Despite the Pittsburgh Engineers’ Building remaining closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a busy fall season.
Most notably both our International Bridge Conference and International Water Conference were conducted on a virtual platform in late-October and early-November, respectively. Preparation leading up to these events in the “new virtual world” really made for a challenge! Still, both events were very well attended, and received very positive reactions from our Conference attendees according to their survey responses. Additionally, our Program Committee continues to offer continuing education events, although delivered through the webinar format. Look for new events coming up in December – likely to remain on the webinar format.
Almost 200 registrants for the ESWP Program Committee webinar “Steel Bridges in the 21st Century,” presented by Dr. Brandon Chavel, P.E. of the National Steel Bridge Alliance of AISC! This interesting program examined the history and future of steel bridges with consideration on life span, costs, maintenance, constructability and more! Dr. Chavel fielded many questions from webinar viewers as well as those viewing on Facebook live. Completion of the webinar entitled viewers to one Professional Development Hour (PDH). Join us for our next program on Thursday, October 1 on the Bonner Bridge presented by Nick Burdette, P.E.
Point Park University’s new Bachelor of Science programs in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering have been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. Point Park’s Civil Engineering Technology program also received a renewal on its accreditation by ABET’s Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission.
ABET accreditation assures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.
“Achieving ABET accreditation for our new electrical and mechanical engineering programs is a great milestone for us and, most importantly, for our students. We have long maintained that our programs provide a rigorous, hands-on engineering education, and this is a welcome validation,” said Gregg Johnson, Chair of Point Park’s Department of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology. “Our students, alumni and their employers now have assurance that an engineering degree from Point Park University comes from a program that has been closely scrutinized and found to meet the high standards ABET requires in all aspects, including curriculum, faculty, facilities and university support.”
While Point Park has offered accredited degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering technology for more than three decades, the NSET department began the process of developing the Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programs about four years ago. The move was an effort to stay in step with the needs of our students and their regional employers.
Sought worldwide, ABET’s voluntary peer-review process is highly respected because it adds critical value to academic programs in the technical disciplines, where quality, precision, and safety are of the utmost importance.
Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s member societies, ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. ABET accreditation reviews look at program curricula, faculty, facilities, and institutional support and are conducted by teams of highly skilled professionals from industry, academia, and government, with expertise in the ABET disciplines.
ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization with ISO 9001:2015 certification. It currently accredits 4,144 programs at 812 colleges and universities in 32 countries.
More information about ABET, its member societies, and the accreditation criteria used to evaluate programs can be found at www.abet.org.
Click here for more information about Point Park’s Engineering programs.
Contact: Lou Corsaro
Point Park University
A Webinar – GEOTECHNICAL REPORTS: PROPER USE IN DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTING
On September 2nd at noon, join us for this webinar presented by Douglas M. Clark, P.E., Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA.
Subsurface conditions represent some of the largest uncertainties and risks in civil construction. Fortunately, most owners recognize the need to perform a geotechnical investigation as part of the design development to obtain information pertinent to project design and construction. What is often less understood is how the geotechnical report and information should be used in design, and how it applies to the construction contract. Many assume, often incorrectly, that the geotechnical report serves as a “baseline” for establishing the site conditions. While this may be true in some cases, most standard contract general conditions (AIA, EJCDC, etc.) place the risks associated with subsurface conditions on the bidder, and provide the geotechnical report only as information, not as a contract document. This presentation discusses the issue of reliance on the geotechnical report by the parties involved, presents case-studies, and provides recommendations for owners and contractors to reduce risks.
More information can be found here.
The Executive Committee of the International Water Conference® (IWC) voted unanimously to present the 2020 IWC in an “all-virtual” environment.
This means we won’t have the opportunity to benefit from the in-person gathering during IWC this November in San Antonio, Texas, but we have plans for an alternate delivery platform with eShow®, the leading provider in the virtual-conference world. Accordingly, we believe the 2020 IWC well-prepared to present the same educational and networking opportunities as you have come to expect and enjoy at the IWC. We are working diligently to prepare this virtual platform to present the same high-quality technical presentations that the IWC is renowned for, albeit in a different delivery platform. Likewise, we are planning for a full complement of continuing education workshops as presented by our expert instructors. Additionally, we will have exhibit and sponsorship opportunities to promote your business to all involved with the International Water Conference. We will roll out details on these opportunities, as well as details on the conference registration very soon, so please check this page frequently!
Thank you to all who participated in our survey questionnaires which to help to guide these decisions. While we all hoped to return to an in-person gathering with friends of the IWC, we believe it is in the best interest of all at this time to do so remotely, from the comfort and safety of your own environment. We look forward to better days ahead soon! In the meantime please look for additional details on this virtual IWC, the first in our 81 year history!
Please stay safe and be healthy and we look forward to seeing you soon!
SPEO ELECTS NEW CHAIRPERSON, OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS AT ANNUAL MEETING
Elections were held at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Engineering Outreach (SPEO) annual meeting in May 2020.
Sheena Sundin was elected Chairperson of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Engineering Outreach (SPEO) Board during the annual meeting. She is the Marketing Manager of Hayes Design Group Architects.
Additional Officers included:
Vice Chairperson – David Troianos, Engineering Director, Water/Wastewater, GAI Consultants
Secretary – Brad Duda, Technical Manager, Michael Baker International
Treasurer – Donna Chappel, President, Advanced Integration Group
Ex-Officio – Suresh Ramanathan, President, KORYAK
Those who were elected as SPEO Directors for a first term include:
Suresh Ramanathan – President, KORYAK
Jennifer Threats – Senior Communications Specialist, McCormick Taylor, Inc.
Edward Reese – Director – Pennsylvania Markets, GPD Group
Daniel Laird – Director of Business Development, Hill International
Vaibhar Swami – Operations & Strategy, AWK Engineering
Jeff Rossi – Business Development Manager, ATC Group Services
Those who were re-elected as SPEO Directors to a second term include:
Renee DeMichiei Farrow – Director of Business Development, Architectural Innovations, LLC
Lisa Edmonds – Acting Director, Allegheny County, Department of Equality and Inclusion
Jonathan Shimko – Sr. Project Manager, McKim & Creed, Inc.
Charles Jordan – Business Project Manager, MS Consultants
George Robinson – Director of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion, UPMC
The ESWP was pleased to partner again with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in presenting the 2020 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference. Held at State College, PA in the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center over March 9-11, almost 400 participants attended the conference.
This year we attracted 55 vendors to the exhibit hall, making it the highest attended in our history. In addition, attendees were able to select from over 20 different presentations and three general sessions which included state and federal updates on Brownfields programs, a futures forecast, and an informative, educational, and uplifting story on one business’s success that chose a brownfield as a place to build and expand their business. (Learn more about Crazy Aaron’s “Thinking Putty” success at Puttyworld.com.) To learn more about the conference and the presentations please visit our Brownfields Conference page: https://eswp.com/brownfields/overview/
With sadness, we reflect in the passing of Dr. Alfred Ackenheil, longtime member of the Engineers’ Society of Western PA. He was a consulting civil engineer for 65 years. He was a professor at the University of Pittsburgh for 42 years and was a respected mentor of his students. He was an avid supporter of overseas Christian missionaries as well as ESWP’s Student Outreach activities. “Doc” as he was affectionately known, was the 1996 recipient of ESWP’s William Metcalf Award, given for lifetime achievement. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Oh what a night! Nearly 400 guests participated in the ESWP 136th Annual Engineering Awards Banquet, held in the Allegheny Ballroom of the Westin Hotel on Thursday, February 6. Master of Ceremonies Rick Sebak presided over the event, providing a few tantalizing trivia questions to the crowd, in the style he is so famous for. Along the way, awards were presented to Trevor Divine and Simone Stein, recipients of the George Washington Prize, presented by the University of Pittsburgh’s Dean of Engineering James Martin, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Dean of Engineering Bill Sanders respectfully. Following, ESWP President Dave Borneman presented Mr. Bill White with ESWP’s inaugural Educator of the Year Award for his in-class and extracurricular activities at the Avonworth School District, promoting STEM education. Following, Mr. Borneman recognized Dr. Brandon Grainger with the Engineer of the Year Award for his work in electrical power industry and leading the EPIC Conference in 2019. The Projects of the Year Awards were next up, recognizing the following:
- In the Transportation Category, we recognize the Bentleyville Interchange, and the Owner, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; the Engineer, ms consultants; the General Contractor, Golden Triangle Contracting; Survey Services, Monolah Basin Engineers; and Geotechnical Engineer, AWK Consulting Engineers
- In the Rehabilitation Category, we recognize the Liberty Tunnel Rehabilitation, and the Owner, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, District 11-0; the Engineer, WSP USA, Inc.; CM/CI Services, Hill International; and the three Contractors on this project: Wellington Power Corporation, Swank Construction Company, and Mosites Construction Company
- In the Innovation Category, we recognize the Pennsylvania Turnpike Roadway and Bridge Reconstruction from Milepost 39.62, and the Owner, the PA Turnpike Commission; the Engineer, McCormick Taylor; the Construction Manager, Hill International; and the General Contractor Trumbull
- In the Education Category, we recognize the Point Park University Playhouse, and the Owner Point Park University; the Engineer/Architect, Westlake Reed Leskosky; and the General Contractor, PJ Dick.
- In the Emergency Rehabilitation Project of the Year, we recognize the Station Square Norfolk Southern Derailment, and the Owner, Port Authority of Allegheny County; the Engineer, GAI Consultants; the Construction Manager, SAI Consulting Engineers Inc.; and the General Contractor, Michael Facchiano Contracting, Inc.
The evening was highlighted by the presentation of the William Metcalf Award to Thomas G. Leech, P.E., S.E. Tom’s long career as a bridge engineer, along with his publishing and family interests were presented in video showing much of Tom’s work in all three areas. Special remarks were included by colleagues Tom Costello, Steve Shanley, Eric Veydt, and David Dzombak. Congratulations to Tom, and all of the award recipients, and thanks to all those who attended the Banquet!
ESWP’s Annual Engineering Career Fair was held on Friday, January 31, 2020 at the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania.
28 companies participated in greeting over 100 students from the tri-state area, providing a rare opportunity for students and professionals to meet employers and company representatives. Students also took advantage of the mock interviews, an opportunity for students and professionals to interact and get quick feedback on their resume and interview skills.
Thank you to all the companies and students who participated.