Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania


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News from Pennoni!

Pennoni is excited to announce the promotion of Jennifer Laning, PE to Principal Bridge Inspection Leader! Laning is currently an Associate Vice President in the Transportation Division with a primary focus in bridge inspections and project management. She also serves Pennoni as a Bridge Inspection Practice Leader, headquartered in the Baltimore, MD office.

This recognition is to acknowledge all her accomplishments in the transportation space and applaud her for growing the Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware markets as well as her work as a mentor to other bridge engineers.

Before coming to Pennoni, Laning was a part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in bridge program management, rehabilitation and repair of bridges, coordination of projects with multiple agencies, leading multidisciplinary design teams, and bridge inspection.

Congratulations Jen!!!

View the LinkedIn post


SAME PGH Post Scholarship Opportunity

Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Pittsburgh Post Announces Allegheny Arsenal Memorial Scholarship for 2021/2022 Academic Year

The SAME Pittsburgh Post created the Allegheny Arsenal Memorial Scholarship last year when SAME and the Pittsburgh Post both reached the 100-Year milestone. With a vision for the next 100 years, the Post expanded its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) support long provided to primary and secondary education students, to include college students pursuing a STEM related degree.

The Pittsburgh Post has always recognized the importance of strategic collaboration between civilians and the military, both for national defense and homeland security. Therefore, in establishing the Post’s college scholarship fund, the Post wanted to honor those civilians who perished in Lawrenceville at the Allegheny Arsenal while preparing ammunition for the Union troops. On September 17, 1862, a series of explosions at the Allegheny Arsenal killed seventy-eight people, mostly girls (some believed to be as young as 14), rolling cartridges for Union soldiers. With men off fighting the Civil War and concerns of horseplay among boys in a dangerous work environment, girls and young women were relied upon to roll ammunition for the troops in a true civilian-military partnership. In recognition of the tragic loss of these young arsenal employees, the SAME Pittsburgh Post, as part of its centennial observance, established the Allegheny Arsenal Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Post is offering a scholarship to assist college students who are pursuing careers in STEM fields including: engineering, architecture, mathematics, technology, computer, or related science (chemistry, biology, physics, environmental) degree programs. A $1,500 scholarship will be awarded each year (subject to future Board revisions), based on applications received for the academic year. Students enrolled full-time as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior in college for academic year 2021-2022 can apply. Anyone receiving the Allegheny Arsenal Memorial Scholarship may reapply in subsequent years but will be considered among the full pool of applications received for that academic year.

Full details and the application form are available on the Post’s website at

Applications will be received from August 18, 2021 through midnight, September 7, 2021 via email at:

PSPE Pittsburgh Chapter News

The Pittsburgh Chapter of PSPE offers review course twice yearly for the PE and EIT exams. Start dates are fast approaching!

The Civil PE exam review course, beginning on August 12, helps exam applicants prepare for the Civil PE exam. The topics are taught by professional engineers who have both industry and teaching experience. The review course consists of 30 hours of lectures covering the common topics of both the breadth and depth Civil PE exam. The topics include: structures, construction management, geotechnical, highway design and traffic analysis, environmental, and water resources

The EIT Review Course, beginning on August 12 is for all disciplines, and helps engineers prepare for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. The review course consists of 30 hours of lectures covering common exam topics.

In addition, the Chapter also offers a Civil PE Mini-Refresher course, beginning on July 22. To be better prepared for the Civil PE Review Course, the Pittsburgh Chapter offers a three (3) session Mini Prep Review Course which includes six (6) subjects prior to taking the PE Review.  This mini course is primarily for engineers who have already passed the EIT Exam, but feel a need to brush up on some subjects that are of importance for the Civil PE Review Course or for those who plan on taking the Mechanical PE Exam. This mini course is being offered because we have found that many engineers have not used certain basic skills for some period of time and need a brief review to allow them to take full advantage of the material presented in the Civil PE Exam Review Course.  Our goal is to give all students the best opportunity to be successful on the PE Exam. These sessions will review selected topics in mathematics, statics, strength of materials, physics, electrochemistry and engineering ethics.

Please contact the Chapter office or our education director, Steven Musial, P.E. if you have any questions. Cell: 412-956-6448

To REGISTER or to learn more about costs, location, and format of these courses, visit:

ESWP Members Scholarship Information

We are now accepting applications for the 2021 ESWP Members Scholarship.

The Scholarship is open to the spouse, children, or grandchildren (natural, step, adopted, or ward) of a member in good standing (one or more previous, continuous years) of the ESWP – please note that only the individuals listed on a corporate member firm roster are eligible).

The scholarships will be awarded to outstanding high school seniors or currently enrolled college undergraduate students, preparing for a career in engineering, architecture or applied sciences. The students must be accepted in an eligible, full-time course of study, at an accredited college or university. The awards will be made without regard to financial need.

Completed application forms are to be submitted to the ESWP Scholarship Committee, postmarked no later than July 31, 2021. Please email to receive an application.

Nicholson Construction News

Pittsburgh-based, geotechnical specialty contractor, Nicholson Construction, returns to Ohio’s Portage Lakes for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources North Reservoir Dam Project.

The 100-year-old North Reservoir dam will undergo a $22.9M repair project to bring it into compliance with Ohio Dam Safety’s standards. The last remediation project on North Reservoir Dam was performed in 1982. The current remediation project includes seepage cutoff, overtopping protection and replacement of the existing spillway and lake drain.

Nicholson was contracted by Beaver Excavating Company to construct a soil-mix gravity section and cutoff wall for the new dam in order to mitigate excessive seepage and to increase its factor of safety.

This is the second Portage Lakes project for Nicholson. In 2017, the company was contracted to construct a soil mix gravity section and cutoff wall for the new East Reservoir Dam.

“It’s a high compliment to be brought back on-site to build subsequent work,” said Ryan Streets, vice president, major projects. “Several core members of the East Reservoir team are back for this project, which is a huge advantage in terms of lessons learned and efficiencies we can gain.”

Nicholson’s work on the North Reservoir Dam will start in the late Spring 2021 and continue into next year. “Earning our clients’ trust and returning to their jobsites to do additional work is truly a testament to our crew’s ability to safely construct a high-quality product,” said Dario Gnoato, senior vice president, major projects, Nicholson Construction. “We’re looking forward to another great project in Portage Lakes.”

About Nicholson Construction Company:

Nicholson is a versatile geotechnical contractor specializing in deep foundations, earth retention and ground treatment. As the North American subsidiary of Soletanche Bachy, one of the world’s leading geotechnical contractors, we are part of a global network of geotechnical resources and expertise. We work in a wide range of industries and environments, from power plants and dams, to bridges and skyscrapers. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Nicholson has offices around the country to address each region’s unique geotechnical construction needs.

ASCE Pittsburgh’s Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute Chapter has Launched!

APRIL 2021

“Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Hello UESI Members and Friends,

I am happy to announce that the Pittsburgh Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute (UESI) Chapter has officially launched! And what a time to start this endeavor! I am Alma Rettinger and I will be serving as the UESI Pittsburgh Chair in the upcoming year.

We are starting our Chapter at a time when infrastructure initiatives are in the spotlight with last week’s release of President Biden’s proposed national infrastructure spending bill. ASCE Pennsylvania is also gearing up to grade the condition and performance of the Commonwealth’s infrastructure this year, which received a C- grade in 2018 due to the poor conditions of aging drinking water mainlines, deteriorating bridges and roadways, and the severe conditions of the sewer and wastewater systems. The discussion of how to improve our infrastructure remains not just relevant but important. So this is an opportune time for our Chapter to focus not only on the current condition of our infrastructure, but also to highlight the transformation in the way our industry has been addressing infrastructure projects with innovation, and with improved risk and asset management tools.

Members across different organizations and professions have been adapting over the years to deal with the urgency of replacing aging infrastructure, responding to damages from natural disasters, and doing so with limited funding. As a whole, we are working towards improving the way we deliver projects, building towards resilience, and ultimately putting funding to better use.

ASCE’s Civil Engineering magazine Editor in Chief Laurie Shuster said last year that “the future is going to be increasingly integrated, with one field informing and influencing another.” And I believe that these coordinated efforts among multiple disciplines will continue to be a critical aspect of UESI and for the successful planning, positioning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and management of utility infrastructure. With the goal of working together with the diverse group UESI represents and with our founding officers, Vice Chair Kate McKinley, PLS, and Secretary-Treasurer Ashwin Ranna, EIT, I am thrilled to be bringing UESI’s mission to our region!

In the short-term, we have already gained positive momentum. During the recent months, we have been planning our upcoming kick-off event scheduled for May 13, 2021. We are partnering with NUCA-PA and several co-sponsoring organizations to deliver a virtual symposium on “Leading the Way to Smarter Utility Engineering Design & Construction Damage Prevention”. This event will bring together stakeholders to discuss Utility Conflict Management, subsurface utility engineering in accordance with ASCE 38, and the future and direction of the industry. We invite you to Join Us at our upcoming event and be part of the discussion.

We hope to continue the momentum throughout our future Chapter activities! I encourage you to join the Pittsburgh Section (if you are not a current member), follow us on LinkedIn, and check for updates on our website. We will use these platforms to inform our members of upcoming events, activities, and relevant news. I also invite you to share your unique perspective on the industry as we plan for the future of our Chapter.

Whether virtual or in-person, I look forward to seeing you soon! And when we can gather again, we hope we get a chance to meet you all and say hello.

Happy spring and let’s enjoy this fresh outlook!

IWC News

ESWP sends out congratulations to the award-winning presenters from the 2020 International Water Conference!

For Best First Time Presenter Award, we congratulate Adam Sutherland, P.E., Stantec for his paper IWC 20-66, Controlling Oxidation Air in an FGD Absorber as a Means to Simplify Wastewater Treatment.

For the Best Overall Paper, congratulations to Colleen M. Scholl, P.E., HDR, Inc. for her paper IWC 20-58 , The Value (and the Challenges) of Corrosion Transport Monitoring. Colleen is a two-time winner this year, as she also will receive the 2020 Paul Cohen Award for IWC 20-58 , The Value (and the Challenges) of Corrosion Transport Monitoring.

For more information on the IWC awards, visit