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Found 7 results

  1. Source: Popular Mechanics When it comes to tall buildings, all eyes are on the Burj Dubai. That's because this month it became the tallest structure in the world—and it's not even done yet. But across the world architects have already come up with mega engineering plans vying to be equally mind-blowing. From shortest to tallest, here are our favorite 10 favorite skyscrapers under construction whose radical designs and eco-friendly architecture make up for a lack of height. By Kevin Hall Voir la liste: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/extreme_machines/4282558.html?page=1
  2. IAIN MARLOW From Friday's Globe and Mail Published Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 6:40PM EST Last updated Monday, Jan. 02, 2012 12:32PM EST http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/how-a-montreal-company-won-the-race-to-build-the-worlds-cheapest-tablet/article2282337/ Fantastic story! [...] "Datawind’s main office is located in a bland concrete tower block on René-Lévesque Ouest in downtown Montreal. There’s no sign of the company in the building lobby. The only indication of Datawind’s presence is a white sheet of paper taped to an 11th-floor door that reads, “Datawind Net Access Corporation.” Even that had only been posted for the benefit of a visitor. Behind the door, around 50 of the company’s 150 employees—many of them engineers—toil and tinker with motherboards and mobile operating systems. Datawind was founded in 2000 by Suneet and his brother, Raja, who is two years his senior and holds the title of chief technology officer. The pair have had modest success building and selling wireless devices like the PocketSurfer (a small, clamshell mobile device) and the UbiSurfer (a mini-netbook), mainly in the United Kingdom for use on Vodafone Group’s network. The company has an office in London, and another in Amritsar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab, where it operates a call centre and handles some engineering, testing, accounting and HR duties. Although Suneet and his brother are Canadian citizens—born in India, they arrived when they were 12 and 14, respectively—Datawind is registered in the U.K. Suneet says this is largely because of Canada’s notoriously conservative venture capital market, the U.K.’s funding support for innovation and the fact that Canada’s wireless industry—dominated by just three companies—has had little incentive to supplement its own high-margin smartphones with the kinds of inexpensive Internet devices Datawind designs." [...] "Behind the paper sign on the door, and down a hallway lined with overflowing cardboard boxes, Datawind’s Montreal headquarters becomes a dizzying blur of after-hours engineering. It is the kind of scene more common to bootstrapping Silicon Valley start-ups than a decade-old company run by a pair of seasoned entrepreneurs who have already listed two companies on the NASDAQ. Technicians like Cezar Oprescu, a heavy-set Romanian who not only wears two collared shirts but two pairs of glasses at the same time (they double as a microscope), work in rotating shifts, some lasting more than 36 hours, at desks littered with soldering irons, spare computer parts, discarded motherboards and fast food wrappers. Their monitors flicker with the drip of neon green code that looks like something from The Matrix. While one staff member, seated at an impossibly cluttered desk, sets about re-engineering the piece of hardware responsible for receiving WiFi signals, a colleague, stationed just a few feet away, adjusts the software drivers that will interact with it. Elsewhere, programmers are still testing the code that dictates how the touchscreen user interface deals with the drivers. The pace is unrelenting. Not only are employees ordering in dinner, they’re ordering in breakfast, grappling in real time with the allergies and dietary restrictions of an incredibly diverse staff of Eastern Europeans, Indians, Chinese, Russians and French Canadians, several vegetarians and one person who is allergic to green peppers." [...]
  3. Can We Afford Liberalism Now? Paul Johnson 10.29.08, 6:00 PM ET Forbes Magazine dated November 17, 2008 The financial crisis, detonated by greed and recklessness on Wall Street and in the City of London, is for the West a deep, self-inflicted wound. The beneficiary won't be Russia, which, with its fragile, energy-based economy, is likely to suffer more than we shall; it will be India and China. They will move into any power vacuum left by the collapse of Western self-confidence. If we seriously wish to repair the damage, we need to accept that this is fundamentally a moral crisis, not a financial one. It is the product of the self-indulgence and complacency born of our ultraliberal societies, which have substituted such pseudo-religions as political correctness and saving the planet for genuine distinctions between right and wrong and the cultivation of real virtues. India and China are progress-loving yet morally old-fashioned societies. They cannot afford liberalism. Their vast populations have only recently begun to emerge from subsistence living. Their strength is in the close, hard-working family unit in which parents train their children to work diligently at school and go to university when possible so they can acquire real and useful qualifications to then go out into the world as professional men and women determined to reach the top. I am impressed at the rapid headway Indians (benefiting from their knowledge of spoken and written English) are making in all the advanced sectors of the global employment market--science, technology, medicine, communications, the law, engineering and mining. They are ousting Westerners from top jobs, and rightly so. They are better qualified, more highly motivated and more reliable and honest. They have the old-style work ethic that we, in many cases, have lost. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was sneered at for stressing the Victorian virtues of industry and thrift. But she was right. These emergent Asian professionals have precisely those virtues, which is why they're moving forward and will eventually conquer the world--not by force but by hard work, intelligence and skill. Equally impressive is the sheer physical power of the Chinese workforce. Anyone who goes to Beijing or Shanghai can't help but notice the astonishing speed at which buildings are rising. There is nothing new in this. It was once the West that taught the world how to change its skylines through fast and furious efforts. One of the first examples was the Eiffel Tower, designed by engineering genius Gustave Eiffel (who also created the Statue of Liberty's internal structure). It was the centerpiece of the Paris Exposition of 1889. Using the principles of prefabrication, the 150 to 300 workers on the site put it up in only 26 months. Another example is the Empire State Building, which officially opened on May 1, 1931. Masterpiece of the firm of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the Empire State Building was completed in only one year and 45 days, a testament to business efficiency and the determination of the dedicated workforce. We couldn't match those time frames today, despite the advances in technology, because the advances have been outstripped by an even more rapid growth in complex and idiotic planning procedures, bureaucracy, myopic trade unionism and restrictive legislation. Wake-Up Call In London today, for example, residents are infuriated and visitors horrified by the way in which the main sewer and water lines are being replaced over much of the city. The work is agonizingly slow. Contractors claim they are paralyzed by the laws (especially so-called health and safety regulations) that now govern work practices. Depending on the type of activity, these regulations can lower productivity by 15% to 25%. They don't save lives or prevent injuries; they provide lucrative jobs for bureaucrats and fit in well with the ideas of union officials on how things should be run. They are a typical by-product of a liberal society. In an earlier age New York City would have defied the terrorists who brought down the World Trade Center by speedily rebuilding what they destroyed. What's happened instead is a sad and revealing story. In August China pulled off a propaganda triumph with its staging of the Summer Olympic Games, which involved huge construction projects--all completed on time. London is currently preparing for the 2012 games. All indications, so far, are that this is going to be an embarrassing and hugely expensive fiasco. I don't know whether this year's financial catastrophe will shock the politicians and people of the West into a new seriousness. There's certainly no sign of it yet. I had to laugh when a Chinese visitor recently said to me: "I see you're going back to the windmill in Britain. We Chinese cannot afford that." That comment puts things in a nutshell: We are traveling along the high road to incompetence and poverty, led by a farcical coalition of fashionably liberal academics on the make, assorted eco-crackpots and media wiseacres. This strain of liberalism is highly infectious. The Indians and Chinese have yet to be infected. They're still healthy, hard at work and going places, full speed ahead. Paul Johnson, eminent British historian and author; Lee Kuan Yew, minister mentor of Singapore; Ernesto Zedillo, director, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, former president of Mexico; and David Malpass, chief economist for Bear Stearns Co., Inc., rotate in writing this column. To see past Current Events columns, visit our Web site at http://www.forbes.com/currentevents.
  4. Genivar fait l'acquisition de EXH Engineering 3 mars 2008 - 11h28 Presse Canadienne Grossir caractèreImprimerEnvoyer Le Fonds de revenu Genivar (GNV.UN), une firme de services de génie-conseil basée à Montréal, se porte acquéreur de EXH Engineering Services Ltd., une entreprise de l'Alberta qui compte 275 employés dans 14 bureaux. EXH est spécialisée en transport et en infrastructures municipales. Le montant de la transaction n'a pas été précisé. En procédant à cette annonce lundi, la direction de Genivar a indiqué que cette acquisition représente un jalon important pour le développement de la plateforme de la compagnie dans cette province. «Avec EXH au sein de notre équipe, Genivar devient un acteur clé en transport et en infrastructures municipales, deux marchés qui demeureront vigoureux pour les années à venir. Nous poursuivrons l'élargissement de notre équipe dans tous nos autres marchés, particulièrement en bâtiment, en environnement, en industriel et en énergie», a déclaré Pierre Shoiry, président et chef de la direction de Genivar. La transaction a été complétée le 29 février. http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080303/LAINFORMER/80303120/5891/LAINFORMER01
  5. Fayolle to open HQ in Montreal The French privately owned Fayolle engineering, construction and environmental group said Tuesday it is setting up its North American headquarters in Montreal, where it has operated a Canadian unit since 2006. "Through our new Montreal HQ we intend to become a major player in the architectural engineering field in Quebec and across Canada," said Hugues Fastrel, executive vice-president of Fayolle Canada. "Later, we will penetrate the North American market as a whole to continue our global expansion." Fayolle Canada has 400 employees, half in Quebec, and annual revenue of $500 million. The 80-year-old parent company is owned by the Fayolle family of France. It plans to hire 50 more workers in Montreal over the next three years. "Fayolle's decision to choose Montreal as a springboard for its North American and global development attests to the city's diverse industrial base, qualified workforce and competitive cost structure," said Jacques St-Laurent, CEO of Montreal International. the private-public partnership that works to develop Metropolitan Montreal's international status. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Fayolle+open+Montreal/4403605/story.html
  6. On the job, on solid ground The road to finding full-time employment in Quebec has many twists and turns. It also has lots of rotten bridges and overpasses. And that's good news if you're in the construction and engineering business. JEFF HEINRICH, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Shoring up all those massive old structures of rusted steel and cracked concrete is keeping many qualified workers on the job this summer. In fact, 2008 is the costliest year ever for infrastructure renewal in the province. How costly? Just look out your car window. Ottawa and Quebec are spending $3.2 billion to fix bridges and overpasses and repair roads at 1,800 sites across Quebec, including several major projects around Montreal. What began with a tragedy - the September 2005 collapse of the de la Concorde Blvd. overpass in Laval, which killed five people - has turned into a massive, government-financed job boom. Motorists may curse, but the boom has been a godsend for those who, it might be said, need a break the most: new immigrants trying to snag a first job in their adopted land. Since January, The Gazette has been following the progress of six of them, all enrolled in an intensive civil-engineering diploma program of 17 students at CEGEP du Vieux Montréal, their costs covered by Emploi-Québec. They wrote their final exams in mid-July and started apprenticing at Montreal-area companies soon after. The unpaid "stages," as they're known in French, last four weeks. The students are keeping a daily log of the 120 hours they're on the job and will return to class at the end of the month to give a PowerPoint presentation summing up their experience. After that, by the end of September or early October, it'll be graduation time. And diploma in hand, the eager engineers will hit the job market, finally getting off government assistance and earning a decent salary. One of the most energetic of the bunch is Agaton Oba-Buya, a Congolese man who spent half his life in Russia before starting a new life here in the spring of 2006 with his Russian wife and their two children. These days the 44-year-old PhD in technical science - who also had an engineering company in his hometown, Brazzaville - wears the hard hat and workboots of Demix Construction, a Longueuil general contractor. He was hired as an apprentice at the firm's Laval office two weeks ago. For Oba-Buya, Quebec's infrastructure woes spell one word: Opportunity. "Le malheur des uns fait le bonheur des autres," he said with a grin this week, quoting Voltaire's famous maxim. It was Tuesday and Oba-Buya had just spent the morning observing repairs to the 55th Ave. overpass of Highway 520, in Dorval, on behalf of his employer, a unit of Ciment Saint-Laurent. There's plenty of good fortune to be made out of Quebec's antiquated infrastructure, and if Oba-Buya keeps up the good work - and the repair contracts keep coming, which no one doubts - there's a good chance he'll turn his apprenticeship into a full-time job. "There's been a great deal of demand for workers because of all these private-public partnerships, projects like Highway 25 (between Montreal and Laval) and Highway 30 (on the South Shore)," said his boss, Dominic Martel, who also took on three others from the CEGEP program this month. "Usually we make do with apprentices out of the university programs, but this summer that wasn't enough, so we jumped at the chance for more workers when the CEGEP called us," he said. "Agaton has an advantage. He has a driver's licence and a car, which means he can easily get to the sites we're working on," he added. "I'm very satisfied with him so far. He expresses himself well, knows the technical terms we use, speaks several languages. He's autonomous, this gentleman, and that's what we're looking for." Getting his foot in the door wasn't easy for Oba-Buya. He sent his CV to close to 80 companies before his apprenticeship supervisor at the college stepped in to help land him an interview at Demix. It was in the interview that he began to practise the fine art of being accommodating. "They told me what projects they're involved in, such as overpasses, aqueducts, asphalt, sewers and drainage, and they asked me which one I felt most qualified to work on. I had experience with dams in Russia, so maybe a drainage project would have been a good choice," recalled Oba-Buya. "But in the end, I just told them to put me wherever I could be useful to the company, and that's what they did." His first day, he got a 45-minute seminar on health-and-safety procedures - essential to the job. (Three years ago, Demix was fined for negligence by the CSST after one of its superintendents was struck by a dump truck and killed at a job along Highway 40 on the West Island. The site is not far from the Dorval site Oba-Buya visited this week.) After the safety course, the budding apprentice was given a mound of documentation to wade through: details of projects, client profiles, bids from subcontractors, cement specifications, ISO norms - "everything so he wouldn't be thrown into a work site and feel like a tourist," Martel said. But what struck Oba-Buya the most was how his boss made a point of introducing him to everyone in the building. To him, that meant he was welcome - something every immigrant dreams of but doesn't always get. "It impressed me a lot - the kindness, the smiles - from everyone, too. It made an important step - leaving my studies, starting a new phase - all that much easier." Then, at the end of the week, he was taken out into the field, to three sites, including the 55th Ave. site. The overpass is so decrepit, it is slated for demolition in 2010. In the meantime it needs to be properly repaired and supported so that traffic, as well as companies like Bell Canada and Vidéotron that have cables to tend to down there, can circulate safely. To that end, Demix and its subcontractors are installing 64 foundation pylons to prop up the overpass. Behind concrete barriers last Tuesday, the site appeared muddy and noisy, its workers' clothing smeared with dust and grime amid the din of generators and drilling machines. Later in the week, Oba-Buya had a choice of revisiting a project on Highway 25, dealing by phone and fax with an electrician subcontracted for a project on Highway 55, and learning billing techniques using Excel software - all tasks he looked forward to with optimism and good cheer. And why not? He's got a whole new life to look forward to. Fall is coming, a big season in Demix's business. The company's human-resources department will likely offer one-year contracts to some of its summer apprentices, Martel said - salaries for management jobs like the one Oba-Buya has his eye on being non-union and strictly negotiable. Now comes Step 2 in the art of being accommodating: Don't ask for too much. As a permanent resident to Canada, not yet a full citizen, Oba-Buya feels the humility of being a newcomer. From his Moscow days, he retains his Russian citizenship and passport (and speaks only Russian at home in Villeray), and that gives him pride. And he remembers being his own boss in Brazzaville, one more thing to be proud of. In this country, he's not holding out for a barrel of gold. He just hopes that come graduation, Demix will hire him as a technician in civil engineering, whatever the salary. "I'll take what they want to pay me," he said. "The money isn't important. The important thing is to get the work." [email protected] THE QUEBEC DREAM: SIX STORIES. Look for Part 4 of this occasional series at the end of August, when reporter Jeff Heinrich checks back in with the students when they return to class to make a presentation about their apprenticeship experience - the final step before graduation. - - - Where they are now Since July 28, the 17 students in the CEGEP du Vieux Montréal's civil-engineering diploma program have been working as apprentices in various sectors. An asterisk (*) appears in front of the names of the six being followed by The Gazette: Real estate and buildings Le Groupe GENINOV Inc., Montreal: *Mohammed Tazi Mezalek, *Marie-Juline Jean-Baptiste and one other student. Construction EBC Inc., Brossard: *Hocine Merzouk, *Lady Alexandra Vega Contreras. Civil engineering Demix Construction (Ciment St-Laurent Inc.), Laval and Longueuil: *Agaton Oba-Buya and three other students. Geotechnical / materials / environment Groupe Qualitas Inc., Montreal: *Ahmed Gherbi. ABS Environnement Inc., Anjou: one student. Labo SM Inc., Longueuil: one student. Solmatech Inc., Repentigny: two students. Industrial engineering GCM Consultants Inc., Anjou: one student. Municipal City of Verdun: one student. Electricity distribution networks Transelec Common Inc.: one student. CEGEP du Vieux Montréal
  7. Montreal's BPR buys France's Saunier Engineering firm boosts international presence The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago Montreal's BPR engineering group is boosting its international presence with the acquisition of France's Saunier & Associés, a Paris-based firm specializing in energy and environmental work and building design. The merged company will have annual revenue of about $250 million and a staff of 2,400 in North America, Europe, South Africa and the Caribbean, chief executive Pierre Lavallée said yesterday. "This deal opens up the French and European markets to BPR and allows Saunier to market its specialized engineering services in Quebec, across Canada and in the U.S.," he added. BPR, which began 47 years ago in Quebec City with three engineers, grew steadily into a design, engineering, procurement and construction management firm. It moved its headquarters and main operations to Montreal in 2000, while retaining its offices in Quebec City and the Saguenay and taking on projects in Ontario and the U.S. Lavallée said BPR's focus is on heavy industry, mining, metals and petrochemicals, water, waste management, roads, bridges and other infrastructure, hydro and nuclear energy, and office buildings. "We're involved in the upgrading of Petro-Canada's Montreal refinery and Ultramar Canada's Quebec City refinery to produce the new low-sulphur diesel fuels," he said. "One of our strengths is instrumentation for industry." Saunier will add specialized skills in the energy and environmental sectors, such as the transfer of heat generated from waste processing to serve buildings, and other technologies for industry and municipal infrastructure. It has 19 offices across France. "We got to know each other when we were working on a massive waste water management upgrade in Paris," Lavallée said. "We were responsible for the design and were strangers in France. Now Saunier's technologies, experience and consulting skills can be applied here ... we'll both benefit from the synergies stemming from our alliance." CEO Bernard Saunier said the merger will provide Saunier with access to new markets and new opportunities for its engineers and technicians. "The alliance comes just at the right moment and it will help us accelerate our development, especially in energy."