NYC DOB and DDC to Address Design Professionals on October 19th at NYC Design Professionals Day.

On Friday October 19th, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) will provide several presentations to inform design professionals and the construction industry about important design considerations and about conducting inspections in the City, as well as about the recent initiatives by the department. The event will be held at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering (NYU-Poly), Pfizer Auditorium, 5 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201. For more information and to RSVP to the event CLICK HERE.

The full day event will begin with a keynote speech by DOB’s First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello R.A., who will discuss recent developments and an update on the online filing system being implemented by the department. DOB’s Chief Structural Engineer Dan Eschenasy, PE, F.SEI, SECB, will provide an overview of post fire structural investigations by design professionals (1 PDH). Chief of DOB’s Forensic Engineering Unit, Tim Lynch PE, will discuss Building Typology and NYC’s building classifications system (1 PDH) as well as lessons from the recent damage assessments in Puerto Rico (1 PDH). In addition, DOB’s Director of Sustainability Enforcement, Holly Savoia PE will discuss TR-8 energy progress inspections conducted by design professionals in New York City (1 PDH).

In addition, the Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Design & Construction (DDC) Eric Macfarlane, PE, M.ASCE, will provide an overview of New York City’s efforts to engineer sustainability and resiliency in the face of Global warming and associated sea level rise projection and extreme weather events (1 PDH). Mr. Macfarlane will discuss NYC’s emissions reduction efforts to date and NYC’s Roadmap to 80% GHG reduction by 2050. Also discussed will be a few DDC projects and case studies related to sustainability and resiliency and 80X20 efforts to preserve and improve the quality of life for NYC residents. For more information and to RSVP to the event use the following link: RSVP to Event.

The presentation by DOB’s Director of Sustainability Enforcement, Holly Savoia PE will include a discussion on changes in the energy code and the continually evolving knowledge base of design professionals in an effort to improve energy performance and sustainable building practices in construction. Strong enforcement and education are a necessary component of this effort, and TR-8 progress inspectors play a crucial part in the bridge between the design phase and construction. The presentation will identify the resources available to design professionals for the conduct of progress inspections with respect to the energy code, the administration process to be followed, lessons learned by the Department of Buildings during a recent pilot study of alteration projects, a discussion of challenges, and what is coming up on the horizon.

The presentation by DOB’s Chief Structural Engineer Dan Eschenasy, PE, F.SEI, SECB, will include an overview of Post Fire Structural Investigations. Material specific methods of post-fire inspection and evaluation will be presented. Following a fire incident structural engineers are called to evaluate the structural stability and condition of the remaining structure and determine the needs for structural repairs. Fire characteristics and the effect of fire on various construction materials will be discussed (steel, concrete, stone and wood). [Read more…]

Engineering Ethics: How to Protect Your Engineering License

By Lewis Tesser and Randall Tesser

Bad things happen to good engineers.  Each year, some well-intentioned professional engineers cross over the misconduct threshold, and many, many more are the subject of disciplinary investigations even though they have not committed an ethical violation.  Therefore, it is worth discussing the factors triggering disciplinary investigations and the circumstances frequently attending disciplinary violations.  Whether or not misconduct has been committed, avoiding even the appearance of ethical pitfalls will save you time, money and stress, keep your clients satisfied, and safeguard your license.

Communication, Communication, Communication

In any profession, the vast majority of complaints emanate from unsatisfied clients.[1] The remedy is apparent; keep the customer satisfied. The best way to do this is to maintain good communication. Often, timely and honest communication is the single easiest and greatest step that any professional can take to reduce the likelihood of receiving complaints. What is involved?

Promptly return phone calls and e-mails. Whether you are working directly for a client, are working through a contractor or are part of an organization, whoever your point person is, keep them informed. When clients do not hear from you—even if you are hard at work—they may believe that their project is not important to you. Of course, you do not have to respond to each and every call ten times a day. The key is to communicate. Establish a policy regarding response time, and stick to it. If you are unable to respond, make sure to explain the reason for the unavailability and make a realistic promise as to when the call will be returned.

Document your work. Keep contemporaneous notes of relevant conversations, important events, time devoted and expenses incurred. Maintain records in a way that you can easily retrieve them. With good recordkeeping, you can show your clients all the hard work that you put into their projects. This will be especially useful if a bill is higher than usual.

Speaking of bills, clients should never be surprised. You may feel awkward having spent more time than expected on a project. That is the time to communicate with the client (or your company). Let them know ahead of time if you expect a bill to be high, and explain why the bill is higher than usual (using your well documented records). Consider sending out your bills frequently and regularly so they are not stuck with one big number at the end.

Be Wary of Ethical Grey Areas

            While being a licensed professional involves certain privileges, it also limits the scope of your practice. There are certain activities that are prohibited for professional engineers to take part in, either because they are not the work of a professional engineer, or because they pose a conflict of interest. For example, in some states an engineer may not work for, or with, the government while they are being regulated as a professional. In addition, professional engineers often may not perform work where they have an undisclosed financial interest in a project.[2]

On that note, be aware of local laws and regulations. Different states, counties and municipalities impose different requirements on the practice of engineering. Regardless of where your license was issued, violating local rules and regulations can put your license in jeopardy. A little bit of research goes a long way when working in new or unfamiliar localities. [Read more…]

NYSSPE Announces 2018 Award Recipients for Annual Conference

Please join the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, Inc. in congratulating our 2018 Award Winners!

Engineer of the Year: William Gorlin, P.E.

William Gorlin is an industry recognized and world-renowned expert in the design of stages, theaters, amusement rides and theatrical effects. His expertise in structural and mechanical engineer systems relating to these elements has made him a leader in the industry. Bill is a graduate of Cornell University where he obtained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, and he is currently Vice President and Division Chief of Entertainment Engineering at McLaren Engineering Group.

His career spans 30 years and four continents. He has worked on projects around the globe, from Macau to China to Singapore, North and South America, the Middle East and throughout Europe. His work includes the Dancing Cranes in Singapore, the world’s largest animatronic structure; the stage for Cirque du Soleil’s Ka at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas; work at all of the theme parks in Florida, including Disney World, Universal and Sea World; amusement parks in Dubai, and Moscow; and work on over 100 Broadway shows.

As Professional Engineers, one of our key core values is the protection of the public. Bill has exemplified this as he is at the fore front of his industry in promoting safety and is presently in charge of writing the industry standards for both Performer Flying and Temporary structures. Many of the projects Bill is involved with are considered temporary structure and don’t fall under the traditional building Code. Because of this Bill has worked with both international committees and the NYC Building department to develop the requirement for temporary events to insure public and performer safety.

[Read more…]

Engineering Firms Are Invited to Attend, Network and Exhibit at Engineering Expo, White Plains, NY – Sunday April 15th, 2018.

By the PEs in Construction Group, NYSSPE.

Engineering firms as well as the construction community at large are invited to attend, network and exhibit at the Lower Hudson Valley Engineering Expo on Sunday April 15th in White Plains, NY. At least 40-50 engineering firms, contractors and public agencies are expected to participate and present interactive displays, innovations and exhibits focusing on engineering opportunities for the challenges of today’s economic uncertainties and international competition for engineering services. This is a great opportunity for small to mid-sized engineering firms to network, collaborate, learn and interact with dozens of other small to large engineering entities, agencies, as well as an opportunity to display their recent accomplishments and look for future project opportunities. Attendance to the Engineering Expo is free.

Among the engineering firms anticipated to be participating this year are: Arup; Arcadis of NY; Brooker Engineering; Corning Inc.; H2M Architects + engineers; HDR; Skanska USA; WSP USA; OLA Consulting Engineers; Sikorsky Aircraft; SUEZ; New York Power Authority; The Whiting-Turner Cont. Co. ; Hazen and Sawyer; Divney Tung Schwalbe; McLaren Engineering Group; Provident Design Engineering; Kiewit; STV Group; City of White Plains Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering; Orange County Water Authority. NYSSPE will be participating at the expo and will provide a membership information booth.

NYSSPE members as well as any businesses in engineering, construction and technology to network and join with leading engineering universities to support Engineering Expo by becoming an exhibitor or a Silver to Platinum sponsor of the event. The overriding effort of this event, is to provide a forum where students can meet with engineering businesses and colleges, to get a real understanding of what engineers do, and to also learn what universities might be of interest to them. Your participation (among others) will help accomplish this effort.
Display booths for small engineering and construction firms are still available starting at $300 as well as prime anchor booths for leading firms. NYSSPE will be volunteering and participating again at the Expo and will be presenting their banner and recent accomplishments in a display booth to be announced. To register for a booth or to sponsor, click here

[Read more…]

Structural Technologies to Present to NYSSPE Members on Techniques to Reinforce Concrete Structures And Increase Structural Capacity: March 13th

The PEs in Construction Group of NYSSPE will host a presentation by Structural Technologies on the topic of Techniques to Reinforce Concrete Structures And Increase Structural Capacity.   The presentation will be held on Tuesday, March 13th at 6:00pm at McLaren Engineering in West Nyack, NY.  To RSVP and for more info about the presentation, go to:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F88B3JR

There are many factors that create the need for strengthening, reinforcing and increasing the load capacity of concrete structures. They include construction and design errors, increase in live load, new code requirements, low concrete strength, voids created during concrete placement, new penetrations and prevention of progressive collapse from blast loads.

Structural strengthening projects may utilize traditional materials such as conventional cement-based and steel materials as well as advanced composite materials (FRP’s) that are commonly used for aerospace applications. The techniques used to design and install these materials for upgrade applications are not common to the engineering and general construction industry which can make strengthening projects even more challenging and complex than new construction.

Factors (among others) affecting the performance or capacity of reinforced concrete

  • New Loads – change in use
  • Construction or design errors
  • Missing, misplaced or damaged reinforcement
  • Voids or Honeycombs created during concrete placement
  • Cutting of new penetrations that affect existing reinforcement
  • Low strength concrete

[Read more…]

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.

[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 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…]

2106 Award Spotlight: PEC’s Project of the Year, New Rochelle Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project

Engineers Consortium_ground 2
PEC Project of the Year:
New Rochelle Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project

PEC Project Engineering Firms:
Savin Engineers, P.C.
Acadis
CDM Smith
GHD

The Long Island Sound is an estuary that serves numerous local communities and the regional economy by providing boating, fishing, swimming and sightseeing. The sound is a vital water body that provides a home for numerous species of aquatic life to breed, nest and nurse.  Due to concerns over poor water and aquatic quality, significant efforts have been made toward identifying pollutants and other issues that impact the sound and developing plans to mitigate them.

Water quality studies have been performed and nitrogen has been identified as a principal factor limiting the water quality of the Long Island Sound. Excess nitrogen levels in the Long Island Sound stimulate phytoplankton growth, which in turn blocks light and prevent growth of submerged aquatic vegetation, destroying the habitat of different fish and shellfish. When the phytoplankton die and decay, available oxygen is then depleted. Thus, dissolved oxygen concentrations fall below the needed levels for the survival of aquatic organisms. [Read more…]

Eric Murdock P.E. to Present New Septic System Technologies, Design and Installation Techniques on May 10th for NYSSPE PEC Group

mclaren

This coming Tuesday, May 10th Erick E. Murdock P.E. will be present in detail new septic system technologies and general septic system design and installation techniques. The presentation will include Passive ATU – the next generation of Aerobic Treatment & Dispersal in septic systems. Eric was Project Manager for the U.S.E.P.A. funded demonstration project, which was set up to research, select, and install alternative onsite wastewater treatment systems in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed. Nineteen systems were installed as part of the project. Most of these systems were the first of their kind in New York State and/or the United States.

[Read more…]