2 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011
Choose YOUR engineering career from more fields than you might imagine
What comes to mind when you hear “engineering”? To many people, it conjures images of ereecting buildings or putting up bridges. Those things are certainly engineering, but there are many, many types of engineering. If you have an interest in science or math but you’re not sure whether there’s an engineering career for you, think again. Engineers solve problems in all areas of our society. Which type of engineering matches your interests?
Aeronautical/Aerospace. Want to make things fly? Aeronautical engineering might be for you. Agricultural. Want to protect the environment and feed the world? Agricultural engineers do that and more. Biomedical. Interested in medicine but don't want to go to medical school? Biomedical engineering helps people by combining medicine with technology. Chemical. Curious about chemical reactions? Chemical engineers
use chemistry to find new and better ways of doing things. Civil. The Hoover Dam, the Brooklyn Bridge, and I-95 have at least one thing in common: Civil engineers were involved in building them all. Computer. Know your way around a keyboard? Computer engineering offers enormous opportunities for your future. Electrical. Would you like to power the world? Electrical engineers work with electricity - the
A celebration of Engineers Week for students and their families, teachers and friends - Saturday, February 19, 2011, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. - University of Southern Maine, Costello Sports Complex, Gorham $2 per person donation at the door suggested. For more details visit: www.EngineeringME.com
Maine Engineering Promotion Council
most versatile type of power. Environmental. Is recycling important to you? Concern for the environment is the top priority for environmental engineers. Fire Protection. Fire protection engineers design fire, sprinkler, alarm, exit, and smoke-control systems, do risk analyses of industrial facilities, consult with architects on high-rise structures, hospitals, hotels, and stadiums, and investigate fires and explosions. Industrial. Do you often think "I could do that better or faster"? So do industrial engineers. Materials. How are the tires on a race car different from the ones on your family's car? A materials engineer would know. Mechanical. Like to take things apart? Mechanical engineers design and build all kinds of machines, from airplane engines to undersea robots. Nuclear. Could fusion be the
solution for safe, affordable energy? Nuclear engineers are working to find out. Surveying. Surveying engineering covers the broad spectrum of surveying and mapping activities encountered in modern practice; including newer development such as photogrammetry global satellite positioning, spatial database design, quality assurance, and management of geographic information systems. Transportation. Would you like to be the designer of the next Central Artery of a major City like Boston or become involved in Intelligent Highway Systems of the future? And more. Check out engineering opportunities at the University of Maine College of Engineering, Maine Maritime Academy, and elsewhere to find the engineering career that’s just what you’re looking for to head into your future.
This supplement was produced and published by the
Editor/Layout: David M. Fitzpatrick Writers: David M. Fitzpatrick, Brian Swartz. Some material submitted by contributors. Photographers: Brian Swartz; BDN file photos; some photos submitted by others Sales: Linda Hayes Cover Design: Michele Prentice If you’d like to participate in next year’s Engineers Week supplement, contact Linda Hayes at (207) 990-8136 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to reach a wide audience with your organization’s message, consider running your own Special Section. For more information, contact Mike Kearney at (207) 990-8212 or at email@example.com.
BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011 | 3
Wood-chip boiler provides energy savings in Falmouth By Oak Point Associates Commercially sized biomass-fueled boiler systems are gaining popularity as emphasis on renewable energy sources continues to grow, and they prove to provide owners with stabilized energy savings. As well as providing lower heat bills, biomass systems allow fuel dollars to stay within the region and help grow a sustainable industry based on local forest and labor resources. Some Maine schools and institutions are turning to such systems, fueled by locally sourced wood chips, and replacing more common systems run on imported fossil fuels. The wood-chip boiler system in Falmouth, recently designed by Oak Point Associates of Biddeford, Maine, is already providing significant benefits. The system contained in a new boiler building at the Falmouth school campus is designed to provide heat to the high school and the elementary school, which is currently
under construction. The boiler was put into commission on December 22, 2010. In just 40 days, the system has already provided nearly $35,000 in fuel cost savings and provided heat to the schools at an equivalent of $1.05 per gallon of oil. Once the elementary school is complete, total energy cost savings are expected to increase. Far more advanced and efficient than residential wood heating systems, the commercially-sized wood-chip boiler system has a capacity of delivering 6.8 million BTU per hour — enough to heat the two schools’ combined 280,000 square feet. The system employs a wood-chip storage bin that can hold 60 tons of fuel, a four-day supply during the coldest days of the winter season. Local suppliers deliver wood chips to the bin through retracting garage doors. There, a traveling auger feeds chips onto a conveyor belt that transports them to a meter-
Extending the life of the Tri-Community Landfill By Paul Porada, PE, Woodard & Curran and Mark Draper, Director, Tri-Community Recycling & Sanitary Landfill The Tri-Community Recycling and Sanitary Landfill facility owns and operates a municipal solid waste landfill in Fort Fairfield, Maine. Tri-Community ser ves three owner communities — Caribou, Limestone, and Fort Fairfield — and over 30 other municipalities in the northern-Maine region. Woodard & Curran, the TriCommunity’s environmental engineer for the past 18 years, has recently provided expertise to suc-
See BOILER, Page 12
cessfully design, license and build a complex $9 million landfill project that doubled the facility’s available waste capacity. The investment was a win-win scenario because this new disposal capacity lies within the original landfill footprint, and the project addressed two main environmental issues: improving the covering on an old landfill, and adding a system to actively reduce gas emissions from the wastes. Separately, a pipeline will be put in to transfer the landfill’s leachate to Caribou’s wastewater-treatment plant, which will eliminate the need for the hundreds of trucks that currently haul this leachate in tanks over local roads.
See LANDFILL, Page 12
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4 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011
Maine Maritime Academy undergraduates participate in tidal-energy research
By Brian Swartz SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR
Flowing relentlessly through Castine Harbor, the sea provides Maine Maritime Academy undergraduates with exciting research opportunities in tidal energy. In conjunction with the MMAbased Tidal Energy Demonstration and Evaluation Center, Maine Blue Stream Power of Blue Hill recently tested a tidal energy device in Castine Harbor. “They had developed a device that according to their designs should perform in low [tidal] flow situations,” said TEDEC Executive Director Rick Armstrong. After testing a scale model in the University of Maine’s tow tank, MBSP staffers used a specially designed barge to lower the test device into the tidal flow at Castine, Armstrong said. He noted that TEDEC, which is the only federally authorized “in-stream tidal energy device testing facility in the United States,” has three permitted test sites in the Bagaduce River, including a site in Castine Harbor. Three MMA seniors enrolled in Marine Systems Engineering assisted with the MBSP project, which concluded in late December 2010. Brandon Dubois, Jonathan Kalloch, and Curtis Libby incorporated the project into their tidal energy-focused Capstone Project. “We did a lot of the [engineering-related] preparation work,”
such as determining the stability calculations for the barge manufactured in Blue Hill by Nat Bradshaw,” said Libby, a Houlton High School graduate. “John and Brandon spent a lot of time in the machine shop with Nat” while developing documentation for safety procedures and equipment related to the barge, which carried the MBSP test device, he said. At weekly meetings with Armstrong and MBSP staffers, the MMA students discussed many project aspects, Libby said. Although they did not participate in actual in-water testing at Castine, the MSE seniors are reviewing the data needed by Maine Blue Stream Power so that the company can submit a research grant proposal to the United States Department of Energy, Libby said. This semester, the MSE seniors are also working with Ocean Renewable Power Co., which successfully tested its Beta Pre-Commercial TidGen Power System (Beta TidGen System) in Cobscook Bay near Eastport in 2010. Libby interned with Ocean Renewable Power during his sophomore and junior summers at Maine Maritime Academy. “We will create a three-dimensional scaled model, a physical representation” of the turbine generator unit’s steel and composite support frame, Libby said. Maine Maritime Academy recently acquired a 3-D printer that will build the scaled model, for which “we have to figure out what our scaling limitations are,” he said. The MSE seniors will “test the model in the University of Maine tow tank for dynamic interactions
NEWS PHOTOS BY BRIAN SWARTZ
Dr. Richard Kimball (left) is a professor of Marine Systems Engineering at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. Curtis Libby (roght) and two other Marine Systems Engineering seniors at Maine Maritime Academy have participated in tidal energy research involving MMA, the University of Maine, and the Tidal Energy Demonstration and Evaluation Center.
with a flowing current,” Libby said. “We want to see with our test how the whole structure responds at different velocity rates.” “We’re working with Dr. Doug Reed” from MMA on the modeling research, he indicated. “We want to have the testing done and the results ready for analysis by the time we graduate” next spring. According to Dr. Richard Kimball, an MSE professor at Maine Maritime Academy, tidal energy
research in Castine involves MMA and the University of Maine; both institutions are partners in the Maine Tidal Power Initiative. “A federal earmark [to UMaine] through the Department of Energy” funds the current research efforts, with MMA involved as a subcontractor, Kimball said. The University of Maine has the tow tank, graduate engineering students, and the environmental researchers, including Dr. Huijie
Xue, “a world-class researcher in tidal energy resource assessment,” Kimball said. “Maine Maritime offers a functioning waterfront, support staff, research vessels, and laboratory space right on the harbor,” Armstrong said. “We have the faculty, the students, and the administration fully supportive of this joint research.” Continued on next page
Siting GIS Development Design Permitting PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINE MARITIME ACADEMY
The MMA campus. The sea provides MMA students ample opportunity to engage in tidal-energy research. In conjunction with MMA’s Tidal Energy Demonstration and Evaluation Center, Maine 800 648 4202
Blue Stream Power of Blue Hill recently tested a tidal energy device in Castine Harbor.
BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011 | 5
Continued from previous page
Federal DOE funding is also going to private companies to develop tidal energy generators, Kimball said, noting that Ocean Renewable Power Co. has been awarded DOE funding to advance the company’s tidal energy technology on a commercial scale. Other private companies are considering doing tidal energy research at Castine; the TEDEC permit lets them do so without applying for federal testing permits.“We have the testing capability, as we showed in working with Maine Blue Stream Power,” Kimball said. “They had people here, and we did the testing together. “We have the approved [test] sites. We can work with every type of client interested in tidal energy,” he said. Although British companies have constructed large commercial tidalenergy devices in Scotland, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has not issued any licenses for any commercial tidal energy projects in America, Armstrong indicated. “This is all new to us.” He described tidal energy as “very predictable” and indicated that “water
clearly has much more high energy in its motion” than does air. Tidal flow slackens while approaching high or low tide and stops altogether every six hours, Armstrong noted. According to Armstrong, TEDEC coordinates tidal energy research in the Bagaduce River, where companies like Maine Blue Stream Power are testing low-flow devices, not high-flow TGUs like those operational in Scotland. “We’re looking at devices that will likely be small systems,” he said. Armstrong noted that state and federal regulators have many questions about tidal energy. “The possible environmental impact requires a lot of study,” he said. “We’re looking at hydrokinetic energy, which is taking energy from the flow of water. “When you place [tidal energy] devices in flowing water, how much do they slow it down? What does it do to the fish and the seals and all the other marine life?” Armstrong asked. “The regulators are saying, ‘Let’s get the devices in the water so we can really understand the impacts.’ That’s what our work here will accomplish: TEDEC will help show the regulators what tidal
energy can do.” Tidal energy research will also prepare MMA students like Dubois, Kalloch, and Libby for possible future employment in the field. Armstrong believes that Maine, along with Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, has excellent potential for tidal energy development; “we certainly want to advance the industry and job creation in Maine,” he said. “Right now some [MMA] undergraduates are doing research, which is really uncommon at that college level,” Kimball said. “That opportunity will expand as more clients contact TEDEC about testing tidal energy devices here. “Our mission is to teach,” he said. “We see research as part of teaching. Our students are receiving valuable experience and training through our involvement with tidal energy research.”
Representatives of MMA, Maine Blue Stream Power, and the Tidal Energy Demonstration and Evaluation Center prepare to lower a Breus Rotor into Castine Harbor in December 2010. Developed by Sergei Breus, the rotor exhibits a high level for potential success in tidal energy generation because it operates in low-flow tidal currents. MMA faculty and students assisted with this project, which was conducted at an authorized tidal-energy test site. (Photo courtesy of MMA.)
SMRT: ‘Building commissioning’ for energy efficiency By Brad Hodges, PE, LEED AP, CxA SMRT, ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS, PLANNERS
Today’s energy costs — and the emphasis
on “going green” — drive building owners to ensure they’re maximizing the energy efficiency of their properties. With today’s complex heating, cooling, and other energyintensive building systems, a growing
expertise called “building commissioning” analyzes and verifies components and systems are working efficiently and in a coordinated way. The intended results of building commissioning are a building operating as intended, while optimizing operational costs, reducing energy consumption and enhancing the comfort and safety of occupants. Building commissioning is undertaken in new construction, existing buildings, buildings that may have been commissioned years ago, or those that have undergone substantial renovations.
A landmark study released in 2009, “Building Commissioning: A Golden Opportunity for Reducing Energy Costs and Greenhouse-gas Emissions” (Mills, Evan), found the median payback for the cost of commissioning to be 1.1 years for existing buildings and 4.2 years for new construction. Evans analyzed data from approximately 1 million square feet of buildings located in 26 states. When considering a building-commissioning project, it’s important to consult a firm credentialed by a leading industry organization such as the AABC Commissioning Group to ensure high standards of knowledge, ethics and approach.
SMRT is looking for a few good engineers. If you’re looking for one great job, consider this: SMRT’s current projects include lithium-ion battery plants in Michigan and Florida, an Armed Forces Reserve Center in Puerto Rico, a 300,000 s.f. consolidated hospital in Maine, and Land Ports of Entry in Vermont and New York State. Our practices cover the spectrum of science/technology/industry, healthcare, justice, government and higher education.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SMRT
Brad Hodges of SMRT reviews a pump installation at Barnstable County Jail in Massachusetts.
We’re always on the lookout for engineers who seek challenge and want interesting work. We promise to deliver both. Check out our current openings: www.smrtinc.com / 207.772.3846 PORTLAND, ME
6 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011
Veterans Memorial Bridge replacement in Portland/S. Port.
As snow blankets the state, construction of the new Veterans Memorial Bridge in Portland and South Portland is underway. The bridge is a design-build project with T.Y. Lin International as lead designer that incorporates bicycle and pedestrian paths and honors Maineâ€™s veterans with memorials on both ends. Input from various local groups including veterans, bicyclists, and neighbors have resulted in a spectacular landmark that will also form a gateway into Portland. The construction team worked through the holidays and they are now taking extra precautionary measures during the winter conditions in order to keep progress on schedule. Work has progressed nicely on the foundation of the bridge as piles have been driven and work is continuing on the piers that will support the new bridge. Work continues on temporary support towers that will be used in erecting the precast bridge segments. A retaining wall on the Portland side of the bridge is also under construction. The Context Sensitive Solutions
portion of the project is winding down and is expected to be complete in the coming months. T.Y. Lin International was founded more than 50 years ago and has established itself as an internationally recognized civil and structural engineering firm specializing in the planning, design and construction engineering/inspection of transportation infrastructure. As a winner of numerous awards for excellence on transportation projects, TYLI sets the highest standards on projects of every scope and size. Operating from offices throughout Asia and the United States, including offices in Falmouth, Maine and Concord, N.H., the professional staff of engineers and planners delivers project-specific innovative solutions.
PHOTO COURTESY OF T.Y. LIN
Construction in progress on the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Portland.
Often contending with tight deadlines, budget constraints, and challenging site conditions, TYLI specializes in providing
our clients with quality, responsive, innovative and constructible designs.
MeSPE working for all engineers The Maine Society of Professional Engineers was formed in 1959 to promote the licensure of all engineers regardless of their area of practice. Affiliated with the National Society of Professional Engineers since its inception, the Society has recently focused on the areas of education and the promotion of professionalism. Regional competitions for the MATHCOUNTS program, a math competition for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, were held February 5 at three locations around the state. The state competition will be held March 26 with the winners going to the
Veterans Memorial Bridge Portland and South Portland, ME
E N G I N E E R S P L A N N E R S S C I E N T I S T S T Y L I N . C O M
Jeffrey Andrews | 12 Northbrook Dr. | Bldg. A | Ste. One | Falmouth, ME 04105 | 207-781-4721
national competition held in May. On Friday, February 18, MeSPE will be hosting its seventh Educational Symposium in Portland as part of Engineers Week. A total of six professional development hours are available for attendees. Additional information is available on our Web site, www.MESPE.org. On January 18, MeSPE hosted an Order of the Engineer induction ceremony on the campus of the University of Maine. A total of 18 UMaine seniors and three adults joined the Order through Link 099, which was chartered to MeSPE in 1986.
BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011 | 7
Innovative collaboration yields exceptional results By Phil Ruck, P.E., CES Inc.
What does “stormwater runoff ” mean to you? To seven municipalities and five state and federally owned facilities in the Greater Bangor area, it means a lot of hard work, collaboration, and cleaner water. These 12 entities are regulated under the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges. Since 2003, CES, a full-service engineering and surveying firm offering environmental services, has been assisting the regulated communities (Bangor, Brewer, Hampden, Milford, Old Town, Orono, and Veazie) and facilities (University of Maine, University College of Bangor, Eastern Maine Com-
munity College, Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, and Maine Air National Guard) as they have worked together to comply with complex MS4 permit requirements. Some of these requirements include educating the public about the impacts of stormwater runoff pollution, involving the public in efforts to improve runoff quality, and maintaining and inspecting the system of storm drains, catch basins, and ditches that collect and conveys stormwater to our local rivers and streams. The 12 regulated entities in the Bangor urbanized area realized early on that a collaborative regional approach to MS4 permit compliance was critical to achieving their goals in a cost-effective and timely manner. As a result, the Bangor Area Storm Water Group was formed. Eight years later, the BASWG garners nationwide recognition as a
Growing greenhouse tomatoes all year long in Madison, Maine By Sevee & Maher Engineers
$240,000 in external grant funds to offset program implementation costs. These efforts, combined with a highly interactive and productive partnership with MDEP has created an effective and successful stormwater program for the Greater Bangor area. CES is proud to be part of the BASWG MS4 team. For more information, visit the BASWG Web site at www.BASWG.org.
Phil Ruck, P.E., Director of Environmental Engineering & Sciences for CES, Inc. in Brewer, serves as technical consultant to the BASWG and many of its MS4 members.
ENGINEERING • SURVEYING • PLANNING • SCIENCES
See TOMATOES, Page 9
“If everyone is moving forward together, then succcess takes care of itself.” - Henry Ford
www.ces-maine.com FIVELOCATIONS LOCATIONSIN INMAINE MAINE FIVE
Since 2007, Backyard Farms has been growing vine-ripened tomatoes year-round in glass greenhouses in the Somerset county town of Madison, Maine. With the completion of its second greenhouse in 2009, BYF has a total of approximately 42 acres of greenhouse growing space, which is equivalent to approximately 32 football fields. Two types of hydroponic tomatoes are grown year-round and shipped to stores within about a day’s drive of Madison. BYF has created almost 200 jobs in Maine and believes strongly in giving back to local communities. Sevee & Maher Engineers, Inc., of Cumberland Center, Maine, provided BYF with civil site design and assistance with local and state permitting for the original green-
house, and continues to assist this growing business with other design and permitting assistance. BYF uses some of the most technically advanced greenhouse technology in the world. The greenhouses are heated in the winter, and thermal blankets are used to reduce heat loss. In the summer, vents in the roof are opened to take advantage of the summer breezes. When the sun isn’t shining, growing lights provide illumination to produce high-quality tomatoes all year long. BYF is committed to using sustainable measures, like composting the tomato vines to reduce waste, using recycled cardboard and packing tape, and printing stationery with soy inks. Another unique component of the greenhouse is the source of fresh water used to irri-
successful working regional model. CES has been an active partner with the BASWG since its inception and serves as the technical consultant to the group, as well as to the individual MS4 entities. This partnership has resulted in several innovative ideas that have improved efficiency and reduced program implementation costs for BASWG members. Examples of these initiatives include: • the development of a regional Stormwater Management Plan • the creation of a Web-based regional database system to manage MS4 inspection data and SMP activities • and the implementation of regional training programs to maintain program consistency between MS4 entities To date, the BASWG has saved Maine taxpayers an estimated $450,000 by teaming together to achieve their MS4 permit program goals. With the valued assistance of Brenda Zollitsch, a professional facilitator/grant writer, as well as CES, the BASWG has also received more than
8 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011
Wide range of fields at UMaine College of Engineering offers limitless challenges By David M. Fitzpatrick BDN SPECIAL SECTIONS
To many, “engineering” means building structures. It certainly is, but there are many varied types of engineering: biological, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical, and construction management technology, for example. And you can earn a degree in any of them at UMaine’s College of Engineering, and more. The two men in charge at the CoE are great examples — and champions — of diverse engineering careers. Dean Dana Humphrey began working as a geotechnical engineer in 1980, and Associate Dean Chet Rock as an environmental engineer in 1968. And both confess they’ve loved every minute of their careers. “It’s really enjoyable to be an engineer,” Humphrey said. “You’re working on really important problems, [and] you’re working with people … that are enthused about what they’re doing.” Humphrey has worked primarily with earth-based projects such as foundations and dams. “I play
with dirt for a living,” he said. “My neighbors where I grew up can’t believe what I do for a living, because it’s the same thing I did when I was 6 years old.” In Rock’s childhood, he and his brothers would get bored with fishing and construct dams on the brooks. After heading to college to be a civil engineer, he became fascinated with his roommate’s environmental-engineering studies, and he knew he’d found his focus.
Every Day, Every Way We don’t often think about the engineering behind the computers we use, the buildings we’re in, or the bridges we cross, but it’s required for all of those things, and Humphrey says there are indeed people who think about their engineering aspects every day. “In terms of bridges … if you’re the engineer working that project, every time you drive by that bridge, you’re going, ‘Wow, isn’t that bridge doing great.’ And you can see the people using them and it’s just a great sense of satisfaction.” Besides the great satisfaction from being an engineer, the career benefits are many. “Engineers have excellent employment,” he said. “Even in the downturn of the last couple of years, engineers’ unem-
BDN FILE PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS
UMaine chemical and biological engineering double major Jennifer Skall (left) and biological engineering major Katie Porter (background) supervise Brittany Worcester, 15, of Girl Scout Troop 67 in Winterport as Worcester uses a pipette to add sodium citrate to a solution of gold nanoparticles. Girl Scouts and their leaders from across the state came to UMaine to take part in Transforming Leadership: Engineering Their Future in November 2010.
ployment rate has been much lower than the U.S. average.” Engineering projects have historically been vehicles to stimulate failing economies. Just look at the Hoover Dam (whose chief engineer, by the way, was UMaine CoE
graduate Francis Crowe), constructed during the Great Depression. Today, virtually every manufacturer needs engineers to design products, the equipment that makes them, and even software to manage everything. That need will
only increase, especially with an overwhelming focus on environmental engineering and energy issues. “The role that engineers play in Continued on next page
Profile of Success: UMaine College of Engineering graduate Lauren Swett Lauren Swett was interested in engineering while at Old Town High School. But when she attended the Consider Engineering program at UMaine, “That really helped make the decision final,” she said. She enrolled in the University of Maine College of Engineering, earning a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2004 and her master’s in C.E., with concentration in Geotechnical Engineering, in 2007. “I really enjoyed my time at the University of Maine,” she said. “The professors in the Engineering Department, specifically in Civil Engineering where I was, were really great to work with.” She cited a great atmosphere and an open-door policy, as well as classes where she did lab work that applied to real-world experiences. She later worked for the Civil Engineering department as an undergraduate and as a graduate student. One of her big projects as an undergraduate was building a database and a Web site for the beneficial
reuse of industrial-waste materials, in which she worked with various private industries. While looking for a job, she considered Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, but “I was pretty happy to stay in Maine,” she said. She was hired at Woodard & Curran in Portland in 2006, and she loves it. “I get to work on a good variety of projects,” she said. “It’s interesting work, and … you get to see the results of the work that you do.” Recently, she worked on a stormwatertreatment project on Darling Avenue in South Portland, which is part of the Long Creek Watershed. She was involved at every stage, from permitting to design to construction oversight, on a project that was literally just minutes from her office. Swett has enjoyed extensive networking since the beginning of her education. She’s been involved with the
American Society of Civil Engineers since she was a new UMaine student, and stayed with it through the Maine Section ASCE in her professional life. She’s in her third year on its board, and last October became governor of its Region 1 — New England, New York, and New Jersey. She’s also a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, having been inducted as an undergrad after having benefited from the Society’s members’ guidance in her early days. “It’s good to go back and help out an organization that helped me out when I was a student,” she said. Swett encourages high-school students considering engineering careers to take the next step. “If you have an interest at all, go for it,” she said. “There are so many different options within engineering. Engineering’s involved with pretty much anything. There’s probably something in engineering for you.” And she can’t speak highly enough of the UMaine CoE. “I think that was one of the best choices that I could have made,” she said. “I was really happy with the education that I got there.” -D David M. Fitzpatrick, BDN
BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011 | 9
Continued from previous page solving both small problems that are important to communities, to people, to schools, and really big problems that are important to societyâ€? is extremely vital, Humphrey said.
Broad Range of Careers
Humphrey said the typical starting salary for an engineer is $50,000, and their jobs are almost always with companies providing real benefits, with no limit to where you can go with your degree â€” career-wise and geographically. On his first job, Humphrey worked on the Continental Divide in New Mexico, in the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming, and in the Black Hills of South Dakota. â€œIt was a blast, and I was getting paid to be there,â€?
Tomatoes Continued from Page 7 gate the tomatoes. The flat/sawtooth greenhouse roofs collect the natural rainfall that falls upon them. The rainfall flows into a sophisticated gutter collection system and is directed to two outside rainwater ponds. One pond currently stores about 12 million gallons of rainwater, and a second pond is planned to add 17 million gallons of storage of fresh irrigation water. The 42 acres of glass roof collects most of the water needed for the annual crops, reducing the need for supplemental irrigation water. This design has the added benefit of eliminating any stormwater runoff from the buildings. This eliminated the need for large stormwater ponds or other treatment measures, and enabled BYF to realize significant cost savings during construction while preserving surrounding land for future growth. SME provided technical assistance to BYF for the necessary Maine Department of Environmental Protection permit approvals. SME is an environmental and civil engineering company in Cumberland, Maine providing professional and technical services in the environmental, civil, geotechnical, water, and compliance fields for public- and private-sector clients throughout the Northeast. For more information, visit our website at www.SMEMaine.com.
he said. The CoE is at record enrollment this year, with over 1,700 students, but Humphrey says Maine needs more. â€œTo have a strong and healthy state, you need engineers,â€? he said. â€œEngineers are responsible for 80 percent of Maineâ€™s exports; if you want to have exports, youâ€™ve got to have engineers.â€? He cited companies such as Pratt & Whitney in Berwick, Bath Iron Works, and National Semiconductor in South Portland as examples of companies with many engineers; the latter has one for every two production workers. Although an impressive twothirds of UMaine grads in all programs get their first jobs in Maine, the number still needs to increase; once Mainers leave the state, itâ€™s tough to get them back. The CoE approaches this aggressively, working to give students paying jobs that gets them real-world engineering experience. â€œWhat Habib Dagher [director of UMaineâ€™s AEWC] says is he doesnâ€™t want any students flipping burgers to make money, because we can give them real, on-the-job experience here that theyâ€™re going to take and put into use when they get out in the real world,â€? said Humphrey. â€œThatâ€™s including doing projects, managing projects, producing the result that actually somebodyâ€™s going to be able to use. Itâ€™s a good part of what we have going on here.â€?
Reaching Young Minds The CoE engages in plenty of outreach to draw young minds to the excitement of engineering. Thereâ€™s the statewide Girls Engineer Maine, or GEM, program, now in its third year. Itâ€™s designed to reach out to middle-school girls, with hopes of finding those who are excited about the prospect of engineering careers. Currently, just 15 percent of UMaine CoE students are women. For middle-schoolers of both genders is the Making Stuff event, in conjunction with WGBH in Boston, that brought 200 middleschoolers to campus Feb. 8. And thereâ€™s the annual Engineers Week event, which alternates between Orono and Gorham and draws 1,000 students considering engineering careers, and plenty who werenâ€™t. Rock recalled a student whose father made her go to Engineers Week. â€œShe was just absolutely fascinated,â€? he said. â€œAnd now she has graduated and [is] working as an engineer.â€? A new program in Innovation Engineering is bringing in engineers and non-engineers alike. Through just a few classes, any UMainer can minor in Innovation Engineering. â€œ[Itâ€™s] a way of thinking,â€? said Rock. â€œWe think of it as sort of the common-sense approach... everybody in every job is trying to come up with ideas and create solutions.
PHOTO COURTESY OF UMAINE
Jeff Thebarge, Civil Engineering major, working in the AEWC Strand Composites Pilot Plant, cleaning an OSB layup table.
Engineers have been doing it for years and years.â€? The six-class program, now in its third year and unique to UMaine, is team-oriented, focused on everyone bringing ideas to the table, never rejecting ideas out of hand, and learning to build on those ideas to find the best solutions. Itâ€™s like the scientific method, only Rock calls it â€œthe engineering method.â€? And itâ€™s easy. â€œIf you can add and subtract, you can do the math to be an innovation engineer,â€? Rock said. â€œItâ€™s more about the approach.â€? Outreach continues even after graduation. At UMaine, the CoE offers several graduate programs
and graduate courses online available to students anywhere. That helps engineers keep their skills sharp and keep their education ongoing. Rock will be retiring this May. â€œI look back with absolutely no regrets, so itâ€™s been a great career,â€? he said. â€œThe thing about engineering I like is it resonates when you talk to students about creativity. â€œYou really get a chance to be creative and use your imagination and be able to come up with ideas that might work.â€? If youâ€™re an educator looking for ways to expose kids to engineering, contact Dean Humphrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Maine Section ASCE and its 700+ members proudly support Maine Engineerâ€™s Week 2011. For more information on activities and upcoming Maine ASCE events, please visit us at www.maineasce.org
10 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011
World-changing engineering happening at AEWC
By David M. Fitzpatrick
BDN SPECIAL SECTIONS
If you’re looking to be involved in innovative structural-engineering projects that will help fuel Maine’s economic future, look not further than UMaine’s AEWC Advanced Structures and & Composites Center. Consider the “Bridge in a Backpack” project. These bridges consist of inflatable composite tubes that are filled with concrete to form supporting arches. They set up easily, and have 100-year-plus life spans. The BIAB has been used on two bridges in Maine, with extremely low cost and a 12-day time frame from teardown to completed bridge. The project has garnered widespread acclaim, including the 2010 Most Creative Application Award for Composites Excellence from the American Composites Manufacturing Association. BIAB has been licensed in the private sector to Advanced Infrastructures Technologies in Orono to design the bridges, with Kenway Corporation in Augusta to manufacture the structures. “This is an example of how technology developed at the university is turning into a business in the state of Maine,” said AEWC Director Dr. Habib Dagher. “The importance of innovation and technology in our economy, not only today but in the future, is key. The world
of the future is a world of ideas and technologies. The states and companies that develop these technologies ahead of the rest will win.” With our nation’s infrastructure rapidly decaying, the time- and cost-saving BIAB project is important to reducing costs of repairing and replacing decaying bridges across the country. Two of the bridges have been erected in Maine, with more to come. “This technology becomes one of the many innovative solutions,” Dagher said. Then there’s the AEWC’s offshore wind-energy project. The project will float 149 massive wind turbines 2050 miles offshore and harness up to 149 gigawatts of power. Even the minimum power generation will be 50 gigawatts, 20 times the power that all of Maine needs. With the equivalent of having 50 nuclear-power plants running 24/7, that means plenty of energy to sell elsewhere. The project will involve the university and 35 business partners from Maine and beyond, with the first turbine deployment in July 2012. The project should ultimately attract $20 billion in private investment capital to Maine and create 7,000 to 15,000 manufacturing jobs. These projects are just two of the ways AEWC is helping change Maine and the world. To learn about more of AEWC’s exciting projects, visit www.aewc.umaine.edu.
PHOTO COURTESY OF AEWC
Alice MacDonnell, a civil-engineering major, works on the carbon-fiber tubes now being used in the new “bridge in a backpack” technology
Left: Workers from Stetson & Watson contractors maneuver a carbon-fiber tube over the Little River in Belfast last September. When completed, the Herrick Road bridge will be the largest so-called “bridge in a backpack” built in Maine. (Bangor Daily News file photo by Abigail Curtis.) Right: The nearly completed McGee Bridge in Anson, another “bridge in a backpack” structure. (Photo courtesy of Edwin Nagy.)
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BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011 | 11
Large-generation interconection to the New England power grid By SGC Engineering There has been a lot of electric-generation development activity in the recent past with more suggested for the future. All generators need to interconnect to the electric grid in order to participate in energy markets. This discussion is focused on largegeneration development, as defined by FERC — greater than 25 megawatts — that commonly require a transmission interconnection to enable operation. To meet electrical-reliability requirements, these projects require an application to ISO New England, the Regional Transmission Operator for this area. This application is required regardless of the transmission provider, or utility, receiving the connection. The application requires information such as location, land rights, detailed generator information for electrical modeling, preliminary electrical design including transmission conductors, and spacing. While the process is relatively complex,
for purposes of this article, the highlights will be discussed. The application includes several steps, with successful completion of each before proceeding. Feasibility Study (optional): Evaluates technical and economic considerations. System Impact Study: Models the effect of new generation on the balance of the system, and the required changes to address reliability. Facility Study: Provides detailed design of the interconnection facilities, but does not include other generator-related facilities beyond the interconnection. Upon determination that the System Impact Study results in a system that is acceptable to all parties, the project can move forward, including NEPOOL and ISO New England formal acceptance of the system changes. As the detailed design approaches completion, there can be additional reliability approvals required, such as Northeast Power Coordinating Council. The ISO New England reliability process can be as short as six months, but often takes more than a year to accomplish. None of this
Avoiding the indemnity trap your professional negligence. By Gregg Ritter, CIC, AAI, AIC CLARK INSURANCE
As a design professional, you need to take steps to avoid being penalized in indemnity suits not triggered by your own actual negligence, errors, or recklessness. Here’s where you start: Don’t sign contracts with sweeping indemnity clauses. Remove them, or at least make sure they’re balanced, and triggered only by your own acts.
Remove the “duty to defend” obligation, or be sure that it can only be triggered by
If “duty to defend” is a separate statement, make sure it’s not open-ended, and putting you on the hook to defend others at your expense. If there’s onerous language in existing contracts, be proactive at claim time. Since most claims are from a third party, work with your co-defendant to expedite information sharing and cut costs. Defense expenses can be staggering. You need to be aggressive in dealing with these at the contractual level, before they become an issue.
Oops! Be sure your insurance covers you if something like this happens due to your company’s error. But be sure your contract doesn’t shift the blame to you when it’s someone else’s fault.
There are many electrical-reliability requirements that must be met before applying to ISO New England to interconnect to the electrical grid.
replaces the physical installation permits (siting) required such as the local towns,
state environmental, federal environmental, land use, and various stakeholders.
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12 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Saturday | February 12, 2011 IMAGE COURTESY OF OAKPOINT ASSOCIATES
Boiler Continued from Page 3 ing bin equipped with an ultrasonic sensor. Metering augers, powered by a variable-speed motor, drop chips onto stoker augers that carry the fuel into the boiler, adding the exact amount of chips needed based on computer controlled monitoring. Wood chips are combusted within the boiler in a gasification process. A multi-cyclone ash separator spins the exhaust gases to collect fly ash before they are released up the stack, significantly reducing particulate-matter levels and generat-
A diagram of the wood-chip boiler system in Falmouth.
ing cleaner emissions. Heat is circulated from the boiler through underground supply-and-return pipes connected to the high school and elementary school buildings. A computer panel continuously regulates and monitors the boiler system, as well as provides facility operator controls. Interested parties are able to get a first-hand look at the system from a viewing platform designed into the boiler building. The platform overlooks the wood chip storage bin, boiler, and related equipment. Colorcoded piping and descriptive signage makes the system simple to understand, even for those unfamiliar with heating systems.
Landfill Continued from Page 3
The project maintains Tri-Communityâ€™s ability to offer affordable waste
Civil StruCtural MeChaniCal eleCtriCal
disposal at a modern facility that meets current regulator y requirements. By extending the life of the Tri-Community landfill, Woodard & Curran has helped these northernMaine-region municipalities retain better control of their futures while protecting the environment.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WOODARD & CURRAN
Workers set the gas-combustion flare at the Tri-County Recycling and Sanitary Landfill facility in Fort Fairfield. Now in operation, the flare reduces the greenhouse-gas emissions from the landfill, serving three owners communities and 30 other municipalities in northern Maine.
Woodard & Curran
We are a 600-person, integrated engineering, science, and operations company. Privately held and steadily growing, we serve public and private clients locally and nationwide. At the heart of our company are people who are experts in their field and passionate about what they do, showing a level of commitment and integrity that drive results for our clients.
Specializing in sustainable design. OAK POINT A S S O C I A T E S
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It's Engineers Week 2011, and the Bangor Daily News once again shows young minds the excitement of a career in engineering. Featuring articl...