Engineering Georgia January/February 2023

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[2023] ECONOMIC OUTLOOK MEET MR. SPEAKER JON BURNS
2023] January | February 2023
THE GPTQ AWARDS
TABLE OF CONTENTS ON THE COVER Georgia Speaker of the House Jon Burns sits in the House Chamber at the Georgia State Capitol 7 THE PULSE News Coverage from In and Around the Engineering Community 12 POLITICAL PULSE Stay Up-to-date with Political News that Affects Engineers in Georgia 55 ASSOCIATION NEWS Updates from the Associations that Make Up the Georgia Engineering Alliance. 66 A LOOK BACK A Back-Page Throwback Picturing Georgia’s Most Historic Landmarks 20 COVER STORY: Meet Mr. Speaker A LIFETIME OF LESSONS LED JON BURNS TO THE TOP POST IN THE GEORGIA HOUSE 26 2023 Economic Outlook A LOOK AHEAD AT THE COMING YEAR WITH GEORGIA ECONOMIST DR. ROGER TUTTEROW 40 Georgia Partnership for Transportation Quality Awards RECOGNIZING THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND DESIGN

Publisher:

Michael “Sully” Sullivan

Editor-in-Chief:

Brett Hillesheim

Creative Director | Designer:

Sabrina Tongren

www.in8-design.com

Contributing Editors:

Jennifer Head

Contributing Writers:

David Caraviello

Julie Ann Howlett

Christy Tarallo

Zawn Villines

Contributing Photographer:

Jennifer Stalcup

Accounting Services Manager:

Melisa Beauchamp

Advertising Sales Manager:

Jennifer Head

ACEC Georgia

233 Peachtree Street Suite 700

Atlanta, Georgia 30303

jennifer.head@acecga.org

(404) 665-3539

Send change of address to: ACEC Georgia

233 Peachtree Street, Suite 700, Atlanta, GA 30303 or email info@acecga.org

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Engineering Georgia 2022 is published bi-monthly by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia (ACEC Georgia) and its partner associations ASCE, ASHE, GEF, GSPE, ITE, ITS, SAME, SEAOG, SMPS and WTS. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.

In8 Design, ACEC Georgia, and its partner associations ASCE, ASHE, GEF, GSPE, ITE, ITS, SAME, SEAOG, SMPS and WTS, as well as their representatives, employees and agents, are held harmless from any claim, demand, liability or action on account of, or in any way arising out of, the client’s advertising, products and services, or its participation in Engineering Georgia.

EDITORIAL BOARD

ANITA ATKINSON PE, Patterson & Dewar Engineers / ASCE Georgia / GEF CANDANCE SCALE / SAME

CHAD BECKER Kimley-Horn

STACEY CHAPMAN CIT, Croft Architecture and Engineering

STEPHANIE DAMMEN-MORRELL Hussey Gay Bell

MICHELLE ERSTE CPSM, iParametrics / SMPS Atlanta

LIGIA FLORIM Cobb County DOT / WTS Atlanta

PHILLIP HATCHER PE, SE, Uzun + Case / SEAOG

JENNY C. JENKINS PE, VHB / ASHE Georgia

CATHERINE JOHNSON AECOM / NSBE

BETTY JEAN JORDAN PE, GSPE

KELLY PATRICK PE, PTOE, Cobb County DOT / ITE Georgia

JOHN PIERSON PE, Georgia Tech Research Institute / ASCE Georgia

RANDAL RIEBEL PE, Delta Air Lines / GSPE

THOMAS TRUE PE, LS, Maser Consulting

SASHA UGI Croy Engineering

BILL WELLS ITS Georgia

Atlanta Post

AAfter leading ACEC Georgia for more than a decade, people often assume I’m an engineer. This is an idea that I (a “liberal arts major” if ever there was one) find hilarious, as would my high school math teachers.

When people in the world of politics make this mistake, I usually correct them and offer that since engineers are rational, logical problem-solvers and politics is the opposite of that, that’s what they have a non-engineer like me for. It’s a joke, but there is also a little truth to it. The fact is that politics is quite often far from logical, rational or focused on problem solving.

We saw that on full display in January as the U.S. House of Representatives struggled for the better part of a week to accomplish the task of electing the Speaker of the House, finally electing Kevin McCarthy shortly after midnight on the 15th ballot. While there may initially have been sincere policy differences between the warring Republican factions, it soon became clear that it really wasn’t about policy as much as it was about attention seeking, publicity and power – just the latest Kabuki theater performance in the dysfunctional, hyper-partisan gridlock of Washington, DC.

And it reinforced my gratitude that that is NOT how politics works at the Georgia State Capitol.

A perfect example can be found in the man on our cover, Rep. Jon Burns, and how he was elected the 75th Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives. Rather than internecine battles and political posturing, Democrats and Republicans came together at the very beginning of the first day and elected Burns as Speaker and Rep. Jan Jones as Speaker Pro Tem – both by acclimation, as the Democrats chose not to put forward a candidate for either role as a sign of bipartisanship. What a contrast.

Some people say that “nice guys finish last.” Well, Jon Burns is proof that that is just not true.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Speaker Burns for many years and had the great honor of serving with him on the legislative study committee that traveled around Georgia in 2014 and ultimately led to the passage of the

Transportation Funding Act of 2015 (perhaps better known as HB 170). I can tell you that he embodies all of the qualities you would want in a political leader. He is guided by his principles and core beliefs, but he also really listens and tries to understand the other person’s perspective and work toward consensus. He’s a man of the people who has deep roots in the community he’s always called home. But he also understands how all the different parts of our great state fit together to make us the #1 state for business and a great place to live. He’s a “workhorse, not a show horse,” who has always been focused on getting things done, never posturing or self-promotion. And on top of all that, on a personal level, he is just a really good guy. And he clearly didn’t finish last. In fact, he’s just getting started.

Speaker Burns has been a good friend to ACEC Georgia and our industry over many years and we are honored and thrilled to be able to feature him in this issue. We also look forward to his leadership and hope that his example of consensus building will ensure that, even when they may differ on policies, folks on both sides of the aisle under our Gold Dome will be able to continue to work together for the betterment of Georgia and its citizens.

GET SOCIAL SULLY@ACECGA.ORG 770-356-3769 @MICHAELLSULLY MICHAELLSULLY MICHAELLSULLIVAN
Michael

GOV. KEMP ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR THE STATE ROAD & TOLLWAY AUTHORITY

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that in addition to her current duties as Georgia Department of Transportation Planning Director, Jannine Miller will become Executive Director for the State Road & Tollway Authority, effective January 16. Governor Kemp also recommended her to serve as Executive Director for the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority.

"Jannine Miller is another great public servant who will also now further her statewide impact. She has distinguished herself as a leader in the field of transportation and infrastructure on both the state and national levels. Jannine will bring an innovative approach and a deep knowledge of the issues facing commuters and those who move Georgia made products through and beyond Georgia as she steps into these new roles,” Governor Kemp stated.

Throughout her career, Miller has served in numerous leadership roles, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor to former Secretary Elaine Chao at the U.S. Department of Transportation and as Senior Advisor to then-Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, responsible for programs and policies related to rural infrastructure development and financing.

Previously, Miller served as Director of the Center of Innovation for Logistics at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Finance at The Home Depot, Executive Director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, and Senior Planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Miller earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia State University, a master's in Public Administration, Planning & Economic Development from the same institution, and an M.B.A. in Global Business from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

CHRIS WOMACK APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF SOUTHERN COMPANY AND ELECTED AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chris Womack, Georgia Power President & CEO, has been appointed president of Southern Company and elected as a member of the Board of Directors of Southern Company, effective March 31, 2023. Womack also has been appointed CEO of Southern Company effective immediately following the conclusion of Southern Company’s 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

Thomas A. Fanning, 65, the current chairman of the Board, CEO and president of Southern Company, will relinquish the role of president upon Womack's assumption of the role in March and assume the role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors upon Womack's assumption of the role of CEO.

Womack, 64, has served as president of Georgia Power since 2020 and chairman, president and CEO since 2021. Prior to his current roles, he served as executive vice president and president of external affairs for Southern Company. A native of Greenville, Alabama, Womack joined Southern Company in 1988 and has held several leadership positions within Southern Company and its subsidiaries. He has served as executive vice president of external affairs at Georgia Power and senior vice president and senior production officer of Southern Company Generation. Womack also served as senior vice president of human resources and chief people officer at Southern Company, as well as senior vice president of public relations and corporate services at Alabama Power.

"The Board has been actively engaged in succession planning for the past several years, and after consideration of a number of candidates, we unanimously selected Chris as our new Chief Executive Officer and president. Chris' proven leadership, alignment with our values and ability to deliver strong results makes him a terrific choice to lead Southern Company," Grain said.

"It is an important time in our industry as the energy landscape continues to rapidly evolve and customers' needs continue to change, and Southern Company is at the forefront of that evolution," Womack added. "We're building the future of energy, and I'm excited to continue playing a role in this new capacity. It is an honor to lead teams working in states across the country that are wholeheartedly dedicated to innovating and delivering both world class customer service and reliability to our customers. We've got a lot of important work ahead of us."

RS&H’S RICK CHESSER TO RETIRE; CHRIS JACKSON TO LEAD ATLANTIC GULF DIVISION

After 17 years of service to RS&H, Rick Chesser will retire as the Atlantic Gulf Division Leader of the firm’s Infrastructure Business Unit.

RS&H Senior Vice President Chris Jackson, P.E., will assume the duties of the Atlantic Gulf Division Leader on Jan. 1. N

Photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office
January | February 7 engineering ga [ feature ] the pulse [ news briefs ]
Photo Courtesy of Southern Company

Chesser has made an incredible impact on RS&H over the years, leading growth for the national architecture, engineering, and consulting firm in Florida’s transportation market.

Before joining the firm, Chesser spent 35 years at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). In his leadership role, he fostered regional collaboration and planning with the U.S. Congressional delegation and Florida legislature members to address significant transportation issues.

Like Chesser, Jackson has spent the past 17 years of his career at RS&H, following a six-year stint with FDOT District Four. Since leading RS&H’s water resources group efforts in South Florida for 13 years, he has led the RS&H Infrastructure Business Unit in Alabama and Georgia.

Jackson has been heavily involved in all aspects of transportation and aviation infrastructure projects while serving in technical, managerial, and marketing lead roles. He possesses extensive design and management experience in planning, NEPA studies, final design, design-build, and owner’s representative services.

While at RS&H, Jackson has been named Young Professional Practice Leader of the Year, Project Manager of the Year, and winner of the Harold V. Aiken Quality Award.

Using tools that many small manufacturers cannot afford, like acoustic leak imagers and infrared thermometers, the students and faculty members have completed nine assessments and received positive feedback from the manufacturers and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Kennesaw State is partnering with Clark Atlanta University (CAU) and Southface Institute, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that promotes sustainability and green building practices, over the next four years to establish and operate the IAC. So far, the University has received $517,652 to run the IAC, with the possibility of being awarded up to $1.6 million from the DOE as the program progresses.

Amin Esmaeili, director of Kennesaw State’s IAC and assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering, said there are several goals related to the establishment and operation of an IAC. The first is to educate and train students about energy efficiency, smart manufacturing and productivity increases. The second is to help small and medium-sized manufacturers in the area by improving their productivity and suggesting ways to reduce waste, therefore saving them operations costs. The third goal is to focus on diversity and inclusion by working with minority-owned businesses and partnering with Clark Atlanta University, the largest of the four Historically Black Colleges and Universities institutions that compose the Atlanta University Center Consortium.

“Collaboration between CAU, Kennesaw State and Southface Institute is vital for this Georgia IAC project,” said professor of dual degree engineering at CAU, Dr. Olugbemiga Olatidoye. “Increasing diversity in engineering fields starts with getting early grade students, middle school, high school, and college students interested in engineering as early as possible.”

Additional members of the team include KSU associate professor of mechanical engineering technology Javad Khazaii, associate professor of robotics and mechatronics engineering David GuerraZubiaga, and technical principal Hugh Magande of Southface Institute. Twelve Kennesaw State students and three Clark Atlanta University students have participated in the assessments so far.

KENNESAW STATE EARNS FEDERAL CONTRACT TO HELP LOCAL MANUFACTURERS IMPROVE EFFICIENCY

Kennesaw State University students and faculty members are bringing energy and productivity assessment services to small and medium-sized manufacturers in the Southeast thanks to a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy awarded Kennesaw State a contract to establish an Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) to offer facility assessments at no cost to manufacturers. The goal is to help improve productivity while offering area business operators suggestions on how to reduce waste and save energy at their manufacturing plants. The IAC is housed within the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SPCEET).

PLANT VOGTLE STARTUP DELAYED DUE TO VIBRATING PIPE

The startup of Plant Vogtle will be delayed after the discovery of a vibrating pipe in the cooling system during testing. Georgia Power announced the delay on January 11th. The company said that the third reactor at the plant is scheduled to begin generating electricity for the grid in April. The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Company had previously given a startup deadline of March.

Photo courtesy of Kennesaw State University
the pulse [ news briefs ]
Photo courtesy of Georgia Power

The problem was found during startup testing in a pipe that is part of the reactor’s automatic depressurization system, said Georgia Power spokesperson Jacob Hawkins. He said the pipe needs to be braced with additional support and that it is not a safety issue.

The plant includes two operating nuclear reactors, and were the first nuclear reactors built from scratch in the United States in. decades. The fourth reactor is still under construction and is supposed to start generating electricity sometime in 2024.

UGA PROGRAMS RECEIVE MORE THAN $12M IN FEDERAL FUNDING

Four University of Georgia programs will receive federal support as part of the $1.7 trillion funding package signed into law in late December. These funds will support scientific research, engineering projects, and outreach programs that benefit citizens living in Georgia and throughout the nation.

“I want to express my deep gratitude for the advocacy of our Georgia delegation in procuring these funds,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Senators Ossoff and Warnock and Representatives Buddy Carter, David Scott, and Lucy McBath are all helping Georgia’s flagship university address the important priorities of our nation, state, and local communities. We are grateful for their strong support.”

Nearly half of those funds will support researching engineering solutions. UGA will receive $5 million as part of a project titled Expanding Engineering with Nature Installation Capacity, which was submitted by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Savannah). The funding will help researchers develop and deploy new methods to protect Department of Defense facilities from extreme weather events and changing climate conditions.

The funding will build upon the Army Corps of Engineers Network for Engineering with Nature, or N-EWN, and it will allow the program to expand its reach to support a larger number of installations and communities. A

January | February 9
Photo courtesy of University of Georgia

ATKINS, a member of SNC Lavalin Group, welcomes Jessica Fulton, P.E., PMP as a Project Director in its Atlanta office. After serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Capital Projects for the Atlanta DOT, Fulton rejoins Atkins with over 16 years of experience in contract and program management services. She brings with her expertise in transportation infrastructure engineering design and extensive knowledge in delivering projects with federal, state, and local funding. In her role at Atkins, Fulton will focus on construction and program management services for clients across Georgia.

Keck and Wood is also happy to announce that Will Bentley has joined the Community Development team. Bentley recently graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Over the course of his studies, he interned at Keck and Wood twice, once in 2019 and again in 2021.

HUSSEY GAY BELL is pleased to announce the promotion of Nathan Brown, PLS to Director of Survey, Georgia. Brown joined the firm in 2000, and in 2013, he was promoted to Director of Surveying for Hussey Gay Bell’s Savannah office and Director of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for all Hussey Gay Bell companies. In his expanded capacity, Brown will oversee all Georgia survey projects in addition to overseeing all 3D Scanning and SUE activities for all Hussey Gay Bell companies.

“Nathan’s experiences in our Savannah headquarters have been broad and unique, equipping him to now lead all of Hussey Gay Bell’s Georgia survey staff and projects not only through our Savannah office but Atlanta, Blue Ridge, and Statesboro offices as well. He is very deserving of this promotion, and I look forward to watching how he develops in this new role,” said G. Holmes Bell, IV, PE, CEO & Chairman.

KECK & WOOD promotes Daniel Wallace to Vice President and Market Leader for their Water & Wastewater Practice in South Carolina. Wallace has been with the firm for sixteen years. “Being recognized by your peers and clients for talent, dedication, and service is truly humbling,” stated Wallace.

TERRACON is excited to announce the appointment of our newest Georgia-based principals: Bill Sheffield, P.E. and James Vinson, P.E. Bill Sheffield, P.E., is the Atlanta office geotechnical department manager. He is a Georgia Tech graduate who has over 34 years of experience providing geotechnical engineering design, construction materials testing/inspection, and engineering consulting. Over the last five years at Terracon, Sheffield has led the Atlanta geotechnical team, which has grown over 115% during this time.

James Vinson, P.E . is the national manager in Terracon’s transportation sector and oversees large projects throughout the Southeast. He has over 26 years of experience focusing on geotechnical engineering design, pavement evaluations, slope stability analysis, and transportation and infrastructure projects. Since joining, Vinson has managed geotechnical engineering studies for some of Terracon’s largest alternative delivery projects in the region.

VHB expands its transportation management, design, and operations team in the southeast with the addition of Todd Long as Senior Transportation Engineering Manager in Orlando. Todd’s insight on complex transportation projects for federal, state, and local governments will be instrumental in helping communities increase capacity and make roadways safer and more sustainable. A

Jessica Fulton Nathan Brown Daniel Wallace Will Bentley Bill Sheffield James Vinson
10 Engineering Georgia engineering ga [ feature ] the pulse [ on the move ]
Todd Long

TOP FIVE 5

Five Business & Leadership Podcasts to Listen to in 2023

Top Five is a regular feature in THE PULSE! Top Five explores recommendations for podcasts, books, activities, and more. For this issue, we’re exploring business and leadership podcasts to help get your 2023 professional development off to a roaring start!

ENGINEERING AND LEADERSHIP PODCAST

The Engineering and Leadership Podcast is all about leadership, management, business, and productivity in an engineering context. It’s like an audio business school for engineers. The goal is to help you learn about the softer side of engineering and to build your business acumen, but more importantly, to help you go out and apply what you learn.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

Join Christine Russo, host of exclusive CEO interviews and Roundtables, with leaders, founders and executives in the startup and technology space working with commerce, retailers, and brands. Russo is a globally recognized thought leader in retail, and innovation and covers topics spanning from metaverse, web 3.0 to ecommerce.

CEO CHAT PODCAST

CEO Chat has a large collection of Business, CEO, Startup & Entrepreneur podcasts for those who are looking for their next business idea or to improve their own business.

THE ENTRE LEADERSHIP PODCAST

Hosted by George Kamel, the EntreLeadership Podcast features lively discussions and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in the business, like Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins, and Simon Sinek.

FOUNDR MAGAZINE PODCAST WITH NATHAN CHAN

Get insider access to the world's greatest entrepreneurs who are crushing it with their businesses. Global billionaire Mark Cuban, hustle king Gary Vee, and hundreds more.

the pulse [ top 5 ]

POLITICAL PULSE

2023 Legistlative Session

TThere is an old proverb that “no individual’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” While usually delivered somewhat tongue-in-cheek, there is an element of truth, as the legislature has great power over all three. And as the Georgia General Assembly convenes for the 2023 legislative term, this session presents many unknowns. With a new Speaker of the House, Lieutenant Governor, 57 freshmen legislators, and new committee leadership in each chamber, the makeup of the General Assembly looks substantially different from years past.

From the first day, changes under the Gold Dome have been palpable. Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton) gaveled in the House of Representatives as the interim Speaker of the House, having assumed this role after the unexpected passing of former Speaker David Ralston last November. Ralston had held the position since 2010, making Speaker Pro-Tem Jones both the newest speaker in over a decade and the first female Speaker of the House in Georgia’s history.

CHRISTY TARALLO
12 Engineering Georgia [ political pulse ]

Following this historic moment, the House swore in 43 freshmen for the 2023-2024 term and elected former Majority Leader Jon Burns (R-Newington) as the 75th Speaker of the House. While the U.S. House of Representatives took 15 tries to finally elect their Speaker the week before, the Georgia House elected Burns Speaker and Rep. Jan Jones to her previous role as Speaker Pro-Tem by acclimation, as the Democrats opted not to put forward a candidate for either role as a sign of bipartisanship. In addition to the 43 House freshmen sworn in on the first day, there are currently three special elections for vacant House seats, which will likely be settled by the end of January—or February should a runoff be needed.

Speaker Burns isn’t the only new face in Georgia’s leadership triumvirate, which includes the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House. Former State Senator Burt Jones (R-Jackson), now Lt. Governor, has also taken the helm as the Senate’s most powerful leader. He welcomes 11 new Senators this year, 10 of whom won their respective elections in November and were sworn in on the first day, and one special election following the appointment of Senator Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge) as Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Community Heath. This election will follow the aforementioned special election cycle.

While some uncertainty has hung heavy over the General Assembly with the extensive changes that the legislature has witnessed, there is plenty to be optimistic about. For example, in a rare showing of camaraderie, the House and Senate adopted an adjournment resolution, setting the 40-day legislative calendar, on the first legislative day of the session – something that hasn’t happened in recent memory. This signals the potential for a new level of cooperation between the House and Senate and a reconciliation of the internecine quarrels the chambers have had with each other in the past.

Kemp, who handily won his re-election bid in November. Gov. Kemp and the new legislature have begun this session with a $6.6 billion budget surplus, even after appropriators fill the state’s rainy-day fund to the legal limit of $4.3 billion. Gov. Kemp has pledged a few billion to fund another round of one-time income and property tax rebates for Georgians. Roughly $1 billion of the surplus will be allocated to replace the lost revenue resulting from the suspension of the state gas tax this past year, that ended on January 10th. The remaining surplus may be used to pay down state liabilities or fund a potential law enforcement personnel raise.

232 MEMBERS 155

MEN 81

WOMEN

63% WHITE 37% PEOPLE OF COLOR

With all the new faces, the legislature will be the most diverse it has ever been. Of the 232 current members (not including the four special elections), 155 are men and 81 are women, while 63% of lawmakers are white and 37% are people of color—which very closely reflects Georgia’s racial makeup (59.4% white and 40.6% minority).

Of course, not all of Georgia’s leadership has experienced a change. The state will continue to be led for the next four years by Gov. Brian

In addition to the budget priorities this year, the legislature will likely focus most of their attention on non-controversial—that is to say, not politically polarizing—topics this year. The three main issues ACEC Georgia predicts the legislature will focus on are workforce shortages, the workforce housing crisis, and freight & logistics funding.

Engineers and others in the A/E/C industry are all too familiar with workforce shortages; however, no industry in the state, or nation, has escaped this issue. With a problem so widespread and consuming, lawmakers are likely to support holistic approaches to workforce development that target all potential employees.

The housing industry has also been plagued with myriad challenges since 2020, from shortages and cost hikes for building materials to an overall accessibility issue resulting from low inventory and skyrocketing prices that have thwarted many from homeownership. The legislature will likely target burdensome state and local regulations and look to reform those rules and regs that advocates believe are contributing to the crisis.

Lastly, freight and logistics planning and funding will likely be heavy on the minds of lawmakers this session. In addition to exploring options to create additional revenue to fund supply chain infrastructure investments, legislators will likely make efforts to engage and support the transportation community on how to plan for an electrified, future proof infrastructure that benefits all Georgians.

While the old proverb may serve to warn us to be watchful of lawmakers, with the new leadership, fresh faces, and policy initiatives of this 2023-2024 General Assembly, we can watch with optimistic eyes. A

January | February 13 [ political pulse ]

OUT & ABOUT

2022 year in review

Members of the 2021-2022 Engineering Leadership Academy meeting for their third learning day. The 2022 ACEC Georgia Junior Board enjoys an outing at Top Golf. The 2021-2022 Future Leaders Program graduation ceremony. Chuck Roberts presents during the 2022 Georgia Engineer’s Summer Conference’s general session. Members of ACEC Georgia’s Junior Board participate in a panel discussion at the 2022 Georgia Engineer’s Summer Conference.
the pulse
The 2022-2023 Class of ACEC Georgia’s Future Leaders Program meet to kick off their program. The 2022 Georgia Engineering Awards were held at Cobb Galleria. Participants win door prizes at ACEC Georgia’s 2022 Introduce a Girl to Engineering. Volunteers help welcome participants at ACEC Georgia’s 2022 Introduce a Girl to Engineering. Croy Engineering gathers at the 2022 Georgia Engineering Awards. Former Atlanta Regional Commission Executive Director Doug Hooker and GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry mingle at the 2022 Georgia Engineering Awards. Participants at the 2022 Georgia Transportation Summit mingle in the exhibition hall. Participants in ACEC Georgia’s first annual STEM Day test water at Fulton County Public Works’ activity table. Team members from Pond Engineering participate in ACEC Georgia’s first annual STEM Day. Participants at the 2022 Transportation Summit. Attendees of the Inaugural Young Professionals Off The Clock networking event. Commissioner Russell McMurry speaking at the 2022 Transportation Summit.
January | February 17

GEORGIA NUMBERS by

GEORGIA, on average, receives less than 1-inch of snow annually.

THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE in Atlanta during the winter months. 50.7°

THE COLDEST WINTER WEATHER ever recorded at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on January 21, 1985 -8°

GEORGIA

EXPERIENCED its last blizzard in 1993 when nearly 3 feet of snow fell across parts of north Georgia, with Union County reporting 35 inches.

5.36" 10.5"

RABUN COUNTY is Georgia’s snowiest county, averaging over 5 inches of snow annually. Rabun holds the record for most snow in a single day, with 14 inches of snow on Jan 7, 1988.

THE LARGEST CUMULATIVE annual snowfall ever recorded in Georgia occurred in 1936.

the pulse
>1 INCH 1993
January | February 19

MEET MR. SPEAKER

A lifetime of lessons led Jon Burns to the top post in the Georgia House

AAlthough it lies on the outskirts of bustling Savannah, the northern reaches of Effingham County still remain largely unchanged from the place where Jon Burns grew up. The landscape is dominated by farms and churches, the earth rich in soil that produces cotton, peanuts, and soybeans. It’s a timeless slice of Georgia where Burns learned timeless lessons—like the value of maintaining good relationships with neighbors, the importance of working together to solve problems, and the significance of public service.

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“My dad was involved in local politics and the school board, he was a county commissioner, and he gave me some insight into public service at an early age,” Burns recalled. “And that’s always been important to me. I learned that you can’t do without your neighbor, and if you want your neighbors to be neighborly to you, you have to be neighborly to them. And that certainly helped encourage me to become involved in the public sector, to try to work well with people, listening to them and working to solve problems.”

In some ways, Burns never left that rural corner of the state’s coastal plain; even today, he still keeps his permanent residence near the town of Newington. But in others, he’s carried those lessons throughout Georgia in the form of a legislative career that reached a new pinnacle on Jan. 9 when Burns was elected as the 75th Speaker of the House of Representatives. In taking the gavel, he accepted the chamber’s most powerful position and assumed a role widely considered the second most influential in the state behind the governor. N

January | February 21 engineering ga [ feature ]

Burns spent a lifetime preparing for that moment, one in which the lessons he learned from parents, teachers, coaches, and fellow legislators all coalesced to form a Speaker who prizes teamwork and fairness and views himself as a consensus-builder. “What was embodied in me as a young person growing up was watching how my parents treated others and how folks responded to them,” Burns said. “Being respectful to other folks has been a hallmark of my family. It’s been good for us, and I think it’s been good for those we’ve interacted with.”

No wonder, then, Burns was elected Speaker by unanimous vote of all 180 House members, regardless of party affiliation. “There is nobody else qualified to work with both sides,” Rep. Ron Stephens of Savannah told the Savannah Morning News. “When you are Speaker of the House, you are Speaker of the whole House, not just your party. He is not extremely partisan, and I think that might be his best quality. So it is the next logical step for him to be Speaker of the House.”

That egalitarianism was echoed in Burns’ first speech on the House floor after being elected Speaker. “Whether you’re Republican, a Democrat, a new or returning member, I will work to serve each of you and our House to the very best of my ability,” he said.

As Speaker, Burns succeeds his good friend, the late David Ralston, who held the gavel for 13 years before stepping down in November of 2022 due to health concerns. Formerly Ralston’s top lieutenant as majority leader, Burns brings to the speakership not only his natural amicability but also an emphasis on cooperation ingrained in him partly by George Patton Rahn and Jim Long, his baseball and basketball coaches, respectively, at Effingham County High School. He credits his professors at Georgia Southern University and John Marshall Law School with opening his eyes to different people and different situations and “certainly broadening my horizons,” he added.

A father of two and grandfather of five, Burns possesses a warm and approachable manner that’s earned praise from both sides of the aisle. If he occasionally takes a little more time to make decisions, he recently told The Associated Press, it’s because he’s gathering different viewpoints on the issue. Those boyhood lessons learned in northern Effingham County continue to manifest themselves in the form of a Speaker who still values the opinions of his neighbors today.

WHEN YOU ARE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, YOU ARE SPEAKER OF THE WHOLE HOUSE, NOT JUST YOUR PARTY. HE IS NOT EXTREMELY PARTISAN, AND I THINK THAT MIGHT BE HIS BEST QUALITY.
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Photo Courtesy of the Georgia House of Representatives

“What I will do first thing is begin the listening process with our members,” Burns said. “That’s certainly ongoing already—reaching out to different members as we look to develop the priorities that are important to all segments of Georgia's population and our economy. That's how Speaker Ralston led from time to time; it was important to Speaker Ralston and important to the members that we developed a policy that was inclusive of all the members and inclusive of every part of the state. And that's how we'll continue to work. We will continue to be deliberative, which is important to me, as we work our way to a final decision on different items and different policy perspectives. That's what we're going to do.”

FROM AGRICULTURE TO THE STATE CAPITOL

Although Burns earned his law degree, he never became a practicing attorney—the lure of the land in his native Effingham County simply proved too strong to ignore. A self-professed “ag guy,” Burns has worked as a row crop farmer, in farm supply, in agribusiness, and in forestry. Following in the footsteps of his father, he eventually pro gressed into public service and was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2004 Those first steps into the corridors of power in Atlanta were daunting ones, to say the least.

“I had good friends there who tried to help prepare me, but nothing can prepare you for the experience, especially in that first year,” Burns recalled. “And back then, you were told to be seen and not heard, and that’s pretty much how the first year went. Some of that has changed; we have some very qualified new members who have come in very well-prepared. But the brotherhood and sisterhood that you get from service, and the sacrifice that our members make in representing their constituency all across the state, is really something I've grown to admire. Many days and hours go into this work, and you’re certainly away from your family for months at a time. That’s underappreciated by some folks but never by the members. We understand the sacrifices that are made, and it’s a very rewarding opportunity to serve your fellow man.”

He found help and guidance in others who worked under the golden dome of the state capitol. The late state Sen. Jack Hill was “a constant inspiration to me,” Burns said. “He taught me much of what I know. I credit him for what I've achieved and look forward to achieving in this body, as far as good public policy and teamwork. That's what Jack was about. He was a man of the people. And I hope I can certainly be that and emulate that same style that he had.”

Ralston, first elected to the House just two years before Burns, would become a font of encouragement and a close friend. “He gave me oppor tunities that I’m sure I didn’t deserve,” Burns said. “But I’ve always tried to make him proud and live up to the confidence he had in me, and I’ll continue to do that.” Current and former House members such as John

Meadows, Jay Powell, and Terry England became a circle of confidants. His wife Dayle, a retired educator, provided a cornerstone of support as Burns progressed from freshman House member to arguably the second most powerful position in the Peach State.

The influence of Ralston, a giant of Georgia politics who passed away just weeks after announcing his intention to step down as Speaker, remains unmistakable as Burns moves into the House’s top post. A lawmaker from the north Georgia mountains, Ralston had defined the speakership for 13 years before stepping down in November. For seven of those years, Burns was his No. 2 as majority leader. The colleagues became close friends, with Ralston’s loyalty continuing to stand out as a trait that Burns hopes to emulate. N

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Photo Courtesy of the Georgia House of Representatives

“He showed such dedication to his friends and to the Georgia House, and he protected it. He protected the members of the House in all situations, and sometimes members were not kind to him,” Burns said. “But I can tell you, my experience was he was always kind and generous with the members of the House. And that's how we'll conduct the House as we move forward. He left the ship in good stead, and we're going to just keep it that way. He left this state in good stead. His ability to work across the aisle, to work with the Governor's office and work with the Senate, has led Georgia to places that many would not have expected us to reach. But his leadership took us to new heights, and we want to continue that progress.”

For the two top Republicans in the Georgia House, it went deeper than politics. “David Ralston was my mentor,” Burns said. “I looked up to him. He was my Speaker and still is my Speaker. But more importantly, he was my friend. And that's how I will always remember Speaker Ralston—as a man who stood beside his friends, took lots of bullets for his friends, if you will, and stood by them in every sense of the word. His legacy will be forever with us in the House and in this state. And his impact on many individuals in this state, certainly on me, is something that I never could escape from or never want to escape from.”

‘THE OPPORTUNITIES ARE BOUNDLESS’

When Burns was first elected to the Georgia House in 2004, electric cars were still something of a novelty, with the first hybrid going into mass production only a few years earlier. Georgia was an occasional location for movies and television shows thanks to its rolling backroads and moss-draped Southern scenery. And Georgia Ports’ terminal at Savannah had just been ranked the fourth-busiest in the country.

As Burns assumes the speakership in 2023, so much has changed. Georgia has emerged as a hub of the electric vehicle industry in the United States, with over two dozen related companies operating in the state. Georgia’s film industry now boasts over 4 million square feet of soundstage space and is powered by a largely local workforce that turns out hits like Marvel films and Netflix’s “Stranger Things” series. And Georgia Ports has grown into an economic behemoth that was responsible for $140 billion in sales, $2 billion in state taxes, and 9 percent of Georgia’s total GDP in the fiscal year 2021. N

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
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SO FOR ME, IT'S THE PEOPLE OF GEORGIA, THEIR INNATE ABILITY AND DESIRE TO IMPROVE THEMSELVES AND IMPROVE THEIR FAMILIES. I THINK THAT'S WHAT PLACES GEORGIA ON A PLANE OF ITS OWN—WE HAVE A WORK ETHIC HERE THAT IS SECOND TO NONE.

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“The opportunities are bound less,” Burns said when asked to characterize Georgia in 2023 from an economic development standpoint. “I mean, boundless when we look at our future. That’s one of the things we're going to do in the House—we're going to look at technology, how it's impacting our lives today, how it’s going to impact our lives in the days to come, and our children’s and grandchildren's lives. I believe when you view Georgia in those terms, it’s the power of our people, the infrastructure, our healthcare, our educational opportunities, and the ability to improve yourself by getting a good-paying job. That’s what's propelled Georgia to be the envy of our nation and the No. 1 place to live and work and raise a family.”

To Burns, there’s a common thread running through it all: Georgia’s embrace of technology. Leaders in those industries, he said, know the educational opportunities that the state can present in helping them build their workforce; and indeed, that’s been evident in a film industry now largely staffed by professionals who live in the state. Workforce training and financial incentives have also proven a boon to an EV industry that’s seen both Hyundai and Rivian commit to facilities that could one day turn out over 700,000 electric vehicles combined.

“Nobody's coming here if we don't have a well-educated, well-rounded workforce,” Burns said. “So for me, it's the people of Georgia, their innate ability and desire to improve themselves and improve their families. I think that's what places Georgia on a plane of its own—we have a work ethic here that is second to none. I think that's one of the things that is important about our state and that people recognize. That’s why they're willing to come here.”

Meanwhile, Georgia Ports continues to grow, with Savannah handling 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in fiscal 2017. Managing that degree of volume has led Georgia Ports to undertake infrastructure improvements such as the Mason Mega Rail project, which expanded Savannah’s rail cargo capacity by 30 percent. Investment in Georgia Ports, Burns

said, benefits every county in the state due to the port’s economic trickle-down effects.

“The House has always led in making sure the Georgia Ports Authority had the public resources [it] needed,” Burns added. “Like the work with Gov. [Nathan] Deal to make sure funding for port deepening was there before the federal monies became available, to make sure we got that project started so it would come to fruition as it has. There are still some challenges for the ports, but it’s been a great effort statewide. They've been very wise stewards of that fiscal assistance and continue to make sure their improvements are very important and very timely to continue having the success that we're having down there. So the ports are a great success story.”

Although agriculture remains a $69 billion industry in Georgia, the shift toward technology is evident in a state that ranked eighth nationally in tech job postings in September of 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Georgia Dept. of Labor projects the state will add 95,000 new jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math by 2028. Over the course of his career as a lawmaker, Burns has witnessed that shift firsthand—and as Speaker, wants to help ensure Georgia is prepared for its next phase.

“We've taken a leadership position in EVs in this country. We've taken a leadership position in the film industry in this country. We’ve taken a leadership position in the ports in this country and on anything that we've really gone after,” he said. “But I think our opportunity lies now to expand our horizons here with great paying jobs. Technological innovations cover a wide range when you start talking about the medical field, transportation, and so many areas. But we bring the jobs here. We already have a lot of them in so many sectors. We can take a huge step by preparing ourselves for technology and what the next deal is for us. And the House wants to make sure we're ready for it.” A

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Photo Courtesy of the Georgia House of Representatives
January | February 27

2023 ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

A look ahead at the coming year with Georgia economist Dr. Roger Tutterow

TThree years ago, as news of the first COVID-19 case in the United States spread, people began living their lives in two-week intervals. First, the news was that sheltering in place for two weeks would flatten the curve. Then, millions of people spent two weeks waiting in isolation after each potential COVID exposure. And public health officials in the early days argued that another two weeks would bring a greater understanding of how the pandemic was spreading. For months, it seemed that in a couple of weeks, we would know more about what to expect, whether the economy would shut down, and how the pandemic would affect each individual.

Certainty never came. In many ways, the story of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath is the story of learning to live with uncertainty. For engineers, the pandemic brought dire predictions of a recession, of unprecedented unemployment, of construction shutdowns, of real estate collapse.

Instead, all that happened was a contraction so short that many engineering sectors never even felt it. In fact, for most sectors, 2020 and 2021 brought unprecedented growth and a bonanza of mergers and acquisitions.

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Engineering and construction started strong in 2022, following an 8% growth in construction spending in 2021. Gross output was $2 trillion in the second quarter of 2022, up slightly from $1.9 trillion the previous year. It’s left many engineers wondering if the dire predictions about a recession in 2023 are just more talk.

Roger Tutterow, Chief Economic Advisor for Henssler Financial, the Henssler Financial Endowed Chair at Kennesaw State University, and the Director of the Econometric Center, an applied research center at Kennesaw State’s Coles College of Business, says engineers need to take the predictions seriously.

A RECESSION: “THE MOST LIKELY OUTCOME”

“By the end of the year, it became clear that a recession to 2023 is the most likely outcome. Some of that, of course, is due to the federal reserve’s shift in monetary policy. But part of the adjustment is also that we had a real surge of activity in late 2020 and early 2021 associated with the reopening of the economy and the ramping back up of production,” Tutterow said. N

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In late 2022, the Architectural Billings Index began showing slight declines in 9-12 month nonresidential construction activity. Figures below 50 indicate declining growth, while those above 50 suggest slowed billing. In November 2022, the figure for billing was 46.6, and for design contracts, it was 46.9. The respective figures in November 2021 were 51 and 55.8.

“It may well be that we overshot in some portions of the economy,” said Tutterow. “The Conference Board’s Index of Leading Indicators has been dropping now for about seven months.”

The World Bank projects growth in advanced economies will slow from 2.5% in 2022 to just 0.5% in 2023. For two decades, slowdowns of this level have reliably predicted recessions. In the United States, growth will mirror these projections, but in emerging markets, the deceleration will be slower - 3.8% in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023.

But this recession is unlikely to spur the kind of dramatic contraction of 2007-2009’s Great Recession, which lasted 18 months. Since World War II, the average length of a recession has been about ten months, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“Not all recessions look like 2009, which was very deep and very protracted,” said Tutterow. “It is possible to have a mild to moderate recession without it being catastrophic.”

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IN NOVEMBER 2022, THE FIGURE FOR BILLING WAS 46.6, AND FOR DESIGN CONTRACTS, IT WAS 46.9. THE RESPECTIVE FIGURES IN NOVEMBER 2021 WERE 51 AND 55.8.

FIVE FACTORS INFLUENCING THE ENGINEERING ECONOMY IN 2023

No matter when the recession comes or how hard it hits, the shifts of recent years have fundamentally changed the market for engineering and the wider economy. In its 2023 Engineering and Construction Industry Outlook, Deloitte predicts the following five factors will be key influences in the coming year:

DIFFERENT EFFECTS ON INDUSTRY SEGMENTS

During the height of the COVID pandemic, businesses that could quickly shift to digital models or offer needed services thrived. Those with less flexibility floundered. The same will likely be true as the industry continues to navigate supply chain shortages.

More visibility into and control over the supply chain is key. Many engineering and construction firms may move their supply chains closer to home. These shifts may require initial investments and innovation, but with the possibility of a significant long-term payoff.

While the recession may have some effect on all segments of the industry, the impact could be quite disparate.

Many engineering firms are working through significant backlogs. Into the second half of 2023, they may see a slowdown as they move through their backlogs. Rising interest rates have caused residential construction to decline. The pandemic’s shift toward working from home continues to slow construction of new office buildings, too.

Labor costs and supply chain shortages are continuing to decrease margins.

Companies working on infrastructure projects, however, may remain strong. October of 2022 brought a $1 trillion influx in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Beneficiaries of these funds may be able to use them to attract new labor in a tight market.

SUPPLY CHAIN PRESSURES

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Companies continue to report supply chain-related delays. Sixty percent of U.S. consumers told Gallup in late 2021 that supply chain disruptions prevented them from getting a product they wanted.

These pressures are creating transport bottlenecks and long delays. They’re also driving up the cost of materials. Construction input prices increased by 40.5% between February 2020 and August 2022 due to both inflation and supply chain issues.

ONGOING LABOR CHALLENGES

Engineering and construction face significant shortages of skilled workers thanks to a confluence of factors. Construction workers ages 25 to 54 decreased by 8% over the last decade, but the number of retirees increased. Younger workers are now choosing adjacent industries, such as technology, increasing the rate at which the engineering talent pipeline leaks.

Workers know the market is tight and demand higher pay and better benefits, leaving firms who can’t or won’t pay more in the lurch. In Deloitte’s survey, more than 80% of respondents reported that a tight labor market was one of their top challenges in the coming year.

Recruiting talent isn’t enough, either. Firms are now finding that workers want better working conditions, more flexibility, and remote options. Businesses that can’t or won’t adapt will be left to compete over less skilled workers who couldn’t get better jobs.

Tutterow argues that the long-term effects of the COVID19 pandemic might be strongest in the labor market. A decade from now, the main aftereffects of the crisis may be in changing expectations about where and how people work.

Deloitte says attracting new kinds of workers to engineering could help address the long-term labor market challenges. In 2021, just 11% of all construction workers were women; 6.3% were Black, and 2.1% were Asian. A focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion could expand access to a larger pool of skilled labor, foster better working environments, and spur innovation, Deloitte’s research finds. N

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As the public continues to demand more equitable workplaces and fairer corporate policies, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives can improve a firm’s public image (with clients and potential recruits) and offer a practical solution to a growing workforce challenge.

EFFICIENCYDRIVING TECHNOLOGIES

Engineering and construction has historically been slow to adopt new digital technologies. But the pandemic made a strong case for greater flexibility. Many firms are now expanding their capacity with new digital technologies that reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Deloitte’s data suggests that 44% of survey respondents are interested in investing in new technologies. Those who do may be better equipped to weather labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, high material prices, inflation, and other economic storms.

As interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning rises to a fever pitch, some firms may look to emerging technology to resolve labor shortages. Those that can adapt stand to thrive even as labor and supply challenges continue to pummel the industry. N

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ATTRACTING NEW KINDS OF WORKERS TO ENGINEERING COULD HELP ADDRESS THE LONG-TERM LABOR MARKET CHALLENGES. IN 2021, JUST 11% OF ALL CONSTRUCTION WORKERS WERE WOMEN; 6.3% WERE BLACK, AND 2.1% WERE ASIAN. A FOCUS ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION COULD EXPAND ACCESS TO A LARGER POOL OF SKILLED LABOR, FOSTER BETTER WORKING ENVIRONMENTS, AND SPUR INNOVATION

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ESG AND SUSTAINABILITY DEMANDS

Environmental and social governance (ESG) and sustainability are not just buzzwords. They are critical to the future of engineering and the world. They’re also good business.

In a June 2022 survey by Associated General Contractors of America, 78% of respondents had recycling policies, 48% had materials reuse policies, and 26% had environmentally friendly or sustainable purchasing policies. But just 14% report their greenhouse gas emissions on at least one project, even though this is a core sustainability concern among consumers.

According to Deloitte data, the most popular ESG and sustainability goals include:

• Promoting sustainable design, development, and construction practices: 83%

• Reducing energy consumption: 63%

• Reducing waste and encouraging responsible waste disposal: 60%

• Sourcing lower carbon energy: 17%

As climate change becomes a global focus, it could create intense economic pressure for companies to prioritize reducing their carbon footprint.

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78% OF RESPONDENTS HAD RECYCLING POLICIES, 48% HAD MATERIALS REUSE POLICIES, AND 26% HAD ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY OR SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING POLICIES.

GEORGIA IS IN BETTER SHAPE ECONOMICALLY THAN MANY OF ITS PEERS AROUND THE NATION.

THE UNIQUE ECONOMIC CLIMATE OF GEORGIA

“Georgia is in better shape economically than many of its peers around the nation,” said Tutterow.

Some economic pressure is true no matter where you’re doing business or in what sector. The influence of inflation and the Federal Reserve’s shift in monetary policy is difficult to overstate. Between June 2021 and June 2022, inflation rose by 9%. Money costs more to borrow now than it did a year ago, and it buys less.

Georgia, though, may be uniquely positioned to thrive through the recession.

“Markets vary geographically. And Georgia held up better during the pandemic than your typical state. It’s had pretty strong growth since the pandemic started waning. As of today, it’s among the top six states in terms of where its employment is today versus before the pandemic.”

In his Georgia Economic Outlook speech in December 2022 at the Georgia Aquarium, University of Georgia Terry College of Business Dean Ben Ayers agreed that Georgia may do better than most other states as the economy slows. N

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“Our forecast calls for Georgia’s inflation-adjusted GDP to decline, but only by 0.2%. So, it will be essentially flat. That is a small decline compared to prior recessions and to what we expect from the nation as a whole, which is a 0.7% decline,” Ayers said.

During the Great Recession, by comparison, gross domestic product (GDP) fell 4.3 percent from its peak at the end of 2007 to its trough in 2009, the largest decline since World War II. The unemployment rate, which was 5 percent in December 2007, rose to 9.5 percent in June 2009, and peaked at 10 percent in October 2009.

In contrast, Ayers predicted a 0.1% increase in job growth in Georgia in 2023.

A short-term contraction in building and construction could also mean growth in 2024. Ayers predicts a home shortage in 2024 and suggests that construction may play an important role in pulling the state out of its recession.

Tutterow says that fast-growing communities tend to spur more engineering and construction projects.

Georgia is the 11th fastest-growing state in the nation. And Atlanta’s population is swelling. An analysis from Woods & Poole Economics, Inc. projects 53.4% growth in the metro Atlanta area’s population between 2020 and 2060.

WEATHERING THE STORM AND LOOKING AHEAD

The World Bank expects that global inflation will moderate by the end of the year. But even at the end of 2024, GDP levels may remain suppressed, especially in emerging and developing economies.

Tutterow expects that engineering and construction firms will be less risk tolerant, seeking opportunities to reduce costs as the recession approaches.

There’s also ongoing uncertainty about non-residential construction and engineering.

“Over the longer term I still don’t think we have clarity about how the pandemic affects the office market or the retail sector over the long-run,” Tutterow said. “There are many workers who are not wanting to come back to five-day-a-week face-to-face offices. This will have real implications for new office construction, and also how the projects are designed.” N

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GEORGIA IS THE 11TH FASTEST-GROWING STATE IN THE NATION. AND ATLANTA’S POPULATION IS SWELLING. AN ANALYSIS FROM WOODS & POOLE ECONOMICS, INC. PROJECTS 53.4% GROWTH IN THE METRO ATLANTA AREA’S POPULATION BETWEEN 2020 AND 2060.

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While each segment of the industry faces different pressures, some strategies may help protect against the worst effects of the recession:

• Pay attention to shifting workplace norms. The best employees have more opportunities and thus more negotiating power. Firms that can meet these demands will experience fewer labor shortages.

• Develop a talent retention strategy that is mindful of a tightening labor market. Recruiting new talent is often more expensive than keeping the talent you have.

• Generate new efficiencies to save costs and create a financial buffer. Where possible, implement new technologies that reduce costs and expand your reach.

• Capitalize on funds from the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

• Assess how investments now, especially in sustainability and new technologies, may offer greater flexibility and more cost savings in the future.

For many engineering firms, opportunities for growth continue to abound even if the wider economy struggles.

“There will be a lot of non-building construction projects, whether it’s related to energy and water infrastructure or transportation infrastructure, that will continue to support the engineering sector due to federal stimulus spending,” added Tutterow

Engineering is, at its core, about solving problems. The industry is uniquely positioned to solve the challenges 2023 presents and to support an economy that bounces back stronger than ever. The coming year will inevitably present some hurdles, but the opportunities are real and numerous. A

THERE WILL BE A LOT OF NON-BUILDING CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS, WHETHER IT’S RELATED TO ENERGY AND WATER INFRASTRUCTURE OR TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE, THAT WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE ENGINEERING SECTOR DUE TO FEDERAL STIMULUS SPENDING.
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January | February 39

GPTQ AWARD WINNERS

Recognizing the accomplishments of transportation planning and design

TThe annual Georgia Partnership for Transportation Quality (GPTQ) Awards represent an opportunity to feature outstanding areas of work across ten categories of transportation engineering. Done in partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia (ACEC Georgia), and the Georgia Highway Contractors Association, nominators are able to acknowledge the work of their respective engineering firms. Ten categories are showcased, ranging from Innovative Solution to a Design Problem to Right of Way, with an overall Grand Prize winner selected from the ten category winners.

Across a wide range of structural and civil engineering topics, project achievements were honored. From scouring trails for pre-Civil War artifacts to optimizing bus route performance on higher ridership corridors and a Georgia first of a twin hybrid roundabout intersection control at a diamond interchange, engineering firms designed, led, and achieved in endeavors statewide.

This year the Grand Prize and Category 5 awards were won by WSP for its I-20 at Savannah River Bridge Replacement project. Read on to learn more about project wins across all categories and what those involved had to say about the experience. N

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GRAND PRIZE WINNER

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WSP I-20 AT SAVANNAH RIVER BRIDGE REPLACEMENT Category 5
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GRAND PRIZE WINNER

WSP

I-20 AT SAVANNAH RIVER BRIDGE REPLACEMENT

Category 5 | Exceptional Bridge and/or Structural Design

WSP won the Category 5 and Grand Prize awards for their I-20 at Savannah River Bridge Replacement Project. Interstate 20 over the Savannah River is a major connection point between Georgia and South Carolina. Distributors, the military, tourists, and the general traveling public use this crossing on a regular basis. Continued and reliable access at this location helps support the local and state economy, helps maintain military readiness, promotes tourism, and is responsive to GDOT’s commitment to a safe and reliable transportation network for the people of Georgia.

The project is being implemented under a bi-state agreement between Georgia and South Carolina through a design-build (DB) initiative. It includes replacing and widening the existing I-20 bridges over the Augusta Canal and Savannah River, as well as widening I-20 from approximately 800 feet west of the Augusta Canal bridges in Richmond County, Georgia, to the first interchange (Exit 1, West Martintown Road) in Aiken County, South Carolina.

WSP’s innovative design approach allowed two travel lanes in each direction to be maintained at all times during construction. Denny Meier, P.E., Design Manager and Vice President, Georgia Transportation Leader at WSP, shares, “Our design team has been dedicated to developing unique design solutions, including our several ATCs, and innovative ideas to streamline phasing and minimize disruptions to the traveling public by using stage construction. The design team approached the bridge elements of the project with a focus on simplicity, ease of construction, and the most economical solution to achieve an aesthetically pleasing bridge.”

With the challenge of crossing the Savannah River and the historic Augusta Canal, the design team dug into beam-type studies. It determined that these crossings would benefit from different beam types – reducing material costs, construction effort, and schedule. By tailoring the project to the unique field conditions, the design team was able to reduce environmental impacts and schedule while still maintaining travel lanes throughout the construction process. Maximum efficiency has been achieved through smart bridge layout by eliminating a number of bents in the water and optimizing span lengths by implementing correct choice of materials, integration of cost saving elements and employment of the latest methods with proven performance. N

January | February 43

MICHAEL BAKER INTERNATIONAL

BRUMBELOW ROAD AT TUCKERBROOK LANE MEDIANETTES

Category 1 | Innovative Solution to a Design Problem/Best Use of New Products

Category 1 was won by Michael Baker International for the Brumbelow Road at Tuckerbrook Lane Medianettes project. This innovative solution addressed the specific problems present at this intersection with a design that had minimal costs, no impacts on utilities or surrounding properties, and a short construction duration. “Michael Baker International is proud to help deliver this innovative, cost-effective, and practical design solution for the City of Johns Creek,” said Al Bowman, P.E., S.E., Vice President and Georgia Operations Manager at Michael Baker International.

“The City is a proud supporter of ACEC Georgia and GPTQ and enjoys the relationships built through these events and the collaboration that allows projects like these to happen,” offered Chris Haggard, P.E, Public Works Director at the City of Johns Creek and the nominator/project ownerer International. “Our project goals were to reduce vehicle speed and improve sight distance for drivers entering the roadway at this intersection. Through stakeholder engagement, it became apparent that traditional solutions to these problems would not be supported. The engineering team was able to listen to the public and find a solution that accomplished the project goals and, in the end, had fewer property impacts and a much lower project cost.”

It offers a reminder to focus on project needs and create a design tailored to correcting them. The feedback received from the public involvement process guided the owner and the engineer to reconsider the plans and create something new that met the needs of the overall traveling public and the nearby property owners most affected by the project.

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HNTB AND MARTA

MARTA’S CLEVELAND AVENUE AND METROPOLITAN PARKWAY ARTERIAL RAPID TRANSIT PROGRAM

Category 2 | Planning & Design of an Alternative Mode Transportation Facility

MARTA’s Arterial Rapid Transit program is an important initiative that will set the standard for what “Arterial Rapid Transit” in the region can be. It will serve as an example for other transit agencies. Paul Kelley, P.E., PMP and Project Manager at HNTB says, “MARTA has developed an innovative approach to optimizing existing local bus route performance on higher ridership corridors. Arterial Rapid Transit is a new mode of transportation to be offered by MARTA providing similar stop amenities to standard “Bus Rapid Transit” stations, but with the spacing of stops optimizing access to the local community.”

This new mode of transit will improve mobility, safety, and livability for the residents of these corridors and encourage economic development in the area. The design team developed innovative solutions that will help shorten construction schedules and reduce capital costs. Since the length of the corridors limits the feasibility of using fiber optic communications, the design team incorporated cellular communications between vehicles and MARTA. Solar powered shelters alleviated the costs of local power meters for more than 85% of stop locations.

Specifically, “Cleveland Ave and Metropolitan Parkway were targeted for quick implementation of ‘Arterial Rapid Transit’ service routes based on ridership and geographic studies.” The study data shows that these two routes will provide better and more equitable transportation solutions for a historically underserved community. Kelley says, “HNTB is excited to be working with MARTA to push out this first-ofits-kind solution in Atlanta.”

January | February 45

ARCADIS

KENNESAW MOUNTAIN MULTI-USE TRAILS

Category 3 | NEPA, Environmental Protection, Preservation, Restoration, and/or Enhancement

The Kennesaw Mountain Multi-Use Trail Pedestrian Improvement Project benefits both the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and surrounding communities. Not only does the project provide additional recreational opportunities, but it also acts as a continuation of the existing National Park Service, Cobb County, and City of Marietta trails.

Charles Clayton, Communications Manager at Cobb County DOT, says, “The Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is the most visited Civil War Park, according to the National Park Service (NPS). Major construction in and around this national park required extensive coordination with NPS to ensure that critical sites were left undisturbed.” The project was done in collaboration with GDOT, FHWA, National Park Service, and the City of Marietta. Care was devoted “to avoid certain areas and minimize construction at other areas while providing the historical analysis to document no impacts to the resources in and around the park.” These resources included historical and archaeological items such as battlefield and pre-Civil War artifacts.

Most notably, numerous coordinating groups walked the trail to identify artifacts. Cobb says, “Early in the development of the trail alignments, personnel from Cobb County DOT, Bonnie Bynum, the environmental consultant of Arcadis, a design consultant from Heath and Lineback and the National Park Service’s Chief Ranger and Historian walked all parts of the proposed trail.” Bonnie Bynum, CPM, NEPA, Planning, Permitting & Comms Group Leader, ARCADIS, says, “The collaborative manner in which all parties worked together exemplifies success when we all work as one team sharing the same vision and outcome.”

Bynum wanted to further credit Rhonda Tilt. Together, they facilitated “multiple early coordination meetings” to meet environmental compliance with Federal Highway Administration and National Park Service requirements. This resulted in “an agreement to accept one environmental document that encompassed specific requirements of each agency.” Clayton says, “This trail has been received well by the community and utilized by nature lovers and historians alike from around the region.”

46 Engineering Georgia engineering ga [ feature ] the pulse [ on the move ]

MARTA’S STREETCAR EXTENSION Category 4 | Context Sensitive Planning and Design Including Public Participation Plan

The Streetcar East Extension project will extend the existing streetcar route to run along Edgewood Avenue to the BeltLine at Irwin Street and up to the PonceyHighland neighborhood, near MARTA’s King Memorial and Inman Park-Reynoldstown Transit Stations. The project will connect the existing streetcar alignment to the Atlanta BeltLine Corridor, including one of the BeltLine’s largest activity centers: Ponce City Market and the PonceyHighland neighborhood.

Kenyata D. Smiley, MPA and Transit Planning Manager at HNTB (who nominated MARTA), says, “MARTA understands the importance of engaging the public within the contextual limits of the Streetcar East Extension project.” With approximately 50 identified key stakeholders, clear lines of communication were necessary. Regular meetings between the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta Beltline, MARTA, and stakeholders established open discussions around minimizing impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods.

MARTA made the “decision to go to the local neighborhoods and the communities to meet the residents and businesses where they live and work during the public participation process.” These stakeholder meetings occurred during the height of the pandemic, requiring the project team to create virtual platforms for the public to engage and provide feedback. Smiley says, “HNTB is honored to have partnered and stood with MARTA as they diligently engaged the public both in-person and virtually, sought their feedback, and ensured the voices of those touched by the project were heard.”

As a result of this successful public involvement, the streetcar extension project has been well-received by the community, leading the way for future transit projects and extensions in the region. N

January | February 47 engineering ga [ feature ]
HNTB AND MARTA

HEATH & LINEBACK ENGINEERS

STATE ROUTE 144 AT I-95 INTERCHANGE IMPROVEMENTS

Category 6 | Traffic Safety and/or Intersection Design

Category 6 was won by Heath & Lineback Engineers for the State Route 144 at I-95 interchange project. As part of a GDOT Task Order Contract, Heath & Lineback provided complete engineering design services and construction documents for operational improvements and pedestrian facilities at the State Route 144 at I-95 interchange. GDOT Project Manager Sonja Thompson, who worked in tandem with the project, shared, “It was a pleasure to be part of the GDPT Project Management team and work with the design team of Heath-Lineback to get the project ready for the needed safety improvements.”

The project is now open to traffic and serves as an aesthetic gateway to the city of Richmond Hill. Rudolph L. Frampton, P.E., Senior Engineer and Assistant Georgia Operations Manager at Heath & Lineback, says, “We’re always excited when given the opportunity to solve a transportation problem because we understand how important these transportation improvements are to the residents.”

This project was the first in Georgia to implement twin hybrid roundabout intersection control at a diamond interchange. Most importantly, it meets the goal of improving safety and mobility while serving to spur economic growth in the area. Frampton says, “We provided a quality design that improved the commuting needs (both vehicular and pedestrian) in the area and positively impacted the daily lives of the residents. We are also honored to have played a major role in improving the aesthetics of the site, which now serves as a gateway to the city of Richmond Hill.”

48 Engineering Georgia engineering ga [ feature ]

KIMLEY-HORN

SPAULDING DRIVE FROM WINTER CHAPEL ROAD TO HOLCOMB BRIDGE ROAD/STATE ROUTE 140

Category 7 Winner - Highway Design – Urban

Issued from the County’s Major Roads Demand Services category, the proposed improvements along Spalding Drive from Winters Chapel Road to Holcomb Bridge Road included widening of the existing two-lane corridor to four lanes, replacement of a functionally obsolete bridge over Crooked Creek, modification of two traffic signals, and the addition of curb-and-gutter and sidewalks.

Kevin Ergle, P.E. at Kimley-Horn, said, “The success of the Spalding Drive project lies in the collaboration that occurred throughout the design lifecycle. From an early constructability and maintenance of traffic workshop, through numerous design touch-points in preliminary and final design, and finally working with property owners through both Gwinnett County and the City of Sandy Springs to minimize impacts, the collaborative partnership allowed us to navigate all of these obstacles such that the final design achieves the goals of the involved stakeholders.”

Stakeholders included multiple agencies in Gwinnett, Fulton, and DeKalb Counties, two cities, an adjacent residential development, and Georgia Power Transmission. The team at Kimley-Horn prepared concept layout alternatives, construction staging alternatives, cost estimates, preliminary and 90% design and bridge plans, right-of-way plans, and held two design coordination meetings. “For us specifically, the best part was working with a dedicated Gwinnett County staff with a vested interest in seeing the project succeed and having them give us the tools and guidance to improve the mobility of the users in this area of the County,” Ergle said.

In particular, design services included preparing a stormwater management report and a hydraulic/ hydrologic report. They utilized the Design Policy Manual (DPM), GDOT Standards and Details, Bridge and Structures Design Manual, Driveway and Encroachment Manual, and Plan Presentation Guide (PPG). N

January | February 49 engineering ga [ feature ]

PARSONS TRANSPORTATION GROUP

STATE ROUTE 3/US 19 WIDENING FROM WEST COUNTY ROAD TO NORTH OF ATWATER ROAD

Category 8 | Highway Design – Rural

The SR 3/US 19 widening project involved roadway widening from the existing four lanes with a center turn lane to a fourlane urban typical section with a raised median, including the addition of continuous sidewalks throughout the corridor. All intersections and side roads were proposed to remain on existing locations, with the exception of Delray Road, which was realigned with Jimmerson Road at a new signalized four-legged intersection. GDOT District 3 Preconstruction Engineer Adam Smith noted that “this project was originally programmed by District 3 to address operational and safety issues of this heavily traveled corridor, which had crash rates that were well above the statewide average due to heavy congestion and numerous turning movements and conflict points.”

A major challenge of this project was the avoidance and minimization of environmental resources, high-dollar utilities, and right-of-way impacts. Rajeev Shah, Project Manager with Parsons, shared, "All proposed improvements were integrated with value engineering to minimize and avoid costly impacts. This included strategically utilizing retaining walls and pedestrian handrails throughout the corridor.” The collaborative effort between Parsons, GDOT, and major stakeholders contributed to the development of design optimizations along with context-sensitive and practical design solutions, which improved operations and safety of the corridor while achieving significant cost and schedule savings. This project also provided value-added economic development through improved pedestrian connectivity and access management to residential, commercial, and recreational land uses. This corridor improvement project ultimately enhanced the area and created a gateway to the local Thomaston community.

Ahmet Urgen, Georgia Office Manager for Parsons, says, “We are proud of our successful award selection for this project and of our continuous collaboration with GDOT. We look forward to more successes in the future as we continue connecting communities across the state!”

50 Engineering Georgia engineering ga [ feature ]

ATKINS NORTH AMERICA

STATEWIDE ITS DMS DEPLOYMENT PHASE 1 Category 9 | Design Build

This project constructed 4 Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) and associated components across multiple locations throughout the State. Closed Circuit Television cameras were installed to allow monitoring of the messages displayed on the DMS. Ashlyn Morgan, PE, Project Manager at Atkins, explains, “The installation of dynamic message signs (DMS) is not something you would usually expect to see as the sole scope of a design build project; however, they are an important piece of ITS infrastructure that aid in moving people and goods throughout our state.”

All DMS and CCTV were connected to the GDOT Transportation Management Center for traffic management operations. The project provides additional DMS coverage at key locations identified by GDOT and will provide important travel time and motorist advisory messages to the traveling public. The two signs in Savannah will serve freight traffic heading toward the Port. The one near Cumberland Mall in Cobb County will provide motorist info for the new Akers Mill Express Lanes ramp currently under construction. And the single sign on Sixes Road in Cherokee County will provide Express Lane info for motorists entering I-575 from Sixes Road.

Morgan says, “Atkins is proud to have participated in the firstof-its-kind ITS design build project with Brooks-Berry-Haynie and Georgia DOT. We hope the success of the Statewide ITS DMS Deployment Design Build project will pave the way for future statewide and large corridor ITS implementations using the design build approach.” N

January | February 51

GRESHAM SMITH

I-285 AT BOULDERCREST ROAD

Category 10 | Right of Way

During the height of the pandemic, Gresham Smith met the challenge of acquiring right-of-way for 44 diverse parcels along a key corridor that will allow traffic to move more efficiently from Bouldercrest Road onto the I-285 interchange. Ruthie Jones, Georgia Right of Way Acquisition Department Leader at Gresham Smith, says, “It’s an honor to be recognized by our industry for leading an efficient right-of-way acquisition process for the widening and improvements of Bouldercrest Road near the intersection with I-285 and I-675.”

As a GDOT “turnkey” contract, Gresham Smith managed and delivered the right-of-way acquisition process from beginning to end, evaluating and incorporating efficiencies and innovation throughout the life of the contract, including obtaining a design variance that helped the state save over $4 million in right-of-way costs. “Gresham Smith’s specialized team met the challenge of acquiring rights to multiple parcels in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully managed the process from start to finish. We are proud that our work supports the widening of the corridor that provides an improved connection for vehicular traffic.”

Ultimately, the right-of-way acquisition for this project came in under budget, and the condemnation rate came in under the notto-exceed rate of 10%. Jones says, “This win is truly a team effort, and we thank our clients for their continuous support.” A

52 Engineering Georgia engineering ga [ feature ]
January | February 53
54 Engineering Georgia

www.ascega.org

The Georgia Section of ASCE puts great emphasis on student outreach to encourage future leaders to join the engineering industry and support engineering students in their path toward the profession. This month we’re highlighting our College Outreach efforts and a couple of Student Chapters to give our members insight to ASCE Georgia activities.

ASCE GEORGIA – COLLEGE OUTREACH Mission

To provide support, guidance, and resources to ASCE Student Chapters in Georgia.

What We Do

The Section works with Faculty and Practitioner Advisors to protect the interests of the various ASCE Student Chapters across the 6 primary Georgia Universities with established engineering programs: University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Mercer University, Georgia Southern University and Savannah State University. We provide recommendations and support to the Chapters on developing a budgets and goal setting; we facilitate communication and collaboration between the Chapters; we provide financial assistance, mentorship, presentations at Chapter meetings and career

fair support; and we help plan and facilitate the annual Student Chapter Summit between all Georgia student chapters which occurs in October.

Leadership

ASCE Georgia’s College Outreach effort is currently led by Keith Cole, PE, CHMM, F. ASCE with support from many other volunteers. Keith is the Georgia Section Director of Student Chapters and is a Principal with Ramboll Group.

ASCE GEORGIA – STUDENT CHAPTER HIGHLIGHT: GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

The primary focus for Georgia Southern’s ASCE Chapter is to inculcate a spirit of ingenuity and creativity, facilitate valuable networking and relationships with Civil Engineering/Construction Professionals and other ASCE Members, learn various professional skills, and competitively participate in the ASCE student conference and competitions.

This year the ASCE student chapter faced the challenge of actively reinstating the organization following the two years of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After much dedication and effort, the Chapter successfully launched their first meeting for Fall 2022 and continue to record a peak number of active members. The Chapter meets bi-weekly on Thursdays to host multiple speakers, bonding & outreach events, collaborations, competitions, field trips and much more. They strive to bring forth knowledge, exposure and experience to our members while working together with one another.

For professional development, the Chapter networks through GSU STEM Fairs, engineering individuals and companies. In October, they collaborated with POND and Company to grant members special backstage access to the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport’s Transportation and Aviation Department. In the spring, they plan to have the NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) host an information session on the FE examinations required for civil engineering seniors. The GSU Chapter is always hoping to connect with the industry and welcomes all companies who are looking for future engineers to reach out.

As the year moves on, ASCE at GSU will continue to expand and actively participate within its region and beyond, hoping to get participation, support and opportunity from our engineering community. They are working hard toward attending and placing in the upcoming ASCE competitions and strive toward recognition from across the United States.

LEADERSHIP FOR 2022-2023 ACADEMIC YEAR

President- Austin Kuehler

Vice President- Anu Pradeep

Recording Secretary- Blake Hamby

Communications Secretary- Davis Kirkland

Treasurer- Nathan Ingram

Recruiting Officer- Kuldipsinh Delada

Project Manager- Sarah Horton

Project Manager Assistant- Josiah Hacker

association [ news ]
GSU ASCE WITH POND AND COMPANY DURING THE FIELD TRIP TO THE SAVANNAH/HILTON HEAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
56 Engineering Georgia

SARAH BLACKBURN, PE

Gresham, Smith and Partners

ASHE Georgia President

www.georgia.ashe.pro

ASHE NATIONAL CONFERENCE:

Planning is well underway for the 2023 ASHE National Conference, which will be held in Atlanta in June! We’ve secured great seats for a Braves game (with gifts!), have a beautiful course booked for the golf tournament, and are planning for an engaging and fun overall conference experience. Of course, we can’t do this without sponsors and volunteers! Please visit 2023conference.ashe.pro for more info and to be a part of it all!

2023 GEORGIA ITE/ASHE TRANSPORTATION WORKSHOP:

Join us on March 5th & 6th for 2023 ITE/ASHE Transportation workshop in Augusta.

ASHE HOLIDAY PARTY:

ASHE Georgia hosted its annual holiday social in December at the Roswell River Landing. Like every year, we collected plenty of gifts for Toys for Tots. We also awarded our annual section awards. Congratulations to all the section award winners.

President’s Award- Jennifer Lott (Aulick Engineering)

Volunteer of the Year- Cindi McAdams (Roseman & Associates)

Member of the Year- Jared Estes (Colliers Engineering & Design)

Sponsor of the Year- Heath & Lineback Engineers (include 3 photos for holiday party )

2023 JIM MCGEE AWARD:

2023 Jim McGee Scholarship was awarded to Georgia Tech Students Matthew Liu and Alvin Chen. Congrats Matthew and Alvin.

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January | February 57

www.gaite.org

YOUNG MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS PRESENTATION

Our November meeting featured our Young Member “SpotlITE” and traffic bowl competition. The meeting provides a great opportunity for young members to participate by presenting on their project experience followed by our traffic bowl where student members compete for a chance at traffic glory and bragging rights. Thanks to our young member presenters (Alyssa Gaston, Hannah Murray, Anna Peterson, Abraham Pizano) and student chapters (Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University) for bringing teams and supporting the traffic bowl. Congratulations to Georgia Tech for advancing on to represent the Georgia Section at the Southern District Traffic Bowl in Savannah in March.

The annual meeting this year was held at Maggiano’s Cumberland with about 125 attendees. The program included a summary of 2022, announcement of the scholarship and award winners, initiation of the 2023 board members, initiatives for next year and our Keynote Speaker, Frank Rucker, Airport Deputy General Manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

SUMMARY OF 2022

- 8% increase in membership

- 10 monthly meetings (all in-person), 2 Conferences, 1 Technical Exchange, Mentorship Program, GAITE/GDOTEA Annual Golf Tournament, Traffic Bowl, Past Presidents Luncheon

- Attendance: 198 at Winter Workshop, 349+ at Summer Seminar

- SDITE 2021 Best Section (2nd place)!

- Jody Peace – Private Sector Outstanding Service Award

-1st ever GAITE Grand Prix Training Event

SWEARING IN OF THE NEW 2023 BOARD MEMBERS

President: Robinson Nicol

Vice President: Sam Harris

Secretary- Treasurer: Christy Jeon District Representative: Challa Bonja

These newly elected Board members will join Christina Barry who will be serving as immediate past president, Kelly Patrick who will be serving as senior section representative and Bill Ruhsam who will continue serving as the Board Member At-Large. Congratulations to all of our 2023 Board members! The appointed board members will include the Justin Stutts who is filling the Board Liaison Role and Dwayne Tedder who is filling the Past President Representative role.

Looking to the future, GAITE will host the 2023 Winter Workshop in coordination with ASHE Georgia in Augusta March 5th-6th. Also in March, the Southern District ITE Meeting returns to Georgia and will be hosted in Savannah on March 19th-22nd. GAITE is also hard at work planning the 2023 Summer Seminar in coordination with ASHE Georgia. That conference will return to Augusta in 2023.

If you would like to be a part of Georgia ITE, please see our website at: gaite.org/join.php on information on how to join. When you join ITE international you are automatically added as a member of your local section. Members receive discounts on our monthly meetings and events and have the opportunity to serve on our various committees.

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2023 GAITE BOARD MEMBERS
58 Engineering Georgia
TRAFFIC BOWL

CAPT JOHN PRIEN, CEC, USN (RET)

john.prien@clorox.com

www.gefinc.org

GEF SCHOLARSHIP SEASON IS UPON US!

GEF dates back to 1971, when the presidents of fifteen Georgia Engineering societies met to discuss forming a non-profit, tax exempt organization to improve engineering education and the image of the engineer in Georgia.

For the last 50 plus years, the Georgia Engineering Foundation has sponsored a program that awards college scholarships to worthy Georgia students who are preparing for a career in engineering or engineering technology. Our scholarship applications for FY 2023 closed in September 2022 with over 400 applicants.

The GEF Board and volunteers then reviewed the list of applicants and approved around 130 students for final interviews based on academic achievements, participation in the industry through student organizations, internships and co-ops, financial need. We are currently selecting the best candidates to award around 50 scholarships to deserving engineering students for 2023.

These students represent seven universities and eighteen engineering majors/disciplines:

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Southern University

Harvard

Kennesaw State University

Mercer University

University of Georgia

Savannah State University

Scholarship winners will be invited to the GEF Scholarship Banquet to be held at the Dunwoody Country Club on February 23, 2023.

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January | February 59
THE GEORGIA ENGINEERING FOUNDATION IS A 100% VOLUNTEER 501(3)c ORGANIZATION MADE UP OF A WIDE RANGE OF ORGANIZATIONS AND SOCIETIES THAT HAVE JOINED TOGETHER TO IMPLEMENT A COMMON SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AND PROMOTE STEM FOR THE BENEFIT OF STUDENTS FROM GEORGIA

graham.sizemore@gmcnetwork.com

www.gspe.org

VISION

GSPE is the leading state organization that promotes the engineering profession to protect public health, safety, and welfare.

MISSION

GSPE is the state society of engineering professionals from all disciplines that promote the ethical and competent practice of engineering, advocates licensure, and enhances the image and well-being of its members.

WHAT GSPE DOES FOR YOU

We offer opportunities in professional development, networking, sponsorships, and we host award ceremonies and recognition ceremonies for exceptional engineers.

HERE’S WHAT OUR MEMBERS SAY

Why do you belong to GSPE?

• To support ethical engineering practice – Ken Kagy, PE, City Engineer (City of Milton)

• As a licensed professional engineer in Georgia, I feel that it is necessary and proper to be a member of GSPE to network, promote and stay abreast of laws and rules pertaining to the engineering profession in the state of Georgia. – Henry Lee Everson, PE, President & Chief Consultant (EEE Consulting Firm)

How does GSPE help PEs make the world a safer and better place?

• Group support and checks in engineering practices – Ken Kagy, PE, City Engineer (City of Milton)

• GSPE helps make the state and world safer by encouraging and supporting engineering licensure along with providing scholarships to up and coming engineering students in addition to providing recognition to those who receives PE Licensure. – Henry Lee Everson, PE, President & Chief Consultant (EEE Consulting Firm)

association [ news ] TO LEARN MORE VISIT GSPE.ORG | TO JOIN VISIT NSPE.ORG/MEMBERSHIP/JOIN-NOW CONNECT WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA! Facebook.com/gspeorg Linkedin.com/company/Georgia-society-of-professional-engineers www.youtube.com/GSPEng
60 Engineering Georgia

THOMAS GLUECKERT, PE, PTOE

Kimley-Horn

ITS Georgia President

itsgachapter@gmail.com

www.itsga.org

ITS GEORGIA HOSTS THE SOUTHEASTERN ITS SUMMIT

November 7th-9th, 2022 ITS Georgia hosted ITS Florida, ITS Carolinas, ITS Tennessee, and the Gulf Region ITS chapters at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta for the Southeastern ITS Summit. The Summit brought together over 890 transportation professionals from the southeastern United States and beyond to collaborate, network, and build off each other’s successes. Over half of the attendees were from outside Georgia and some were able to see for the first time how far Georgia is pushing the envelope in the field of ITS!

Professionals from across the country gave passionate presentations on emerging ITS technologies like connected vehicles and advanced video analytics, big data use cases for grant funding and identifying pilot projects, and broadband deployments throughout the region that are having a direct impact on employment and prosperity. All said and done there were six technical tracks with over eighty technical presentations! There were also three technical tours that brought attendees offsite to see some of the amazing work that is taking place around the Metro Atlanta area.

There were also some amazing guest speakers and panels including GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry and ITS America President Laura Chance providing an update on industry trends from their points of view.

Scott Marler, Director of the Iowa DOT, and Monali Shah, Head of Industry Solutions for Google, provide the keynote address on technology deployments and challenges. We capped off the meeting with a Logistics Roundtable, a DOT CEO Roundtable, and a great presentation from Mike Lutzenkirchen with the Lutzie 43 Foundation. It was great to see the conversations evolve between different organizations with different priorities and goals. I hope that those in attendance were able to take back relevant information to their peers and colleagues.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true gathering without a social aspect! Attendees were treated to outings at the Delta Flight Museum, Top Golf, and the College Football Hall of Fame where they had opportunities to network and socialize with friends and colleagues. Thanks to our fantastic vendors, the offsite activities were not the only place attendees were able to socialize! From driving simulators to live demos, the exhibit hall hosted over eighty booths and was an exciting place to learn about new technologies and strategies to manage transportation networks.

It goes without saying that these events would not be successful without our sponsors and volunteers. A special thank you to Stantec, HNTB, and UTILICOM, the Diamond sponsors to the Summit, in addition to all of the other sponsors. Similarly, a special thank you to our Meeting Chair, Mike Holt (Stantec) and our Executive Committee Gerald Bolden (The Corradino Group), Carrie Mussman (Temple), Craig Carnes (Metric Engineering), and Mark Melancon (Intelligent Transportation Systems) for making the Summit a success! Also thank you for all the volunteers not mentioned who put tremendous effort into making this a successful Summit!

association [ news ]
ATTENDEES ENJOYING A TECHNICAL SESSION COMMISSIONER MCMURRY DELIVERS HIS OPENING REMARKS ENJOYING THE DRIVING SIMULATOR AT THE MARR TRAFFIC BOOTH ATTENDEES KICKING OFF THE EVENING AT THE DELTA FLIGHT MUSEUM
January | February 61
THANKS
TO THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR HELPING MAKE THIS SUCH A SUCCESSFUL EVENT!

Atlanta Post

SAME Atlanta Post President

mike.ramos@raymondllc.com

www.sameatlantapost.org

THANK YOU, CANDICE!

Candice Scale, Vice President and Defense Account Manager at CHA, recently wrapped up her term as President of the Atlanta Post. Her dedication to the Society and commitment to the Post were instrumental in our achievements coming out of the COVID pandemic in 2022, particularly in leading and organizing a successfully JETS conference at Georgia Tech. Candice has been notably involved in SAME since college and continues to serve our post and national organization in multiple roles. Thank you for your service to the Atlanta Post!

SERVING TOGETHER, DELIVERING THE POST VISION AND FULFILLING THE MISSION OF THE SOCIETY

I look forward to meeting and working with you this year as I serve as the SAME Atlanta Post President in 2023. We are coming into this year with a strong leadership team for the Post and I am excited for my opportunity to positively impact our membership, work with the A/E/C community, and continue to support our nation’s infrastructure through IndustryGovernment Engagement.

This year, I will be leading the charge to further align our Post with the SAME 2025 Strategy Plan (link below), which focuses on fostering a

UPCOMING EVENTS

You’re invited to join us at one of our upcoming events! Visit our website for more information and register.

strong STEM pipeline, building infrastructure resiliency, supporting transitioning veterans, and promoting strong collaboration between industry and government. You can expect for the Atlanta Post to build upon the legacy and successes of the past several years. Our annual program of events already supports our local A/E/C community and aligns to the overall mission – my focus will be on working with our membership to incorporate their feedback and improve on how we do business. Having already completed our initial 2023 strategy session, I am inspired on the initial ideas, enthusiasm, and leaders at the Post’s disposal!

Additionally, this year we will be implementing the Post’s first Leadership Development Program (LDP), which I believe is one of the greatest initiatives we can take on to support our strategic mission statement, local A/E/C community, and future leaders. Our LDP will be all-inclusive to our the Atlanta Post and will focus on educational topics that will both integrate into our monthly meetings and allow for self-paced study. I see substantial potential going forward.

Finally, our Post is prioritizing continued outreach to both students and transitioning veterans, which we believe is key to sustaining and growing our industry’s capability and capacity long-term. We will be working with new colleges and universities, as well as local military bases to inspire, attract, and recruit the future leaders for our industry. This is a key initiative that I will be personally overseeing at the Post.

The mission of SAME is to “build leaders and lead collaboration among government and industry to develop multidisciplined solutions to national security infrastructure challenges.” Our goal at the Atlanta Post is to further this mission with the activities planned this year. We hope you’ll consider joining us for the fun!

FEBRUARY: Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) Tour

MARCH: Leadership Development Program Launch

APRIL: In-Depth Review of the CPARS Program

MAY: Joint Engineer Training Conference (JETC)

JUNE: Leadership Panel

AUGUST: Small Business Program

SEPTEMBER: MEGA Meeting, Shrimp Boil & GT Tailgate

OCTOBER: Capture Planning & Strategy Session

2025 SAME STRATEGIC PLAN

Learn more about the Society, our mission, vision, and goals in the SAME’s 2025 Strategic Plan at online.fliphtml5.com/fedq/eltf/#p=1.

2022 POST AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

SAME Atlanta Post takes the time to recognize its members for dedicated service to the Post during our Annual Holiday Party. This year, we’re pleased to recognize the following award winners for going above and beyond to further the goals of the Society:

Regional Vice President's Medal:

Gwennette Parker, F. SAME

Regional Vice President's Medal: Kellie Sak, P.E. Member of the Year: Ezra Bailey

Young Professional of the Year: Christian Ward

Post President’s Award: Felita Bunn

Post President's Award: Jennifer Losurdo, PE

Post President's Award: Kerry Borders

Post President's Award: David Nelson

Post President's Award: Leonora Macaluso

Leadership & Mentoring Award: Patrick H.

Leadership & Mentoring Award: Craig Bryant, P.E.

Sustaining Member of the Year -

Large Business: Burns & McDonnell

Sustaining Member of the Year -

Medium Business: Wiley|Wilson

Sustaining Member of the Year -

Small Business: Raymond

sameatlantapost.org linkedin.com/company/same-atlanta-post

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LEARN MORE ABOUT SAME & CONNECT WITH US!
62 Engineering Georgia

CHRIS LYTLE

SEAOG

www.seaog.org

PELS BOARD NEWS

The following is from Darren Mickler, Executive Director of the PELS Board, regarding clarification of PE/SE licensing renewal fees.

The below information was initially sent to SEAOG’s membership in December, 2022. Please note that SEAOG does not control any licensing decisions. Feel free to reach out to the PELS board with any questions.

On May 5, 2022, Governor Brian Kemp signed HB 476 creating a new state agency that will be named the Georgia Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Board. In the bill, the license renewal period for Professional Engineers, Structural Engineers, and Land Surveyors changed from a biennial renewal to an annual renewal. Everyone who is currently renewing or just recently renewed, will receive a December 31, 2023 expiration date.

On August 11, 2022, the Board also voted to change the renewal fee from $50 to $100 to provide adequate funding for the new agency. If you hold both Professional Engineer and Structural Engineer licenses, you are currently required to renew both licenses annually for $100 each. The Board is currently having discussions that may ultimately lead to Structural Engineers needing to carry only one license and the reduction in fees for dual licensed engineers.

EVENT RECAP

The 2022 NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit was held November 1 — November 4, 2022, in Chicago, IL. The summit offers an opportunity for practicing structural engineers to interact with other leaders and in the field.

Three of the national speakers at the summit were SEAOG members:

• Kelly Roberts (chairs NCSEA Sustainability committee), discussed the role of the engineering community in addressing climate change.

• John O’Brien (chairs NCSEA Wind Advisory committee), shared resources the Wind committee has developed to assist practicing engineers for applying code provisions.

• Angelina Stasulis (chairs NCSEA External Communications committee), presented a framework for how to develop structural analysis modeling skills in yourself or your staff.

A few quotes from SEAOG attendees:

Kelly Roberts: "The NCSEA Summit in Chicago was truly invigorating. There were so many excellent, practical presentations that are so applicable to my current projects. It was also wonderful to connect (or reconnect) with other structural engineers and discuss the state of sustainable design and the unique challenges faced in different areas of the country."

Brian Adorno: "I enjoy attending the summit to learn both about what changes are coming ahead in the industry and keep a pulse of what practicing engineers are working on today."

SEAOG’s leadership team is hard at work summarizing the key news from the summit for our membership.

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January | February 63

MICHELE REDMOND HOLCOMBE

SMPS President

Michele@foundationtechnologies.com

www.smpsatl.org

THANK YOU 2022 DEI COUNCIL MEMBERS!

For 2022, the SMPS Atlanta Chapter organized members who were interested in forming a “grassroots” effort to highlight and celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion in the A/E/C industry. Together, they worked to plan monthly events, post social media spotlights, and act as an advisory group to the Board of Directors. We would like to thank this team for their service to our chapter!

Felita Bunn – chair (Brown and Caldwell)

Admarines Colon-Ortiz (KCI Technologies)

Angel Jones, CPSM (SLS Consulting)

Laura McDonald, CPSM (Terracon)

Kim Thompkins, FSMPS, CPSM (Cummings)

Megan Kopacko (SSOE)

Michele Redmond Holcombe (Foundation Technologies)

Nathan Hammond, P.E. (Hammond & Associates)

Sarah Bachelor (Modo Modo Agency)

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to provide resources that will help foster an environment that values diversity and drives belonging resulting in achieving growth in the A/E/C industry.

If you are interested in joining the team in 2023, please contact Felita Bunn at fbunn@brwncald.com.

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AMPLIFY AEC CONFERENCE – NATIONAL CENTER FOR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS – JULY 2022 TASTE OF SMPS NETWORKING EVENT – JULY 2022 BREATHING LIFE INTO DYING MALLS PROGRAM – MAY 2022 2022 MEGA MEETING – SEPTEMBER 2022
64 Engineering Georgia
SMPS ATLANTA CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH – FEBRUARY 2022

Rukiya.Thomas@atkinsglobal.com

www.wtsinternational.org/atlanta

WTS ATLANTA NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

WTS Atlanta is pleased to announce its 2023-2024 Board, led by President Rukiya Thomas. The new Board will be leading many exciting activities in the coming year, including our Chapter's partnership with WTS International to host the 2023 Conference in Atlanta, May 8th to 13th. Please plan to join the new Board at our first event of the yearour annual Membership Meeting. More details for the meeting will be available in January.

Thank you to our outgoing Board led by Kristin Winzeler for all your work the past two years and contributions to making the WTS Atlanta 40th Anniversary incredibly special!

TO BECOME A 2023 CORPORATE SPONSOR, CONTACT KRISTIN WINZELER AT KWINZELER@NORTHFULTONCID.COM OR (678) 397-0570.
January | February 65 association [ news ]

A LOOK BACK

Athens, Georgia - The University of Georgia Bulldogs football team from the 1920 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season. The Bulldogs had an 8–0–1 record, outscored opponents 250–17, and were also co-champion of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, with in-state rival Georgia Tech as well as Tulane, which were also undefeated in conference play. The Bulldogs were retroactively awarded a national championship by Clyde Berryman under the Berryman QPRS methodology.

66 Engineering Georgia
PHOTO CREDIT: The University of Georgia
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