Maine Engineers Week 2018

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Look Inside for Engineering Job Opportunities

February 18 – 24th, 2018

Date: Saturday, February 24th Time: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Location: UMaine New Balance Field House

Engineers Week is the catalyst that sparks organizations and volunteers to make a difference by engaging students in engineering and celebrating the profession. A Special Section of the Bangor Daily News February 16, 2018


ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTS Sargent Corporation ........................3


Graduating soon? Need a job? Flip through this year’s Engineers Week Special Section and see many of the opportunities in the New England Area!

Cianbro ...............................................4 TRC ......................................................5

(Left) University of Maine engineering students operate a mannequin designed to diagnose breathing problems in children.

SMRT ...................................................6


Pratt & Whitney ................................7 Stantec ...............................................8 Maine DOT ..........................................9 University of Maine ........................ 10 Sappi ..................................................13 Maine Maritime Academy ............. 14 WBRC ................................................ 16

(Right) Students test remotely controlled equipment in the University of Maine College of Engineering. COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018



argent Corporation is an employee-owned earthwork construction company that traces its beginning to 1926 in Alton, Maine. Today, Sargent Corporation’s 400 employees work in seven states, specializing in commercial, industrial and institutional site preparation, landfill construction, utility projects, airports, athletic facilities and wind power access. The company is led by a field management team boasting over one thousand years of combined experience. Sargent Corporation uses the latest technological resources available, a commitment to the equipment they operate, and a perpetual attention to detail. Their mission is to be the most efficient and effective contractor on the planet—and to do things better than they’ve ever been done before. With operations in Northern New England and the Mid-

Atlantic states, you can count on Sargent Corporation’s team to meet the demanding technical challenges of your next heavy earthwork project and to produce world-class results. The company is dedicated to providing exceptional quality, ingenuity and service for their clients. They look forward to continuing their uncommon drive to participate in the community and contribute to the growth and development of the people they serve. Sargent Corporation is one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. They are the foundations of your roads, runways, wind power and more. Sargent Corporation’s success, they say, is in the dirt— they never stop honing their craft. As they say, that’s what earthmoving excellence is all about. Sargent Corporation is proud to support future engineers and welcome the opportunity to meet them in the near future.



ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018



f they had a place to stand, they could find a way to move the Earth.” That’s how Cianbro CEO Andi Vigue describes the company’s team of more than a hundred degreed engineers who are integrated into everything Cianbro builds. Their

capabilities are vast, ranging from wide experience in deep excavation to working in and around water. They develop single or multi-crane plans for erecting structures safely, and leverage Mother Nature to move massive structures such as the lift spans of movable bridges. But beyond the experience and intelligence of Cianbro’s engineering team is their willingness, and downright fondness, for collaboration. “Our engineers are very good at understanding a problem,” said Andi. “They don’t just say, ‘I designed it. That’s the answer. That’s the way to do it.’ We’ve created a culture that attracts certain types of exceptional people to Cianbro, and then we encourage our team members to work together. Having an atmosphere where they work in a group to solve problems is invaluable. It’s not that they are individually expected to have all the answers.” “We have a saying at Cianbro: ‘Nobody is smarter than all of us,’” said Cianbro


chairman Pete Vigue. “That outlook is shared by everyone in the company, including the engineers. Our engineering team is a significant part of developing creative solutions at Cianbro. But most importantly, they recognize and respect the skill and the talent of the entire organization when it comes to developing solutions that are safe and practical. That collaboration is the secret recipe in many cases.” The ability of Cianbro engineers to be human and to understand that the problems they are solving aren’t just textbook problems is another source of their effectiveness. They recognize that there is tremendous value in the knowledge and the skill of people who have built things. Stand nearby as they collaborate and these are the snippets of conversation that you will hear: “Hey, this is how we might fix it” … “If you try these options, we might save some time” … “By taking this route, the finished product might function better and be easier to construct.” The engineers at Cianbro acknowledge the theoretical approach and the practical approach. When the team combines those perspectives during their collaborations, even the moon is within reach.

ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018

Engineering Excellent Jobs - Right Here in Maine


ngineering jobs are in high demand these days, both in Maine and across the country. And while many young professionals consider moving away to find work outside of the Pine Tree State, opportunities abound to pursue challenging, stimulating engineering careers right here at home. “I grew up in Maine and love all it has to offer,” said Kendra Wolfel, a senior electrical engineer at TRC, a leading national engineering, environmental consulting, and construction management firm that employs nearly 400 people at its offices in Augusta, Ellsworth, Scarborough and South Portland. “After graduating from the University of Maine in 2009, I really wanted to find meaningful work locally and give back to my home state.” What Kendra found at TRC was not only the ability to explore many different aspects of engineering, but the ability to take lead roles on projects and experience the whole process, from meeting with utility clients to conducting site visits and developing technical solutions. “No project is ever quite the same,” she said. “I am always learning and growing and I’m eager to collaborate with my colleagues.”

TRC substation engineer Brendan Paradis, a lifelong Maine resident and a colleague of Wolfel’s, echoes her sentiments. “I really like the variety of work at TRC and the opportunities to develop my technical skills,” he said. “Early in my career I got to lead a substation project that was a big challenge, but it pushed me to do greater things. I have also been able to work directly for a utility in their offices, which gave me a deep appreciation for the client perspective and the importance of high quality client service.” Since 2002, TRC’s engineers have supported hundreds of substation and transmission improvement projects to enhance the quality and reliability of Maine’s power grid, encompassing all aspects of power engineering, including environmental permitting, design, procurement, construction and commissioning. But while gaining experience on Maine-based projects, engineers like Wolfel and Paradis also have the opportunity to work on significant, complex engineering projects across the country, addressing critical national energy challenges. Engineers have the chance to travel across the northeast or as far as California for work. And even when sitting at their desks in Maine, they may be working on major projects far away.


Management is committed to developing everyone’s qualifications and offers an in-house career development and certification program to expose young engineers to a wide range of technical disciplines and to track professional progress. TRC also has a scholarship endowment for University of Maine Electrical Engineering Technology students and is a strong supporter of the University’s College of Engineering Program. “It is part of TRC’s culture to recognize and capitalize on everyone’s unique, individual strengths, and we take deep pride in providing our clients with innovative, excellent service and quality results,” said Paul Elkin, senior vice president of TRC’s power delivery operations. That culture is paying dividends for TRC and its employees in Maine and elsewhere. “I have had many technical and managerial opportunities in my 17 years with TRC, but the people I work with are the main reason for my longevity,” said Stephen Pierce, director of substation engineering for New England. “The staff here from top to bottom are highly skilled, deeply motivated and extremely dedicated to the success of the company and our clients.”



ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018



he future is here. That’s what excites the staff at SMRT Architects and Engineers, as each day brings new, interesting challenges to work designing and engineering facilities enabling tomorrow’s technologies. Cleanrooms, dry rooms, labs, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, government and education facility professionals across the country all rely upon SMRT to understand their unique business challenges and deliver technically complex buildings to further their mission. SMRT’s projects are diverse. We’re called upon to design facilities enabling the development of the latest batteries fueling the future, cutting-edge medical devices changing treatment protocols, aerospace components for deep space applications, or integrated circuits to drive artificial intelligence. Working at SMRT is always an intellectual adventure, collaborating with some of the most interesting people and organizations operating regionally or globally.

Close to home, SMRT staffers are proud of their collaboration with the University of Maine, designing the Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Lab, a 1:50-scale testing facility for offshore model testing, equipped with a high-performance rotatable wind machine over a multidirectional wave basin. Able to replicate some of the most severe storms anywhere on earth, the lab accurately simulates towing tests, scaled wind and wave conditions, and variable water depths. The faculty, staff and students utilizing this world-class ocean engineering lab are working with businesses (and on their own research) to develop products for the marine economy, and to protect coastal cities from severe storms and erosion. Selected research areas include the development of ocean energy devices utilizing wind, wave, and tidal forces; ship and boat hulls offering advanced materials, and improved safety and efficiency; advances in aquaculture; developing the next era of oil and

gas structures; and ensuring future advances in waterfront infrastructure including bridges, port facilities, piers and docks to enhance safety, materials composition, and longevity. Fitted with a 16-paddle wave maker, the wave basin runs 98’ x 30’ (30 meters long by 9 meters wide), with a working depth of floor of zero to five meters. The wave maker can simulate a variety of conditions, from regular waves and all standard spectra to custom random seas, allowing scientists and product developers to understand all-condition impacts. The paddle wave maker can produce wave angles in excess of +/- 60 degrees relative to the basin center line, and waves can be programmed directionally and with a range of frequencies. The lab generates wind on demand, as well as waves. The 5m x 3.5m x 6m wind machine is capable of generating wind speeds up to 12 m/s with flow direction relative to waves up to 180 degrees.

The university designed and constructed the parabolic profile beach in-house. With a removable central structure to accommodate the towing system, the university engineered the beach system using aluminum ribs and a composite surface. For more information, visit offshore-model-testing. SMRT works with amazing clients who are undertaking groundbreaking work that will impact the future for us all. At SMRT, we’re always looking for smart, dedicated professionals – at all stages of their careers – with a passion for designing and engineering complex facilities critical to our clients. The Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Lab is but one example where our architects and engineers designed the building and its mechanical systems, setting the stage for our client’s cutting edge work. To check out SMRT’s diverse practice and our career opportunities, visit

ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018


ratt & Whitney has been a leader of the American manufacturing landscape for more than 90 years. In this new century, the aerospace industry demands a comprehensive, holistic approach to technology and innovation. As a division of United Technologies Corporation, Pratt & Whitney is committed to exploring and developing new solutions to create the most impactful, game-changing engine technologies. Our Geared Turbo Fan engine (GTF) program matured and/or invented 48 different technologies to drive performance benefits for commercial flight. We also provide a suite of unmatched military engine adaptive technologies that go beyond just one solution to meet warfighters’ demands for greater range, persistence, survivability and advanced weapon systems. Pratt & Whitney’s North Berwick facility began production of aerospace engine parts in 1979. The facility is now 1.2-millionsquare-feet and houses four individual businesses—the North Berwick Parts Center, North Berwick Engineering Center, North Berwick Repair Operations, and North Berwick Assembly Center. This business model supports the entire lifecycle of the product, providing a unique advantage for the manufacturing and development of our products. North Berwick has been experiencing historic growth for



more than four years now. More than 800 new employees have been hired in just the last two years. Our people are the foundation of our progress, providing us the skills and talents needed to support our growth. Their spirit and tenacity are what make them some of the best in the industry. As Pratt & Whitney’s North Berwick site expands, we are continuously innovating our shop floor with the most sophisticated precision-manufacturing machines in the industry, and growing our assembly business with one-of-a-kind automated assembly lines. Coupling these and other technologies with the talents of our employee base continues to be a winning combination for employee satisfaction and customer confidence. Pratt & Whitney’s North Berwick facility, located in Southern York County, employees more than 1,900 people in its 1.2 million square Modern flight is not powered by a single gamefoot building changing technology or standalone innovation. It’s built on thousands of breakthrough technologies and new ideas working together. And its future depends on fast, of our manufacturing line, they’re tenaciously improving how flexible thinkers relentlessly exploring every opportunity, big our engines are manufactured, perform, and serviced. And and small, to push it forward. At Pratt & Whitney, our people our customers can depend on generations of innovators are driving innovation into every part, process, and service. working together to transform every great idea into real, From the smallest detail of our engine design to the last stage comprehensive solutions.


ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018


Engineering is all around us



ridges. Roads. Computers. Robots. These are just a few examples of what most people think of when they picture engineers. Many engineers do work on these kinds of projects—but they also do so much more. Engineers help ensure airport runways and airfields are safe for aircraft. Engineers keep our drinking water clean. Engineers design the systems that keep our lights on, including finding new ways to tap into wind and solar energy. Engineers study traffic patterns and design new roads and intersections to make travel more efficient. Engineers reroute streams for fish passages and study

the impact of development on wildlife. Engineers work with government officials to make sure projects comply with laws and regulations. Engineers host public meetings to explain projects to the community. And the list goes on. Stantec’s Maine-based team of over 175 professionals includes all of those disciplines, from traditional civil and structural engineers to engineeringrelated professions like landscape architects and wildlife biologists. Wildlife, power, water, roads, airports… engineers do all of that? You bet they do. And they do it right here, at home, in Maine.

ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018



ollege graduates seeking engineering careers should consider the Maine Department of Transportation, which is now recruiting assistant engineers to work in nearly every corner of the state, from Scarborough to Presque Isle. While a career at MaineDOT provides stability, the department also offers a wide-ranging scope of work and the opportunity to get hands-on experience quickly. The agency spends more than $600 million annually to build and maintain roads, bridges, port facilities, ferries and even rail lines. MaineDOT employees develop and implement new technologies, respond to emergency situations, and work on national issues with colleagues from other states and the federal government. MaineDOT projects have lasting, state-wide significance. Its 2018-2019-2020 Work Plan lays out a $2.3 billion-plus roadmap to maintain and improve Maine’s Transportation system over the next three years. The Work Plan is published at the beginning of each calendar year and spells out all the projects and activities that the department plans to undertake or build, based on a broad-

based prioritization from MaineDOT staff across many disciplines. MaineDOT employees play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for residents across the state, and this year is no exception. In 2018, safety is an increased area of emphasis in Maine and nationally. Safety performance on the transportation system across America has been trending in the wrong direction with crashes, fatalities and injuries increasing in parallel with the growth in vehicle miles travelled. Though safety is deeply embedded in MaineDOT’s mission and culture, highway deaths have been inching up after a decade of decline. In addition, motorcycle fatalities have increased markedly and the number of pedestrian fatalities per-year in Maine has basically doubled in just four years. Though every project MaineDOT builds and every activity undertaken has safety at the centerpiece of the work, this year’s Work Plan provides additional tools to attack these trends. Continued addition of rumble strips to combat lane departures – the deadliest crash type.

Targeted outreach to communities that have experienced clusters of pedestrian crashes to identify problem areas and develop strategies to tackle them. Funding to address pedestrian infrastructure needs identified through the targeted community outreach. Upgrades to guardrail systems across the state. Pavement markings, signage and technical measures to reduce wrong-way driving on interstate ramps. Funding to design and construct improvements on I-295 north of Portland where the crash incidence is high. Students and others interested in working on projects that can make a difference, like the safety projects planned for 2018, can find meaningful work at MaineDOT. In addition, MaineDOT provides job stability, a familyfriendly culture, and a strong benefits package. Salaries for assistant engineers range between $40,643 and $48,089, depending on experience. Employees are eligible for a pension, dental insurance, and health insurance. The state pays between 85 to 100 percent the cost of the health insurance premium, depending on the employee’s pay. For more information, visit



ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018



ast year, a group of University of Maine engineering students designed a mannequin to help medical professionals better diagnose breathing problems in young children. This year, a group of senior engineering students is designing a drone aircraft that can find injured people in the wilderness and begin gathering the medical information that emergency responders will need to treat them. Solving real world problems is at the heart of engineering, believes Dana Humphrey, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Maine. For students entering the world of engineering, the problems have never been more real and the future has never been brighter. With a national shortage of engineers, manufacturing and designing businesses are finding it difficult to fill vacancies. And because each new engineer adds about $560,000 to the state’s gross domestic product, according to a University of Maine analysis, the shortage of engineers is also bad news for the economy. Too few qualified engineers is not a new problem either in Maine or the nation, but as a generation of engineers nears retirement age, the problem is becoming more urgent. In the decade ending in 2016, Maine added 1,420 new engineering positions. Last year there were about 1,400 job postings for engineers, said Humphrey. Because about 25 percent of Maine’s engineers are 55 years old or older, it is estimated that about 1,750 openings will be created by retirements over the next decade or so. Humphrey said he believes the University of Maine needs to roughly double the number of people graduating from its engineering school to meet the growing need. To address that goal, the University of Maine is

working to expand its educational infrastructure. In just the past few years, the engineering program has added about ten new faculty positions. A new $80 million Engineering Education and Design Center, which is currently in the design phase, will become the heart of engineering at the university when it is finished, said Humphrey. The center will allow students to work collaboratively on hands-on projects to apply engineering principles and solve the kind of problems they will face after graduation. The pediatric medical mannequin, developed by four University of Maine bioengineering students in 2017, addressed a real-world lack of models that accurately simulate the breathing of children in respiratory distress. Assigned the task as a senior capstone design project, the team had a $500 budget and used widely available materials, such as plastics, tubing, fittings and an air compressor. The design created by the team replicates the way children’s abdominal and diaphragm breathing patterns change in critical situations so medical professionals can more accurately and quickly diagnose pediatric patients under 4. Following graduation, the four University of Maine engineers created a corporation to build the mannequins. Another group completely rehabilitated a home in Old Town for Habitat of Humanity, managing subcontractors and doing some of the work themselves. Those capstone projects are a critical part of students’ education as engineers because they require them to solve real problems and help real people, said Humphrey. “That is what engineers do. We solve problems,” he said. Too many people have a misconception of

engineering as a career that involves spending endless hours in a cubicle doing calculations, said Humphrey. In reality, engineers often travel extensively, and spend their careers working collaboratively with other professionals. Humphrey, a civil engineer, said that as a child he was fascinated with the process of building things and could spend hours watching construction projects. Today, he is well paid as an engineer to follow the same interests he loved as a child. And while engineering graduates are perennially at or near the top in terms of the earning potential of new graduates, the rewards of the career are by no means all monetary, said Humphrey. One of his research projects has been working out how to reuse scrap tires in civil engineering applications. With something like 30 million tires in Maine in transfer facilities and storage sites, there is a great need to find a way to dispose of the tires without taking up space in landfills. At the same time, chipped tires have properties that make them ideal for some functions, such as for retaining wall backfill. Using those properties to find a solution to Maine’s tire problem is the kind of real world issue that can make engineering so satisfying, said Humphrey. Engineering students at the University of Maine go to work solving problems in hands-on courses from the first day they walk in the door. One of the first courses that civil engineering students take is called “Materials” and requires them to measure the strength of various materials, such as concrete. Humphrey pointed out that the way to find a material’s breaking point is to break it. “I jokingly say this is a course where students get

ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018

Dana Humphrey, Dean of the College of Engineering at UMaine, teaches an Engineering Leadership and Management course recently. PHOTO COURTESY UMAINE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

What we do isn’t just about what we design and build. It’s about making the world a more amazing place. We do that every day by empowering and encouraging our engineers to change, shape and improve the future for generations to come.



ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018

college credit for breaking things,” said Humphrey. Through the University’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, students also get the opportunity to work with Maine manufacturers like Lanco Integrated, which designs and manufactures automated assembly and test systems. Students recently helped Lanco develop a process to make boot components more competitively, thereby improving the chances that traditional manufacturing jobs like bootmaking could stay in Maine. Through the manufacturing center, the college has also helped businesses make everything from gourmet brownies to trailers and tote sacks. Engineering students helped Maine manufacturing icon Hussey Seating Company, which has made the seating for sports venues as big as Gillette Stadium in Foxborough and as small as tiny Maine high schools, develop a wireless system that helps monitor bleachers.

Students have also worked with Hussey on loading issues to make sure bleachers would stand up to the worst an excited crowd of stomping sports fans could dish out. By bringing student engineers and Maine companies together, the manufacturing center allows student engineers to apply their skills to real-world problems while it also helps keep Maine businesses of all sizes viable. Humphrey said in one instance, Maine engineers created a very simple machine to help a small soap maker dramatically cut the time it it needed to wrap its product. By bringing students and employers together, the center also helps develop relationships, the kind that help young graduates get jobs at good Maine companies like Lanco Integrated and Hussey and the larger sort that help strengthen ties between academia and industry so that each can help the other adapt more quickly to an ever-

changing world. All of which helps make the case for University of Maine engineers. According to surveys, almost 99 percent of the university’s engineering graduates are either employed or in graduate school full-time six months after graduation. Many graduates that take a first job in engineering go on to careers in business and find that the ability to identify and solve problems translates well to new challenges. Engineering is, after all, about solving realworld problems, like how to help young children get better medical care, how to help emergency medical teams get help to people lost and hurt in the woods and how to make sure sports fans stay safe, no matter how exciting the game gets. Solving those problems makes companies a little more competitive, consumers a little safer, and hopefully, they make the world a little better too.

ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018



aper permeates nearly every aspect of our lives. It can be found in our clothes, our cars, our pantries and, of course, our mailboxes. Because paper is a critical resource, the paper industry is on the forefront of innovation and sustainability to meet consumer demands and solve solutions. An engineering career at Sappi North America provides the opportunity to work with a leader in this fundamental industry. Sappi’s employees are developing new applications for paper every day, such as its first functional release paper, which acts as a mold to input a texture on surfaces to inhibit bacterial growth without the use of toxic additives or chemicals. The potential for a product like this is exciting and holds boundless opportunities. Due to the nimble, innovative leadership at Sappi, the company is continuously growing and has an eye on the future. Investments and capital flowing to the company’s mills in Maine ensures its long-term viability. Last year, the company announced a $165 million investment to rebuild one of its prominent paper machines. This project is

currently underway at the Skowhegan, Maine mill. The project will increase the machine’s bandwidth by 180,000 metric tons of capacity and expand product offerings for the company’s packaging product lines. Sappi is a leading global company in the pulp and paper industry with offices and mills located in Boston, Maine, Minnesota, South Africa and Europe. The company is driven by its 2020Vision, which seeks to bring unity to all of its locations around the world and pursue growth opportunities in the wood fiber industry worldwide. The work is challenging and interesting, the pay is competitive, but perhaps most importantly, Sappi is full of seasoned engineers ready and waiting to mentor younger staff. Many of Sappi’s employees have been with the company for decades, and are eager to pass their knowledge on to the next generation. Sappi works closely with the University of Maine’s Pulp and Paper Foundation to support students who express an interest in the Pulp and Paper industry,

ensuring that the next generation of paper engineers is the best and brightest. Sappi consistently works with local institutions to offer competitive co-op programs and career development opportunities. Our 130 local engineers come from a variety of institutions, including the University of Maine, Maine Maritime, Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and more. For hundreds of years the paper industry has been a staple of Maine’s economy, and Sappi North America’s local mills and offices – in Skowhegan, Westbrook and South Portland – have remained a bright spot throughout time. By strictly adhering to the three Ps – people, planet, and prosperity – the company has set the gold standard for environmental practices and continuously updates processes to drive innovation and sustainability. For more information or to talk with someone about joining our team, visit or contact Dale Wibberly in human resources at 207-238-7962.



ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018


In a highly specialized laboratory in Downeast Maine, Maine Maritime Academy engineering students are searching for the solutions that could one day transform the marine industry. Funded by the United States Department of Transportation, the lab may be the only one its kind – Dr. Richard Kimball, the MIT-trained professor who is director of the lab, said he hasn’t been able to find an equivalent project anywhere. After receiving a grant in 2013, the lab went online about a year ago. Students helped rebuild the 1,200 horsepower Wartsila power plant that is the centerpiece of the operation, and today students are using the engine to find ways to improve the emissions of ships. The goal is to help the industry meet international emissions standards that will go into effect in just a few years. Maine Maritime Academy has never advertised the existence of the lab but already it is getting very significant contracts from the industry. Most important, however, Kimball said the lab is putting students at this small but highly respected maritime school at the cutting edge of their industry. “It exposes them to not only what is done right now, but the state of the art that is coming,” said Kimball. If they are successful, the solutions they help develop could make marine transport companies more efficient and the entire industry more environmentally friendly. That’s the ultimate goal, a win-win-win of sorts, for student engineers, marine transportation companies and the cause of global climate change. That is one thing that

Kimball finds exciting about teaching engineering at Maine Maritime Academy. “We are in the right place to make a real difference,” said Kimball. That passion is what motivated Kimball to become an engineer in the first place. As a teenager during the oil crisis of the 1970s, he saw big problems, and he knew that as an engineer he could help solve them. “There was a great worry that we were going to run out of oil,” said Kimball. “I knew I was going to go into engineering and I wanted to be part of solving the world’s energy problems.” After graduation from the University of Maine, Kimball worked for a startup automotive company and eventually became a managing engineer. When that company was sold to automotive technology giant Bosch, Kimball went back to school and received both a master’s and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Today, he said, engineering students are facing enormous but exciting challenges in

addressing climate change. “As an educator in the engineering field, I think it is my job to motivate this generation to solve the problems that we are facing today and climate change is one of the large problems that we are facing,” he said. One reason he came to Maine Maritime Academy was his belief that the education that students receive here positions them well not just to earn a good living, but to help achieve real change in the world. Despite its small size, said Kimball, Maine Maritime has a sterling worldwide reputation in the marine industry and a long history of placing young people in positions where they can have a real impact on industry. Graduates are in the front lines of not only the maritime transportation industry but also power generation. Every time someone from Maine flips on the lights, there is a good chance a Maine Maritime graduate is on the other end, making

Travis Wallace, an MMA alumnus, works in the Medium Speed Lab last January. PHOTO COURTESY MAINE MARITIME ACADEMY

sure that power is there when it is needed. Some graduates work in nuclear power, or coal and many go into the growing renewable energy field directly from college. Other graduates go into other technical fields or business. One of the things that makes Maine Maritime graduates successful is the amount of hands-on training they receive, said Kimball. Engineering students don’t just learn about engines, they practice taking them apart and reassembling them. They also learn to weld and take many courses that involve using the hardware and equipment that they would encounter onboard a ship. As a managing engineer in the automotive industry, Kimball did much of the hiring for his company and learned the importance of hands-on experience. “You have engineers who have the intellect to understand the physical world, but also the understanding of how to actually do something with their hands,” said Kimball. Understanding how to weld, for example, will make an engineer more effective as a designer because they have a practical understanding of how materials are put together. Teaching those type of hands-on skills is difficult and requires a small teacher-tostudent ratio, but it is vital to ensuring that students graduate with what they need to be successful in industries with no tolerance for incompetence. “Our engineers have to be able to walk onto a ship the first day on the job and know what to do,” said Kimball. Maine Maritime students who are candidates for the U.S. Coast Guard 3rd Assistant Engineer’s license spend months on the water acting as functioning members of a ship’s crew before they graduate. The summer after their sophomore year,

ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018

MMA students in transportation and engineering sections who will require a coast guard license are assigned to merchant vessels. Students also practice maintaining the State of Maine, the academy’s 500-foot training ship. Each year cadets take the ship on an extended cruise. During their years at Maine Maritime Academy, any student training for a career at sea is required to spend a significant amount of time on the water learning how to operate a ship. That emphasis on hands-on skills is a core part of the philosophy of the academy and it plays a significant role in the success of graduates, even if they don’t get jobs on marine vessels after graduation. For example, many Maine Maritime graduates find their first job on oil rigs. Working with heavy equipment and highly flammable hydrocarbons under pressure on a platform miles away from any kind of

Dr. Richard Kimball inspects MMA’s Medium Speed Lab last January. Kimball is the lab’s director. PHOTO COURTESY MAINE MARITIME ACADEMY

help is a recipe for disaster without strict adherence to safety procedures. The sort of hands-on training that students receive aboard the State of Maine gives them a real-world understanding of not just how to operate a boat, but also the importance of safety procedures and protecting the environment.

The equipment that the Maine Maritime students will run after they graduate is becoming much more sophisticated, with automation and electronic control systems now a vital part of engineers’ knowledge base. At the same time, he said, the maritime industry is very conservative, sticking to


tried and true technologies and methods because it operates in an extremely unforgiving environment. That reality – the need to use cutting edge solutions in an industry that values proven technology – also help explain the design of Maine Maritime’s METEL laboratory. At METEL, students work with cutting edge solvents and a standard industry power plant in an environment designed to be as realistic as possible, so they can help their industry be as clean as possible. Change is coming, and Kimball believes Maine Maritime Academy students will not only be prepared for that change, they will be ready to lead.


ENGINEERS WEEK • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • February 16, 2018



nyone who has read a concert program knows it takes a long list of professionals working behind the scenes to create a great show. In creating Aura in Portland, the behind-thescenes team included WBRC’s civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers, consulting experts in theatrical lighting and acoustics, and a talented construction crew led by Consigli. “Building on a tight urban footprint is always a challenge,” said WBRC’s Rob Frank, P.E., principalin-charge of the project. “Turning this building into a state-of-the-art performance venue took incredible coordination between our architects, engineers, interior designers, consultants, and construction team, all while a portion of the building remained open for business.” Aura required obtaining local approvals early in the process. WBRC Civil Engineer John Kenney and Architect Jocelyn Boothe worked closely with city officials to obtain Planning Board and Historic Preservation Board approvals for the 9,000 SF addition and 15,000 SF masonry structure renovation. For WBRC’s structural engineers, led by Adam Gillespie, P.E., Aura’s challenges included devising a safe excavation and demolition plan to make way for the two-story-plus-basement addition. Temporary earth retention walls were installed to protect the integrity of adjacent buildings, streets,

utilities, and multi-story parking garage. In addition, the building’s structural design needed to handle the load of Aura’s new tiered, balcony-level seating while minimizing impact to sightlines. WBRC’s mechanical engineers, led by Dan Monroe, P.E., designed a high-performance heating and cooling system to work in Aura’s wide variety of spaces, from the large multi-story main event space to the street-level restaurant to the basementlevel VIP room, green rooms, and dance club. Electrical engineer Stephanie Laplant, P.E. and her team worked to meet increased power and data demands, address audience safety concerns, and collaborated in-house to design Aura’s exciting interior and exterior lighting. While each of WBRC’s engineers had a role in Aura’s success, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Creating a great acoustical experience was a primary goal for Aura’s owners. At the same time, this great sound needed to stay inside the building, as sound levels were a key concern for Aura’s neighbors. The entire project team worked together to design and build an acousticallyoptimized building that would meet both objectives. Ten months after opening, Aura continues to receive rave reviews from audience members and performers for its outstanding sound quality -- and equal praise among neighbors for its remarkable absence of sound transmission during concerts.