TGEP 003: How Engineers Can Stay Technically Sharp in Times of Uncertainty

In this episode of The Geotechnical Engineering Podcast, we talk to Dr. Samuel Clemence, a professor at Syracuse University about his role as professor at the university and the things he does to help geotechnical engineers and students succeed. He provides some great tips on how engineers can stay technically sharp, especially during these uncertain times we live in.

Stay Technically Sharp

Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Dr. Samuel Clemence in This Episode:

  • How did serving in the navy benefit your career?
  • What are some of the challenges you had to overcome in your profession?
  • As a professor, what were some of the things that helped you to continue to learn and stay on top of things?
  • What were some of the surprises that you had in your time as an educator?
  • You tried to retire numerous times before; can you tell us about that?

Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Dr. Clemence’s Career and How To Stay Technically Sharp:

  • When teaching, it is a good idea to reinforce concepts with visual ideas.
  • Just like the engineering practice need mentors, so does the faculty to help them succeed .
  • Sometimes when you raise your hand and say you can do it, you then have to figure out how to do it.
  • One of the best things for a teacher to see is the professionals that they previously taught excel in their profession and achieve great accomplishments.
  • It can be tough when starting at a university. You need to have a balance between teaching and research, and it is something that you need to learn how to do on your own.
  • Attending seminars and getting involved with professional societies, are a great way to keep on learning. Engineers should consider joining the ASCE as they are part of the profession and need to be active in it.
  • It is important for engineers to field test the interpretation of your results before you start designing.

More Details in This Episode…

About Dr. Samuel Clemence

Sam ClemenceDr. Clemence joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University in 1977 as an associate professor. His previous academic service was at the University of Missouri-Rolla from 1973-1977. He received his PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 1973. Prior to entering academics, he was employed by several consulting engineering firms and served six years as a Naval Officer in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps. He supervised engineering and construction projects in Vietnam, Thailand, the South Pacific, Spain, and the United States. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of New York.

Professor Clemence is a fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers, a member of Chi Epsilon and Sigma Xi, and was elected to Tau Beta Pi as an Eminent Engineer in 1977. He has received Outstanding Teacher Awards at the University of Missouri-Rolla (1974-75, 1976-77) and at Syracuse University (1988-89). The Division of Higher Education and Ministry of the Methodist Church selected him as the 1990 Scholar/Teacher of the Year at Syracuse University. Dr. Clemence received the 1998 “Outstanding Educator Award” from the St. Lawrence Section of the American Society for Engineering Education.

He received the Lifetime Achievement Award for furthering the goals of technology education in Central New York, Central New York Technology Club, 2000, the Bronze Award for Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) in 2003 IDEA Competition for Synergy Laboratory Design for enhancement of the Carrier Dome 2003, Conferred Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, 2004, Designated Chapter Honor Member by National Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society 2008 and received the 2014 Outstanding Civil Engineer Award from the Syracuse Section of the ASCE. He served as senior associate Dean of the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science from 1991-1996. He is the editor of three books and author or co-author of over sixty technical publications. Dr. Clemence received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1973.


Connect with Dr. Sam Clemence on LinkedIn
Syracuse University
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Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on how to stay technically sharp.

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To your success,

Jared M. Green, PE, D.GE
Host of The Geotechnical Engineering Podcast

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