Baltimore Engineering Firms Participate in “Day with an Engineer”

As part of National Engineer’s Week, employees from 12 local engineering firms and public agencies participated in “Day with an Engineer,” a high school shadowing program organized by the Baltimore Post of the Society of American Military Engineers. These offices hosted 68 high school juniors and seniors from 19 high schools in the Baltimore area on Feb. 25. These students were interested in studying engineering in college but did not know which area of engineering on which to focus. The day was structured so that they had maximum exposure to as many engineering disciplines as possible.

Education OutreachThe U.S. Naval Academy and NAVFAC teamed up to offer seven students from Woodlawn High School a unique program. The students were given an inside look into the academic offerings of the Academy by LT Jon Angle and his colleagues in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. After this, the students were given instruction and a tour of the new health clinic project that is currently under construction from one of PWD Annapolis’ project managers, Tiffany Monaco, PE. This program allowed for the students to observe both the academic and practitioner’s perspective on the field of engineering – all in the beautiful setting of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Whitney, Bailey, Cox & Magnani (WBCM) in Towson hosted five students from Towson, Pikesville, Dulaney and Loch Raven High Schools. The students were presented with the activities of WBCM’s various civil, structural, environmental, marine, industrial and transportation practice groups followed by a construction tour of the Intercollegiate Tennis Facility project that WBCM designed for Loyola University – Maryland.

At Parsons, two students observed the engineering work environment during Day with an Engineer by working a sample problem with Parsons Government Services (PGS) and Parsons Transportation Group (PTG) engineers that included both environmental and road & bridge design elements. The visiting students were also given the opportunity to spend time with their senior engineers to discuss basic skill sets for engineers and their work experience on engineering tasks performed on a wide variety of projects for government and private industrial clients.

Gannett Fleming hosted four students from Loch Raven and Pikesville High Schools, all of whom expect to study engineering in college. They spent the morning at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), first visiting the contractor’s trailer to view plans and then touring the active construction site of the new denitrification facilities. Next up was a plant tour with an operator with visits to the existing chlorination building and effluent channels, mechanical screen building, and sludge thickening facilities. Back at the office, they had a pizza lunch with approximately 20 engineers from multiple disciplines, which allowed the students to ask informal questions. In the afternoon the students met with engineers from 8 different disciplines, including electrical, mechanical, structural, civil, water/wastewater, geo-environmental, highway, and rail, for “one-on-one” sessions. The students were engaged and had a great time learning about the day to day activities of engineers.

All groups were treated to lunch courtesy of the hosting firms and provided with commemorative t-shirts courtesy of SAME. Afterward, the students said that they had a good time and learned a great deal about what real engineers do on a daily basis. Many of the students indicated that the program strengthened their desire to do what it takes to become engineers. Chad Fisher of Pikesville High said, “The lunch was great and the site visit was really cool. I would recommend this experience to anyone interested in engineering”. Thanks to all the firms who participated in this year’s event: EA Engineering, Science and Technology, EBA, EBL Engineers, Gannett Fleming, JMT, NAVFAC, Parsons, Whiting-Turner, TAI, RMF, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Baltimore District, and WBCM.

February 2016 Newsletter

Dr Lever SpeakingOur February joint meeting with the Green Building Council focused on school construction. The keynote speaker was Dr. David Lever. There are over 880,000 students in 24 school systems in Maryland. They are spread out in 1,400 buildings with an average age of 28 years. Of those buildings, 52% pre-date 1990 and 36% were built in the 1960’s and ’70’s, so they are energy inefficient. Dr. Lever indicated that they are making strides in energy efficiency for schools; 20 have achieved LEED certification and two will be built net zero. The premium for LEED over standard construction is approximately 3-5%. There is much work to be done; one estimate puts the cost to fully modernize the entire fleet of schools at $20 billion. Baltimore City alone has a multi-billion dollar plan to build over 20 schools.

Post Participates in Charm Challenge 3!

On 18 November at the Baltimore Port Coast Guard Yard, LTC Mike Ruppert lead a combined team from SAME, USACE, and DOD participating in the Charm Challenge 3 hosted by the Federal Executive Board and Commander, USCG Yard Baltimore. This multi-faceted exercise include presentations by the Baltimore Police, FBI Baltimore Field Office, FEMA Region 3, and a scenario based table top exercise. The exercise helped participating organization understand local, federal, and regional resources available to individual agencies in planning, preparation, and execution of a threat based Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) response. An after action review and shared lessons learned were facilitated by FEMA personnel.

The day proved to be a great learning opportunity for all. The team and hosted discussions facilitated a review of organizational COOP plans and areas for improvement. SAME attendees included LTC Ruppert, Stacy Kahatapitiya, and Randy Westfall. Additionally, 5 USACE and 1 DOD personnel participated.Coast Guard Yard

YMs Run the Bay

Members ran across the Bay Bridge, Again!

LTC Ruppert, Denise Tegtmeyer and the running crewOn Nov. 8, a team of 20 runners representing the SAME Baltimore Post participated in the second annual 10K Across the Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run was a 6.2-mi run starting near the base of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the western shore of the bay. The race took runners over the 4.35-mi bridge that towers nearly 200-ft above Chesapeake Bay. The Baltimore Post team was comprised of individuals from 12 member organizations and included first time race participants as well as seasoned runners.

Congratulations to all who participated in the race! Stay tuned for more SAME team races next fall.

January Inaugural Webinar

In January, we abandoned our usual dinner meeting in favor of a webinar focusing on energy issues. It was a great success with nearly 90 members participating! While the logistics were challenging, we will likely have another webinar in the future.

WebinarPresentations included military energy security (Army, Navy, and specific to Ft. Detrick), the state of the shale gas market, and Maryland’s largest construction project, the Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG terminal. The presentation slides can be downloaded from our website.