About John M. Lowe Jr.
John M. Lowe, Jr., P.E. is a 1961 graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. After three years as a U.S. Army pilot, he entered professional engineering as consulting engineer, which he continued for forty-six years. He has been registered and has practiced a broad range of civil engineering in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, California, and Oregon. He retired from full time employment in 2010 and established Lowe Consulting, LLC.
Lowe Consulting, LLC was formed to support design professionals in the area of identifying and managing business risks associated with their contracting for professional services. During his nearly half-century of practicing consulting engineering, he observed that most design professionals were not well prepared in these disciplines but were forced into the activity by necessity. They then had to learn “on-the-job”; a sometimes painful experience. As a start to addressing this situation, he became a guest speaker to senior engineering students at Portland State University, and the University of Portland. He made presentations that provided an introduction to these subjects so that when the students begin their practice, they would at least be familiar with the basics. He has also provided training sessions for design professionals, professional societies, and has been the presenter for webinars and podcasts regarding contracting for professional services and managing professional liability issues.
Frequently, during the limited time between being selected for a project and getting the contract signed, design professionals feel compelled to focus on scope, schedule, and budget. These matters can consume the available time and frequently take precedence over reviewing the details of the contract. To overcome this problem, he offers to review contracts that are being considered. Thus, identifying elements that he believes would be business risks and lists provisions that are needed but not included. He then offers to provide mitigating alternative language for those elements that the design professional wishes to pursue with their client. In effect, he becomes an extension of their staff, freeing them up to manage the rest of the “getting-under-contract” process. See the Services page.
In August 2011, he began distributing a brief weekly newsletter that addressed areas of professional practice that influence professional liability claims. He had found that design professionals don’t think much about claims until one occurs – then they think about them a lot and wish that they had done so during the design process. By sharing the newsletters with their staff every week, a culture of professional liability issues awareness could be created during the design process.
Although effective, the newsletter concept needed a wider distribution so, in 2013, he self-published a book entitled “A Guide to Managing Engineering and Architectural Design Services Contracts – What Every Project Manager Needs to Know.” The book is available in printed and e-Book formats on Amazon.com. Work was recently completed in partnership with The Engineering Management Institute on the preparation of an audiobook (about a two-hour listen) of the printed book.
With the passing of time, new related services continue to be added.
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Lowe Consulting, LLC
John M. Lowe, Jr., P.E.
Happy Valley, OR