Friday, September 30, 2016

McMillen Jacobs Associates promotes three associates to principal

McMillen Jacobs Associates recently announced the promotions of these three engineers to the position of Principal: 
Mark Lawrence, PE specializes in the design of permanent and temporary excavation support systems. With over 35 years of experience, he leads the excavation support design group in the San Francisco office. In 2011, Mark was the first recipient of the James Wilton award, an employee award honoring the memory of James Wilton, former principal and president of Jacobs Associates. Mark’s experience spans a multitude of projects. Notably, he provided design of slurry wall shaft excavation support systems for the Nicolai, pump station shafts for the Willamette River CSO Project, and the pump station shaft for the Brightwater Conveyance System. The Willamette Pump Station is still the largest-diameter slurry wall shaft constructed in soft ground in North America. Mark’s more recent work includes a dual-cell slurry wall shaft for the Watercare project’s Mangere Pump Station, a 110-foot-diameter by 94-foot-deep CSM shaft for the Humboldt Bay Power Plant decommissioning, several deep excavations in San Francisco for new underground space, and assistance with the declines in Sydney.
Jan Van Greunen, PhD, PE, has more than 40 years of  experience in conceiving, planning, managing, and coordinating analysis, design, and construction of civil engineering works and complex steel and concrete structures and is based out of the San Francisco office. Jan has provided structural design expertise and leadership on some of the firm’s largest and most complicated projects, from a structural perspective. This includes the Rondout-West Branch Bypass Tunnel, where the lining must resist an external water head ranging from 600 to 900 feet; the Caldecott Fourth Bore, which is close to the Hayward Fault, resulting in high seismic demands; the Claremont Bypass Tunnel, which crosses the Hayward Fault and includes a vault to accommodate the anticipated 8 feet of fault offset; and the Airport Link Caverns, which required span widths of up to 85 feet in plain concrete
John Waggoner, PG, CEG, has over 35 years of experience in the application of engineering geology to a diverse array of public and private sector civil engineering projects, including underground construction projects, dams and reservoirs, pipelines, highways and bridges, dewatering systems, and hazardous waste sites. Based in the Pasadena office, he applies geologic factors to the permitting, design, and construction process and has used this expertise to avoid or minimize complications during construction on many signature California projects. These include the San Jose to Merced leg of the California High Speed Rail Project, the Arrowhead Tunnels, and numerous assignments for LA Metro and MWD. John’s work on the Newhope-Placentia Truck Sewer Replacement design project in Orange County and the Chevy Chase Sewer construction management project in Glendale helps maintain his market understanding across Southern California.
Based in San Francisco, McMillen Jacobs Associates is an employee-owned environmental, engineering, and construction company providing a comprehensive array of technical services to the heavy civil, underground, and water resources markets. For more information, visit

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fireaway is building a full-scale fire research and test facility

Fireaway, the manufacturer of Stat-X condensed aerosol fire suppression generators, is constructing a new fire research and test facility at its agent manufacturing plant in Minden, Louisiana. This facility will be capable of full-scale testing of fire extinguishing systems in a volume exceeding 500 cubic meters. The capability will include data acquisition, video, IR imaging, and gas analysis. It will be the only facility of this size and capability in North America.

Once completed, this new facility will be used for testing to confirm the suitability of Stat-X aerosol systems to meet customers’ requirements, further development of Stat-X aerosol extinguishing systems, testing for new applications, and obtaining additional international approvals. 

Stat-X First Responders and Stat-X fixed systems are highly-advanced automatic condensed aerosol fire-suppression solutions used to save lives and protect assets. These units are deployed in tough conditions worldwide, including surface and underground mines, military vehicles, long haul buses, rolling stock, remote telecom sites, wind turbines, power substations, electrical cabinets, and various marine and off-shore settings. They are capable of being manually, thermally, or electrically activated by control panels.

Fireaway is an ISO 9001-2008 certified company with production facilities in Minnetonka, Minnesota and Minden, Louisiana. For more information, visit

Saturday, September 10, 2016

New science building at UNSW Australia showcases best practices in laboratory design

The new building for the School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at UNSW Australia (University of New South Wales) officially opened this past July with a ribbon-cutting ceremony presided over by top officials from UNSW and the state of New South Wales. The MSE building, also known as the Hilmer Building, houses Australia’s highest ranked materials and physical science research institute.

HDR, the lead laboratory architects and engineers, were selected with Grimshaw, head design consultant,  and TTW and Steensen Varming, principal consultants, based on the team’s design competition proposal, which married the precise functional and servicing requirements of physical and chemical science laboratories with the need for enhanced interaction between researchers, academics, and faculty members. 

“The MSE building includes laboratories that require the critical isolation of vibration, acoustics, electromagnetic and radio frequency interferences as well as accurate control of temperature and humidity in the laboratory environments,” states HDR Principal and Senior Vice President Ahmad Soueid. “Our comprehensive design team worked closely with UNSW as we applied the best design, planning, and engineering practices of relevant projects from across the globe. The result is a fully integrated design that provides many features for future flexibility and an adaptable laboratory scheme that will accommodate the dynamic changes in material sciences research and applications of materials technologies.”

The MSE building has also been designed to celebrate “science on display” with abundant research and collaboration space. The laboratory spaces make up the core of the facility and are transparent wherever possible, revealing the work of the researchers within. Surrounding the labs is a habitable skin consisting of meeting rooms, offices, and breakout spaces designed to encourage knowledge sharing. 

“We have created the new planning typology to evoke the best work from inspired individuals. The architecture’s primary purpose is to enable innovation and insight in research that sets new precedents globally. Invention and creativity arises through the intersection of many people,” shared Grimshaw Partner Andrew Cortese. “The porosity of the planning approach for the laboratory environment allows for activities to occur in connected research neighborhoods and academic forums, stacked both horizontally and vertically across the building, allowing interaction across all levels, departments, and research programs.”

HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities since 1917, specializing in engineering, architecture, environmental, and construction services. The firm has nearly 10,000 employees in more than 225 locations around the world. For more information, visit

Monday, September 5, 2016

Merritt Engineering celebratres 30 years of restoring New York City's skyline

Merritt Engineering, a New York-based veteran-owned small business (VOSB) firm specializing in building envelope restoration and structural design, celebrates 30 years of business. Founded by Charles Merritt, P.E. in 1986, after serving as JC Penny’s chief construction engineer and having gained over 30 years of structural design experience, Merritt set out to provide a quality engineering consulting service to building owners and managers throughout New York City.

The firm quickly built a reputation, as Mr. Merritt and his team assisted numerous facility owners and managers in restoring and maintaining their buildings’ exteriors. Over the last three decades, the firm has performed thousands of building inspections, condition surveys, and exterior rehabilitation projects throughout the NYC Metro Area as well as the entire United States.

Today, the company has 30 employees and offices in New York and Florida, working on highly visible, multi-million dollar restoration projects for commercial, residential, healthcare, and educational properties. Merritt continues to expand its services and markets while staying on the forefront of ever-changing technology and industry standards.

For more information, visit