Capital Argument $

A trademark of Paperitalo Publications
Published on the 15th of every month
June 2017
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Mentoring programs for younger project engineers     


Very rarely do I see mills have a formal mentoring program for their less experienced project engineers.  They really should.

Young or inexperienced project engineers can get in trouble so many ways, and often for the most innocent of reasons.

Sometimes, it is the engineering or technology that cause them problems.  However, over my years, the most often cause of issues for project engineers has been people related.

This comes from two sources--internal and external.

Internally, this problem is caused by failure to develop a good project scope.  The source of this problem often lies in operation.  Yes, operators wave their hands, say they want so and so, and move on.  Then, much to the project engineer's surprise, when they deliver to the scope they were given, there are large holes in what was delivered vs. what operations thought they were getting.  Project engineers learn, often through bitter experience, that they have to really pin down operations, excruciating detail by excruciating detail, in order to fully develop the scope. Mentoring could help this process.

Externally, I have seen young project engineers get "taken to the cleaners" by local contractors.  This is very stupid on the contractors' part, but it happens.  It can get a contractor thrown off the site.  Yet, that is after the fact, after the project engineer has blown their budget by overpaying.

Mentoring young project engineers can save budgets and careers.  Do you have a mentoring program?
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Engineering Manager of the Year, call for nominations

We are looking for an individual who has done an extraordinary project, one that almost defies belief.  Its extraordinary features can be schedule, technology, cost or all three.
 
We have often gotten nominees that go something like this, "I nominate Joe because he has done a great job of running our engineering department for the last fifteen years." Quite frankly, we are not interested in such nominees.
 
However, if you know someone who has led a very exceptional project in the recent past (the last two or three years), we want to know about it.  We want to honor them and hold them up as an example for Engineering Managers in every pulp and paper mill around the world.
 
Just send your nomination, with as much details as you can provide, to jthompson@taii.com.  We will seriously consider it.
 
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Current Patent Activity is available here.
 
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Capital Arguments Engineering Manager of the Year
Hall of Fame

CA Logo
Since its inception, Capital Arguments has believed extraordinary projects are possible.  They can be done safely, responsibly and offer a great advantage to their mills with lower capital costs and saved downtime. We established this award in 2008 to recognize those people and companies that follow this philosophy. This award is given once per year somewhere in the world.  We honor our inductees permanently here.



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Mac Switkowski--Engineering Manager of the Year 2015


Mac Switkowski, center, holds his Capital Arguments Engineering Manager of the Year Award that was presented by Paperitalo CEO Jim Thompson, left, as Luis Henao, right, vice president at Pratt Industries applauds.  Mac brought the new mill at Valparaiso in on time and on budget despite a change of paper machine suppliers mid project.
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Not Awarded 2014

You have to be really good to get this award.  We did not receive any qualifying nominations in 2014.

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Not Awarded 2013

You have to be really good to get this award.  We did not receive any qualifying nominations in 2013.

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Not Awarded 2012

You have to be really good to get this award.  We did not receive any qualifying nominations in 2012.

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Ed Kersey--Engineering Manager of the Year 2011


Jim p resents Ed with the Engineering Manager of the Year for 2011.
(L - R) Matt Nilsen, Jim Thompson, Ed Kersey and Wayne South.  Nilsen is Account Manager and South is Business Development Manager for Kadant Black Clawson, underwriter of this year's award.  Ed Managed the construction of the Pratt Industries mill in Shreveport, Louisiana which took 13 months from piling to paper on the reel.  His reward?  They made him mill manager!

Peter Flynn and Steve Roush

Kadant Black Clawson was a major sponsor of the 2011 Award.  Here, on the left,  Peter Flynn, President of Kadant Black Clawson, receives the company's duplicate of Ed's Award from Steve Roush, Publisher and Editor, Paperitalo Publications. 
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Not Awarded 2010

You have to be really good to get this award.  We did not receive any qualifying nominations in 2010.

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Dean Abrams--Engineering Manager of the Year 2009

Now retired, Dean was an engineer at Corrugated Services, Forney, Texas, USA in the summer of 2009 when he completed his award winning project.  Dean managed a team that installed a secondary headbox in 11 hours, 30 minutes, paper-to-paper.  The experts had said it would take at least 3 days.  In April 2010, we presented the award to Dean in the presence of a number of his colleagues.

Dean Abrams Award 
 
Here is the award we presented to Dean:

Deans Plaque























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Mike Ahcan--Engineering Manager of the Year 2008

Mike works at the UPM Blandin Mill in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA. In 2008, the mill's sole effluent pipe, running outside a building, almost in the Mississippi River, was determined to be in a state of imminent collapse.  The experts said it would take a week of total mill downtime to replace it.  Additionally, there was a danger of leakage into the river.  Mike and his team went to work and replaced the pipe without any downtime and with no spillage.  We had a banquet in Grand Rapids for him in July 2009.

OpTest Official Solid Background









And here is Mike's award:

OpTest Official Solid Background













We normally accept nominations in the November-December time frame.  They can be sent to jthompson@taii.com with "EMOY Nomination" in the subject line. 
 
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Please write when we tickle your brain cells!  Email jthompson@taii.com







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