Friday, September 8, 2017

Rimkus Consulting Group leverages global forensic expertise to form engineering and technical firm

Rimkus Consulting Group, a worldwide provider of forensic consulting services, has announced the strategic expansion of its business operations with the formation of a new company, Rimkus Building Consultants. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the firm will help clients from coast to coast proactively extend the life of their facilities by helping to identify, mitigate, and eliminate the complex risks inherent in procurement, design, construction and operation of large-scale facilities.

"Rimkus Building Consultants combines our deep bench of technical expertise – engineering, architecture, design, and construction – with our forensic backgrounds to proactively identify those important details that provide for a lasting facility," says Jack Dolan, president of Rimkus Building Consultants. "From building envelopes and structural systems to roadways, bridges, electrical systems and the entire range of built environments, we bring a personalized approach and innovative thinking to our clients to help mitigate risks and defects and maximize life cycles."

With a full-service portfolio and all engineering disciplines under one roof, Rimkus Building Consultants will provide professional consultation and support on a wide range of project-specific issues for both private and public sectors. The firm's suite of services spans the life of the project, including property condition assessments (PCA), risk assessments, design services, pre-construction services, construction services, project close-out and post-construction services, maintenance and operations, as well as building sciences. 

"Rimkus has more than 30 years experience investigating what goes wrong with buildings and projects, and it's a natural next step for us to use this expertise to help developers, building owners, and managers proactively optimize and extend the life of their facilities," says Curtis Brown, president and chief executive officer of Rimkus Consulting Group. "The new company fits well with our overall business strategy and supports our mission to deliver services for every aspect of the built environment."

Rimkus Building Consultants is managed by a team of seasoned experts with deep experience across a diverse range of commercial, industrial and institutional projects. Dolan, the firm's president, has more than 25 years experience in all phases of planning, design and construction for a diverse list of projects, ranging from business parks to large-scale commercial and industrial facilities to multi-family dwellings, as well as bridge, infrastructure and roadway projects. Senior Vice President Peter Doffing also brings 25 years experience in the engineering, construction and insurance sectors to the firm.

Rimkus Building Consultants combines extensive expertise in design, construction, operations and maintenance with more than 30 years of forensic investigations experience gained from Rimkus Consulting Group. For more information, visit www.rimkusbuildingconsultants.com.

Monday, August 21, 2017

DENSO Foundation’s grants support hands-on education at 22 institutions

Supporting the communities DENSO serves and providing resources for the next generation of technical workers to succeed are core to DENSO’s success. To fulfill these promises, DENSO’s philanthropic arm – the DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) – funds programs across the continent each year, providing hands-on learning opportunities in areas from robotics and thermodynamics to design and materials development. Recently, the DNAF board confirmed its 2017 college and university grants, totalling nearly $1 million in overall funding for 22 institutions and educational programs across North America.

“Innovation throughout the manufacturing industry will continue to produce more growth opportunities for students in skilled trades and technical fields,” says Doug Patton, president of the DENSO North America Foundation and executive vice president of engineering at DENSO International America. “Companies will lean on this young workforce for years to come, and to succeed, we need to empower students by giving a better sense for what they’ll experience in the workplace.”

“The automotive industry relies more and more on those with expertise in fields like robotics and electrical engineering and mechanical engineering,” says David Cole, DENSO North American Foundation board member. “Supporting STEM education enables DENSO to develop the next generation of talent needed to fill these roles. It also helps students find ways to translate their passion and skills into opportunity after graduation.”

Since 2001, the DNAF has advanced the auto industry through grants to colleges and universities, providing students with technology, tools, and experiences similar to that of the professional workplace they’ll experience after graduation. The proposal process for these education grants is invite only, and all proposals are evaluated based on technical merit, student experience, and alignment with industry needs.

This year’s grant recipients include:

Arkansas Northeastern College
Arkansas State University
California State University Long Beach
Cleveland State Community College
CONALEP Technical College
Conestoga College
East Tennessee State University
FIME – Mechanical and Electrical Engineer College
Kettering University
Lawrence Technological University
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
North Carolina State University
Northeast State Community College
Oakland University
Tennessee Technological University
Trine University
University of Guelph
University of Kentucky
University of Tennessee – Chattanooga
University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Western Michigan University

A registered 501(c)3 corporate foundation, the DENSO North America Foundation is dedicated to helping students advance their education in engineering, technology, and other related programs. Founded in 2001, the foundation provides grants to colleges and universities throughout North America, helping our communities prosper through the development of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. The Foundation also provides disaster relief grants through the American Red Cross to aid persons and communities in which DENSO Corporation operates. For more information, visit http://densofoundation.org.

DENSO is a global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems, and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics, and information and safety. With North American headquarters in Southfield, Michigan, DENSO employs more than 23,000 people at 30 consolidated companies and affiliates across North American. Of these, 28 are manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs more than 17,000 people in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. For more information, visit www.denso.com/us-ca/en or connect with DENSO on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DENSOinNorthAmerica.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

GAI Consultants names new president

 Anthony Morrocco
 Gary DeJidas

National engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firm GAI Consultants (GAI) recently announced that its board of directors approved a progression of the company’s senior leadership structure. Consistent with the company’s succession planning strategy, GAI veteran Anthony (Tony) Morrocco, MBA, PLS, PE, current executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO), succeeded Gary DeJidas, PE as president. DeJidas continues to serve as chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman of the board.

“Gary’s commitment to employees, corporate culture, customers and shareholders along with his 'one company' vision has defined GAI over his tenure. Under his leadership, GAI has grown substantially and become a financially successful firm that consistently delivers excellent service to its clients. We extend hearty thanks for his continued leadership and his insightful succession planning,” states senior vice president and board member Stephen Gould, MBA.

“Gary and I, along with the senior management team, will continue to collaborate closely over the next few years to ensure a smooth and orderly leadership transition to maintain the success and stability our combined efforts have brought to GAI,” says Morrocco.

“I have worked closely with Tony for most of his career at GAI. I know firsthand that his industry knowledge and expertise with our brand and values, coupled with his strategic vision and operating skills, make him the ideal choice to lead GAI as we look ahead to the future and the next generation of leadership,” says DeJidas.

After joining GAI as a project manager in 1989, Morrocco quickly identified the need for industrial, commercial, and residential land development services. He established GAI’s Land Development and Survey groups and directed their development for several years, winning significant projects that changed Pittsburgh’s skyline. He advanced his career at GAI from group manager and project manager to the position of managing officer of GAI’s Pittsburgh office. During his tenure as office manager, Morrocco engineered the design and construction of additional office space to handle the growth of GAI’s Pittsburgh office from 200+ to 400+ employees. He was promoted to COO in 2009, responsible for overseeing GAI’s business units and providing guidance and direction to GAI’s professional and administrative staff in all offices.

“GAI continues to benefit from Tony's organizational vision and guidance. He has been instrumental in crafting and guiding the development of GAI's current operational structure, during what has been the most productive years in our company’s history. We look forward to carrying forward with the momentum Tony has helped to create and supporting him in his new role,” says senior vice president and board member Greg Nettuno, PE.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, GAI is an employee-owned engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firm providing local expertise to worldwide clients in the energy, transportation, development, government, and industrial markets. Founded in 1958 by Carnegie Mellon University engineering graduate students, GAI developed a strong professional reputation in foundation engineering by supporting the needs of nationally-recognized industrial and energy clients. In the late 1960s, and in response to urban growth and mounting environmental regulations, GAI diversified into transportation and land development while adding niche services in survey, environmental studies, and cultural resources. Corporate-wide consolidation of strategic acquisitions diversified the firm, which now has offices in several eastern and midwestern states.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

WSP and TTI partner to advance transportation research

WSP USA and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly collaborate on creating a stronger connection between research and deployment of transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) as well as connected and automated vehicle solutions.

The agreement includes sharing expertise on research, transportation operations and management, and connected and automated vehicles. It also encourages educational and mentoring opportunities in which WSP would be involved in Texas A&M engineering class seminars and lectures as well as sponsoring engineering capstone design projects. The agreement also entails opportunities for TTI and Texas A&M engineering students to gain real-world experience on the day-to-day challenges facing leading transportation operations centers.

“TTI and WSP have a long history of collaborating, beginning with the early development of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes,” says Greg Winfree, TTI agency director. “The staffs of both of our organizations have collaborated on projects all over the country to deploy best practices in planning and design of HOV facilities. We see similar opportunities with next-generation transportation technologies, such as connected and automated vehicles. By working together, we gain efficiencies in moving the most promising technologies from development into implementation.”

With technology increasing at such a rapid rate, transportation solutions need to incorporate technology advances to deliver cost-effective implementation today that will be compatible with the future direction of the transportation industry, according to John Porcari, president of U.S. advisory services at WSP. “We have adapted the capability maturity model to TSMO concepts, and together with TTI are positioned to incorporate connected and automated vehicle components into the existing TSMO efforts for our clients,” he explains. “Collaboration between leading researchers and everyday practitioners will help to better define needs for national and state sponsored research while helping agencies reflect the current state-of-the-practice in their efforts.”

WSP is a leader in the design, deployment, and operation of transportation systems in the United States, including intelligent transportation systems and connected vehicle technology. The firm has been at the forefront of the development and testing of transportation infrastructure for driverless and connected vehicles and is currently advising transportation agencies on the development of infrastructure to accommodate connected, automated, and driverless vehicles.

TTI is involved in transportation operations and technology research and operates a transportation proving grounds for testing research solutions. The Texas A&M proving grounds are a cornerstone of the nationally designated Texas Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds Partnership. The collaboration between WSP and TTI will expedite deploying proven research to transportation operating agencies and enhance the education and training of future transportation professionals.

WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, is the U.S. operating company of a worldwide engineering and professional services firms—WSP. Dedicated to serving local communities, we are engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water, and environment sectors. We have nearly 7,000 employees in 100 offices across the U.S. For more information, visit www.wsp.com

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute develops solutions to the problems and challenges facing all modes of transportation. The Institute conducts over 700 research projects annually with over 200 sponsors at all levels of government and the private sector. In the laboratory and the classroom, TTI researchers help prepare students for transportation careers. Recognized as a higher education-affiliated transportation research agencies, TTI’s research and development program has resulted in significant breakthroughs across all facets of the transportation system. For more information, visit http://tti.tamu.edu

Friday, July 14, 2017

Thomson Industries collaborates with research team to develop new Tesla coil designs

Thomson Industries, a manufacturer of mechanical motion control solutions, has donated a high-precision ball screw assembly to The Geek Group National Science Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to help develop revolutionary designs of Tesla Coils (TC). An ambitious R&D program has been initiated there to discover new uses for the TC with help from a new automated process for winding coils.

Thomson was selected because of their application engineering support and breadth of product offerings, which enabled delivery of an optimal complete ball screw assembly. That Thomson ball screw assembly will help The Geek Group’s high-energy engineering team convert from typical manual winding to a much faster, more accurate automated process for winding thousands of coils required to conduct their experiments.










A Thomson customer support engineer guided The Geek Group engineering team in selecting the exact configuration to best match their needs. The product selected was a quick-install ball screw assembly that avoids any precision problems that may result from assembling components on site. The final configuration consisted of a Thomson FSI Style ball nut along with an eight-foot-long ball screw just under an inch in diameter.

“We set our IRC team on the task of finding the best linear motion technology in the industry,” says Chris Boden, CEO of The Geek Group. “The team, composed of a couple hundred experts from many science and technology disciplines, analyzed about a dozen different products and concluded that only the Thomson drive could do exactly what we needed and exactly how we wanted to do it.”
The TC production program has already begun, and The Geek Group has plans for experimenting with larger coils in the future.

With more than 70 years in the motion control industry, Thomson produces linear ball bushing bearings, profile rail bearings, shafting, ground and rolled ball screws, linear actuators, gearheads, clutches, brakes, linear systems, and related accessories. Thomson invented the linear ball bushing bearing in 1945 and now serves global commercial, aerospace, and defense markets. Based in Radford, Virginia, Thomson has facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia with more than 2000 distributor locations around the world. For more information, visit www.thomsonlinear.com.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Transportation infrastructure expert to lead FTCH's new Detroit office

Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber (FTCH), a 60-year-old architectural engineering firm, recently announced the addition of Regine Beauboeuf as director of client services and office lead for the firm's newest location in the city of Detroit. "We are excited to welcome Regine, especially as we continue to grow in Southeast Michigan," says Kamran Qadeer, FTCH senior vice president and principal. "She brings significant transportation infrastructure experience to our operations, tightening our focus on the region's increasingly complex needs as it grows  and changes."

Beauboeuf, a civil engineer with 33 years of large transportation project experience in the United States and Canada, recently joined FTCH after spending 13 years at global engineering and construction firm Parsons as vice president and board member of Parsons Transportation Group of Michigan. During her tenure, she served as project manager for the development of the Detroit River International Crossing. "I'm thrilled to be part of FTCH's expansion to Detroit to continue the firm's tradition of striking a safe and healthy balance between the environment and the region's rapidly modernizing and multifaceted infrastructure," she says.

The FTCH Detroit location, one of nine offices in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, is slated to officially open later this summer. Four additional engineers and scientists across various disciplines, along with support staff, are expected to be hired. The new office will plan, execute and oversee design, engineering, construction, and environmental sustainability projects for Detroit-based clientele.

Current projects led by the Detroit office include a study for rainwater harvesting and reuse at a major football stadium and replacement of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard over The Lodge (M-10), along with associated improvements such as extending the ramp north of The Lodge to Grand River Avenue (M-5). The Lodge project, including traffic signal replacement, signage upgrades, and total rehabilitation of Grand River Avenue from Cass Avenue to I-94, will significantly improve traffic flow in anticipation of increased vehicle traffic volume near the new stadium district. Just north of Detroit, FTCH recently employed nontraditional measures to rehabilitate the deteriorating Caddell Drain in the cities of Farmington and Farmington Hills to protect drinking water, property, and infrastructure.

Beauboeuf's extensive background includes 16 years as supervising engineer of the project development section for the Michigan Department of Transportation, managing a $3 billion budget with responsibility for all capacity improvements and new road projects for the State of Michigan. In this role, she oversaw development, budgeting, and scheduling of roadside programs, including major transportation projects, rest areas, and visitor welcome centers, landscapes, wetland mitigation sites, and noise abatement initiatives.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Beauboeuf, a registered Professional Engineer (PE), in 2004 to the Michigan Board of Professional Surveyors and the Michigan Board of Professional Engineers, serving as board chair. Beauboeuf currently serves on transportation and business management committees for the American Council of Engineering Companies and as secretary of the Michigan chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO). Beauboeuf holds a Bachelor's degree in civil engineering and architecture from the University of Haiti and an MBA from Davenport University. She speaks French and Kreyol.

FTCH, a professional consulting firm with 400 team members in nine offices, provides engineering, environmental sciences, architecture, and construction management services through an integrated project approach for municipalities, universities, major retailers, transportation departments, and manufacturers. Team members consist of engineers, environmental scientists, architects, and construction professionals. For more information, visit www.FTCH.com.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

TradeMachines examines the lack of women in engineering

TradeMachines is a search engine for used industrial machinery. Although we personally never see or have contact with the machines listed on our website, machines of all sorts define our everyday tasks. We talk about, look at, and think about machines every single day.

Given our company profile, our international customer base consists of professionals working with heavy equipment, countless of them being engineers just like one of our company founders. It makes sense: who would build a business model around industrial machines if not someone who has a deep knowledge of them? The longer we have been in business, though, the more we see that we work with a large number of engineers and, interestingly, our clients are mostly men. And looking at the statistics, our observation was valid: within the United States, only 13 percent of engineers are women, while in Germany it's 17 percent and France 21 percent, as just a few examples.

Our company is keen on equality, as our  people come from all over the world. Some of our colleagues are German, some are from the United States, and others are from Poland or Uzbekistan, and the ratio of men to women is currently about 60:40. For us, being given the same chance no matter your background is a main value. Considering that engineering has great prospects and guarantees a stable income almost anywhere in the world, we became curious why women are so severely under-represented in this field. Are they just not interested in what engineering has to offer?

We started researching and realized that the answer is a definite “no” and found the reasoning very intriguing and concerning. We decided that the least we can do as a company is summarize our findings in an infographic to underline the difficulties women face when entering the male-dominated field of engineering, hoping we can also trigger further support from others.

Take a look at our infographic yourself, you might be surprised...