Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Arup hires Janine Witko and strengthens its water business in the Americas

Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm, recently announced that it has hired Janine Witko, P.E. as Arup’s water business leader in the Americas region, to be located in the New York City officeUnder Janine’s leadership, Arup will refocus its strategic efforts on building its water business in the Americas. Arup’s commitment towards climate change adaptation is manifested by pursuing projects focused on water supply quantity and quality treatment issues, wastewater/CSO planning, and design and asset management. While Arup’s water business services are applied to a wide range of projects throughout the world, Janine will be responsible for further developing these services and growing its client base in the Americas.
With 30 years of professional experience, Janine joins Arup from Halcrow, where she served as vice president and North American water director. Her knowledge and leadership have influenced notable projects for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and United Water. A registered professional engineer in New York, Janine received a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Manhattan College.
Arup’s global water team includes civil engineers, hydrologists, hydrogeologists, geotechnical specialists, ecologists, environmental scientists, rivers and coastal scientists and geomorphologists. Its water business in the Americas has experienced steady growth over the last five years and has been involved in projects such as Lake Mead, a deep-water intake to preserve the water supply to Las Vegas, in Arizona; Bay View Hunters Point, a sustainable infrastructure development, in San Francisco; and the East River Water Front Esplanade, a rejuvenation of a waterfront park in New York.
Founded in 1946, Arup opened its first U.S. office 25 years ago and now employs 1,000 in the Americas. For more information, visit www.arup.com.

Green building consultant Jerry Yudelson's Top Ten MegaTrends for 2013

Green building and sustainability consultant Jerry Yudelson has released his annual list of “Top 10 MegaTrends” for the green building industry. Yudelson says, “It looks like a good year ahead for the green building industry. Based on our experience, it seems clear that green building will continue its rapid expansion globally in 2013 in spite of the ongoing economic slowdown in most countries of Europe and North America. More people are building green each year, with 50,000 LEED projects underway by the latest counts; there is nothing on the horizon that will stop this mega-trend or its constituent elements.”
Yudelson’s “Top Ten Green Building MegaTrends” for 2013 include:
1.    Green building in North America will rebound strongly in 2013, in terms of LEED project registrations. Yudelson says, “Even with commercial and governmental projects proceeding at a lower level, there should be faster growth in green retrofits, with surging college and university projects, along with NGO activity.”

2.    The focus of the green building industry will continue its switch from new building design and construction to greening existing buildings. The fastest growing LEED rating system the past three years has been LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M), with cumulative floor area in these certified projects now greater than in new construction. 

3.    Green Buildings will increasingly be managed in the “cloud,” represented by the large number of new entrants and new products in fields of building automation, facility management, wireless controls, and building services information management in 2011 and 2012. Yudelson says, “2013 could well become 'The Year of the Cloud' for how quickly this trend will manifest.”
4.    Awareness of the coming crisis in fresh water supply, both globally and in the United States, will increase. Leading building designers, owners, and managers will be moved to take further steps to reduce water consumption in buildings by using more conserving fixtures, rainwater recovery systems, and innovative new onsite water technologies.
5.    The global green building movement will continue to accelerate, as more countries begin to create their own green building incentives and developing their own green building councils. Nearly 90 countries with incipient or established green building organizations, on all continents, will drive considerable global green building growth in 2013. At the end of 2012, 40 percent of all LEED-registered projects were located outside the United States. LEED projects are now being pursued in more than 130 countries, with LEED’s Alternative Compliance Path serving to facilitate the process.
6.    Zero-net-energy buildings will become increasingly commonplace, in both residential and commercial sectors, as LEED and ENERGY STAR certifications and labels have become too commonplace to confer competitive advantage among building owners. Developers of speculative commercial buildings will also begin to showcase zero-net-energy designs to gain marketplace advantages.
7.    Green Building Performance Disclosure will be the fastest emerging trend, highlighted by new carbon reductions requirements in California (AB 32), the City of Seattle, and many other jurisdictions. Commercial building owners will have to disclose actual green building performance to all new tenants and buyers and, in some places, to the public at large.
8.    Transparency and “Red List” chemicals will become increasingly a subject of contention, as manifested through such tools as the new Health Product Declaration and the inclusion of points for avoiding certain chemicals contained in LEEDv4, currently scheduled for release in June 2013. Environmental and Health Product Declarations will begin to appear in large numbers in the next two to three years, as building product manufacturers increasingly try to gain or maintain market share based on open disclosure of chemical ingredients.
9.    Local and state governments will step up their mandates for green buildings for both themselves and the private sector. There should be at least 20 new cities of significant size with commercial sector green building mandates, mostly in the “blue” states. The desire to reduce carbon emissions by going green will lead more government agencies, universities, hospitals, and corporate owners to require green buildings from design and construction teams.
10.    Solar power use in buildings will continue to grow, given the prospect of increasing focus on implementing aggressive state-level renewable power standards (RPS) for 2020 and the move toward zero-net-energy buildings. As before, third-party financing partnerships will continue to grow and provide capital for large rooftop systems on warehouses and retail stores, as well as on homes.

Jerry Yudelson is founder and lead consultant of Yudelson Associates, an international sustainability and green building consultancy in Tucson, AZ. A LEED Fellow, Yudelson, has authored 13 green building books and chaired the country’s largest annual green building conference, Greenbuild, for six years. For more information, visit www.greenbuildconsult.com.

Institute of Transportation Engineers honors Baxter & Woodman engineer Ralph Tompkins

Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers announces that Ralph Tompkins, P.E., F-ITE, has received the Life Member Certificate from the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Tompkins has been an active ITE member for more than 25 years. The Institute of Transportation Engineers is an international educational and scientific association of transportation professionals responsible for meeting mobility and safety needs. ITE promotes professional development of its members, supports and encourages education, stimulates research, develops public awareness programs, and serves as a conduit for the exchange of professional information. 

Tompkins has 41 years of experience in the engineering industry, 28 with the City of DeKalb, Illinois Public Works Department culminating in his appointment as Public Works/City Engineer. Tompkins' most notable accomplishments include development of a state-of-the-art Geographic Information System, development of the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport into one of the leading general aviation airports in the state, development and implementation of the annual five-year capital improvement plan, and establishment of the engineering division of the public works department of the City of DeKalb.

Baxter & Woodman is an employee-owned design firm that provides planning, design, construction, and technology services for water, wastewater, stormwater, and transportation facilities for municipalities, counties, and state agencies. Environmental, geographic information systems (GIS), water and wastewater operations, and advanced technology needs complement the firm's civil engineering expertise. Clients are served from nine regional offices in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

GAI Consultants honored for traffic study in busy thoroughfare

GAI Consultants (GAI) and fellow team members recently attended the 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania Annual Commonwealth Awards to receive an award for the Oakland/Carnegie Mellon University Pedestrian Safety and Mobility Study project in Pittsburgh, PA, which was recently selected as a winner of the 2012 “Community Transportation Excellence Award.”

“This project represents a paradigm shift in thinking,” states GAI Senior Engineering Manager John Wojtyna, P.E. “For the first time human beings take top priority over machines in the overall movement of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles in a busy traffic corridor.”

GAI Consultants provided consulting services to the Oakland Transportation Management Association (OTMA) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for a pedestrian safety and mobility study funded through the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative (PCTI). The Oakland community has the highest concentration of academic and medical institutions in the region and state, with a daytime population of over 100,000 workers, students, and visitors mingling with 60,000 automobiles that use two main arterials.

GAI was retained to review and analyze accident data, inventory University parking, document needs, identify campus destinations and bike/pedestrian corridors, and gather data on pedestrian and cyclist movement. GAI developed design concepts for potential street configurations that maximize safety and access for pedestrians.

This project, completed in December 2010, is the first step in ensuring greater safety for the students, workers, and visitors, as well as the numerous drivers that travel through Oakland daily. The project also creates a plan to increase multi-modal access to this high-traffic area, which will encourage use, development, and future investment in the Oakland area.
GAI is an 850-person, employee-owned, multidiscipline engineering and environmental consulting firm serving clients worldwide in the energy, transportation, real estate, water, municipal, government, and industrial markets from U.S. offices throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast. For more information, visit www.gaiconsultants.com.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and RenewABILITY Energy USA help New York and New Jersey homeowners

RenewABILITY Energy USA and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing have established an agreement to help homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey by installing Power-Pipe Drain Water Heat Recovery systems free of charge during any repairs made by Benjamin Franklin.

“The Department of Energy reports that residential water heating is the second largest use of energy in homes outside of space heating. Power-Pipe drain water heat recovery systems reduce residential water heating by 25 to 40 percent and are a proven, practical, energy-saving technology, with no moving parts which simply pre-heat incoming cold fresh water, with outgoing warm drain water,” notes Rod Buchalter, residential sales manager for RenewABILITY Energy. “This will provide a significant long-term savings for many homeowners rebuilding in the affected area.”

“Decreasing long-term utility costs with a proven technology installed in thousands of homes across North America, for those rebuilding was the key motivator for the agreement”, says Darren Dixon, vice president of operations for Clockwork Home Services, owner of the Benjamin Franklin Brand. “With an installed cost of $749, R3-36 Power-Pipes are built to last, are maintenance-free, and include a 10-year warranty." 

Consumers can see the technology at the following links:

Consumer video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3F3k0zeglk
Installation video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jE0C7bsTv8

Founded in 2000, RenewABILITY Energy USA’s parent company RenewABILITY Energy Inc. developed and manufactures the Power-Pipe Drain Water Heat Recovery system in Kitchener, Ontario.  The patented and patent pending Power-Pipe systems are sold across Canada, the United States, and Europe. For more details, visit www.renewability.com.

Editor's note: Progressive Engineer recently ran an article on RenewABILITY Energy. See it at www.progressiveengineer.com/company_profiles/renewability.htm

RETTEW announces Ed Reese as new vice president

RETTEW, a multi-discipline engineering and consulting firm, has introduced Edward Reese as vice president. Reese’s responsibilities will serve a dual purpose: direct RETTEW’s offices in Pittsburgh, PA and Canton, OH and lead transportation business development firm-wide. As the regional manager, he will oversee 78 staff members in their daily operations and be responsible for developing, maintaining, and strengthening the growth of RETTEW in the region. In his role as business development lead, Reese will generate, maintain, and expand RETTEW’s presence in both the local region and within the transportation focus area. He will nurture relationships with key, strategic clients and develop new business to improve transportation infrastructure throughout western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

Reese brings more than 25 years of experience in the engineering field, including business development, regional marketing, strategic planning, and senior leadership positions in the transportation, water and wastewater, civil and municipal, and environmental market sectors. Prior to joining RETTEW, Reese served as a senior vice president of HDR, an international engineering, architecture, and consulting firm. He was responsible for transportation marketing, strategic planning, government affairs management, and business development. A Pittsburgh-area native and resident, Reese is a graduate from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree.

RETTEW began in 1969 as a single-person office and today has more than 400 employees and 11 offices in Colorado, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.rettew.com.

Chemical engineers publish vision for the future

Possible solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges are outlined in a new report published recently by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). Chemical Engineering Matters focuses on securing sustainable energy supplies, food and nutrition, access to clean water, and health and wellbeing, four areas where chemical engineers can make a positive impact. The report explores the application of chemical engineering and presents current thinking on safety and risk, education, training, and research. It maintains that there will be no universal solution to meet growth in global energy demand. The report acknowledges that fossil fuel assets will maintain a central position in the world’s energy economy for decades but warns that a shift towards decarbonisation and sustainable energy use is required.

Population growth, industrialization, and urbanisation are cited as the main factors increasing pressure on water supplies. The report suggests that the role of the chemical engineer in delivering sustainable water solutions is underplayed and that chemical engineers must explore new ways of promoting process technology in securing viable industrial and municipal water supplies.

Published in Manchester, UK, the document insists that the Institution remains politically neutral but does cite the need for greater engagement with policymakers to ensure decisions that impact funding and regulation be evidence-based.  It also highlights the need for increased public engagement to overcome a negative, often inaccurate, public perception of chemistry, chemicals, and chemical engineering. The report is an update of the Institution’s technical strategy, first published in 2007, and identifies ten priorities for IChemE:

• Safety – Promote a thorough understanding of hazard, risk, and reduction at all stages in the process lifecycle and introduce a new international qualification for process safety professionals

• Education – Support a global professional community via integrated training and professional development

• Research – Press for investment in applied research

• Energy – Support chemical engineers in all parts of the energy economy from world-scale carbon management to renewable energy

• Water – Provide support to chemical engineers in the water community and explore ways of securing viable industrial and municipal water supplies

• Food and Nutrition – Promote the role of chemical engineering in the delivery of sustainable food solutions

• Health and Wellbeing – Deliver more healthy and sustainable lifestyles and highlight the impact of the discipline in the pharma and bioscience sectors

• Political dimension – Work with groups and leadership around the world to develop coherent policy goals

• Economic dimension – Continue to highlight the role of chemical engineering in improving process efficiency and reducing costs to deliver cheaper, more sustainable consumer products

• Public understanding – encourage members to engage productively in public conversation about the impact of chemical process and products.

IChemE chief executive David Brown says Chemical Engineering Matters will help steer the future direction of both the Institution and the profession: “This is not just a document that will sit on our desks. It will guide policy development and how we plan our work for the future." He adds, “Chemical engineers have a long history of action. They are innovators who have brought numerous benefits to society from pharmaceutical developments such as the scaling up of penicillin to the production of high-power rechargeable batteries used in many of our devices from mobile phones to laptops."

The report was unveiled at the opening of Manchester University’s new home of chemical engineering, the James Chadwick building. Go to www.icheme.org to download Chemical Engineering Matters.

GeoDesign's Kelley named UMass Outstanding Junior Alumni

Shawn Kelley, Ph.D., an associate and shareholder with GeoDesign, was recognized as an Outstanding Junior Alumni by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s College of Engineering. Recipients of this award are considered worthy ambassadors for the college and have shown extraordinary effort and notable success in their careers. Kelley graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in civil engineering. 
Kelley specializes deep and shallow foundation design, earth retention and slope stabilization projects, and in-situ soil testing, among other areas. He works out of GeoDesign’s Windsor, VT office, where he manages the soil-testing laboratory and a number of different projects, including geotechnical engineering design work, construction observation services, and geotechnical instrumentation. 
Since his undergraduate career at UMass, Kelley has been active in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), serving as student chapter treasurer and team leader for the concrete canoe team. In 2009, Kelley was named Governor for Region 1 of ASCE. He represents civil engineers in the Northeast United States, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. Kelley has served in various board-level positions, culminating in being president of the Vermont Section in 2007-2009 and was on the formation committee of the Geo-Institute Chapter for Vermont. As a volunteer, Kelley has worked on Habitat for Humanities projects, Listen Community Center Dinners, and the board of directors for the Stony Creek Condo Association.
Established in 1995, GeoDesign (www.geodesign.net) is a privately held engineering consulting firm with offices in Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. They complete geotechnical projects, construction engineering services, and environmental investigation and remediation projects throughout the Northeast for private clients, industry, developers, contractors, and municipalities. 

TDKA works on expanding light rail train maintenance facility to pave way for Central Corridor Line

TKDA is finishing work on the expansion of the Hiawatha Light Rail operations and maintenance facility in Minnesota's Twin Cities to serve the new Central Corridor line, expected to come online in July 2014. The $16 million expansion will make room to store and service additional trains and longer train configurations for both the Hiawatha and the Central Corridor.

With construction rapidly advancing on the Central Corridor and the arrival of the additional light rail vehicles needed to serve it, Metro Transit called for the expansion of the operations and maintenance facility in 2009. In addition, the Hiawatha Line will transition from two-car to three-car trains, and the original facility did not have the capacity to accommodate this switch. With these considerations in mind, TKDA completed design services for the expansion in December 2010, and construction commenced in June 2011.

Highlights of the expansion include a new 43,000-square-foot vehicle storage building, a 16,000-square-foot maintenance addition, a 1,200-square-foot addition to the rail control center, and the addition of a light rail vehicle lift, hoists, cranes, and a geothermal heating and cooling system. Modifications to the yard track, traction power, overhead centenary, and signal systems were also included in the project.

An area of particular interest in the age of going green is the new geothermal system. Metro Transit has embarked on an initiative to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels to reduce CO2 emissions and save on energy costs. TKDA designed a geothermal system that will both heat and cool the expanded area and portions of the existing facility. The system is expected to save Metro Transit $45,000 a year in energy costs and prevent 136 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere every year.

“The Central Corridor Line will become an integral part of the overall transit system in the Twin Cities,” says Bill Deitner, TKDA’s CEO. “We have been delighted to be a part of the team that has reintroduced rail transit to the metro area and are proud to team with Metro Transit to make the light rail system as efficient and environmentally clean as possible.”

TKDA has played a role on many of the projects involving the development of the light rail system in the Twin Cities. The company was part of the multi-firm team which designed and built the original Hiawatha Corridor Light Rail Transit Project in Minneapolis. TKDA also designed and provided construction oversight for the original light rail operations and maintenance facility and is on the team rehabilitating downtown Saint Paul’s Union Depot, the eastern terminus of the future Central Corridor Line.

With over 200 employees, TKDA is a nationwide employee-owned engineering, architecture, and planning firm headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.tkda.com.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Schnabel Engineering announces new offices, hirings, and promotions

Schnabel Engineering of Glen Allen, Virginia announces the opening of its Raleigh, North Carolina, office. The office will provide all of Schnabel’s services, with local personnel having extensive geotechnical and environmental engineering experience. Nigel Miller, PE, an associate with the firm, will manage the office. He has more than 15 years of experience in transportation, energy, and infrastructure projects, including work for North Carolina Department of Transportation, Progress Energy, and major universities in the area.

Miller has experience on highway bridges, roadway pavements, airport runways, retaining structures, highrise buildings, earth dams, energy transmission lines, and large-diameter pipelines. He has managed, reviewed, and performed design and construction phase engineering duties for projects with technical challenges such as soft soils, deep excavations, high seismic loads, landslides, dewatering, corrosion, and rock excavation.

Schnabel also announces the opening of its first New York State (NYS) office and the hiring of Dr. Gregory Daviero, PE as a principal engineer and Kevin Ruswick, CFM, PE as an associate engineer.

Schnabel’s NYS office is located in the Capital District region, approximately 20 miles north of Albany in Clifton Park, New York.  The office will provide dam engineering services, with local personnel having extensive NYS experience and specializing in dam and water resources engineering.  Schnabel’s geotechnical, geostructural, and tunnel engineering services will also be available to our NYS clients. 

The office will be managed by Dr. Gregory Daviero who for over 20 years has applied his expertise to a wide range of water resource engineering, hydraulic design, and hydraulic and hydrologic analyses for the benefit of state, federal, municipal, and industrial clients. A resident of Niskayuna, New York, Dr. Daviero has an A.S. in Mathematics and Science from Hudson Valley Community College, a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Hydraulics and Water Resources from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Daviero is joined by Ruswick who has 18 years of experience in water resources and dam engineering.  He provides a combination of education and experience in all phases of water resources related projects and proficiency in state-of-the-art hydrologic and hydraulic modeling.  A resident of Clifton Park, New York, Ruswick earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University and an M.S. in Water Resources Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.  

Lachel & Associates, a subsidiary of Schnabel Engineering, welcomes Kumar Bhattarai, PE to the firm. Bhattarai brings 18 years of experience in design, risk assessment, project management, and procurement management for tunnel and large infrastructure projects in the United States, Canada, Russia, and the Far East.  His experience includes work on many phases of transportation, rail, and water/wastewater tunnel projects, including the Washington Dulles International Airport Automated People Mover System; the Canada Line Rapid Transit Public Private Partnership (P-3) project; railway and highway tunnel projects between Adler and Krasnaya (Sochi), Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics; and the Westside CSO tunnel project in Portland, Oregon.

Bhattarai has served as design engineer, design manager, resident engineer, and technical specialist for these complex projects. He has provided concept and feasibility studies, preliminary and final design, constructability reviews, cost estimates, design reports, qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, engineering support during construction, and construction inspection and management. Bhattarai received his Master's degree from the University of Hong Kong and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas, Washington, and British Columbia.  He is based in Lachel’s Dallas, Texas, office.

Schnabel's Rockville, Maryland office announces the promotion of Dr. Mohammed Nasim, P.E. to senior associate of the firm. Nasim is the Operations and Business Development Manager for Schnabel’s geostructural group in the Maryland office.

Nasim has field, project engineering, and management experience for a variety of projects in the United States, Far East, and Southeast Asia. He specializes in numerical modeling of soil behavior, slope stability, recycled materials, geosynthetic application, ground improvement, geostructural analyses and design, shallow and deep foundations, and groundwater management. He has performed site-specific seismic hazard assessments for variety of projects, including dams, waterfront structures, embankments and bridges, commercial buildings/stadiums, and U.S. government buildings abroad. Nasim has also worked on several research projects with concentration on soil behavior and soil-structure interactions under static and dynamic loading. 

An employee-owned company, Schnabel employs more than 300 in offices coast to coast. Schnabel specializes in geotechnical, geostructural, dam, and tunnel engineering as well as environmental, geophysical, geosciences, construction monitoring, and resident engineering services. For more information, visit schnabel-eng.com.