Monday, September 17, 2018

Water and wastewater experts Nogaj and Kabouris join Cardno’s Clearwater office

Cardno has announced that Thomas Nogaj, PhD, PE and John Kabouris, PhD, PE have joined the firm as water and wastewater infrastructure practice group manager and wastewater technology specialist respectively.

Nogaj brings more than 30 years of experience in the civil and environmental engineering fields. He provides consulting and project management on a broad range of water/wastewater treatment and conveyance projects for facilities of all sizes. He holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Florida and Illinois.

Kabouris has more than 30 years of experience in environmental engineering, offering expertise in modeling, plant controls, and optimization of nutrient removal, sidestream and mainstream anammox process development and optimization, and advanced digestion and biogas utilization. He holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Florida. He is actively involved at the national level with the Water Environment Federation and is Associate Editor of the environmental journal Water Environment Research.

“Thomas and John have provided their wealth of expertise and research to numerous water and sewer departments in the United States and abroad, and that knowledge has resulted in significant financial savings and more effective systems for clients,” says Doug Stoker, Cardno Southeast Business Unit manager. “We are excited to have them on our team.”

Headquartered in Australia, Cardno is an international professional infrastructure and environmental services company with specialist expertise in the development and improvement of physical and social infrastructure for communities around the world. Cardno’s team includes professionals who plan, design, manage and deliver sustainable projects and community programs. For more information, visit

Saturday, September 8, 2018

StormwateRx introduces Purus Nitrate for stormwater treatment

StormwateRx, a stormwater treatment and filtration company based in Portland, Oregon, has announced the development and release of a new product in its line of Purus advanced polishers, Purus Nitrate targets soluble nitrate in industrial stormwater runoff. This system is ideal for industries where nitrogen compounds or petroleum products are used or where organic materials are processed, including fabricated metal products, food processing, and chemical manufacturing.

Purus Nitrate is normally installed and flow-matched in a "treatment train" configuration with StormwateRx's Aquip stormwater filtration technology, an upstream pre-filtration system. The typical removal efficiency of this technology falls in the range of 80 to 90 percent, usually to below the required numeric action levels (NALs) or benchmarks.

Purus Nitrate has a dissolved nitrate capacity exceeding 40 pounds (as nitrogen) for a typical 100 to 300 gallon-per-minute treatment flow rate. Slipstream treatment configurations are available to extend run-time when less nitrate needs to be removed from the stormwater.

StormwateRx designs, manufactures, installs, and maintains stormwater treatment systems for industrial customers throughout North America. For more information, visit

Note: Progressive Engineer ran a company profile on StormwateRx in 2010. See it at

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Nancy Lyon-Stadler to lead WSP Cleveland office

Nancy Lyon-Stadler has been appointed by WSP USA, an engineering and professional services consultancy, to lead its Cleveland, Ohio office. In her new position, Lyon-Stadler will be responsible for office management and expansion, product delivery, client engagement, and new business development.
Since Lyon-Stadler joined WSP as a senior principal engineer in 2015, she has been part of several transformational projects in northeast Ohio, including traffic-related aspects of the reconstruction of the George V. Voinovich Bridge, which opened in September 2016 and greatly improved traffic in downtown Cleveland. She also conducted traffic analysis and developed congestion mitigation strategies for the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, supporting the event organizers, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Cleveland Police. “Nancy has led multiple projects to improve livability in northeast Ohio communities through the integration of bicycle and pedestrian facilities and transit enhancements within the transportation network, including developing the design concept and implementation plan for Cleveland’s innovative Midway Cycle Track Plan,” says Jerry Jannetti, senior vice president and northeast regional manager at WSP.
Lyon-Stadler has over 30 years of engineering experience in the private and public sector with expertise in planning, design, and construction. She has been employed as a consulting engineer for more than 20 years and prior to that, she served as a civil engineering officer in the U.S. Air Force.
Lyon-Stadler has a B.S. in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and an M.S. in civil engineering from The Ohio State University. She is a registered professional engineer in Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina, as well as a licensed professional traffic operations engineer
            WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, is the U.S. operating company of the engineering and professional services firms WSP. Dedicated to serving local communities, the firm consists of engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors, and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water, and environment sectors. With more than 7,000 people in 100 offices across the United States, they partner with clients to help communities prosper. For more information, visit

Saturday, August 25, 2018

New ASTM International standard helps in construction of geosynthetic clay liners

A new ASTM International standard will help those who construct and install geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs), which are used to help with containment for landfills, coal combustion residual storage cells,
mining operations, and remediation and environmental protection projects. The new standard (D8204) focuses on evaluating both best practices as well as possible negative impacts of installing and constructing GCLs. ASTM’s committee on geosynthetics developed the standard.

According to ASTM International member Kent von Maubeuge, the new standard is meant to be used with full-scale GCL installation test pads, not laboratory evaluations. “The practices outlined in the standard provide for project-specific parameters and thus can provide real project insight into how GCL materials should be installed on a specific site to achieve optimal engineered barrier performance,” says von Maubeuge, director, corporate identity and corporate communication and senior product manager, NAUE GmbH & Co. KG.

According to von Maubeuge, who chairs the GCL subcommittee, insights from using the new standard will help design engineers, facility and project owners, specification writers, certified quality auditors, and geosynthetic installers. Also, manufacturers will benefit from the variations in data from different test pads, which may support the development of future GCL products.

To purchase standards, contact ASTM International customer relations at 877-909-ASTM or

Saturday, August 11, 2018

ACAA selects architectural and engineering firms to design new terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport

Following months of research, technical and creative presentations, interviews and evaluations, the Allegheny County Airport Authority recently announced the architectural and engineering firms selected to design a new terminal that will transform Pittsburgh International Airport for a modern travel experience. Gensler, headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and HDR, headquartered in Omaha, NE, have entered into a joint-venture agreement to design and deliver the Terminal Modernization Program.

The joint venture team has formed an association with luis vidal + architects, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, to develop the architectural design vision for the new terminal that consolidates check-in, ticketing, security and baggage operations into one connected facility. HDR will handle engineering implementation of the design.

Airport Authority Board members approved a $15 million contract with the joint venture team for initial design concepts to be drafted over the next few months, as the Authority also works to engage key stakeholders and gather input into final design of the new terminal. The initial design concept is expected to be unveiled early next year.

“We are confident that we have assembled a world-class team with the vision, knowledge and experience necessary to work with all of our partners in building Pittsburgh’s airport – an airport that will transform the travel experience now and into the future and continue advancing our region,” says Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis. “Our selection team has carefully researched best airport design and modernization practices and worked to review qualifications of the firms, their proposals and references.”

Eleven firms responded to the initial request for qualifications in January. Of those, four were invited to submit full proposals, make creative and technical presentations and be interviewed by a selection committee. The firms were evaluated on criteria including experience, team composition and responsibilities, design and management approach, quality assurance and cost control, and DBE/local participation.

Gensler, which has offices in 46 cities around the world including in Pennsylvania, designed the 32-story Tower at PNC Plaza in Downtown Pittsburgh, along with Incheon International Airport in Korea. From facilities serving executive or regional aircraft to those at the largest, most prestigious international hubs, Gensler provides experience-focused design. “Gensler is thrilled to be part of this transformational project,” says Ty Osbaugh, Aviation Leader and Principal at Gensler. “At our core, we seek to enhance the passenger experience through design. Meshing our team with the ambition of the ACAA, we look forward to jointly creating a world-class experience for Western Pennsylvania.”

The portfolio of HDR, which has 10,000 employees and more than 200 offices worldwide, including an office on Stanwix Street downtown, includes universities, hospitals, modernization of the Honolulu International Airport, and locally, the Greenfield Bridge replacement project. The firm is also noted for innovations in green building design and sustainability. “HDR is committed to leveraging our technical, multidisciplinary expertise to help create Pittsburgh’s next world class airport,” says Bill Peduzzi, HDR Aviation Director. “As a lifelong resident, I am thrilled to apply what I have learned from a career spent in airport development and hope to inspire the next generation of aviation leaders to continue to innovate and enhance the role great airports can play in a community.”

luis vidal + architects, which has offices across Spain, the UK, Dominican Republic, Chile, and the United States, cites Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport among its impressive list of projects. In the United States, the practice is currently working at the international airports of Denver, Boston Logan and Dallas Fort Worth. Vidal himself also was a leader of the design team of the Terminal 4 project at Madrid-Barajas Airport in Spain. “The Pittsburgh International Airport project will reflect its community; a design that is bold, unique and competitive and that will provide the first and last impression that people will carry with them of the Pittsburgh region,” Luis Vidal remarks.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Uplift Data Partners integrates with PlanGrid to give builders immediate access to drone imagery

Uplift Data Partners, the data capture pilot platform for enterprise businesses, recently announced it has integrated with PlanGrid, which specializes in construction productivity software. Uplift's 2D and 3D aerial drone imagery is now accessible directly into PlanGrid, giving construction teams a real-time view of job sites and improving their ability to detect costly errors and reduce rework.

Previously, Uplift's drone-captured images were housed within its portal and PlanGrid users had to log in to both platforms to access these images. Now, project team members in the field, trailer, and office can easily access drone imagery directly from PlanGrid, improving team communications, reducing change orders, and providing real-time updates to current project status.

Since 2015, Uplift Data Partners has delivered aerial insights for the AEC industry. Uplift's solution combines an extensive network of skilled and highly trained pilots, broad knowledge of FAA airspace rules, and a proactive approach to compliance and regulatory guidelines. Using Uplift's drone service, builders can accurately survey a project and detect mistakes by overlaying site designs and line work onto the drone imagery.

"The integration of drone imagery into PlanGrid is a huge accomplishment for us," says Suzanne El-Moursi, president of Uplift Data Partners. "Uplift Data Partners provides drone service for the AEC industry. We are passionate about enabling the free flow of drone data to further augment and support other data sources, increasing the value of the overall insight to the end user, in this case, the project engineer."

"Our goal at PlanGrid is to increase productivity through innovative and impactful technology," says James Cook, head of strategic alliances and partnerships at PlanGrid. "Drone technology provides immeasurable insights into the progress and accuracy of a construction site, and Uplift Data Partners has established itself as a cutting-edge platform with its expertise of compliance and airspace regulations. The integration of Uplift's drone imagery into PlanGrid will give our customers a real-time view of jobsites and further improve their productivity."

The integration of two companies will benefit enterprise customers who use both PlanGrid and Uplift, as seen recently with Clayco, a full-service real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm. For the past three years, Clayco has used Uplift Data Partners as their drone provider, leveraging the company's drone expertise across their portfolio of projects. Now, Clayco will migrate all their projects onto PlanGrid's platform, using both companies' capabilities and taking advantage of a seamless experience.

Uplift Data Partners was founded in 2015 in Chicago. Its network covers the United States, and its network-wide night waiver allows for completing night missions. For more information, visit and

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The world has embraced robots; should the U.S. should follow suit?

America has long been a forerunner in other revolutions — industrial, technological and digital. But, is the United States prepared for the robotic revolution? As other countries embark on initiatives to encourage the adoption of automated technologies, Ryan Gutherie, executive vice president of six-axis and SCARA robot supplier TM Robotics, investigates America’s relationship with robots.

According to the World Robot Statistics, 74 robots per 10,000 employees is the world’s average robot density. The United States sits comfortably above this, at 189 robots per 10,000 employees. However, despite welcoming robotics to automotive production lines as early as the 1960s, the nation is still perceived as keeping automation at arm’s length.

In 2016, the country began to climb the robot density ranks and today, the United States ranks seventh in the world, behind South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Denmark. This figure has been significantly boosted by the necessary modernization of U.S. production facilities as well as a growing demand for products made in the United States. What’s more, robot sales in the country are expected to increase by at least 15 per cent per year between now and 2020. Put simply, the market is showing no signs of slowing down.

Despite the rapid uptake in automation, though, more than 70 per cent of American’s still express wariness and concern about the rise of robots in our workplaces, according to Pew Research. Perhaps they read the report by the McKinsey Global Institute stating that 73 million U.S. jobs could be under threat of automation by 2030. This sounds threatening, but is the robot revolution really such a bad thing?

Arguably not. Consider this as an example. A manufacturer that saves money on labor by using automation has two options. Lower product prices or generate more profit. Both outcomes can result in increased investment, higher demand and, in turn, more opportunity for employment.

This isn’t just theoretical. Across the pond in Europe, the SPARC research project is a partnership scheme set to increase Europe’s robotics adoptions. It’s estimated to create 240,000 new jobs on the continent as a result of implementing and maintaining automated processes.

Amazon also provides a U.S. example of this phenomenon — albeit in warehousing, rather than manufacturing. Over a three-year period, the company increased the number of robots in its storerooms from 1,400 to a colossal 45,000. During the same period, the rate at which the company hires workers did not slow down or reduce, as the company’s capacity has also increased due to automation.

Increased deployment of robotics forces a shift from manually intensive labor to jobs that require human skills that robots cannot replicate. Rather than overseeing repetitive manufacturing tasks, like the pick-and-place and assembly processes usually associated with SCARA robots, increased automation can enable workers to manage more complex roles.

America didn’t shy away from spearheading the industrial, technological, and digital revolutions. As a nation, we cannot ignore the growing implications of failing to adopt today’s robotics and automated technologies.

As a distributor of six-axis, Cartesian and SCARA robots from Toshiba Machine, TM Robotics has a vested interest in improving America’s perception of automation. Regardless, rather than fearing the rise of the robot, the United States needs to further embrace the technology or risk getting left behind in the global manufacturing race.

TM Robotics has installed thousands of robots in factories throughout the world, including North and South America, India, Russia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia. In partnership with Toshiba Machine, TM Robotics is the only company that offers a comprehensive range of all three categories of robots; 6-axis, SCARA, and Cartesian. These are designed and built in-house. TM Robotics delivers solutions, training, and support services for industrial and commercial applications. For further information please visit

Friday, July 20, 2018

Merritt Engineering Consultants publishes its Summer eNews

Established in 1986, Merritt Engineering Consultants specializes in building restoration and structural design and has experience in fa├žade restorations, roofing and waterproofing, historic/landmark preservation, design/rehabilitations, and construction administration. Based in Bayside, NY, they handle properties throughout the United States including commercial, residential, healthcare, government, and educational facilities.

Below are two articles from their latest newsletter, which they dub the Latest News in Building Restoration.

Getting the biggest bang for your buck
When it comes to restoring your building, the road to cost savings may be different than you think. 
Building Owners and Property Managers have one thing in common with all consumers – when purchasing a product or service, they want to get the most value out of their investment. For this reason, it’s important to strategically plan when necessary repair work on your building is conducted. Say for example, you are resorting your building’s facade. To save on costs, you may opt to only do the bare minimum, patching over cracks or addressing only those items listed in your Facade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP) report.

While this approach may seem most economical, an important factor often overlooked is the fact that the cost for things like scaffolds and sidewalk bridges must be absorbed by the building owner and shareholders, regardless of how much work they opt to do. Therefore, when a board or owner tries to save money by spreading necessary repair work over several years or stages, the costs of reinstalling scaffolds, sidewalk bridges, and filing for permits year after year can really add up – making it much more costly in the end. For that reason, it is best to conduct as much of the necessary maintenance work as possible while the scaffolds and sidewalk sheds are already in place.

Florida 40-Year Recertification - Structural & Electrical Elements
In a previous issue, we touched upon the importance of completing your building's 40-Year Recertification inspection, and now we’re back to address specific filing questions.

Q: Who can perform the mandatory inspection and then file the form?
A: A Florida Registered Architect or Engineer.

Q: Which building components are the qualified professionals looking at?
A: Building Envelope and Structural elements as well electrical building systems.

Q: What are the possible classifications?
A: Either "Repairs Required", or "Safe, if no deficiencies are found.

Q: How often does an Owner have to file?
A: You have 180 days to address the deficiencies noted or, if classified as "Safe", the next inspection is due in 10 years.
If you would like to request a proposal, please contact the Florida team at (954) 961-0009.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

DENSO awards nearly $1 Million in STEM education grants to colleges

 DENSO, a large automotive supplier of technology and components, constantly searches for ways to increase young people’s access to technical education and help develop tomorrow’s workforce. Aiding this effort, the company’s philanthropic arm – DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) – has announced it will donate nearly $1 million in overall funding to 25 institutions of higher learning across North America to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational programming. These grants help achieve DENSO’s goal of exposing students to the rewarding careers available in manufacturing and advance the industry forward by enhancing programs that will produce the next wave of highly-skilled problemsolvers.

DNAF funds will be delivered to programs focused on design, materials management, mechanical and electrical engineering principles, thermodynamics, robotics and more – all intended to help cultivate and encourage a new generation of engineers and skilled workers. “As a global technology and automotive leader, it’s vital for DENSO to advance young people’s education in engineering, technology and other related programs,” says Doug Patton, president of the DENSO North America Foundation and executive vice president of engineering at DENSO International America. “To remain competitive in this ever-evolving, hi-tech landscape calls for a workforce that is skilled, well-trained and able to adapt quickly. We feel great responsibility to prepare students for what’s next – for the health of our industry and their future careers.”

“Manufacturing and automotive companies need technically-minded associates now more than ever,” says David Cole, DENSO North American Foundation board member. “By supporting programs that emphasize STEM learning experiences in real-world settings, we hope to help students explore their passions, find a worthwhile and fulfilling career path, and help our communities prosper.”

DNAF has supported STEM education through grants at colleges and universities since 2001, enabling students to access tools, technology, and experiences that better prepare them for technical careers after graduation. DENSO education grant proposals are invite only and evaluated based on technical merit, student experience, and alignment with industry needs.

This year’s grant recipientsinclude:

Arkansas State University – Jonesboro
California State University Long Beach
California State Polytechnic - Pomona
Cleveland State Community College
CONALEP; Technician National Education
Conestoga College
East Tennessee State University
FIME; Mechanical and Electrical Engineer College
Kettering University
Lawrence Tech University
Michigan State University
Michigan Tech University
North Carolina State
Northeast State Community College
Oakland University
Ohio State University
Pellissippi State Community College
Tennessee Tech University
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
University of Guelph
University of Michigan Dearborn
University of Tennessee Chattanooga
University of Tennessee Knoxville
West Virginia University
Western Michigan University

DENSO is looking to hire new talent across North America as it continues its pursuit to shape and improve future mobility solutions for all. Positions are available in a variety of roles, business units and locations. Those interested can apply at

DENSO is a global supplier of advanced technology, systems, and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information, and safety. With its North American headquarters located in Southfield, Michigan, DENSO employs more than 23,000 people at 28 consolidated subsidiaries and 4 affiliates across North American. Of these, 25 are manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs more than 17,000 people in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, DENSO Corp., has more than 220 subsidiaries in 35 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs approximately 170,000 people worldwide. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development. For more information, go to or connect with DENSO on Facebook at

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Tata & Howard wins Silver Engineering Excellence Award

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) has named engineering firm Tata & Howard as a winner of a 2018 Silver Engineering Excellence Awards for its engineering services on the Long Pond Water Treatment Plant in Falmouth, MA.

Headquartered in Marlborough, MA, Tata & Howard also has offices in Lakeville, MA; Concord, NH; Portland, ME; St. Johnsbury, VT; and Flagstaff, AZ and specializes in water, wastewater, stormwater, and environmental services. The firm was retained by the Town of Falmouth to provide lead engineering services for the design and construction administration of the new 8.4 million gallon per day Long Pond Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in Falmouth.  The new WTP, which replaces an 1890s-era facility that operated under a filtration waiver, provides the town with the ability to meet current regulatory requirements and remove pathogens, taste, odor, organic matter, and algae/algal toxins; produce stable water quality; and provide flexibility to meet uncertain future regulatory and water quality challenges.

“The awards honor this year’s most outstanding engineering accomplishments in Massachusetts,” said ACEC/MA President Michael Scipione, PE president and CEO of Weston & Sampson Engineering. “They are excellent examples of how engineers create projects that improve our lives and communities. Professional engineers are dedicated to providing quality infrastructure, providing safe and reliable water and energy, and making our buildings safe and energy efficient. We congratulate our winners on their exceptional achievements.”

ACEC/MA is the business association of the Massachusetts engineering industry, representing over 120 independent engineering companies engaged in the development of transportation, environmental, industrial, and other infrastructure. Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Boston, MA, ACEC/MA is a member organization of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) based in Washington, DC. ACEC is a national federation of 51 state and regional organizations. For more information on ACEC/MA, visit their website at ACEC/MA is undertaking an awareness campaign to educate the public on the many contributions engineers make in everyday life through their hash tag #EngineeringGoFigure. To Follow us on Twitter:  @ACECMA

Monday, June 25, 2018

Cearns to direct alternative delivery for WSP’s northeast and central regions

Denny Cearns has been named director of alternative delivery for the northeast and central regions of WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, an engineering and professional services consultancy. Based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, Cearns will manage the pursuit and execution of projects using alternative delivery methods covering various markets, including highways, transit and rail, and aviation, drawing on the firm’s extensive experience in alternative project delivery, including design-build and public-private partnerships (P3). Cearns will focus on identifying and applying best practices to improve efficiency, identify and mitigate project risks, and meet cost and schedule objectives.
“Having Denny Cearns join us as part of our alternate delivery team strengthens our focus on delivery and relationships with contractors. We are pleased to have him on our team,” says Fred Tallarico, the firm’s national director of alternative delivery. “Denny’s strong leadership skills are a welcome addition to supplement our efforts and acumen in alternate delivery service with contractors and concessionaires,” adds Bernie McNeilly, chief operating officer of WSP’s U.S. transportation and infrastructure business.
Prior to joining WSP, Cearns served as alternative delivery director for a major professional services firm, responsible for strategic planning and business development, contract development and negotiation, and supervision of project operations. His experience includes managing the firm’s work on one of the largest public works projects in Nevada, which involved improvements to I-15 along the Las Vegas strip. He also served as the design director for the Purple Line Transit P3 Project in Maryland.
A licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Washington, Cearns holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. He is affiliated with the Design-Build Institute of America.
WSP helps cities, transit authorities, redevelopment agencies, and developers structure alternative delivery transactions, secure federal, state and local public finance resources, and integrate private investment into public infrastructure projects. The firm’s alternative delivery practice provides public sector planning, procurement advisory and contract administration, and private investor advisory services to advance infrastructure development. With its knowledge of the P3 market and the operation and management of infrastructure assets, WSP also provides investor advisory services to buyers or sellers seeking to maximize value with acceptable risk.
WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, is the U.S. operating company of WSP, an engineering and professional services firms. Dedicated to serving local communities, we are engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment sectors. With more than 7,000 people in 100 offices across the U.S., we partner with our clients to help communities prosper. For more information, visit

Sunday, June 10, 2018

NCSU researchers improve food bank effectiveness and equity

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed new computer models to improve the ability of food banks to feed as many people as possible, as equitably as possible, while reducing food waste. Food banks serve as networks, collecting food from many different sources and distributing it to local agencies that then share it with people in need. The researchers, who launched this project eight years ago, quickly realized that there is a great deal of uncertainty in food bank operations. Supply and demand both fluctuate, which researchers anticipated.
“But we found that capacity – the ability of local agencies to collect, transport, store and distribute food – was also variable,” says Julie Ivy, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work. “These agencies are often small and rely heavily on volunteers. “Our goal was to develop models that account for uncertainty in a food bank network’s capacity and can help food banks distribute food efficiently and equitably – ensuring all of the regions served by the food bank are treated fairly – while minimizing food waste.”
“Our work here was conducted with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, but these are challenges that are common to most, if not all, food banks, as well as for national food collection and distribution networks, such as Feeding America,” says Irem Sengul Orgut, a former Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of the paper. Orgut now works for Lenovo.
For this project, the researchers developed two models, which can be used in conjunction with each other. The first model uses historical data to establish ranges of how much capacity each county has. The model then uses those ranges, in conjunction with each county’s needs, to determine how food supplies should be distributed. The second model takes into account each county’s need and capacity – or ability to distribute food in a timely way – to try to feed as many people as possible, as equitably as possible, across counties before the food goes bad.
“Some counties have agencies with more volunteers, more refrigerated storage, or better transportation resources, allowing them to distribute more food before it goes bad,” says Reha Uzsoy, a co-author of the paper and Clifton A. Anderson Distinguished Professor in NC State’s Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering. “But if those counties get all the food, it wouldn’t be equitable – other counties would suffer. The second model aims to find the best possible balance of those two factors.”
“We now have these two models, which are pretty complex,” Ivy says. “We’re currently working with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to find ways to implement the models that are user friendly for food bank staff and volunteers.”
Specifically, the researchers are working with North Carolina A&T University and a company called Performigence to develop software that can be used to expand these models and put them into use. That work is being done with support from the National Science Foundation, under a grant titled PFI:BIC – Flexible, Equitable, Efficient, and Effective Distribution (FEEED).
“This work is relevant to food banks, broadly, but the fundamental issues are also relevant to disaster relief efforts,” Ivy says. “Really, any situation in which there is a scarce resource, a need for equity, and a robust suite of challenges in distributing the resource. As a result, this may also be of interest to disaster relief researchers.”

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Nine GAI Consultants employees graduate from Point Park University MBA program

In partnership with Point Park University in Pittsburgh, GAI Consultants (GAI) recently graduated its fourth on-site Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree class. The University’s corporate MBA was launched in the fall of 2009, with GAI among the first businesses in the Pittsburgh region to take advantage of the program.
GAI’s degree program was designed with employee needs in mind, with course topics and projects related to the firm’s business and industry. The accelerated, fully accredited MBA program is a cornerstone of GAI’s in-house leadership development initiative and is open to all GAI employees who meet the minimum requirements. Point Park University professors teach classes exclusively to GAI employees at the firm’s Pittsburgh office once a week, with telecasting via Skype for Business available for employees at other locations.

The current MBA class includes nine employees from four of the firm’s 25 offices:
o    Pittsburgh-based Todd Wilson, PE, senior project engineer
o    Indianapolis-based Michael Wenning, PE, transportation services director
o    Murrysville-based Alexandria Brunstad, project technical specialist; David Bevilacqua, assistant vice president; and Tim Lonas, project EIT
o    Orlando-based Peter Sechler, PLA, AICP, assistant vice president; Abner Serrano, senior EI; Aimee Shields, PE, senior engineering manager; and Jeffrey Tuell, PE,  engineering manager

Gary DeJidas, PE, MBA, CEO and board chairman, GAI Consultants remarks: “It gives me great pride to celebrate the successful graduation of GAI’s fourth MBA class. This unique partnership with Point Park University affords GAI staff a tremendous opportunity for career growth and personal achievement. Congratulations to each and every graduate for achieving this milestone.”

With offices throughout the eastern and midwestern United States, 60-year-old, GAI Consultants is an employee-owned company that delivers engineering, planning, and environmental expertise to energy, transportation, development, government, and industrial clients worldwide. For more information, visit

Friday, May 25, 2018

Identified Technologies releases new drone mapping analytics capabilities

Pittburgh, PA-based Identified Technologies has announced a suite of new drone mapping features and services for its customers in the engineering, construction, energy, and mining sectors. The new features, which will be launched throughout 2018, include:

Haul Road Analysis - Allows the user to incorporate mapped haul roads into the orthomosaic they receive when flying their site by drone. This analysis will cover the slope and width of the road. 

Slope Maps - Enables a user to move a cursor over any point to see the exact slope for that location. It will show slopes by both degree and percent grade.

Plan IQ Camera View - Provides a livestream of what the camera sees when the drone is flying.  This is particularly valuable for maintaining continuous line of sight on the drone as it flies, as required by the FAA regulations.

Change Detection Tool Color Coding - Empowers users to change the colors in this tool so they can color code piles of different things and measure change accordingly.

Enterprise Site Permissions - Gives users more control over shared data, so they can customize the level of access and control they want to grant individual customers, contractors, and stakeholders.

DJI Inspire 2 Drone - Customers will receive upgrades to the new DJI Inspire 2 with their Identified Technologies subscription. The Inspire 2 has enhanced accuracy, robustness and obstacle sense and avoid (SAA) capabilities.

The most dramatic changes to Identified Technologies’ Site IQ software capabilities are the Haul Road Analysis and Slope Map features. For these quickly constructed and heavily trafficked dirt roads, steep slopes result in dramatic increases in gas consumption and costs, accelerated wear and tear on vehicles, or exacerbated hazards from ice and inclement weather.

Going from .02 % to .01% slope doubles the fuel efficiency of the vehicle traveling on it, as it is documented that a 10% change in slope can affect the fuel efficiency by 10%. Given this fuel efficiency, a single large piece of equipment on a less steep slope could save a company $400,000 in fuel over a three-year project.

Identified empowers companies with the ability to track progress on highways, well pads, mines, and landfills in near real-time. Identified’s integrated software and services takes care of everything from FAA compliance and flight planning to advanced analytics. Learn more at

Friday, May 11, 2018

RETTEW purchases geophysics company Enviroscan

RETTEW has purchased Enviroscan based in Lancaster, PA. The transaction joins the specialized geophysics services of Enviroscan with RETTEW’s engineering, surveying, and environmental consulting business. Geophysics is the science of detecting and mapping underground or underwater hidden objects and features. Enviroscan specializes in non-destructive, non-intrusive investigations to make digging, drilling, or earthmoving faster, safer, easier, and less expensive. The geophysics services will integrate directly into RETTEW’s existing earth sciences services, which include geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and subsurface utility engineering investigations.

Formed in 1992, Enviroscan is a certified women-owned business enterprise. All employees, including principals and corporate owners, will work from RETTEW’s offices in Manor Township, Lancaster County, PA. Enviroscan will operate as the geophysics service area under the RETTEW brand name.

“This purchase aligns perfectly with RETTEW’s strategic plan and complements our niche technical expertise,” says Mark Lauriello, president and CEO of RETTEW. “The high quality of work and people at Enviroscan are also a good fit with RETTEW’s culture – we’re known for working hard and playing hard, and caring about our communities.”

RETTEW began providing civil engineering and surveying services in 1969. Today the firm has more than 350 employees and 11 offices in Allentown, Conshohocken, Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Pittsburgh, State College and Williamsport, PA; St. Clairsville and Uniontown, Ohio; Bridgeport, WV; and Denver, CO. For more information, visit

Sunday, May 6, 2018

New ASTM International geosynthetics standard supports erosion control

A new ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) International standard supports geosynthetic cementitious composite mats (GCCM), a new family of materials that can help control erosion, protect slopes and berms, and line ditches and culverts. The new standard (D8173) identifies proper layout, installation, and hydration procedures for GCCM. It also describes equipment for designers, inspectors, and installers and provides a checklist for contractors to use before installations.

“This standard provides details on fastening, overlapping, attachments, anchoring and other topics critical to good GCCM installation,” says ASTM International member John Paulson of Dison Contracting and Supply, LLC. “The new standard will help minimize or eliminate common mistakes that may be made by a first-time installer.” Paulson notes that because GCCM is unique to geosynthetics and erosion control applications, the committee hopes to develop more standards related to testing, installation, and classification.

Anyone is welcome to help create these standards. Become a member at To purchase standards, contact ASTM International customer relations at 877-909-ASTM or

ASTM International develops standards to positively impact public health and safety, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. They integrate consensus standards developed with its international membership of volunteer technical experts and innovate services to improve lives and help the world work better.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Recreation and water quality expert Brian McRae joins Cardno's Reno office

Cardno, Inc. has announced that Brian McRae, PE, QSD/QSP has joined the firm as a senior consultant in the company’s Reno, Nevada office. He has 22 years of experience as a civil engineer, specializing in recreation, water quality, and infrastructure projects throughout California and Nevada.

McRae’s previous work includes support for the design and planning of over a dozen miles of bike trails in northern Nevada and California. His project expertise includes construction management, stormwater quality, erosion control, geotechnical engineering, and water rights.  Brian is an active member of the International Erosion Control Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Public Works Association. 

“Brian will be a strong asset for our clients on many kinds of recreational and water quality projects around Lake Tahoe, Reno, and elsewhere,” says Cardno Senior Consultant Mark Gookin. “He’s a true expert in navigating complex, multifaceted environmental projects.”

With some 6000 staff members in over 130 offices around the world, Cardno is a professional infrastructure and environmental services company with specialist expertise in the development and improvement of physical and social infrastructure for communities around the world. Cardno’s team includes professionals who plan, design, manage, and deliver sustainable projects and community programs. For more information, visit

Sunday, March 18, 2018

VCU School of Engineering receives GO Virginia funding

GO Virginia has announced that the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Engineering has been awarded a grant intended to spur economic development across the region. The $500,000 grant will support commercialization efforts to implement FDA-approved, sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing in Virginia using innovative, low-cost technologies while also increasing the highly skilled workforce needed to support the pharmaceutical industry. This initiative will further demonstrate that new, advanced manufacturing technologies can help create an industry cluster or network of interrelated businesses to invent, build, and grow highly efficient pharmaceutical manufacturing with the potential for wide-ranging benefits across the state.

In its initial phase, VCU’s Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering will engage with Bright Path Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, to commercialize new pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. VCU and Bright Path intend to create jobs and grow economic activity in the region.

The GO Virginia award is further evidence of the continued progress of the Medicines for All Institute within the School of Engineering. The institute, which recently received additional funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is allowing B. Frank Gupton, Ph.D., the Floyd D. Gottwald Jr. Chair and chair of the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, to manufacture pharmaceuticals in ways that significantly lower costs and increase access to these lifesaving medications for people around the world.

“This funding from Go Virginia, coupled with additional support from the city of Richmond and other regional governmental entities, demonstrates broad-based support for initiatives that will create new, high-paying jobs and eventually reduce the cost of many pharmaceuticals,” says Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D., the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Chair and dean of the VCU School of Engineering. “It underscores that we are going in the right direction by creating collaborative relationships with companies like Bright Path that have the capability to deploy new technologies and bring beneficial changes to the world,” she adds.

As the first commercial partner, Bright Path Pharmaceuticals will combine VCU School of Engineering research with its own technologies to build low-cost, highly efficient pharmaceutical manufacturing systems expected to receive FDA approval and create new production capabilities for global markets. Bright Path is expected to bring significant operations to the Richmond area, says Tony Quinones, a founder of Bright Path Pharmaceuticals. “As a newcomer to the Richmond area, we are pleased to be part of the GO Virginia initiative and look forward to rapidly scaling up our operations. We are excited about the opportunities provided by the relationship with VCU Engineering,” Quinones said.

The partnership aims to create a Virginia-based industry network driven by rapid process innovation, development of new equipment, and a workforce to bring these advanced systems to a commercial level. It ultimately seeks to create partnerships across the state, with expansion to other for-profit and not-for-profit entities around the world.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

McMillen Jacobs Associates announces six new principals

McMillen Jacobs Associates announces six principal promotions in the firm’s Underground Division.

John Murray, P.E. is the firm’s New York City and Roseland, New Jersey office manager. Murray has 20 years of experience as a design engineer and project manager on several major tunnel design projects. He has served as a design lead and project manager on a number of design-build and design-bid-build tunnel projects, and his experience includes planning, preliminary design, final design, procurement support, and design support during construction. His experience includes large-diameter water, wastewater, mass transit, and highway tunnels. Murray is currently the design manager for the Catskill Aqueduct Repair and Rehabilitation Project in Upstate New York and is leading the firm’s efforts as part of the program management team on the Ottawa Rail Transit project for the City of Ottawa. He earned his MS in Geotechnical Engineering and BS in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a registered Professional Engineer in New York and Georgia.

Kristian Nelson CPEng, PEng, IntPE, is the firm’s Auckland, New Zealand office manager and has worked for 19 years as a civil engineer in Canada and New Zealand specializing in complex marine, temporary works, and ground improvement methods. He has extensive experience planning and delivering projects that maintain client access to facilities and working around operational activities. Nelson is currently the design manager on the Army Bay WWTP Upgrade and Outfall Replacement in Auckland. He earned his BASc in Civil Engineering from University of British Columbia. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer in New Zealand, a Professional Engineer in BC, Canada, and an International Professional Engineer.

Troy Page, PE, is an underground cost estimator with 34 years of experience. He started as a tunnel laborer in Chicago while in school and worked his way up the ranks. He spent 24 years with heavy construction contractors, primarily working on tunnels, shafts, and underground caverns. He has experience in most tunneling methods as well as grouting, estimating, and claims. He develops detailed engineering estimates, performs design feasibility and constructability reviews, and reviews contractor submittals. Page has provided cost estimating services on some of the firm’s most significant tunneling projects, including the Akron Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel, Ottawa Light Rail Transit, Central Subway PM/CM, and Ship Canal Water Quality Project. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of North Dakota and is a Professional Engineer in New York.

Samuel Swartz, PE, is the firm’s newly opened Chicago office manager. He has 19 years of engineering experience with the firm, working on major tunnel design projects. He has served as project manager and design lead on a number of large tunneling projects, including planning, preliminary design, final design, and design support during construction. Swartz is currently leading the final design for Metro Vancouver’s Second Narrows Water Supply Tunnel in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He earned his MS in Civil Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in California, Washington, and Illinois.

Mark Trim, CPEng, PE, has 19 years of experience working as a design engineer and manager specializing in permanent and temporary underground structures with an emphasis on tunnel design, deep excavation support systems, soil–structure interaction, and ground improvement technology. A few of the more notable projects he has worked on in North America and Australia are the WestConnex M4 East Project (Sydney, AU), Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project (Ottawa, CAN), Airport Link Project (Brisbane, AU), and Northern Sewerage Project (Melbourne, AU). He is a Chartered Professional Engineer in Australia and a Registered Civil Engineer in New York, Texas, and Washington. He earned his MS in Mining and Earth Systems Engineering and a BS in Civil Engineering from Colorado School of Mines. Mark works in the Sydney, Australia office, which he opened in 2014.

Sarah Wilson, PE, CCM has applied her combined experience in design and construction management to solving problems on underground projects, primarily in water supply and rail transit, for more than 18 years.  Sarah recently served as resident engineer for the SFMTA Central Subway’s $234M Tunnels and $294M Union Square Market Street Station contracts. She currently oversees the firm’s construction management practice as well as serving on the board of directors. She is a past president of the American Rock Mechanics Association and is currently working on an update to the UCA of SME’s publication Recommended Contract Practices for Underground Construction. She earned her MS in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, where she is a regularly invited lecturer, and her BS in Civil Engineering from Drexel University, where she was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” in 2015. Sarah is a Registered Professional Civil Engineer in California and a CMAA Certified Construction Manager.

With offices all over the United States and in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, McMillen Jacobs Associates is an employee-owned environmental, engineering, and construction company providing an array of technical services to the heavy civil, underground, and water resources markets.

Friday, February 9, 2018

AEC Management Solutions publishes "Ten Reasons Many A/E Firms Are Underachieving"

AEC Management Solutions, a firm based in Matawan, NJ that helps engineering firms and architects maximize profits, has published its list of reasons firms underachieve:

10. Lack of Accountability
Lack of accountability can and does occur at levels of an underachieving company.  Whether it is partner to partner, partner to project manager or project manager to staff -- seldom are people held accountable for missing deadlines, sloppy work or over budget projects.

9. Accepting Mediocrity

If mediocrity is your goal you will probably succeed.  This goes hand in hand with number 10.  Expectations of employee performance are often set far too low -- and employees do their best to barely achieve it.

8. Lack of Employee Recognition and Employee Rewards
When hard working overachieving employees are not recognized by their supervisors for their hard work it can be demoralizing.  Instead of their performance raising the performance expectations for all employees, it has the opposite effect.  The overachievers become demoralized and they sink to the level of the underachievers.  Public recognition of their hard work and meaningful financial incentives will go a long way in keeping their performance at a high level and inspiring many of the others to do the same.

7. Majoring in Minor Things
Far too many employees fall into the trap of spending too much time in a reactive state of busy work.  They read and respond to unimportant e-mails, returning non-urgent phone calls, attending far too many unproductive meetings, spending time with uninvited drop-in visitors and so on.  This leaves little time to work on the most important items such as producing the work product or closing the deal on a new project

6. Making the Loss-Leader a Way of Life
All too often in my career I have seen severely under-priced projects justified as a loss-leader.  The theory behind the loss-leader is that once the client sees how wonderful we are at producing high quality work and servicing their needs, they will then become a long term client at full pricing.  There are so many things wrong with this theory that one hardly knows where to start (I will go in to more detail in a future article).  The reality is that once you set the price expectation they will expect it all the time.  Another problem is that you won the project on price.  Won't they also be willing to leave you in the future if one of your competitors offers them a lower price?

5. A Lack of Planning
The strategic plan for many firms can be described as follows:
a. Bring in as much work as we can
b. Do our best to create a great design and satisfy the client
c. Hope that we make some money

This strategy may keep a company afloat during prosperous times, but when the tide goes out you are left there without a plan for weathering the tough times.  With the help of an outside facilitator, the most successful firms take time every year to develop or update a strategic plan that:
a. Assesses their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
b. Outlines what the company will look like in 3 to 5 years, including markets served, services offered, revenues and profits
c. Prepares an action plan where key members of the firm commit to follow-up on the plan

4. Not Communicating with the Staff
All too often I work with firms where the partners are not communicating with the staff on the plan for transforming the firm into something more than exists today.  Given this vacuum of communication, the staff is left to assume there is no plan at all.  The most successful firms articulate their plans to the staff, so every employee can be a pro-active participant in helping to achieve the company's goals.

3. Locked into Long-Term Commitments
When times are good, many firms open branch offices, expanded their existing offices, lease new equipment and so on. When time get tough and employees have been laid off and other overhead has been cut to a workable minimum, theyare left with too much office space and equipment.  Unfortunately there is no easy solution to this once the long term commitment has been made. When signing long term leases, most firms would be better off hedging their bets on expansion. A strategy that I have employed in the past is to negotiate an early exit from office leases without penalty in exchange for paying a higher monthly rent.

2. They are not Recognized as an Expert in a Project Type
Despite all of their fine work theri firm is not recognized as the expert.  This allows firms that have created a better reputation to reach down and win projects that should be theirs.  It is unlikely the better reputation firm will best serve the client's needs.  However they have created the perception in the clients mind that they will do a better job.

The fact that your competition is recognized as the expert did not happen by accident.  Most clients cannot tell the difference between good design and great design.  Your competition created the perception of expertise through a well thought out plan that includes a compelling marketing message, interesting website, professional marketing materials and a well executed campaign. There is no reason they cannot do the same.  But they should remember that this is no time to be humble.

1. Not Reinvesting in the Company
When times were good, many firms did not have a plan to reinvest the profits into the company.  Most, if not all, of the profits were taken out of the company for the benefit of the owners, or to avoid double taxation.  This is fime when the economy is humming along but when things turn south, the company is left starved for cash and unable to invest in the needed technology, training and marketing. When are good, be sure to allocate 1/3 of your profits for reinvestment in the company.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Tom Stoneburner named TKDA president/CEO

TKDA has announced that Tom Stoneburner, PE, LEED AP, will become the new president and CEO of TKDA. Stoneburner has been with the employee-owned engineering, architecture, and planning firm for more than 30 years. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Stoneburner, a civil engineer, has served as vice president of TKDA’s largest division, Facilities Engineering, since 2006.

Stoneburner succeeds Bill Deitner, PE, who is retiring after a nearly 40-year career with the company. Under Deitner’s lead, the 107-year-old firm has expanded beyond its Saint Paul, MN headquarters to add offices in Duluth, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Bernardino, and Vero Beach, Florida. The firm also has a Chicago office.

The firm serves public and private clients in the aviation, municipal, rail, surface transportation, corporate, government, education, and iron mining markets. TKDA’s clients include several top-tier national companies, including 3M, BNSF, Honeywell, Nestle, and the Kraft Heinz Company. The firm also serves many public sector entities, including the Metropolitan Airports Commission, Saint Paul Public Schools, MnDOT, the Minnesota State college system, and many cities and municipalities throughout Minnesota.

“I look forward to building on Bill’s steady leadership as we embark on the next chapter for TKDA”, Stoneburner says. “Our base in Saint Paul is strong and our regional offices are poised for solid growth. I am excited to work with our employee owners and our clients as we enhance our capabilities in the Northland and across the country.” Stoneburner and Deitner will work closely together over the coming month on the transition that will occur in March.

TKDA is an employee-owned provider of engineering, architecture, and planning services to a broad range of public and private markets. For more information, visit