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Vol. XXXI, Number 37 - October 1, 2010
Recent Highlights
For recent ACEC news, click below:

The ACEC Index compares the stock performance of ACEC’s publicly held Member Firms() with the NYSE Composite Index () and Total U.S. Construction Spending ().

Utilities Face Pressure Over Pipeline Inspections

Utilities have been under pressure for years to do a better job of inspecting and replacing aging natural gas pipes... click here for more.

Accounting for Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning

In Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, researchers from around the world focused on the impacts of climate change that we either cannot avoid or choose not to avoid... click here for more.

EPA Puts Chesapeake Bay States on Pollution Notice

The Environmental Protection Agency has initiated a crackdown on Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New York, which collectively account for over 70 percent of the pollution responsible for “dead zones” in the Chesapeake Bay... click here for more.

Many Major Urban Roads are Substandard or in Poor Shape

A new report from the non-profit transportation research group TRIP finds that 24 percent of the major urban roads in the Unites States are in substandard or poor condition and produce added costs to motorists of $402 per year... click here for more.

Demand for TIGER II Funding Overwhelms Supply

Nearly 1,000 construction grant applications for more than $19 billion exceeded the $600 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II dollars the U.S. Department of Transportation can award for infrastructure projects... click here for more.

Click here for more News Briefs.

Follow ACEC on Facebook

Use the Job Board to hire the best talent and save money

Fall is the perfect time to find the next superstar employee for your firm and save with ACEC Job Board.

Add ACEC’s Job Board to your recruiting mix and enjoy 15 percent savings on any multiple posting package through the end of October. Just use the promo code SAVE15 at checkout. Your posting package automatically includes resume database access.

Save money and reach thousands of candidates. With over 550 posted A/E/C industry jobs and more than 27,000 candidate resumes, the ACEC Job Board’s advanced search features produce 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 550 Searchable Jobs Posted

Over 27,000 Searchable Resumes Posted

Over 2,200 Registered Employers

Last Five "Help Wanted" Open Positions:

Engineering Officer, Afghanistan—Nationwide
Lab/Field Technician—Fresno, CA
Senior Environmental Engineer/Project Manager—San Diego, CA
Sr. Principal Engineer-Mechanical—Burlington, MA
Civil Engineer-Dam Structures—Chattanooga, TN

A Sampling of Posted Resumes:

Geotechnical Engineers—1,236
Water Resources/Wastewater Engineers—1,768
Civil Engineers—2,421
Structural Engineers—1,654
Environmental Engineers—1,602

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

All Industry Trends Surveys on Sale through September 30

Save 50 percent on the 2010 Industry Trends Survey. Save 40 percent on all other past editions. No coupon necessary; the sale price is reflected on website.

Click here to see all ACEC Design & Construction Industry Trends Surveys and to order.

All purchases made at the ACEC Bookstore through September 30, 2010, will get free ground shipping. Select Free Ground Shipping at checkout to take advantage of this offer.

Click here to see all of the publications and merchandise available at the ACEC Bookstore.

Defend Overhead Rates; Economic Outlook Highlight Online Seminars

ACEC online seminars provide critical business information for Member Firms navigating current market challenges and seeking new business opportunities.

Here’s a look at upcoming topics:


5—How to Write the ‘Perfect’ NEPA Cumulative Impact Analysis, by Owen Schmidt, former Senior Counsel, USDA
Understanding the necessary and that which can be left out to get to ‘perfect.’

6—R&D Tax Credit and Your Bottom Line, by Larry Nealy, Axiom Solutions
Might your ‘day-to-day’ activity qualify for Tax Credit?

7—Survival and Success: Essential Project Management Practices for Sub-Consultant Structural Engineers, by Scott Braley, Braley Consulting
First seminar in CASE fall program.

12—Insider’s Guide to Developing and Defending Overhead Rates, by Paul Haglund, Paul Haglund Consulting
Be ready for increased government client scrutiny.

13—Project Partnering: Principles, Techniques, and Benefits, by Gary Bates, Roenker Bates Group
Project Partnering’ $uccess for design professionals.

14—Understanding and Using AIA C401 Standard Form of Agreement Between Architect and Consultant: Deconstructing AIA B101, by Bill Geisen, GraydonHead
Second in CASE fall seminar series.

27—High Speed Rail: Outlook, Opportunities and Obstacles, by Donald M. Itzkoff, Nossaman LLP; Jeffrey Boothe, Holland & Knight; and David J. Carol, Parsons Brinckerhoff

28—Understanding and Using AIA C40l Standard Form of Agreement Between Architect and Consultant: Uses and Modifications, by Bill Geisen, GraydonHead
Third in CASE fall seminar series.


2—Effective Use of Government Contracts to Optimize Liability Protection by Ray Biagini, Esq., and Herbert Fenster, Esq., McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
High potential consequence activities require extra special vigilance.

11—Retirement Plans—Which Plan is the Best Fit for Your Firm? By Robert Kuna, Wachovia Securities
Fourth in CASE fall seminar series.

16—Systematic Client Feedback: How to Get It, Use It, and Benefit From It, by Mike Phillips, DesignFacilitator
Ten usable criteria for monitoring your firm’s ongoing performance.

17—Short-Term Economic Outlook—Will Financial Reform Help Your Business? By Greg Ip, editor, The Economist
An examination of the current state of the economy, and the outlook for growth and implications of the recent financial reform bill.


7—What is the Right Value for Your Firm? by David Cohen, Matheson Financial Advisors
Firm internal/external sale in your future? Start building more shareholder value now.

Download AASHTO Audit Guide Online Seminars

ACEC's popular series of online seminars detailing the new AASHTO Uniform Audit and Accounting Guide are now available for purchase and download on-demand through the ACEC Bookstore.

To order, click on the seminar title of interest:

ACEC/CA Gains Victory on Duty to Defend as Governor Signs Bill into Law

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law this week ACEC-backed legislation that protects design professionals from two recent state court rulings that imposed a duty to defend when a client was sued by a third party, even if the design professional was neither negligent nor in breach of contract.

“ACEC/California’s leadership with this legislation has shielded our members from potentially disastrous economic liability,” said ACEC President Dave Raymond.

ACEC supported ACEC/CA’s efforts with a Minuteman Fund grant and calls for Member Firms nationwide that work in California to lobby for the legislation. In the past two weeks alone, nearly 500 members sent letters to the Governor urging him to sign the bill.

For more information, click here.

House Passes ACEC-Backed 9/11 Liability Relief Legislation

The House of Representatives passed ACEC-endorsed legislation this week that provides liability relief for engineering firms involved in the response and cleanup of the Ground Zero site following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Under the legislation, individuals who lived or worked near Ground Zero and accept compensation for related health problems must relinquish their right to sue. In paying any remaining claims, engineering firms’ liability will be capped by the limit of their professional liability insurance policy as of September 11, 2001.

ACEC is urging the Senate to act on the legislation later in the Fall.

ACEC Calls for Repeal of 1099 Provision in New Health Care Law

ACEC has voiced serious concerns to the IRS about the onerous paperwork burden imposed by the Form 1099 Provision in the new health care law.

The new law requires that—beginning in 2012—firms must file 1099s for purchases of any goods and services valued at more than $600 annually. This change would result in millions of additional 1099s each year. For example, Degenkolb Engineers in San Francisco currently files approximately 30 Form 1099s a year. Under the new rules, the firm expects to file closer to 2,500 forms.

ACEC has joined with a coalition of business groups to support repeal of the provision. Click here to see a copy of the Council’s letter to the IRS.

Texas Member Organization Holds Fundraiser for Congressman Poe

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) (center) met with members of the ACEC Member Organization in Texas last week. Pictured (left to right) are: Bob Jones, Jones & Carter, Inc.; Rep. Poe; and James Thompson, AECOM and the state association chairman.

Follow ACEC on Facebook

The just-launched ACEC National Facebook page offers members and prospective members a new way to stay abreast of important Council initiatives and events.

Click here to view ACEC’s new Facebook page; or click on the Facebook icon to the left; or search “ACEC National” in your Facebook account. You must be registered with Facebook to view the ACEC National page.

Massachusetts and Washington State meet 2010 ACEC/PAC Goals

ACEC Vice Chairman
Robin Greenleaf led ACEC/MA’s fundraising efforts.

ACEC/WA Chairman
Chris Robertson also serves
as the PAC Champioin
ACEC/Massachusetts and ACEC/Washington became the latest state organizations to hit their ACEC/PAC fundraising goals. Wisconsin, Hawaii, Indiana, South Dakota and South Carolina had already met their 2010 targets.

Led by Robin Greenleaf of Architectural Engineers, Inc. in Boston, and Dennis Coffey of HNTB in Chelmsford, this is the earliest ACEC/MA has ever hit 100 percent. “We made a point of emphasizing that we need to raise ACEC/PAC funds now, before November 2.” said Greenleaf.

ACEC/WA Chairman and PAC Champion Chris Robertson of Shannon and Wilson in Seattle credited a total commitment by the state association, including Kurt Gahnberg of The Transpo Group, Inc. in Kirkland and Executive Director Bill Garrity, to meet the goal. “We picked up several new donors this year by educating our members about the implications of federal issues now before Congress,” said Robertson.

Click here to see the progress of each state in achieving its ACEC/PAC goal for 2010 and for information on the PAC Champions leading their state fundraising efforts. For more information about ACEC’s political programs, contact Greg Knopp, ACEC’s executive director for political affairs at or Elizabeth Coit, ACEC/PAC director at

Nominate Vendors for Engineering Inc.’s New Peer-to-Peer Resource Guide

If you have a vendor that provides exceptional service in the accounting/financial; marketing/communications; or IT service areas, recommend them to other ACEC members by submitting their name to the new Peer-to-Peer Resource Guide, which will be published in special 2011 issues of Engineering, Inc. magazine.

Click here to access the Peer-to-Peer Resource Guide Nomination Form. Fill out your contact information, select a corresponding vendor category, and then complete the vendor contact information.

You may recommend more than one vendor in any of the three categories. For more information, contact Andrea Keeney at

Fall Conference to Focus on Future of Key Infrastructure Markets

The ACEC 2010 Fall Conference will be at the El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico, October 17-20.

Industry experts will provide in-depth analyses of three important engineering markets during the ACEC Fall Conference in Puerto Rico, October 17-20.

Geoffrey Yarema, who leads the Infrastructure Practice Group of the nationally recognized law firm Nossaman, will look at the future of transportation funding; Barry Worthington, executive director of the U.S. Energy Association, will analyze the energy market; and G. Tracey Mehan, The Cadmus Group, Inc., will provide a forecast of the water market.

For more information on the Conference and to register, click here.

2011 Young Professional of the Year Award Entry Deadline is October 11

Member Organizations and Member Firms seeking to recognize the achievements of a young engineer must submit their entry for ACEC’s 2011 Young Engineer of the Year Award by October 11, 2010.

The Award acknowledges engineers just beginning their careers who have already made significant contributions to the profession.

Award winners will be recognized at the 2011 ACEC Fall Conference and in Engineering Inc. and will automatically compete for the 2011 New Faces of Engineering Awards, which are coordinated through National Engineers Week.

For more information on the awards and to enter, click here.

Understanding Project Financials' Impact on Firm Operating Performance

November 4-5, Phoenix, AZ

In Essentials of A/E Financial Management and Firm Valuation, David Cohen, finance expert and principal, Matheson Financial Advisors, Inc., explores the impact that a volatile economy has on financial management above and beyond revenue, profits, backlog, and staff size.

Participants will learn to effectively extract and apply key financial measures such as break-even overhead rate, target billing multiplier and labor utilization percentage; how to examine various performance, liquidity and leverage ratios; and ways to benchmark these results to positively affect firm performance and shareholder value.

Click here for the brochure, agenda details, and to register.

Gain Expert Witness Skills, Benefit Your Firm, Your Clients, Yourself

November 11-12, Orlando, FL

Litigation is a fact-of-life in the A/E industry. Firms need professionals who are knowledgeable in courtroom procedures to effectively serve the firm (or clients) as an expert witness. Applying Expertise as an Engineering Expert Witness, ACEC’s one-of-a-kind course, is being offered November 11-12, in Orlando.

Topics include deposition behavior, permissible out-of-court statements, ethics, pre-courtroom testimony preparation, courtroom demeanor, how to maintain credibility, the differences between a fact witness and an expert witness, and agreement and compensation for taking on an outside assignment.

Register now and save. Click here for the course brochure, agenda details, and to register.

Become an Expert on Writing NEPA Impact Analysis Docs

October 5, 1:30-3 p.m.

Owen Schmidt, former senior counsel of USDA in Oregon and Washington state, presents an invaluable online seminar for everyone who writes or reviews National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents, or works on federal and federally funded projects that are subject to NEPA requirements.

Schmidt describes and demonstrates a six-part model cumulative impact analysis that accounts for “all that science can tell us, all that the law requires, and the rules for when to cut it off safely... both the necessary, and that which can be left out to get to perfect.”

Click here to register.

R&D Tax Credits: Time to Take a Fresh Look at Your Design Activities?

October 6, 1:30-3 p.m.

A/E firms are often unaware that their day-to-day activities may qualify for the Research and Development Tax Credit. Larry Nealy, Axiom Solutions, presents R&D Tax Credit and Your Bottom Line, revisiting and de-mystifying the 2003 tax law definitions relative to designing something ‘new.’

This valuable online seminar will cover:

  • Status update of the R&D Tax Credit
  • Definition of what qualifies and what doesn’t qualify
  • Step-by-step process for filing for the R&D Tax Credit
  • Process of an IRS Audit and how engineering firms are winning
  • Advance planning for R&D Tax Credit and refund retention
Click here to register.

CASE Online Series: Sub-Consultant Project Management Practices

October 7, 1-2:30 p.m. (Note special time.)

Structural engineers often work as a sub-consultant to architects—making direct communication with the client a rare occurrence, and project success dependent on the level of trust and teamwork attainable.

Scott Braley, Braley Consulting, presents the first in the CASE fall online seminar series, Survival and Success: Essential Project Management Practices for Sub-Consultant Structural Engineers, focusing on “procedures and practical information for managing your project in the context of the sub-consultant role.”

Click here to register.

HR Forum to Meet in Boston; Sales & Marketing During Fall Conference

HR Forum, October 7-8, Cambridge, Mass.
Sales and Marketing Forum, October 17, Puerto Rico

The HR Forum will focus on updating issues of current interest, including employee communication and retention; legal, medical and benefits discussions; and recognition and rewards practices. Click here to register.

The Sales and Marketing Forum meets on October 17 during the ACEC 2010 Fall Conference in Puerto Rico. Conference registrants can attend at no additional fee or participants can register only for the Forum. A/E industry marketing maven David Stone will walk attendees through a self-appraisal of their overall marketing function, and introduce new ideas for re-purposing and re-energizing sales efforts firm-wide to step-up to today’s intensely competitive environment. Click here to register.

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
Gerry Donohue, Editor/Designer