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Vol. XXIX, Number 30 - August 7, 2008

How To Avoid The Next Tunnel Tragedy
There are a number of lessons that engineers can learn from the fatal 2006 Big Dig tunnel collapse in Boston, here for more.

Federal Government Urges States To Take Road Safety Measures
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration is urging state departments of transportation to take a proactive approach toward roadway here for more.

USDA Awards $447.5 Million to Rural Electric Utilities
USDA has announced that 24 rural electric utilities in 20 states have been earmarked to receive a total of $447.5 million in here for more.

Click here for more News Briefs.

2008 Liability Survey Results Now Available At The ACEC Bookstore

2008 Professional Liability Survey of Member Firms
ACEC Risk Management Committee with an introduction by Charles Kopplin

To help ACEC members understand the current insurance landscape, the ACEC Risk Management Committee conducts an annual survey of member firms on their professional liability insurance coverage and experience. The 2008 survey produced some of the highest-quality statistical data available today. Firms can use the data to benchmark their professional liability coverage and compare the carriers who serve the industry.

Click here to order.

ACEC’s Guide to Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance is a critical part of an engineering firm’s comprehensive risk management program. It is the only policy that protects a firm against claims of professional negligence. This guide is the most comprehensive document on professional liability insurance available to the engineering community.

Click here to order.

Visit the ACEC Bookstore now at to view our full catalog of publications and merchandise!

Recruit And Save With The Job Board

Enjoy 15 percent savings when you purchase a Three-pack or Ten-pack of postings on the ACEC Job Board. Just use the promo code PLAN15 at the checkout. Three-packs include six months of resume database access and Ten-packs include a full year of access.

Now you can save money and reach thousands of candidates. The Job Board is a member of the Engineering & Science Career Network. Your job posting will appear on ACEC’s Job Board and 15 other industry job sites—all for one low price!

With over 750 posted A/E/C industry jobs and more than 9,200 candidate resumes, the ACEC Job Board’s advanced search feature produces effective, specific results for both job seekers and employers.

Reach your target audience quickly and effectively with the ACEC Job Board and the Engineering and Science Career Network.

For more information, contact Nina Goldman at 202-682-4325 or write

Over 750 Searchable Jobs Posted

Over 9,200 Searchable Resumes Posted

Over 1,800 Registered Employers

Last Five "Help Wanted" Open Positions:

Bridge Engineer—Conneaut Lake, PA
Public Works Engineer—Chandler, AZ
Mechanical Engineering Project Manager—Washington, DC
Structural Engineer—Bossier City, LA
Fire Protection Engineer—Richmond, VA

A Sampling of Posted Resumes:

Geotechnical Engineers—968
Water Resources/Wastewater Engineers—1,498
Civil Engineers—2,231
Structural Engineers—1,499
Environmental Engineers—1,383

View These and Other Resumes and Jobs on ACEC's Job Board

Online Seminars Offer Information You Can Use, Plus PDHs

Starting next week, ACEC begins our strongest ever fall lineup of online seminars delivering information that you, your co-workers, and your staff can put to use now.

Check out upcoming sessions in the calendar below and get ready to improve your firm’s bottom line, stay informed, and get ahead in an increasingly challenging environment. Advance registrants receive a timely reminder to log on for a scheduled session.


12E-Signatures, E-Seals, E-Mail & Electronic Drawing Exchange: Legal and Practical Tips to Protect Your Designs and Data by Michelle Kantor, McDonald Hopkins

19Negotiating Better Engineering Contracts: A Win-Win Situation by Gary Bates, Roenker Bates Group

20Proven Strategies for Enhancing Performance by Deb Bright, Bright Enterprises

26Additional Services Fee Recovery Training by Tom Gramza, Bromin Solutions, Inc.

27Tapping into the Power of the Press by Jerry Guerra, The JAGG Group


2Leverage Your A/E Human Resources for Competitive Advantage by John Geddie, Martin-Simonds Associates, Inc.

3Contracts, Coverage and Jury Interpretation: A Peek Behind the Insurance Curtain by Albert J. Rabasca, XL Insurance

4Professional Ethics: A Preventive Maintenance Approach by Christopher Bauer, Bauer Ethics Seminars

10Calculating Carbon Footprints—Potential Business for Engineering Companies by Mark van Soestbergen, International Carbon Bank and Exchange

11An Inside View of the Programs and Funding of Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture by Ben Shuman, Senior Environmental Engineer

17Strategic Planning for Your Company’s Next 'Bus Drivers' by Greg Churchman, Churchman Consulting

18Getting Deals Done in Today's Market by Colvin Matheson, Matheson Financial Advisors, Inc.

23Shortage of Engineers: There is No Quick Engineering Fix by Jack Jolls, John D. Jolls and Company

24Effective Project Planning to Improve Profits by Gary Bates, Roenker Bates Group

Click here for an up-to-date listing of topics you won’t want to miss, and bookmark our Calendar of Fall '08 ACEC Online Seminars to visit often.

Congress Clears ACEC’s Loan Forgiveness Program To Address Engineer Shortage

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
Engineering students could receive up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness under legislation just passed by Congress.

The ACEC-backed provision was included in the Higher Education Reauthorization and College Opportunity Act of 2008, which the president is expected to sign into law this month.

In addition to extending various federal student aid programs, the Higher Education Act creates a new program to provide financial incentives for professions in areas of “national need.” ACEC ensured that the bill also included engineering.

When implemented, engineering students could qualify for up to $10,000 in credit against their outstanding student loan obligation following graduation.

This provision was a modified version of earlier legislation introduced by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)—the Strategic Technology/Engineering Program Act (HR 3634)—on which the Missouri lawmaker worked with ACEC to encourage more young people to pursue engineering careers.

“We need more engineers to sustain a growing economy,” said Cleaver. “Although we have more work to do, passage of this legislation is a very good first step. I want to continue working with ACEC to build on what we’ve accomplished and begin to address the critical shortage of engineers and other technical professions in this country.”

ACEC President Dave Raymond credited former ACEC Chairman Ed Mulcahy of TranSytems as the “inspiration for this legislation.” Said Raymond, “This was his idea, first developed by him and members of ACEC’s College of Fellows, and we were successful in turning it into law. This is one practical response to the engineer shortage.”

For more information on the new program, contact Katharine Mottley at ACEC at

Essential Business Management Education Emphasized At Montreal Fall Conference

Russell Erbes of Kleinfelder, Inc. will lead Environmental Management Systems & Compliance Management: From Albatross to Strategic Advantage.
More than 40 education sessions on critical aspects of business practice await attendees at the upcoming ACEC Fall Conference, October 19-22, 2008, in Montreal, Canada.

Session highlights include: Environmental Management Systems & Compliance Management: From Albatross to Strategic Advantage, led by Russell Erbes of Kleinfelder, Inc.; The Climate Project: Impact of Global Climate Change on Engineering Practice, moderated by Raymond Sirois of Wright-Pierce; and Calculating Carbon Footprints—Potential Business for Engineering Companies, led by Mark van Soestbergen of the International Carbon Bank and Exchange.

The Conference also features five CEO roundtables, three professional forums, and special programs sponsored by the Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE); Council of Professional Surveyors (COPS); and Council of American Mechanical and Electrical Engineers (CAMEE).

Raymond Sirois of Wright-Pierce will moderate The Climate Project: Impact of Global Climate Change on Engineering Practice.
The Conference site is the internationally renowned Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal—one of North America’s most exciting travel destinations. Attendees are encouraged to register early as the ACEC room block is filling up fast.

If you don’t have a current passport, go to for further information.

Click here for more Conference information, or contact or call 202-347-7474.

ACEC Member Firm Leader Confirmed As New FHWA Administrator

New FHWA Administrator Thomas Madison Jr. during his Senate Confirmation hearing last week.
The Senate confirmed Thomas Madison Jr. as the new head of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) prior to adjourning for the August recess.

Madison is a former New York State Department of Transportation commissioner, and is currently president of Spectra Subsurface Imaging—a Latham, New York-based underground mapping and imaging firm.

“I am deeply honored by the confidence President Bush has placed in me to become Federal Highway Administrator,” Madison said. “I am also truly grateful for the support of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and the U.S Senate, and will work tirelessly to execute the duties of this important position.”

“Tom is a good choice to head the agency, bringing a solid background in both public and private sectors,” said ACEC/New York Executive Director Jay Simson. “He certainly understands our industry and the critical role we play in helping to deliver transportation projects to the public.”

Madison headed the New York Department of Transportation from 2005 to 2007. He previously served as Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Transportation, Chairman of the New York State Public Transportation Safety Board and MTA Capital Program Review Board, and on the Board of Commissioners of the New York Bridge Authority.

Wanted: “Green Educational Facilities” For Engineering Inc.

ACEC will highlight four member firms and their “Green Educational Facility” projects in the November/December 2008 issue of Engineering Inc.

If your firm currently is involved with innovations for educational facilities in the areas of sustainable design, energy efficiency or environmental quality, and you think your project may be of interest to Engineering Inc. readers, ACEC would like to hear from you. The project can be in process or recently completed.

To submit a project for consideration, please e-mail the following information to Engineering Inc. Staff Editor Andrea Keeney, at by Friday, August 22:

  • Project name and location;
  • Brief project overview, including any unique aspects; and
  • Name, title and phone number of the Member Firm executive who will be interviewed for the project profile.

If your project is selected, you will be contacted by an Engineering Inc. representative. Further information is available by contacting Andrea Keeney at or 202-347-7474.

ACEC/Delaware Joins Minn. Gov. Pawlenty In Supporting Rep. Mike Castle’s Reelection

ACEC/Delaware presented an ACEC/PAC check this week to long-time Congressman Mike Castle (R-Del) who is seeking reelection in November.

Castle is serving his eighth term as Delaware’s lone member of the House of Representatives and has been a “big supporter of transit and increased funding for infrastructure during his tenure,” said ACEC Vice Chairman Ted C. Williams of Landmark Engineering, Inc. in New Castle.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty also appeared at this event. Pawlenty is reportedly “on the short list” of possible running mates for Senator John McCain.

At the check presentation from left to right: Congressman Mike Castle; ACEC/Delaware President Tim Anderson; ACEC Vice Chairman Ted C. Williams; PAC Champion Jeff Bross; and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

ACEC/Alabama Hosts Fundraiser For House Candidate Griffith

Leaders from ACEC/Alabama recently hosted a legislative reception for congressional candidate and current State Senator Dr. Parker Griffith, a Democrat who is seeking the open seat of retiring Congressman Bud Cramer in the 5th Congressional district in North Alabama.

Griffith was singled out for ACEC/PAC support based on his keen understanding of engineering and business in the Alabama State Legislature, as well as for his fiscally conservative voting record. If elected, Griffith hopes to serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

All smiles at the ACEC/Alabama legislative fundraiser are from left to right: ACEC/Alabama National Director Forest Wilson of TTL, Inc.; Immediate Past President Randy Sain of Sain Associates; State Senator Parker Griffith; ACEC/Alabama President Harry Wilson of Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Inc.; and ACEC/PAC Champion Alain Gallet of Gallet & Associates.

New Course Examines Essentials Of Green Design And Development

Designing & Developing Green: Essentials of Sustainable Engineering Practice
October 22-23, Montréal, Canada
In conjunction with ACEC’s 2008 Fall Conference

As engineers confront increasingly complex environmental and infrastructure sustainability challenges, the solutions will come from innovative “visioning” and practice. ACEC presents a new one-and-a-half-day course that “reframes the conversation about sustainable development,” looks at it in a business context, offers tools and techniques, and examines the future of sustainable design in specific engineering markets.

This timely course debuts in Montreal on October 22-23, immediately following ACEC’s 2008 Fall Conference: Sustainability in the Built Environment.

Headlining the faculty for the course are author and well-known authority Bill Wallace, Wallace Futures Group, LLC; Dr. David R. Stewart, Stewart Environmental Consultants; and Michael Replogle, Transportation Director of the Living Cities Program.

For details on the course agenda and to register, click here.

Safeguard Your Electronic Designs and Data Transfers; Online Seminar Tells How

E-Signatures, E-Seals, E-Mail & Electronic Drawing Exchange: Legal and Practical Tips to Protect Your Designs and Data
Tuesday, August 12, 1:30-3 p.m.

Michelle Kantor of McDonald Hopkins presents a timely, interactive online seminar examining liability risks with electronic drawings transfer; enforceability of e-seals, e-signatures and e-mails; and the kinds of agreements needed to protect all parties in a project. Participants earn 1.5 PDHs.

For details and to register for this seminar, click here.

Business Of Design Consulting Provides Tools And Strategies To Maximize Success

The Business of Design Consulting
September 24-27, San Antonio, Texas

A perennially popular ACEC course for COOs, CFOs, executives, business administrators, principals and managers at all levels, The Business of Design Consulting is an intensive cutting-edge presentation by leading industry practitioners and business experts.

The four-day course will be presented September 24-27, in San Antonio, TX. The custom-tailored curriculum focuses on eight key areas in the A/E work environment: leadership, human resources, contracts, risk management, information technology, finance, business management and marketing.

Participants earn up to 28 PDHs.

Click here for details on agenda and faculty and to register.

Understand Conflict Resolution, Negotiate Better Contracts, Improve Earnings

Negotiating Better Engineering Contracts: A Win-Win Situation
Tuesday, August 19, 1:30-3 p.m.

In the online seminar Negotiating Better Engineering Contracts: A Win-Win Situation, Gary Bates, Roenker Bates Group, shares the insights “necessary to recognize different techniques others use to negotiate, learn which skills are required to be an effective negotiator, practice the methods for conducting an effective negotiation session,” and more.

Earn 1.5 PDHs. Click here for details and to register.

Online Seminar Offers Step-By-Step Approach To Increase Firm’s Visibility With Positive Press

Tapping into the Power of the Press
Wednesday, August 27, 1:30-3 p.m.

Improve (or begin!) your firm’s publicity program and reap competitive and other benefits in areas such as recruiting, employee morale, and leadership transition.

Jerry Guerra, The JAGG Group, starts with strategic thinking on what, where and how to promote your firm, then describes proven techniques for increasing brand recognition in the marketplace and how to avoid the potential pitfalls of publicity.

For details and to register for this seminar, click here.

The American Council of Engineering Companies
1015 15th St., NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20005-2605
Phone: 202-347-7474 - Fax: 202-898-0068 -
Alan D. Crockett, Director, PR • Ann Brandstadter, Editor/Designer