Picture World War II and you might imagine guns and explosives. Filipinos have given us an alternative, “Jeepneys”.
On our recent trip to the CivilGEO 2016 Client Summit in Manila, Philippines, we couldn’t help noticing these strange but enticing buses, with the front look of a Jeep and the back configured with two long seats parallel to each other. When asked about these toy-car-looking-jumbo vehicles, called Jeepney, we came to know that they were originally “American remnants” made of unserviceable US Military Jeeps left over from World War II. Filipinos have artistically maintained the nostalgic vision while modifying the functionality of the vehicle. With GeoHECRAS, we have done something similar. We have kept the US Army Corps of Engineers HEC-RAS software intact, but improved the functionality and added features that speed up engineering workflows.
At the event, we met with engineering firms working on comprehensive and large engineering projects using HEC-RAS software. Each had their own story of complexities and how GeoHECRAS helped them complete their engineering project with more efficiency and accuracy. It made us proud and confident about the product that we have developed. We also met with clients who provided great input on what additional functionality we should incorporate into our product. These clients keep us on our toes, encouraging us to work harder, reminding us of the hard work and difficulty in completing large engineering projects.
We were entirely blown away with the thoughtful and creative ways of Filipinos. Civil engineering firms in Philippines readily to accept change; moving towards something that is better and more efficient is easy for the people here. It is clearly evident with the fact of how effectively they have transformed the US Military Jeep into a vehicle that continues to serve a purpose. They were passionate about improving lives with their work, and so do we. Through this Summit, we got the opportunity not just to associate with our clients, but also to peek in their vibrant culture.
By the way, here are some “mini-Jeepneys” that we plan to explore on our next visit. It should be a lot of fun!