your generation will be retiring too fast to sufficiently replace in quantity or quality. Please interact more with younger engineers and aid their development.

And if you’re of the age where you feel that these 40 are role models and you are inspired by them, cool ... we’re happy to have brought them to your attention.

If you’re of the age where you feet that if you had participated, you could have been included these 40, then we look forward to seeing your application next year.

I close by commending Amara Rozgus , senior editor (under 40), who championed this program and the special section beginning on page 17.

Send your questions and comments to: Michael.Ivanovich@reedbusiness.com

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