Monday, December 22, 2014

McMahon Associates supports the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

At a recent employer event, the staff of McMahon Associates, a transportation engineering and planning firm, completed a team-building challenge that resulted in the donation of ten children’s bicycles to the Early Head Start at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). 

The McMahon employees of the mid-Atlantic regional offices recently held their annual, regional planning meeting in Lafayette Hill, PA. As part of a team-building exercise, the employees were tasked to assemble ten children’s bicycles. Casey Moore, P.E., vice president and mid-Atlantic regional manager stated “McMahon is proud to continue charitable support to CHOP.  Our employees worked as a unit to support this amazing hospital and the services it provides to help children in our area.”

Established in 1855, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the world’s largest and oldest hospitals devoted exclusively to the care of children. The hospital has fostered medical discoveries and innovations that have improved pediatric healthcare and saved countless children’s lives. CHOP has been ranked as the best children’s hospital in the United States by U.S. News World Report andParents Magazine.

McMahon Associates’ mid-Atlantic offices are located in Fort Washington (corporate headquarters), Exton, Camp Hill, Lehigh Valley, and Pittsburgh, PA; Yardville, NJ; and Bowie, MD and employ 85 staff of the company’s 120 full-time employees.  The firm also has three offices in Florida and three in the New England region (Massachusetts and Rhode Island). McMahon’s primary services include transportation planning/traffic studies, traffic signal and ITS design and permitting, highway design and permitting, bridge design and inspection, transit planning, expert witness testimony, land surveying, geographic information systems and software development, IT infrastructure consulting, and construction services for public and private clients. For more information, visit to

Monday, December 15, 2014

Updated career resource for engineering students

The data experts and editors at recently updated their guides for several engineering-related careers. Their resource was created for students and jobseekers looking for in-depth career information and guidance and has been expanded to include more comprehensive data such as:

-          An overview of requirements for those pursuing a career in engineering
-          Available on-campus and online engineering programs
-          Related job salary comparisons
-          Job growth outlook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
-          Additional resources for students and job seekers

Anyone can view our the career guides at the following pages:

How to Become a Mechanical Engineer

How to Become an Electrical Engineer

Learn How to Become is a non-commercial organization focused on creating valuable career planning tools and content for jobseekers and students. Their mission is to help students and other aspiring professionals understand what it takes to land their perfect career, from picking the right school to climbing the company ladder. They are passionate about creating comprehensive resources that can guide individuals through each step they need to take to begin and further their career path.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sewall advocates for water protection, forms water team

LaMarr Clannon, stormwater engineer at James W. Sewall Company, is educating communities and institutions throughout Maine on the benefits of using low impact development (LID) techniques to protect clean drinking water, reduce stormwater impacts, and increase community resiliency to changing weather patterns. She joins a newly formed Water Team at Sewall that offers clients complete, integrated services and solutions that bridge the gap from project design to the maintenance and inspection of system assets.  

In partnership with NOAA and the Maine Coastal Program, Clannon discussed LID for community climate change resiliency at workshops held in Ellsworth and Wells; partnered with the Maine Drinking Water Program and EPA Region 1 on workshops to protect drinking water in Bangor, Lewiston and Presque Isle; presented to the planning board and downtown revitalization committee in Damariscotta on LID for redesigning the riverfront; and, in partnership with the Saco River Corridor Commission and partially funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, presented on LID and local stormwater utilities in 16 towns along the Saco River to protect the River’s drinking water and recreational resources.

Clannon joins Sewall staff members in forming the new Water Team, which combines three areas of expertise, including water/wastewater engineering, stormwater engineering and GIS/asset management capabilities. The team consists of Clannon; Mike Riley, P.E.; and Rick Martens, GISP. Clannon guides clients on MS4 permitting, low impact design, and stormwater utilities development. Riley specializes in water system design, utility master plans, and new source development. Martens consults and designs GIS and asset management systems to support water and wastewater infrastructure, typically as part of a water engineering or stormwater project. The Water Team provides integrated services for water system/plant design, construction administration, and maintenance evaluation using the latest in technology and workflows. 

Founded in 1880, Sewall is an international professional consulting organization specializing in infrastructure, energy, and natural resources. The company’s diverse portfolio is based on 134 years experience in civil engineering, surveying, and forest appraisal; 65 years in remote sensing; and 30 years in GIS and application development. For more information, visit

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Parsons Brinckerhoff designing new Hudson Park and Boulevard in NYC

Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded a New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) contract to design the second phase of the Hudson Park & Boulevard project, which runs between 10th and 11th Avenues from West 36th to West 37th Streets. NYCEDC is managing the design and construction of the project on behalf of the City of New York.
As prime consultant for phase two, Parsons Brinckerhoff will lead a team of 11 subconsultants for design and construction administration, performing civil, mechanical, structural, and electrical engineering while overseeing design performed by the subconsultant team. The first phase of the Hudson Park & Boulevard is currently under construction between West 33rd Street and West 36th Street.
The new four-acre Hudson Park & Boulevard complements additional work by the city to transform the Hudson Yards area into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly mixed-use district. Entrances through each of the newly reconstructed east-west side streets will provide access to much-needed open space for area residents, workers, and visitors. The new boulevard will run the length of the park with a portion constructed over a section of an Amtrak rail line.
Parsons Brinckerhoff develops and operates infrastructure around the world, with approximately 14,000 employees in the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia-Pacific regions. The firm offers skills and resources in strategic consulting, planning, engineering, program/construction management, and operations for transportation, power, mining, water/wastewater, and community development projects (

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Terry Keene, P.E. joins MSW Consultants

MSW Consultants is excited to announce the addition of Terry Keene to its staff as senior project manager.  Keene is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and brings with him over thirty years of experience serving public and private clients with environmental project needs.
Keene has dedicated his career to helping municipalities and authorities throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland in solid waste planning, hauling cost analyses, procurement, and facility and system optimization.  He has extensive engineering experience on a range of technical issues associated with collection and recycling systems, material recovery facilities, waste-to-energy facilities, landfills, transfer stations, and yard waste/organics processing and composting facilities.  He combines analytical skills with an understanding of the solid waste management planning process.
In Pennsylvania, his home state of operations, Keene is also a Certified Recycling Professional and a Certified Sewage Enforcement Officer.  He sits on the board of the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) and co-chairs PROP's State Organics Committee.  He has an undergraduate degree in environmental resource management from Penn State University and has taken graduate coursework in environmental pollution control, environmental engineering, and agronomy from Penn State.
"I have admired the work MSW Consultants has provided across the MidAtlantic region and am looking forward to helping our clients develop sustainable diversion programs and optimize their waste management systems," says Keene, who will work closely with MSW Consultant's Pennsylvania-based team in addition to supporting projects originating in the firm's Orlando, FL headquarters. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Colorado Department of Transportation chief engineer joins Beam, Longest and Neff engineering team

Colorado Department of Transportation veteran Tim Harris has joined engineering firm Beam, Longest and Neff (BNL) as Western Region Director. Harris, who most recently served as CDOT's chief engineer, is responsible for short and long-term strategic planning, growth, operations, and overall management of the engineering staff in Colorado.

"Tim brings solid experience and a unique perspective to our firm," says Tom Longest, chief executive of BLN, the full-service engineering firm headquartered in Indianapolis. "We know Tim's work from his tenure at CDOT, and we value his capabilities and oversight skills in transportation maintenance operations, engineering, construction, and consulting."

Throughout his 33-year career at CDOT, Harris focused on supporting the agency's mission to provide the best multi-modal transportation system to effectively move people, goods, and information across the 9,144-mile highway system and 3,419 bridges the department maintains. He served as program engineer for the I-25/I-70 Interchange project and region director in Colorado Springs for the I-25 Interstate Expansion Design-Build Project, and he led the $60 million Viaduct Project in Trinidad.

"My experience with CDOT has provided me with invaluable skills that I will continue to use to expand BLN's work in the transportation and maintenance industries throughout the western region," Harris says. "After working for decades in the public sector, this was the perfect opportunity to transition and utilize my experience."

Following his graduation from Georgia Tech with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, Harris joined CDOT as a roadway designer. Four years later, he transitioned into the contracting office, where he spent 10 years managing construction, design, maintenance, and funding contracts. Harris next moved to CDOT headquarters, where he spent six years in pre-construction management focusing on manuals and specification books. He then became program engineer overseeing design and construction before returning to headquarters as staff services director administering policies and procedures. He then served as region director before being named chief engineer in July 2011.

Founded in 1945, Beam, Longest & Neff has expanded from a traditional civil engineering and surveying firm to one that provides a full complement of in-house engineering and consulting services including environmental engineering, right-of-way engineering, and construction inspection.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

GHT Limited announces the launch of its Operations and Energy Services Studio

GHT Limited, a DC metro area mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering firm, announces the launch of its Operations and Energy Services (OES) studio, which provides support for buildings throughout their lifecycle. GHT’s OES team offers solutions to MEP system challenges that impact efficiency and functionality, with a focus on enhancing building performance and asset values.

The group partners with facility owners, property managers, and building engineers to deliver building energy services, commissioning, and building operations consulting. Expertise offered by GHT’s OES studio includes LEED and retro-commissioning, energy audits, energy modeling, ENERGY STAR benchmarking, feasibility studies, MEP system troubleshooting and remediation, and forensic evaluations.

GHT President Paul O’Brien, PE, LEED AP ID+C remarks, “As buildings are expected to achieve continually higher performance targets, it is clear that a great design is just the beginning of the solution. After occupancy, there is an undeniable connection between how a building is operated, how MEP systems perform, and how building energy is managed. GHT has provided consulting on those elements for many years, and the growing demand led us to formally unite our operations and energy services in a dedicated studio that is focused on helping our clients meet their building performance goals.” He adds, “The OES studio is a seamless extension of our MEP engineering design studios for building systems and interiors. All three studios collaborate and inform each other, working in partnership to approach our projects from a building lifecycle perspective.”

GHT Senior Principal Robert Menuet, PE, CEM leads the OES studio. “GHT’s OES team has an interest in sustaining the built environment,” he says. “This is a direct result of our collective experience with designing MEP systems, providing all levels of commissioning, and operating buildings – we see the big picture, and we are uniquely qualified to help optimize building performance.”

Menuet continues, “Our team includes Professional Engineers, Certified Energy Managers, Building Energy Modeling Professionals, LEED Accredited Professionals, Certified Commissioning Professionals, Licensed Operating Engineers, and Master Electricians. They recognize the challenges our clients face, and they understand how to blend theory with practical applications to deliver real world solutions.”

For more information on how GHT’s OES services provide support for buildings throughout their lifecycle, visit

Based in Arlington, VA, GHT helps optimize building performance, providing sustainable mechanical, electrical, and MEP engineering services for commercial office buildings, tenant interiors, and government properties, as well as institutional, hospitality, and mission critical environments. GHT's areas of expertise include MEP system design, commissioning, building energy services, and real estate advisory services. Learn more about GHT at

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Harman Group welcomes Tuna Yelkikanat as director of its new NY office

The Harman Group welcomes Tuna Yelkikanat, PE, LEED GA to the firm as the director of its new office in New York, located in midtown Manhattan. “The Harman Group is excited to expand our practice in the New York area,” states D. Kirk Harman, PE, SE, SECB, FACI, president and managing principal of The Harman Group. “With his experience, Tuna is poised to help The Harman Group build on existing relationships and bring our extensive structural design expertise to new opportunities in New York. We are happy to have him on board.”

Yelkikanat brings 11 years of experience in the in structural design and management of complex high-rise projects in New York and around the world. He has previously held positions with DeSimone Consulting Engineers and Thornton Tomasetti. He will be responsible for the management of ongoing New York and New Jersey projects as well as the development of new clients in the New York/New Jersey area.

Yelkikanat is a licensed Professional Engineer and a LEED Green Associate. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey, and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering degree from City College of New York.

Since 1984, The Harman Group has worked with architects and owners on a wide range of structural engineering, parking planning and design, and fa├žade projects across many different industries. The firm’s team of professionals includes structural engineers, parking designers, and a full support staff of BIM technicians and administrative personnel. For more information, visit

Monday, October 20, 2014

RESNET issues HERS index credits for drain water heat recovery technologies

Editor's note: Progressive Engineer published a company profile on RenewABILITY Energy in the September/October issue. You can see it at

Builders and homeowners now have a new, cost-effective way to reduce their Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index scores. Drain water heat recovery (DWHR) technology uses outgoing warm drain water to pre-heat incoming cold fresh water. The result is that the primary water heater uses less energy to provide domestic hot water for the home and, at the same time, increases the effective hot water capacity.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that water heating is the second largest energy use in single-family homes and multi-family buildings across America. DWHR technology is recognized as an energy-saving measure, and many utilities currently have incentive programs for adoption of DWHR technology.

RenewABILITY Energy developed and has been manufacturing the Power-Pipe DWHR technology for over 10 years. CEO and founder Gerald Van Decker states, “Including DWHR technology in new homes has become common practice for many builders in Ontario in the last few years, and over 35,000 homes now have the Power-Pipe. In fact, the Power-Pipe will be included in at least one out of every three new homes built this year in the Toronto region. A HERS Index credit has been available in Canada for over two years. I’m pleased that American builders and homeowners can now use DWHR technology to reduce their HERS Index scores by 1 to 3 points, dependent upon a number of factors including house size, location, and DWHR rated efficiency.” RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) has designed a spreadsheet tool that calculates and permits for a HERS score improvement by installing DWHR technology. It accompanies approved HERS software. The RESNET DWHR tool, along with background information, can be found at:

The Power-Pipe primarily saves energy from showers, which use up to 80 percent of the hot water in homes, apartment buildings, and health clubs. The Power-Pipe works with any type of water heating system and is also used in many commercial operations such as hotels, hospitals, laundry facilities, and restaurants as well as industrial processes. Typically the Power-Pipe reduces water heating energy consumption by 20 to 35 percent, though smaller units save less and the larger units can provide up to 48 percent energy savings in the average home. Putting this into perspective, whole-home energy consumption is usually reduced by 4 to 7 percent and as much as 10 percent.

“Decreasing energy costs for American homeowners is an effective way to increase a family’s quality of life,” says Van Decker. “Power-Pipe DWHR systems enable homeowners to cost-effectively save a significant amount of energy, helping to reduce monthly household expenses and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 200 pounds per person per year with natural gas water heating, which is a yearly reduction of more than an average adult’s weight. It is a great carbon weight-loss technology!”

The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) was founded in 1995 as an independent, non-profit organization committed to helping homeowners reduce the cost of their utility bills by making their homes more energy efficient. RESNET is responsible for creating the national training and certification standards for HERS Raters and Home Energy Survey Professionals, both of which are recognized by federal government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. mortgage industry.

The HERS Index was created by RESNET to give homeowners and buyers a standard by which they could measure the efficiency of homes they currently own or want to purchase. To arrive at a home’s HERS score, a Certified HERS Rater first performs an energy audit on the home. The audit data is compared against a reference home of the same size and shape and which would comply to the 2006 International Energy and Conservation Code (IECC). The lower a home’s HERS score, the more energy efficient the home. For more information on the HERS Index visit: The HERS Index is used by many counties for energy code compliance, used to assess Energy Star for New Homes compliance, for LEED for Homes and a number of other home labelling programs. It can also be used as an alternative compliance path under the 2015 IECC. MLS in a number of States now includes HERS Index Scores for the homes that they list.

Founded in 2000, RenewABILITY Energy manufactures the Power-Pipe DWHR system in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada with American operations based in Hazelton, PA. The systems are sold across Canada, the United States, and Europe. For more details, please visit

Monday, October 13, 2014

PSI appoints three engineers to principal consultant

Professional Service Industries (PSI) has announced the appointment of Bryan Sy, P.E.; David Barndt, P.E.; and Jonathan Sink, P.E. as principal consultants for its Construction Materials Testing Service line. Sy will be the primary principal consultant for PSI’s offices in McKinney, Fort Worth, and Dallas, Texas. Barndt will serve as the primary principal consultant for PSI’s offices in Waukesha, Green Bay, Chippewa Falls, Menasha, Ripon, Wisconsin and Eagan, Minnesota. Sink will be the primary principal consultant for PSI’s Tampa, Florida office.

Sy earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee. Based in PSI’s McKinney office, he serves a dual role as district manager and has been with PSI since 2007.

Barndt has more than 20 years of experience in geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, and environmental consulting.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. Based in PSI’s Waukesha office, he serves a dual role as senior vice president and has been with PSI since 1981.

Sink earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida. He serves a dual role as senior engineer and manager of Tampa’s Construction Services Department and has been with PSI since 2012.

PSI provides a wide range of environmental, engineering, and testing services, including environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing and engineering, industrial hygiene services, facilities and roof consulting, NDE, and specialty engineering and testing services. Headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, PSI operates from some 100 U.S. offices with about 2300 employees.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Virginia Tech's Amy Pruden receives innovation award and grant for her work in water quality

Amy Pruden, professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate dean and director of interdisciplinary graduate education in the Graduate School at Virginia Tech, has received the 2014 the Paul L. Busch Award, which includes a $100,000 research grant.
A well-recognized researcher in her field, Pruden has proven instrumental in developing a new way of thinking about controlling aquatic pathogens and expanding the use of recycled water. She has an international reputation in applied microbial ecology, environmental remediation, and environmental reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance.
The Busch Award comes from the Water Environment Research Foundation's Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research. The foundation cited her efforts that have contributed significantly to water quality research and its practical application in the environment. The grant given with the award supports work that will bring new benefits to the water quality community and the water-using public they serve.
"The global future of water security will be focused on reuse. The issue of antibiotic resistance will not just go away. Science is needed, and solutions will be forthcoming because of Dr. Pruden's work," says Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research at Michigan State University and a member of the selection committee. "Expanding the use of recycled water such as treated wastewater is key to achieving water sustainability," Pruden says. However, public health concerns about the reuse of water must be addressed first.
"Wastewater is of special concern because it receives domestic, hospital, and other waste that can contain antibiotics, antibiotic resistant bacteria, and antibiotic resistance genes that can persist or even multiply through treatment and recycling of water," Pruden says. "Antibiotic resistance is a critical and worsening global health threat."
"We have new tools -- the next generation DNA sequencing tools, which have just come online in the last five or so years," Pruden says. "They are providing unprecedented information about microbes in all sorts of environments, including 'clean' drinking water. These tools have really surprised us by showing us the numbers and diversity of microbes. There can be thousands of different species of bacteria in a household water supply."
Pruden said the funding from the award will be used "to help the water industry achieve an innovative and practical approach to achieving water sustainability while also addressing consumers' concerns about the real and growing problem of antibiotic resistance."
Pruden was already among a team of Virginia Tech researchers investigating the challenges presented by four often deadly pathogens that have been documented in household or hospital tap water. They proposed fighting or displacing these opportunistic pathogens with harmless microbes -- a probiotic approach for cleaning up plumbing. Their findings were the subject of a journal article focusing on four opportunistic pathogens that are emerging as a public health concern. 
Legionella is the infamous cause of deadly Legionnaires Disease and milder Pontiac Fever. Mycobacterium avium complex causes a pulmonary disease that is the most expensive waterborne disease in terms of individual hospital visits. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. Pathogenic free-living amoebae are a group of microorganisms that enhance the growth of bacterial pathogens in water by hosting the pathogen, particularly Legionella and M. avium, protecting them and providing a place for them to multiply. This research was published in the Aug. 20, 2013 online issue of the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science and Technology. Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science( is sponsoring this work.
In terms of her work with resistance genes, Pruden is among the first researchers who have identified antibiotic resistance developing through environmental sources. For example, when an antibiotic is consumed, researchers have learned that up to 90 percent of the substance passes through the body without metabolizing. This means that the drug can leave the body almost intact through normal bodily functions. 
So, in the case of agricultural areas, excreted antibiotics can then enter the stream and river environments through a variety of ways, including discharges from animal feeding operations, fish hatcheries, and nonpoint sources such as the flow from fields where manure or biosolids have been applied. Water filtered through wastewater treatment plants may also contain used antibiotics. Consequently, these discharges become "potential sources of antibiotic resistance genes," says Pruden, also a 2007 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering and a 2006 National Science Foundation CAREER Award recipient.
Pruden is also a current investigator on a $300,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation Environmental Sustainability Program to study the residential hot water infrastructure, looking at the overlapping and sometimes at-odds issues of public health, water savings, and energy savings.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mary Erchul of Ghirardelli Associates installed as new president of ACEC California

The American Council of Engineering Companies of California (ACEC California) announces Mary Erchul, a professional registered engineer and project manager/resident engineer of Ghirardelli Associates, as president of the organization. Her term runs through June 30, 2015.  ACEC California’s core purpose is to strengthen California’s engineering and land surveying businesses to build a better California.

“California is at a crossroads in its ability to finance and deliver vital infrastructure such as highways, roads, bridges, railways, airports, energy, water, wastewater and communications.  My goal is to focus on positive engagement with the public sector to build lasting partnerships that will strengthen our member firms, our organization, and our state,” Erchul says. 

Erchul also says she hopes to use the visibility created by her appointment to encourage more women to pursue careers in engineering and land surveying.  According to a 2013 study by the National Science Foundation, the percentage of women employed in the engineering field is the lowest of any technical occupation and at just 13 percent is significantly lower than engineering as a whole in the U.S. workforce.  Meanwhile, a 2012 study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute showed that almost two thirds of U.S. teenage girls were interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).   

Erchul is the first woman to serve as president of the organization since 2005 and only the second to serve in the role since the formation of the organization in the early 1950s.  She has more than 25 years of experience in the management and design of municipal projects throughout California, from initial planning through final design and construction management. She is considered a national expert in pavement engineering and has worked both locally and nationally on major roadway and highway projects.

Some of her recent projects include being part of the project management team working with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Rail Division on the Metrolink Service Expansion Program (MSEP).  She is currently working with the towns of Ross and Moraga and the Alameda County Transportation Commission as a construction manager on infrastructure improvement projects. 
Erchul is a registered professional engineer in California. She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

With offices throughout California, Ghirardelli Associates is an engineering firm that specializes in construction inspection and management on public works projects in the state. For more information, visit

Monday, September 22, 2014

GZA GeoEnvironmental promotes Matthew Taylor to associate principal

GZA GeoEnvironmental, an environmental and geotechnical consulting firm, announces that Matthew Taylor of Norfolk, MA has been promoted to associate principal, operating from the company’s Norwood office. Taylor is a registered professional engineer in MA, RI, ME, CT and NJ has served as a consulting geotechnical engineer on an array of projects ranging from dam rehabilitation to forensic evaluations to construction administration.
With GZA for seven years, Taylor currently serves as the technical service area lead for the firm’s Dams Group. His areas of specialization include dam and levee safety engineering, project management, seepage and slope stability analyses, subsurface investigations, development on contract drawings and specifications, environmental permitting, construction oversight, and grant applications.
Taylor earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Rhode Island and his Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering from Northeastern University.  He is currently working towards a Professional Certificate in Strategic Management from the Harvard University Extension School.

Founded in 1964, GZA GeoEnvironmental is a multi-disciplinary firm providing environmental, geotechnical, ecological, water, and construction management services.  GZA maintains corporate offices in Norwood, MA 02062 and has over 500 employees and operates 25 offices in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, and Appalachian regions of the United States. For more information, visit

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ohio University electrochemical engineering research center receives $379,000 NIST grant

Ohio University’s Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research (CEER) has been granted $379,000 by the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The award will be used to establish  a consortium to support, sustain, and enhance U.S. manufacturing capacity in the nation's chemical industry and allied sectors through innovative electrochemical processes. Under the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program, the award will specifically support a roadmapping activity that could lead to funding for implementation of identified solutions.

“With this award, NIST has recognized electrochemical engineering research as a primary path to foster U.S. manufacturing growth,” said CEER Director and Russ Professor Gerri Botte. Botte, who is known internationally for developing the “pee-to-power” process in which hydrogen can be created from human and animal wastewater for use in fuel cells, is also director of the Center for Electrochemical Processes and Technology (CEProTECH), a National Science Foundation (NSF) industry university cooperative research center.

According to Botte, electrochemical engineering provides transformative solutions that can benefit the entire U.S. chemical industry, from major producers to lower-tier suppliers. For example, environmentally friendly electrochemical methods can be used to convert alternative feedstock into useful chemicals and materials such as alcohols, hydrogen, polymers, and graphene, she said. Botte notes that the nation's $1.5 trillion chemical industry employs 800,000 workers and indirectly supports 5.5 million additional jobs. The industry also confronts technology challenges, including uncertain energy supplies, energy-intensive manufacturing processes and the need to reduce waste and conserve water.

The team – named the Electrochemical Pathway for Sustainable Manufacturing Consortium (EPSuM) - will consist of industry and science leaders from the electrochemical engineering field as well as industry, academic, and association leaders. They will develop a roadmap that engages the chemical industry and its supply chain in identifying critical manufacturing needs, assessing technology options to meet these needs, setting technology research priorities, and devising a sustainable plan for developing and implementing new or improved process technologies.

As part of the process, chemical industry experts will provide input to identify critical needs and select technology alternatives. The group will then generate and implement a sustainable plan to develop and deploy them for the NIST’s next phase of funding: implementation.

EPSuM will capitalize on the infrastructure of CEER and CEProTECH, with PolymerOhio, a NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership and experienced leader in conducting roadmapping and strategic planning, leading the roadmapping process. The Electrochemical Society, an international educational association concerned with a broad range of phenomena relating to electrochemical and solid-state science and technology, will expand the participation of electrochemical science and technology experts in the process with its network of more than 9,000 industry and academic scientists in the field of electrochemical science and engineering.

“As the work of the Center for Electrochemical Engineering Center, and that of Director Botte, are increasingly recognized, it is clear that their vision of the role of electrochemical engineering in responsible and sustainable solutions to environmental, energy, and materials processing technology problems is one of the most promising avenues for the Russ College’s investment in energy and environmental strategies,” says Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Steven Miller promoted to assistant vice president at GAI Consultants

Engineering and environmental consulting firm GAI Consultants (GAI) has announced the promotion of Senior Director Steven Miller, P.E., MBA to assistant vice president. As an officer, Miller will be integral in formulating and administering organizational policies and long-range goals.  

Miller directs and coordinates GAI’s electric transmission, substation, and structural rehabilitation business lines and will be responsible for setting growth objectives for these markets. With 26 years of experience at GAI and 30 years of experience in the industry, he has helped develop and grow the Electric Transmission and Substation Department from just three employees in 2007 to more than 45 employees today. He has managed over 100 transmission line projects valued at over $20 million since he began managing the Transmission Line Engineering Department in 2005. Miller received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Washington State University and his Master of Business Administration from Point Park University.

In business since 1958, GAI is an employee-owned planning, engineering, and environmental consulting firm providing local expertise to worldwide clients in the energy, transportation, development, government, and industrial markets. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, GAI has offices throughout several eastern and midwestern states. For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jacksonville University selected for National Science Foundation grant

Jacksonville University has been awarded a $625,273 grant from the National Science Foundation that will cement the university’s status as an institution of higher education offering science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree programs. The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.” It accounts for about 20 percent of federal support to academic institutions for research. JU’s award period is July 15, 2014, to June 30, 2019. 

“NSF grants are prestigious and highly competitive,” says JU Provost/Chief Academic Officer Dr. Wenying Xu. “Our faculty’s success in obtaining an NSF STEM grant thrusts JU into the national scene of STEM education.” A portion of the grant creates 14 annual scholarships of up to $10,000 each for qualified students and also will be used to build a comprehensive support system that sets them up for lifelong success as leaders in the community and beyond. In addition to the annual scholarships, Jacksonville University students will be aided by development of a Residential Learning Community, faculty mentors, tutoring, peer study groups, skills training and career development. Students also take part in an annual national mathematical modeling competition, undergraduate research and internships with local government and industry partners. 

The NSF grant also supports ASPIRE, JU’s $120 million comprehensive campaign designed to enhance the JU student experience with academic, programmatic, and facilities upgrades, Dr. Xu says. It also complements the University’s recently announced Florida Entrepreneurial, Policy and Innovation Center (EPIC), which is expected to boost economic development in Florida through a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach among universities, business interests, governmental organizations, venture capitalists, and the military. 

JU biology Prof. Lee Ann Clements, Ph.D., chair of the university’s Division of Science and Mathematics, says the NSF was impressed by the university’s innovative, multi-pronged, and integrated support approach to its program. “This is about building a robust learning community structure, with students benefitting from taking overlapping courses as a group and receiving social and academic support,” she says. “We know there’s a high demand for students trained in these areas, so it’s an opportunity to help Northeast Florida, our students, and JU, all in one project.” 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Lauren Isaac rejoins Parsons Brinckerhoff as manager of sustainable transportation

Lauren Isaac has been named manager of sustainable transportation in the San Francisco, California office of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global infrastructure strategic consulting, engineering, and program/construction management organization.
In her new position, Isaac works with transportation organizations to help advance strategies, practices, and technologies to meet current and future transportation needs through approaches such as transportation demand management, improved asset management practices, and alternate transportation modes. As part of this role, she is serving as Parsons Brinckerhoff’s project manager for the Bay Area’s 511 Rideshare program.
Isaac previously served as director of business relations at Alta Bicycle Share in San Francisco, responsible for leading business development, marketing, and sponsorship activities. From 2006 to 2013, she was manager of transit effectiveness and management at Parsons Brinckerhoff, serving as project manager or task leader on transportation industry consulting engagements throughout North America. She also co-founded and served as chief executive officer of Next Insight Transportation Software, a transportation software company developing solutions for transit agencies.
Isaac received master of engineering and bachelor of science degrees in operations research and industrial engineering from Cornell University. She is a member of the American Public Transportation Association, Women’s Transportation Seminar, San Francisco’s Market Street Railway, and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
Parsons Brinckerhoff develops and operates infrastructure around the world, with approximately 14,000 employees working with clients and communities in the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia-Pacific regions. The firm offers skills and resources in strategic consulting, planning, engineering, program/construction management, and operations for transportation, power, mining, water/wastewater, and community development projects (

Sunday, August 17, 2014

ASME elects Draper’s Julio Guerrero as next president

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has elected Julio Guerrero to serve as its president from 2015-2016. Guerrero, an R&D and business development lead in Draper Laboratory’s Energy Systems business area, began his term as ASME president-elect in June.

Founded in 1880, ASME enables skill development, collaboration, and knowledge sharing across engineering disciplines while promoting engineering’s role in society. The organization has 130,000 members in 158 countries. “We’re thrilled to see Julio elected to a leadership role where he can help bring together the engineering community to solve real world challenges as well as groom the next generation of the technical workforce,” says Jim Shields, Draper president.

Guerrero, who has been an ASME member for more than 20 years, served as a member of its Board of Governors from 2011-2013 and as vice-chair of its Industry Advisory Board from 2008-2010. As president, he hopes to promote partnerships for technology development around the world, make the organization’s operations more efficient, and increase involvement among young engineers.

At Draper, Guerrero identifies ways to apply the lab’s expertise in sensors, controls, automation, data analytics, secure communications, and advanced communications to improve the performance, safety, and security of energy infrastructure. Prior to joining Draper in 2011, Guerrero served as a principal scientist for seven years at Schlumberger Research, where he established research collaborations on subsea and land oil operations between Schlumberger and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. A native of Peru, Guerrero has also lectured at MIT engineering courses for 11 years and served as a member of doctoral committees at MIT and the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his master's and doctoral degrees in 1995 and 1998, respectively.

Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Draper Laboratory is a not-for-profit, engineering research and development organization dedicated to solving critical national challenges in national security, space systems, biomedical systems, and energy. Core capabilities include guidance, navigation, and control; miniature low power systems; highly reliable complex systems; information and decision systems; autonomous systems; biomedical and chemical systems; and secure networks and communications. For more information, visit