Sunday, June 26, 2011

Don Leo Named Associate Vice President for Research in the National Capital Region

Virginia Tech has named Donald Leo associate vice president for research in the National Capital Region. The announcement was made by Jim Bohland, vice president and executive director of National Capital Region Operations. Leo will be located at the new Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington and will be responsible for developing and implementing a strategic direction for research throughout the National Capital Region by integrating the university and its community of researchers in the Ballston facility with government agencies as well as private firms in the region.

“Don’s experience and success in developing a research and development ecology with Rolls Royce and other partners through the founding of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing demonstrates his skills in creating new and exciting collaborations across multiple sectors," Bohland said.

Leo is a professor of mechanical engineering who has been at Virginia Tech since 1998, serving as the associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering from 2007 to 2011. From 2005 to 2007 he was a program manager in the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency.

During his time as associate dean, Leo oversaw several initiatives in research and graduate studies for the College of Engineering. He was the lead at Virginia Tech for creation of the Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing as part of a five-year, $14.6 million investment by the state. These funds will be used to support students, faculty, faculty hiring, and the development of new laboratories dedicated to aerospace and manufacturing research.

As associate dean, Leo also instituted several mentoring programs for junior faculty for early career awards, and worked with the departments to develop the first fall recruiting event in the college for prospective graduate students. Research expenditures grew from $107 million to $134 million over the four year period that he was associate dean in the College of Engineering.

His research expertise is the synthesis, modeling, and control of active material systems, with particular interest in the field of electroactive polymers. In 2007 he authored the textbook "Engineering Analysis of Smart Material Systems," published by John Wiley and Sons. He is also the author of more than 200 papers, 80 of which have been published in archival publications.

Leo earned a bachelor of science in aeronautics and astronautics engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and both a master of science degree and a doctor of philosophy in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Buffalo.

Virginia Tech has fostered a growing partnership with the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C. community since 1969. Today, the university’s presence in the National Capital Region includes graduate programs and research centers in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg. In addition to supporting the university’s teaching and research mission, Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region has established collaborations with local and federal agencies, businesses, and other institutions of higher education.

Diane Baxter of GZA GeoEnvironmental Promoted to Senior Project Manager

GZA GeoEnvironmental, an environmental and geotechnical consulting firm, has announced that Diane Baxter, Ph.D., P.E., LEED AP has been promoted to senior project manager at GZA GeoEnvironmental’s Providence, Rhode Island office.

A resident of Cranston, Rhode Island, Baxter joined GZA in 2000 as a geotechnical engineer for a variety of geotechnical, marine, and environmental engineering projects. She has acted as field engineer, project engineer, and project manager and has experience providing foundation recommendations, geotechnical site investigations, construction monitoring, earth support system design, seepage analysis, liquefaction analysis, and slope stability analyses.

Prior to joining GZA, Baxter worked for Metcalf & Eddy in Wakefield, Massachusetts and James K. Mitchell in Blacksburg, Virginia on a variety of geotechnical and environmental consulting projects. Baxter has managed geotechnical aspects of recent projects including Waterplace Luxury Residences, Cape Wind Offshore Wind Farm, Deepwater Wind RI Offshore Wind Farm, RI Hospital Bridge Building, Roger Williams Park Zoo Elephant Barn, and geothermal evaluation for Providence Schools.

Baxter earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tufts University in Massachusetts and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. She earned her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. She is a registered Professional Engineer in Rhode Island and a LEED Accredited Professional..

Founded in 1964, GZA GeoEnvironmental is a multi-disciplined firm providing environmental consulting, geotechnical and geo-civil engineering, environmental remediation, regulatory compliance, litigation support, air quality, solid waste services, specialty construction, occupational health and safety, and site development services. GZA maintains corporate offices in Norwood, Massachusetts, and the firm has 550 employees and operates 24 offices in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes Regions. For additional information, visit

Engineer Receives Honor Reaching out to Children

For more than 20 years, structural engineer Bob Johnson of Chicago has presented lectures on engineering to children and students in a host of outreach programs. Johnson's lectures feature interactive displays and presentations that are fun and educational and designed to enhance children’s interest in math, science, and, of course, engineering.

These efforts caught the attention of Water Reclamation District Commissioner Frank Avila, who recently presented an award to Johnson for his efforts, “In recognition of exceptional Leadership in educating our children in K-12 in Engineering.” The award was presented by Commissioner Avila during taping of a television program (CAN-TV) with Johnson. The program aired on Chicago Cable TV in late June and will be available via the Internet.

According to Avila, Johnson’s structural engineering models and ‘toys’ provide an enriching hands-on practical application of structural engineering principles. His building and bridge models provide students and adults insight into their designs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Joint Venture Designing Los Angeles Regional Connector

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has selected a joint venture of AECOM and Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) to provide conceptual planning and preliminary design for the $1.4 billion Metro Regional Connector Transit Corridor Project, also known as the Downtown Connector or Downtown Light-Rail Connector.

The 1.9-mile-long underground rail connection will link the Metro Gold and Blue lines with the new Expo light rail through downtown Los Angeles, enabling passengers to travel from Azusa to Long Beach and from the Eastside to Culver City. In tying together light rail lines in downtown L.A., the Regional Connector will provide major regional north/south and east/west rail line linkages that will give transit commuters a one-seat, one-ticket ride and significant travel time savings not available today. The connection itself will save approximately 20 minutes of time by eliminating line transfers through downtown. The project is estimated to provide access to 90,000 passengers daily, including 17,000 new transit riders by 2035.

The Regional Connector will receive partial funding from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by the voters of Los Angeles County in November 2008 as part of the Measure R program, an aggressive vision of transportation improvements totaling $40 billion over 30 years. Rail and transit improvements were the cornerstone of the program, with over half of the total Measure R revenues dedicated to a broad set of commuter rail, light rail, and bus projects.

The AECOM/PB joint venture, known as the Connector Partnership, will be responsible for creating an advanced conceptual plan for the project as well as preliminary engineering, with options for design support during construction and system activation. The joint venture will also assist LACMTA with project controls and risk assessment. Construction on the connector could begin in 2013 and be completed by 2019, depending on the availability of federal funding.

AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water, and government. With 45,000 employees around the world, AECOM serves clients in 125 countries. For more information, visit

Parsons Brinckerhoff develops and operates infrastructure around the world, with 14,000 employees serving clients and communities in the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia-Pacific regions. PB offers strategic consulting, planning, engineering, program/construction management, and operations for all modes of infrastructure, including transportation, power, community development, water, and the environment. Parsons Brinckerhoff is part of Balfour Beatty plc, the international infrastructure group operating in professional services, construction services, support services and infrastructure investments (

HOK/Vanderweil Team Wins National Competition with "Process Zero" Building Retrofit Proposal

METROPOLIS has announced that a team of young architects and engineers from HOK and Vanderweil Engineers has won the magazine’s Next Generation Design Competition with a proposal for a visionary, net-zero retrofit of a 1960s federal building in Los Angeles. The Washington, D.C.-based team, which worked on a volunteer basis for three months to create the winning submittal, offered a fully integrated design solution highlighted by solar collection, photovoltaic production, and the breakthrough use of an on-site microalgae bioreactor system.

The HOK/Vanderweil team’s proposal “Process Zero: Retrofit Resolution” demonstrates how an aging downtown office building, owned by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), could yield an 84-percent reduction in overall energy demand through energy conservation and renewal strategies. On-site energy generation would supply the remaining 16 percent needed to achieve the net-zero goal.

The team’s recommendation of the use of an energy-producing envelope system, highlighted by a modular system of algae tubes along the building’s façade, was among the many strategies that appealed to the Next Generation jury. The tubes would absorb the sun’s radiation to produce lipids for on-site fuel production while also shading interior office spaces within the 1.2-million-square-foot building. The 25,000-square-foot microalgae bioreactor system would generate 9 percent of the building’s power supply following the retrofit.

“Harvesting algae to generate energy is a new concept for building applications, but it shows a lot of promise,” says Brandon Harwick, PE, who led the design team along with HOK’s Sean Quinn. “Urban buildings would be especially suitable given the carbon dioxide levels found in city environments. As design professionals, we need to remember that nature has a lot to offer.”

The 15-person team “put in a lot of weekends and long nights” says Harwick. “It was many hours of research, design, and number crunching, but we also tried to be as creative as possible and bring a lot of ideas to the table. We wanted to demonstrate an approach that not only reflects the latest in design and technology but calls for a whole new mindset, one that engages and involves tenants as well.”

Highlights of the retrofit proposal include:

Thin film photovoltaic façade solar shading system

Rooftop photovoltaic panels

Integrated solar-thermal and photovoltaic rooftop panels for space and domestic water heating

An algae bioreactor system

A cloud computing system contributes to an 80-percent reduction in office equipment energy use

Radiant floor heating

Geothermal cooling

Rainwater harvesting

Energy recovery mechanical ventilation

Central atria for daylighting and natural ventilization

Phase-changing insulation material in ceilings to help extend natural ventilation periods

Daylight controls reduce artificial lighting energy consumption by 75 percent

“What is particularly remarkable about this solution was how a large, interdisciplinary team collaborated on a comprehensive plan that not only achieves net zero, but also deploys its design and technical solutions in a humanistic and contextually integrated way,” says METROPOLIS editor-in-chief Susan Szenasy.

GSA Chief Architect Leslie Shepherd says he and the other jurors were impressed by “the sophistication of the winning entry and of the many other inventive submissions. With appropriate testing and validation, certain Next Generation strategies could be replicated across a wider swath of our Great Society-era buildings.”

Founded in 1950, R.G. Vanderweil Engineers specializes in mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system design, commissioning for buildings, and central heating and chiller plants, power generation, and transmission and distribution systems. The 330-employee firm has offices in Boston (headquarters), New York, Princeton, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Skelly and Loy Adds CAD Specialist at Virginia Office

Skelly and Loy has hired Kimberly Britton as a CAD Specialist in its Wise, Virginia office. In this role, Britton prepares maps, plans, cross sections, and other types of CAD drawings; prepares exhibits for permit applications and other technical reports; and prepares field surveys as needed. With more than 16 years experience, she provides CAD services using the AutoCAD 2010 suite of products (AutoCAD Map, Raster Design, and Land Desktop). An experienced survey crew member, Britton is proficient with ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcToolbox and experienced with GPS survey equipment using Terrasynch software and Pathfinder Office to postprocess.

Most recently, Britton worked for the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, where she reviewed annual and final maps for state approval. In fall of 2010, Skelly and Loy expanded its operations into Wise, Virginia, located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains and Central Appalachian Coal Region. This location allows the firm the opportunity to more effectively offer its engineering and environmental services to the central Appalachian region. Skelly and Loy has provided mining engineering services throughout the United States and around the world for the past 42 years. Skelly and Loy’s Mining Services Group is staffed with mining engineers (surface and underground), geologists, and scientists who can guide proposed and active mining operations from a pre-feasibility stage through geologic investigations, detailed design, permitting (state and federal), and reclamation. Our mining engineering services are offered to mining companies, electric utilities relying on coal as a boiler fuel, financial institutions, and support industries.

Skelly and Loy, celebrating its 42nd year in business, is a mid-sized engineering-environmental consulting firm with six Mid-Atlantic offices and is among the top engineering and environmental firms in the nation, consistently ranking among Engineering News Record’s Top 200 Environmental Firms. The firm provides expert mining, geologic, engineering, environmental, waste management, water resource, and cultural resource services to private and public sector clients throughout the United States and abroad.


AMEC, the international engineering and project management company, announced recently that it has agreed to buy MACTEC, an engineering and environmental services company, for a cash consideration of US$280 million. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, MACTEC has some 2,600 employees, mostly technical professionals, and 70 offices, the majority in the Eastern United States. It provides a similar wide range of services to AMEC’s existing Earth & Environmental (E&E) business, including environmental planning, assessment and remediation, infrastructure engineering, water resources, and construction support services.

MACTEC has a public- and private-sector client base and provides a broad range of environment and infrastructure services to the energy, commercial/industrial, transportation/infrastructure, and federal sectors. In North America, E&E has a strong presence in the Western United States and in Canada, so the combination allows AMEC greater access to new clients and regions and MACTEC a better international platform for growth.

Neil Bruce, Chief Operating Officer of AMEC, says, “This acquisition is fully aligned with AMEC’s Vision 2015 growth strategy and provides us with the right scale to service this important and growing environmental and infrastructure engineering services market.” Hisham Mahmoud, president of AMEC’s E&E business, adds, “MACTEC and E&E have a complementary client base and service offering, with minimal overlay in geographic coverage. Our combined business significantly enhances our competitive position in the U.S. market and is in line with our strategy of global geographic expansion.”

The combined E&E business will be headquartered in Alpharetta and led by Hisham Mahmoud. It will have more than 7,000 employees around the globe and bring AMEC’s total North American workforce to almost 14,000.

StormwateRx Wins Environmental Excellence Award for Green Enterprise & Technology

Editor's note: See our company profile on StormwateRx in our May/June 2010 issues under Back Issues (

StormwateRx, a provider of industrial stormwater treatment and filtration systems, was honored recently with an Environmental Excellence Award from the Association of Washington Business (AWB). StormwateRx won the 2011 Green Enterprise & Technology Award for the company’s systems that help industrial sites manage and treat stormwater runoff and prevent pollutants from entering local waterways. In addition, StormwateRx customer Seaview Boatyard received an AWB award for Leading Environmental Practices for their implementation of green technologies and practices, including stormwater treatment, that have helped them become one of the most environmentally progressive boatyards in the Northwest.

“Whether it’s organic farming, recycling, or educating the public about best environmental practices, the companies we celebrate today have become industry leaders for finding innovative, sustainable solutions to ongoing challenges,” says AWB President Don Brunell. “Research confirms that Washington state is one of the greenest states in the county, leading the way in everything from renewable resources to venture capital investments in clean projects. The companies we honor today further underscore that distinction and will help us grow our economy in new, innovative, and sustainable ways.”

StormwateRx designs, manufactures and installs stormwater treatment systems for industrial sites across the United States and Canada. The company also has developed a series of best practices and ideal product configurations that address the unique environmental concerns of different industries and help companies met environmental benchmarks.

“We are honored to receive this award from the AWB,” says Calvin Noling,
president and CEO of StormwateRx, LLC. “Winning an Environmental Excellence award in the state of Washington, while also seeing one of our customers receive honors for their own environmental leadership, holds particular significance for us.”

With a number of environmentally sensitive areas, major waterways, and a relatively high amount of annual rainfall, the state of Washington has implemented some of the most protective stormwater benchmarks in North America. StormwateRx has more than 30 installations in Washington alone, with the capacity to treat five million gallons of polluted Washington stormwater per day. These systems are removing thousands of pounds of toxic pollutants each year to protect Puget Sound and other Washington waterways.

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association. Each year the AWB recognizes member companies for their initiative, innovation,and outstanding achievements in environmental compliance, protection, and conservation. The Environmental Excellence Awards are presented in conjunction with the AWB Spring Meeting in Spokane.

StormwateRx, LLC manufactures stormwater filtration and treatment systems for industrial sites. Products include the Clara settling system, Retenu roughing filter, Aquip stormwater filtration system, and Purus stormwater polishing system. More information can be found at

IBE Consulting Engineers Elevates Hank Dahl to Principal

IBE Consulting Engineers, an MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) engineering and sustainable design firm, has promoted four staff members and added one to its team in its Los Angeles office. The appointments include one new principal to the IBE leadership ranks, William “Hank” Dahl, Jr., who was promoted from senior associate. The internal promotions also include three new associates: mechanical engineer Qing “Carol” Li, PE, LEED AP; electrical engineer Henrik Hertz; and plumbing engineer Teofilo “Teng” Ernesto Yadao, EIT.

Dahl has 35 years of electrical engineering design experience gained from working on large-scale medical and medical research lab facilities, museums, entertainment industry projects, and office buildings.

Prior to joining IBE in 2006, Dahl collaborated with IBE on the MEP design for the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA and the Getty Villa Renovation in Malibu, CA.

Since new associate Henrik Hertz joined IBE in 2010, his electrical engineering designs have contributed to a variety of projects, including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles; Huntington Library Entry and Visitor Center, San Marino, CA; and numerous projects at UCLA. Hertz holds a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Engineering College of Copenhagen in Denmark.

As a lead plumbing engineer, associate Teng Yadao uses 3D-modeling software to design the plumbing system layouts for IBE projects. Since joining the firm in 2007, his project portfolio includes Anna Head West Student Housing at University of California, Berkeley; 9900 Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA; and Porterville Courthouse in Porterville, CA. Yadao holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila, Philippines, and is a certified Engineer-in-Training.

Associate Carol Li, PE, LEED AP, who joined IBE in 2007, has more than 20 years of international mechanical engineering experience. In addition to designing various mechanical systems such as radiant, air volume control, and displacement systems, she performs the energy simulation models for IBE projects and prepares LEED submittals. Her portfolio at IBE includes the College of the Desert Classroom Building in Palm Springs, CA; Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA; and several projects at UCLA. Li holds both Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering degrees from Xian Jiaotong University in Xian, China. She also holds a Graduate Certificate of Fire Safety Engineering from the Victoria University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

Envirogen to Supply Fluidized Bed Reactor System for Perchlorate Remediation at Nevada Industrial Site

Envirogen Technologies recently announced it has been awarded a contract by American Pacific Corporation (AMPAC) to provide a large-scale fluidized bed bioreactor (FBR) system for the biodegradation of perchlorate and other constituents from groundwater in the area of a former manufacturing facility in Henderson, Nevada. The 1.2-million-gallons-per-day-capacity system will replace a smaller biological-based system in operation since 2006 and use Envirogen’s patented FBR technology in a custom configuration to reduce influent concentrations of perchlorate to non-detectable levels prior to surface discharge. Currently in the design phase, the new treatment system is scheduled for startup in December 2011.

According to Robert Stark, south region vice president for Envirogen, this latest project underscores increasing industry awareness and acceptance of the FBR as a reliable and environmentally sustainable solution to groundwater remediation needs. “This innovative green technology continues to distinguish itself as the best answer to heavily perchlorate-laden groundwater in both remediation and drinking water applications. In this instance, we are targeting perchlorate as the primary contaminant but can remove both chlorate and nitrate with the same process,” Stark says. “With a number of installations providing trouble-free operation over the past 13 years, the FBR’s benefits are well proven. These systems are designed to provide robust treatment in a small footprint with acceptable waste rates and reduced energy and chemical consumption. The technology’s flexibility to handle multiple constituents and varying flow characteristics also bodes well for its potential to treat other significant emerging contaminants such as selenium, hexavalent chromium, or chlorinated solvents,” he continues. According to Joseph Carleone, president and CEO of AMPAC, “We are very pleased with the Envirogen equipment, which treats organic waste streams at our Sacramento facility, and look forward to working with them on our Henderson, Nevada, project.”

Perchlorate is a highly soluble anion used in the manufacture of solid rocket propellant, fireworks, road flares, explosives, and other products. Envirogen’s FBR is a fixed-film bioreactor in which biological media is suspended, or fluidized, within the reactor vessel by the upward flow of water through the system. The suspended media provides a large surface area for microbial growth and allows a biomass density several times greater than that of other bioreactor designs under similar loading conditions. Microorganisms in the reactor completely destroy influent perchlorate and other targeted contaminants under anoxic conditions, without generating hazardous waste byproducts.

The new system being designed and built for AMPAC by Envirogen will consist of three FBRs and an H-120 biofilter for odor control. The facility will remove up to 500 parts per million (ppm) of perchlorate in the groundwater to non-detectable levels and, depending on the load, treat up to 800 gallons per minute. Envirogen will also provide installation oversight and customer support through the training and startup phases of system implementation.

According to Jeff Gibson, vice president and chief technical officer of AMPAC, the choice of FBR technology comes after a thorough technical evaluation. “Based on our experience since 2006 with a smaller, full-scale in-situ biological-based technology, we chose the ex-situ biologically-based fluidized bed reactor technology because it should allow us to achieve remedial goals that have changed since 2005. Working with the State of Nevada, Division of Environmental Protection, we believe we have formulated a plan to use the Envirogen FBR technology in a manner beneficial to the State of Nevada over the long term,” he says.

Headquartered in the Houston suburb of Kingwood, Texas, Envirogen designs, builds and implements systems for business in municipal and industrial water and environmental treatment applications. A primary focus for Envirogen is the concept of lifecycle performance, in which the company provides guaranteed, pay-for-performance, long-term contracts at predictable costs that offer customers the lowest total cost over the lifetime of an equipment installation. Primary applications for Envirogen’s systems include treatment of groundwater for the delivery of high-quality potable water, groundwater remediation, wastewater treatment, water re-use, nutrient removal, and odor and VOC control for municipal and industrial markets. In industrial markets such as mining, hydrocarbon processing, and chemical processing, Envirogen also specializes in process water treatment, byproduct recovery and chemical purification. The company conducts business throughout the United States, with regional offices in Southern California, Illinois, New Jersey and Tennessee. For more information on the company, visit

Geocomp Appoints Cynthia Cogan, P.E. as Group Manager of Consulting Services

Geocomp, a geo-engineering firm headquartered in Acton, Massachusetts, is proud to announce and welcome Cynthia Cogan, P.E. as a group manager of consulting services overseeing Massachusetts and California operations. She will have profit-and-loss responsibility for these groups and as a senior technical leader will oversee a growing professional practice.

Cogan brings to the position over 17 years of industry experience and will focus her efforts on developing expanded project reach and strengthening client relationships on behalf of the company. Cogan’s unique combination of technical knowledge and understanding of strategic client management will be paramount in driving Geocomp’s continued sales growth. Working as a member of top management, she will help drive new market strategies and technical execution to aid in the company’s expansion.

Prior to joining Geocomp, she served as a project director at ENSR/AECOM, where she oversaw management of a large-scale residential remedial investigation and interim remedial measures program. She holds both her M.S. and B.S. in Civil Engineering and is a Massachusetts Professional Engineer.

For over 28 years, Geocomp’s teams of engineers and scientists have solved geo-engineering problems for all types of infrastructure projects. Geocomp specializes in the engineering and control of risk for construction below the ground surface for all types of structures, including tough projects with challenging soil conditions and related structural design criteria. Geocomp improves the design and construction team's understanding of subsurface conditions and provides geo-engineering solutions resulting in better control of the risk and cost of construction for owners.

Whether applied to earth and rock retention structures, deep foundation design, tunneling, bridges, or advanced material development and testing, Geocomp leverages its experience on thousands of projects. This includes real-time, web based instrumentation and monitoring systems; computer software and instrumentation; advanced numerical modeling; active risk management protocols; soil, rock and geosynthetics testing services; and the manufacture of automated test equipment. In addition to their Massachusetts location in Acton, Geocomp has locations in New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Peru.

Methane Power Co-Generation Project Earns EPA Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission with a PISCES award for its Methane Power Co-Generation and Digester project at the Marlay-Taylor Water Reclamation Facility in Maryland. The reconstruction and improvement project, designed by the consulting firm of Dewberry, was noted for successfully minimizing methane emissions while reducing energy costs without a significant expansion onto previously undisturbed land.

The Marlay-Taylor Methane Power Co-Generation and Digester Upgrade project captures methane created during the wastewater treatment process and uses the gas to generate electricity for the treatment plant. The heat produced in the process is used in the digesters to aid in the production of additional methane.

The project involved reconstruction of the two primary anaerobic digester lids; repairs to the digester tanks; construction of new facilities to capture, clean, and store methane gas; and installation of two 165-kilowatt generators. The commission anticipates the project will supply approximately 25 percent of the plant’s electricity and meet 100 percent of the digester heat requirements.

The project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Maryland Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Dewberry served as design engineer for the project, with the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company as general contractor. The PISCES Award recognizes projects that advance EPA goals of performance and water quality protection.

Dewberry is a professional services firm providing architecture, engineering, and management and consulting services to public- and private-sector clients. Established in 1956, Dewberry is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia with more than 40 locations and 1,800+ professionals nationwide. To learn more, visit

Sunday, June 19, 2011

FEA Unveils Corporate Sustainability Policy

Facility Engineering Associates (FEA) recently announced the appointment of Maureen Roskoski as corporate sustainability officer. This appointment coincides with the implementation of a corporate sustainability policy that formalizes FEA’s commitment to operating in a sustainable manner. With an emphasis on the built environment, FEA has helped its clients deal with the challenges of sustainability in millions of square feet of facilities nationwide over its 18-year history.

FEA has committed to operating as a sustainable company by reducing its carbon footprint, managing its resources more effectively, and providing services to clients that allow them to operate their facilities more efficiently, using fewer natural resources while maximizing the health, safety, and productivity of their workplaces.

Jim Whittaker, president of FEA, says, “Maureen brings a wealth of experience in LEED, sustainability strategic planning, and overall sustainable facility operations. She has worked with hundreds of clients around the country in developing strategic sustainability and energy management plans and helping facilities achieve LEED certification. She also shares her passion and personal interest through teaching others. Maureen teaches sustainability workshops through George Mason University and International Facility Management Association.”

As a nationally based consulting engineering firm, FEA specializes in existing facilities, and the firm's services help extend the life cycle of facilities. FEA is headquartered in Washington, DC and has additional offices in Boston, MA; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; and San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit

UA-Yuma Engineering Student Awarded Boeing Scholarship

An engineering student at the University of Arizona Yuma Learning Center has received an annual scholarship from Boeing Company. Aaron Remmy, an undergraduate student studying systems engineering, is one of four students awarded this year's Boeing Company Scholarship. The scholarships have been awarded annually since 2003 to students in engineering degree programs with a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher.

Remmy is currently part of a unique distance learning program where engineering students spend their first three years studying at Arizona Western College/UA-Yuma center then attend classes at the UA main campus their final year to finish earning their Bachelor's degree in engineering. The Yuma/SIE partnership is in its first year as a distance learning program, and Remmy is part of a group of six engineering students currently participating in upper level engineering courses in Yuma, says Larry Head, head of the Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering at UA. "Aaron is very much a leader in that group, and that's why he was an easy choice as a scholarship recipient," Head said.

Approximately 60 students are currently taking entry level college engineering courses in Yuma, says Tanya Hodges, the UA coordinator for academic programs at the Yuma. Other students awarded the Boeing Company Scholarship this year include electrical engineering undergraduate Cheyne Harvey, aerospace engineering senior Ryan Crompton, and civil engineering undergraduate Sonia Sarmiento, all at the UA College of Engineering.

GAI Building Opens for Business in Orlando

The new GAI Building has opened for business, welcoming anchor tenant GAI Consultants to downtown Orlando, FL’s first privately developed green office. Formerly an infill site, the new $30 million development boasts 105,000 square feet of professional office space and a 300-space integrated parking garage. The sustainable facility has been designed for LEED certification, with eco-friendly features including floors made from corn and Energy Star qualified technology devices. GAI Consultants signed a long-term lease to occupy 65,000 square feet of the seven-story GAI Building. “With nearly 30 years of service to downtown Orlando, GAI is proud to have its name on this significant development,” noted President and CEO Gary DeJidas, P.E.

Founded in Pittsburgh, PA, GAI established its first branch office in Orlando in 1982, when DeJidas expanded operations into the Southeast. GAI’s Orlando office, now the second largest of the firm’s 21 locations, needed a more modern, sustainable space. Ustler Development, Inc. delivered the solution, a downtown structure designed for a smaller environmental footprint than typical urban buildings.

In addition to being the anchor tenant, GAI served as the project’s civil engineer. Ustler Development led the project team, which included Baker Barrios Architects and general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie. Construction began in late 2009 and ended in March 2011. Ustler Development is currently pursuing LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Transforming ideas into reality for more than 50 years, GAI is an employee-owned, multidisciplinary engineering and environmental consulting firm, serving clients worldwide in the energy, transportation, real estate, water, municipal, government, institutional, and industrial markets from offices throughout the northeastern, midwestern, and southeastern United States. For more information, visit