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…]

2017 NYS STEM Education Collaborative Summer Institute Overview

Reference: Frank Roma, PE

The New York State STEM Education Collaborative (NYSSEC) and SUNY Alfred State presented the 2017 STEM Summer Institute between July 30 and August 1, 2017. There were more than 50 session presentations and poster presentations engaging more than 110 total attendees.  NYSSPE is one of the collaborating partners in NYSSEC.  Frank Roma, PE serves as the NYSSPE representative.

The Collaborative supports the integration of the four STEM “disciplines” in the classroom with the emphasis of a hands-on – minds-on approach. The Institute brings teachers, professors, engineers, administrators, and other professionals together to share ideas about instructional strategies and STEM careers. Presentations ranged from Air Transport Safety to Nanoparticle Chemistry!

Keynote speakers were N.Y.S. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Dr. Bill Daggett, Founder for International Leadership In Education Center, and Deb Newberry, Director of the NanoScience Technician Program in Minnesota. [Read more…]

NYSSPE Remembers Don Aulenbach, PE

Don Aulenbach, PE (photo courtesy Facebook)

With sadness, The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) recently learned of the passing of Don Aulenbach, PE. Many of you may remember Don from his twenty plus years as the New York State MATHCOUNTS coordinator and his almost forty years as member of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers. Even though Don had not been the coordinator of the state competition for the last 10 years, he still remained an active participant right up until this past year’s competition.

There will be a memorial service for Don on October 28th at the Christ Community Reformed Church in Clifton Park (details are below). His family has asked that in lieu of flowers, they would like to have donations go the Capital District MATHCOUNTS fund (details listed at the bottom of this post). [Read more…]

NYSSPE Representatives Attend National Society of Professional Engineers Conference in Atlanta

NYSSPE Representatives at Annual NSPE Conference. Left to Right: Anthony Fasano, P.E. (NYSSPE Executive Director), Larry O’Connor, P.E., L.S., F. NSPE (NYSSPE Past-President), Laura Pellizzi, PE (NYSSPE President), David Janover, P.E. (former NYSSPE member), Andrew Yarmus (NYSSPE Regional VP and NSPE PEC Chair), Rick Kotecki, PE (NYSSPE Member) – present but not in photo.

Recently, several representatives of The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) participated in the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) annual conference, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia.

These representatives included Laura Pellizzi, PE (NYSSPE President), Larry O’Connor, PE, LS, F.NSPE, (NYSSPE HOD Delegate), Andrew Yarmus, PE (PEC National Chair), and Anthony Fasano, P.E. (NYSSPE Executive Director).

The main focus of the conference was a vote during the House of Delegates meeting to enact a new unified national dues structure.  Click here to read about the new structure, which was passed. [Read more…]

NYSSPE Plays a Critical Role in Establishing a Unified Dues Structure for NSPE, which will lower NYSSPE Member Dues

The NSPE House of Delegates (HOD) Meeting at the NSPE Annual Conference on July 22, 2017.

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) had recognized years ago that even though they had 54 states and territories, they had thousands of different member dues combinations, which made for an operational and marketing nightmare.  It also made it difficult for State societies across the country to share the same marketing tools and strategies.

In an effort to change this, a few years ago, NSPE hired an outside consulting company and embarked upon a journey with an end goal of creating a unified dues structure.

At the beginning of 2017, a national task force of about a dozen people was assembled to create this new pricing model.  NYSSPE Executive Director Anthony Fasano, PE, was one of the people selected for this committee.  Fasano represented New York during this process, and with input from NYSSPE leadership, helped NSPE to sculpt this new unified dues structure. [Read more…]

NYSSPE responds to NYS Education Department Board of Regents Technology Education Proposal

Recently, the Board of Regents enacted on an emergency basis a restructuring of Technology Education (T&E). The proposal pairs T&E together with Career and Technical Education (CTE) in a manner that dilutes Technology Education. In response, the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE), led by their STEM representative Frank Roma, PE, send the following letter to the Board of Regents:

– – – – – – – – – – –

July 7, 2017

New York State Education Department
Board of Regents
Attn: Vice Chancellor Brown

Re: Board of Regents Restructuring of Technology Education (T&E)

Dear Vice Chancellor Brown:

Recently, the Board of Regents enacted on an emergency basis a restructuring of Technology Education (T&E). The proposal pairs T&E together with Career and Technical Education (CTE) in a manner that dilutes Technology Education. These comments, by the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE), are offered in an effort to secure a reversal of that decision. [Read more…]

New York State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying- Board Meeting Summary 6-26-17

A New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) representative attended the New York State Board for Engineering, Land Surveying, and Geology board meeting on June 26, 2017. The following is a summary of the meeting. (videoconference New York – Albany – Rochester)

A quorum was present.

Minutes from March 10, 2017 approved without amendment.

Committee Reports

Legislation:Qualifications Based Selection

A 5750/S 5600 (Benedetto/DeFrancisco) passed both houses of the legislature.  The bill purports to authorize public authorities and public benefit corporations to negotiate with professional firms providing architectural or engineering services in order from the most qualified to the least qualified with regard to the provision of services to the authority or corporation.  An earlier version of the bill would have required the use of QBS by both public authorities and public benefit corporations in a manner identical to present law which requires the use of QBS by state agencies.  (NYSSPE supported the earlier version of the bill.)

A 7768/S 5903 (Fahy/Valesky) passed both houses of the legislature.  The bill adds geological services to the current list of design professional services set forth in State Finance Law section 136a which are required to be procured utilizing the QBS procurement methodology.  Section 136a governs procurements by NYS agencies.

Land Surveying Legislation

A 7969B/ S 6103C (Hyndman/LaValle) has been introduced in both houses.  The legislation will require at minimum an Associates Degree to secure a professional land surveying license.  The bill also eases the path for a professional engineer to secure a land surveying license.

Design Professional Corporation – Liberalization of Ownership

A 3460A/S 3771A (Lupardo/Valesky) has been introduced at the behest of ACEC.  The bill permits a substantially greater share of a design professional corporation to be owned by an ESOP provided at least 75% ESOP’s Board of Trustees and Management Committee members are licensed design professionals.  (Current law restricts the ESOP to a maximum 24.99% ownership interest.)   Some professional engineering voices have expressed reservations regarding a liberalization of the ownership rules and have argued that the legislation would permit design services to be “franchised” to non-licensees. [Read more…]

The New NY Bridge Project Director presents to NYSSPE Members on boat tour of New NY Bridge Construction

From Left to Right: Jay Wagner, PE, NYSTA Approach Span Manager for New NY Bridge, Anthony Fasano, PE, NYSSPE Exec. Director, Jamey Barbas, PE, NYSTA Project Director for New NY Bridge, Laura Pellizzi, PE, NYSSPE President

From Left to Right: Jay Wagner, PE, NYSTA Approach Span Manager for New NY Bridge, Anthony Fasano, PE, NYSSPE Exec. Director, Jamey Barbas, PE, NYSTA Project Director for New NY Bridge, Laura Pellizzi, PE, NYSSPE President

The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) hosted their 2017 Annual Conference last week in White Plains, NY offering up to 9 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) to participants including an extensive 2 PDH boat tour of the construction of the New NY Bridge.

Members and participants took the 4-hour boat tour up the Hudson River to see the New NY Bridge (replacing the Tappan Zee bridge) construction site up close and personal.

The New NY Bridge Project, which serves to replace the existing Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River in suburban New York City, is one of the largest ongoing bridge construction projects in the US. This $3.9 billion dollar project is scheduled for completion in 2017 and is the first design/build project ever undertaken by the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA). With a twin structure more than 3 miles long over the Hudson River, many construction challenges were encountered. Along with the need to meet numerous environmental conditions, partner with local communities, as well as ensure the uninterrupted use of the NYS Thruway by the traveling public, this project offered opportunity for unique engineering solutions.

During the boat ride, NYSSPE members heard from Jay Wagner, PE  and Jamey Barbas, PE  both of the NYS Thruway Authority the discuss the development and progression of the New NY Bridge. [Read more…]

NYSSPE Awards Project of the Year Award to the New NY Bridge Project

NYSSPE Awards Project of the Year Award to the New NY Bridge Project Team

NYSSPE Awards Project of the Year Award to the New NY Bridge Project Team

“You know how I operate, all of the plans that come across my desk, must be sealed by a licensed professional engineer.”

Those were the words of Jamey Barbas, PE, and Project Director for the New NY Bridge project as she accepted a special award on June 8th from the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE).

The New NY Bridge, one of the largest bridge projects in the US, was awarded the NYSSPE Project of the Year award, which is selected and presented by the Professional Engineers in Construction (PEC) interest group of NYSSPE.

PEC was honored to present the New York State Thruway Authority, Tappan Zee Constructors, HDR, COWI Buckland & Taylor, GZA GeoEnvironmental, AECOM/URS and Greenman-Pedersen with the 2017 Project of the Year Award at last week’s 2017 Annual Conference in White Plains, NY

The New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) is replacing the existing Tappan Zee Bridge with a new 3.1-mile state-of-the-art, twin-span bridge across the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties.  The $3.98 billion New NY Bridge project is the largest single design-build contract for a transportation project in the United States. Located 20 miles north of New York City, the cable-stayed span crosses one of the widest parts of the river and will be the largest bridge in New York State history. Construction started in fall 2013 and the project remains on schedule and within budget. More than 6,300 people have worked on the bridge to date. [Read more…]