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A number of people in my writing community have helped give life and energy
to this book. I' m indebted to my teachers, Elizabeth Harper Neeld, Alexis Glynn
Latner, and Jacqueline Simon, for introducing me to the craft and for their encour-
agement. Alexis, with her uncanny insights into things technical, went on to be
my "ideal reader," editor, mentor, and a continual source of support, advice, and
My thanks go to Lesley Summerhayes. She put aside her disdain for engineer-
ing and pitched in with constructive criticism on the voice, the concept of the case
study, and the conception and shaping of those early chapters. Her death was a
tragic loss.
So many colleagues and friends have contributed to the content. The list
starts with my brother, Ken Plummer, and my sons, Fred Plummer III, Robert
Plummer, and Jon Erlend Holand, for their comments, advice, insights,
and plain, ordinary help when I needed it. Other key contributors include
Lynn Boyd, Mike Brady, Kristin Farry, Jim Flood, Arnt Erik Hansen, Paul
Hellen, Rob Howard, Jeff Hulett, Rick Johnson, Jing Kuang, Peter Lacey,
Olav Lappegaard, George Lock, Lisa Solberg Mallon, Don Maus, Will Moon,
Christina Nordstrom, Yarami Pena, Ruzica Petkovic, Dick Rolstad, Haakon
Sannum, Sandy Setliff, Bjorn Solheim, Ray Steinmetz, and Harry Underland.
All of these people made their mark on this book in one way or another but
three stand out: Jeff Hulett for his priceless collection of project proverbs
and a score of other inputs, Yarami Pena for his wise counsel in the for-
mative stages when I was deriving the content and synthesizing the project
engineer' s duties, and Harry Underland for improving my understanding of
Special mention goes to Eric Namtvedt and his crew at FloaTEC, LLC, for
bringing me out of retirement to learn the "contractors' world" and for their per-
mission to publish their artwork. I' m indebted to Malcolm Taylor for his candid
insights and Ricky Brown for help with the figures. The many conversations with
xvi Acknowledgments
Liz Maraist on the subject of business conduct helped me calibrate my under-
standing of that crucial subject.
Above all, I can' t begin to thank those who made possible the transition from
book project to the published book: Bud Griffis, Dan Morris, Joel Stein, Jeff
Freeland, and Shelley Palen. Without them this wouldn' t be on your bookshelf.
Frederick B. Plummer, Jr.