38th Annual Capital District E-week

The 38th Annual Capital District E-week was celebrated February 15 & 16 at the Albany Marriott.  Over 775 engineering professionals and 100 students from across the state and surrounding states attended the event!   There were 62 continuing education courses offered.

National Engineers Week was created in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers and coincided with President’s Day. This is no coincidence, since George Washington, the 1st President of the United States was a land surveyor and engineer.   E-Week is held to create awareness of the contributions of engineers to society.  The Capital District E-Week’s focus is to promote the Engineering Profession. The purpose of this event is to raise public awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life, promote the importance of a technical education including a high level of math, science and technology literacy among parents, teachers and students, and motivate youth to pursue engineering and related careers to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce.

E-Week Keynote Speaker, Kanten Russell from Stantec discusses Skate Park Design.

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The PEs in Construction Group Awards Certificate of Appreciation to William H. Fitzjohn, PE, PhD.

The PEs in Construction Group (PEC) awarded a Certificate of Appreciation to William H. Fitzjohn, PE, PhD, in honor of his exemplary dedication and leadership as an educator, mentor and instructor for professional engineers in the field of special inspections of steel and concrete construction and for his contributions as a member of the Queens Chapter of NYSSPE. Presenting the award were Rudi Sherbansky, PE on behalf of the PEs in Construction Group and Steve Grogg, PE of McLaren Engineering, President of the Rockland Chapter of NYSSPE.

The Certificate of Appreciation was presented during a lecture by Dr. Fitzjohn on the topic of Concrete Mix Design which was given at McLaren Engineering on Tuesday February 13th, 2018. Approximately 50 engineers attended the 2-PDH event. Dr. Fitzjohn has extensive experience covering construction materials engineering, concrete mix designs, materials testing and special inspections, and quality management systems. He holds a BSCE (Honors) from Manchester University, UK, and a PhD in Civil Engineering/Ceramic Science from the University of Leeds, UK. In addition, he is a licensed professional engineer in the states of California and New York and has numerous certifications in concrete inspection and testing from ACI and ICC.

The Concrete Mix Design presentation provided guidance on technical aspects required to verify the effective use of concrete mix designs with primary emphasis on NYC Building Code provisions. Topics discussed included: DOB Concrete Testing Requirements, what’s in a concrete mix design, comprehending what a TR3 is, understanding the mix design review process, comprehending relevant ASTM job specifications and NYC Building Code provisions, verifying whether a concrete batch ticket matches an approved TR3 mix design and recognizing interpretations of complex code requirements. There was also good information for engineers who review mix designs for conformance with their specifications prior to submittal of TR3 mix designs to DOB for approval.

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Is PE Licensure Under Attack?

National Occupational Deregulation Trend Makes PEs a Target

Over the last few years, there has been a growing movement by some governors and legislators to target the regulation of occupations and professions under the guise of cutting government interference and boosting state economies. On January 10, NSPE Executive Director Mark Golden, NCEES CEO Jerry Carter, and Arizona Board of Technical Registration Executive Director Melissa Cornelius participated in a free webinar to discuss what appears to be a concerted national effort to undermine occupational licensure and how that effort is affecting professional engineering licensure. This national trend was highlighted in the “A Rising Threat Level” feature article in the January/February issue of PE.

In partnership with state societies, NSPE is actively monitoring and responding to those threats whenever and wherever they arise. So far, NSPE has mapped out 26 states where similar legislation, regulations, or executive orders have been introduced, signed, and/or passed. Although much of the legislation does not specifically target professional engineers, by opposing occupational licensure in general, the broad attacks sow confusion about the importance of engineering licensure and its role in protecting the public. [Read more…]

NYSSPE to Host an Ethics in Engineering Practice Lecture by Lewis Tesser Esq. on February 13th

The purpose of the engineering ethics presentation is to provide an overview of ethical and legal aspects required (and expected) of professional engineers with primary emphasis on the big picture of being a professional in New York State.   Lewis Tesser is a senior partner at Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, a New York City law firm representing professionals and firms regarding their professional practices and defends them at disciplinary proceedings.

Mr. Tesser will discuss concepts and/or nomenclatures of:  What it means to be a professional; obligations; licensed vs. unlicensed Engineer; what requires an engineer’s stamp; attaining License in other States; exemptions from licensing requirements; hiring unlicensed engineers; unprofessional conduct; avoiding problem areas and communicating.

The engineering ethics presentation (1-PDH) will be held on Tuesday February 13th at 6 pm at the offices of McLaren Engineering Group, 100 Snake Hill Road, West Nyack, NY 10994 starting with food and refreshments. This event is open to the public; please spread the word throughout your organization.   For more information and/or to RSVP, use the following link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VWV29SV

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NYSSPE Reorganization Planned for 2018

In January of 2018, NYSSPE will initiate a structural reorganization.  Long-time Executive Director Anthony Fasano, P.E. will transition out of the Executive Director role. The organization may look to retain Anthony in the future to continue advising NYSSPE as a consultant on marketing, membership, and legislative issues.  Fasano may still appear in some of NYSSPE’s legislative videos, an effort that he initiated that has been popular among members, as well as continue to assist with the New York City Design Professional Day event(s) that he started four years ago.

During his tenure as Executive Director since 2012, Fasano was responsible for overseeing NYSSPE, and also its sister organizations, The Practicing Institute of Engineering (PIE), and The Foundation for Engineering Education (FEE).  Fasano assisted with moving the PIE accreditation process online and moving FEE to a cost plus arrangement with event providers.  Fasano was also selected as one of a dozen people in the country to serve on a National NSPE committee that re-designed the new NSPE dues structure, which will lower NYSSPE member dues starting later this year. [Read more…]

NYSSPE Holds Successful Fall Conference in Syracuse, New York

The New York State Society of Professional  Engineers (NYSSPE) held its annual Fall Conference in Syracuse, New York on October 26th through 28th.  A variety of classes were offered covering topics including Structural Building Condition Reviews, Detectors, Meters and Air Quality Measurements, Cellular Confinement & Load Support as well as Engineering Ethics.  Attendees received up to 5PDHs during the conference. [Read more…]

NYSSPE offers Energy Codes for Commercial Buildings with 8 PDHs in New York, NY

NYSSPE offers Energy Codes for Commercial Buildings with 8 PDHs in New York, NY  

NEW YORK, NY—NYSSPE (New York State Society of Professional Engineers) is offering Energy Codes for Commercial Buildings on November 29, 2017 at Club Quarters, 52 William St., New York, NY

Energy Codes for Commercial Buildings (Part #1)

The objective of this Commercial Energy Code Seminar is to educate the construction community about the energy code in order to increase compliance.  The presentation includes an in-depth review and analysis of the mechanical systems requirements for commercial buildings. This seminar is more oriented to “understanding” the code rather than just repeating the code. The presentation is full of graphics (no more brick slides with the traditional copy and paste of the code) with the main sections of the code highlighted as an organized follow up of the contents. It also includes explanations of the applicability of the section; and corresponding images of real-life building situations of both compliant and non-compliant constructions, as appropriate.  In order to enable greater compliance with the energy code, we encourage a discussion around interpretations and applications of the code by addressing the building science and intent behind the code’s prescriptions. Within each section of the Code, there are numerous seemingly small issues (often only one sentence) that have a large impact. We identify and discuss these points to ensure that attendees understand the full application of the code.   In part 1 of this two part seminar the commercial energy code requirements for mechanical systems will be presented.

Energy Codes for Commercial Buildings (Part #2)

The second part of this presentation includes an in-depth review and analysis of the envelope and lighting/power requirements for commercial buildings.  The presentation is full of graphics (no more brick slides with the traditional copy and paste of the code) with the main sections of the code highlighted as an organized follow up of the contents. It also includes explanations of the applicability of the section; and corresponding images of real-life building situations of both compliant and non-compliant constructions, as appropriate.  The last section is devoted to enforcement of the code to ensure compliance. Since the Code is primarily a prescriptive code and the majority of projects will be able to readily comply, emphasis is placed on the standard compliance path using COMcheck. The performance-based Energy Cost Budget Method of ASHRAE 90.1 will be introduced as an alternate method of compliance.  In part 2 of this two part seminar the commercial energy code requirements for envelope and lighting/power systems will be presented.

The speaker for the event is Juan Toro, HBDP, CPMP, LEED AP, PE.  Mr. Toro is an experienced mechanical engineer and has been responsible for designing complex and innovative mechanical systems for several LEED certified buildings. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering; he is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the States of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and North Carolina and holds certifications for High Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP) and Commissioning Process Management Professional (CPMP) from ASHRAE; Commercial Energy Plans Examiner and Commercial Energy Inspector from the International Code Council (ICC); and LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) from the USGBC. Mr. Toro has several years of design and commissioning experience from a variety of projects, including high-rise buildings, hotels, corporate interiors, museums, natatoriums, and Libraries. His experience in HVAC systems design includes central plants, chilled water, hot water, and steam systems. Mr. Toro is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University and Pratt Institute in their School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

For more information about this event contact Jennifer Miller, Director of Programs, NYYSPE at (518) 577-1132 or register to attend the event by clicking here.

Founded in 1926, the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, Inc. is a statewide professional trade organization with 23 local chapters and over 3,000 members. Representing five practice divisions (construction, education, government, industry, and private practice), NYSSPE works to promote and protect the professional interests of all engineers


Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical. NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.

NYC DOB Invites NYSSPE to Industry Meeting to for DOB Progress Report Presentation

The office of New York City Department of Buildings (NYC DOB) Commissioner Rick Chandler, PE invited the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) to attend an industry meeting held on Tuesday October 31st, 2017 which was intended to provide a presentation of DOB’s Progress Report highlighting their new online platform DOB NOW that continues to be improved.  Attending the meeting on behalf of NYSSPE were Anthony Fasano PE, Executive Director, Joseph Pasaturo PE, Treasurer, and Rudi O. Sherbansky PE, NYC Regional Vice President.

During the meeting, Mr. Chandler discussed the DOB’s improvements made in reducing the time for DOB to accept development filing (first response) and perform required DOB inspections throughout the City.  The slide presentation by Mr. Chandler showing DOB’s progress report will be available online on DOB’s websites within the next few weeks.

The presentation included statistical charts showing that the average time for a DOB plan examiner to respond with comments/objections to a New Building or Alt Type 1 filing was reduced from 11 days in 2015 to just 5.2 days in 2017.   Alt Type 3 average response time was reduced to about 1 day.  There were no statistics available regarding the total time it takes from initial filing to obtaining final plan approvals.

DOB Boiler inspections average response time in 2017 was about 3.1 days, Construction inspections average response time 2.3 days, cranes 2.2 days, electrical inspections 5.4 days, elevators 2 days, and plumbing 3.4 days.    DOB Complaints response time was about 0.4 days for an A-Type complaint (hazardous) and 19 days for B-Type Complaint (administrative complaints, e.g. work w/out work permit).  There were no statistics available regarding response time for Stop Work Orders and Site Safety Reviews.

The Presentation included an update on DOB Now filing system.  DOB Now is accepting filing of required self-inspection reports for plumbing, elevator, cranes, facades, emergency response and boilers (among others).  In 2017, about 10,000 boiler inspection reports and 6,000 facade inspection reports were filed through DOB Now.    Additionally, DOB Now is accepting filing of plan applications for plumbing, standpipes, antennas, curb cuts, sheds, fences, scaffolds and signs.    In or about December 2017, DOB Now will start accepting the filing of electrical and elevator work online.

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NYSSPE Holds Fourth Annual New York City Design Professionals Day

About 4 years ago, at the New York Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE), we decided that we needed to create a way for New York City design professionals to interact with the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB).   A way that would help these professionals stay up to date on the latest codes, and also meet and ask questions of DOB officials including Commissioner Rick Chandler, P.E.

Four years later, we just held our fourth annual Design Professionals Day and over 100 design professionals packed the room to learn and network. Topics presented included:

Chapter 17: Special Inspections by D. Eric Hoyt, PE;
Alterations in NYC: Common Pre-Construction, Construction & Inspection Issues by Matthew Millner, PE, LEED AP BD+C
Flood Protection & NYC Gas Work by Robert Holub and Joseph Ackroyd
Forensic Engineering: Existing Buildings, Alterations and New Construction by Anthony DeVito, PE & Yegal Shamash, PE

Commissioner Chandler also spoke for the fourth straight year at the event. The Commissioner focused his remarks on the importance of safety on construction sites. He mentioned legislation passed recently by the City Council mandating safety training for everyone who steps foot on a construction site. This is a message that we all need to hear repeatedly.

All of the technical presentations were very engaging, evidenced by the large number of comments and questions after each one of them. Once again this event achieved it’s goal of connecting design professionals with city officials to help both parties be able to do their jobs better. [Read more…]

“Joel A. Miele, Sr. Pedestrian Bridge,” renaming approved by City Council


The pedestrian bridge at 99th Street and 163rd Avenue, seen here, will be renamed in honor of former Community Board 10 Chairman and city Commissioner Joel Miele Sr. Miele lived near the bridge and his son and widow still do. Photo Credit: Anthony O’Reilly, Queens Chronicle

The City Council last Wednesday unanimously approved the renaming of a pedestrian span connecting Old Howard Beach to Hamilton Beach to the “Joel A. Miele, Sr. Pedestrian Bridge,” in honor of the former Community Board 10 Chairman and commissioner of two city agencies who died four years ago.

The law clearing the way for the renaming was introduced by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park).  “He was the embodiment of public service who dedicated his entire adult professional life to serving our city and community,” Ulrich said in a social media post shortly before the Council’s vote. Ulrich added, “A special thank you to Community Board 10 Chair Betty Braton who spearheaded this effort.” [Read more…]