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Vol. XXXI, Number 39 - October 13, 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 ().

DOE Details Risks/Benefits of U.S. Offshore Wind Power

A Department of Energy report looks into the key factors that effect the deployment of offshore wind power in the U.S... click here for more.

Hi-Tech Office Building Cuts Typical Energy Use in Half

The new Westarkade building in Frankfurt, Germany, a 15-story glass tower with windows that open, has the ambitious goal of consuming no more than 100 kilowatt-hours of energy per square meter annually... click here for more.

Campuses Lead Way in "Sustainable" Building Design

College campuses have been at the forefront of the "green" building movement, but their strong appetite for the newest—and often experimental—technology is risky and does not always pay off... click here for more.

Philadelphia Stormwater Plan Highlights New Solutions

Philadelphia is proposing a plan to update its stormwater infrastructure by replacing concrete and asphalt structures with turf and dirt... click here for more.

DOT Pushes $35 Billion Rail Track Loan Program

The Department of Transportation recently served notice that it will increasingly tie a low-interest loan account for railroad track improvements to a variety of Obama administration policy objectives... click here for more.

Click here for more News Briefs.

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Thank-You Savings from the ACEC Job Board

ACEC would like to thank you for being a devoted Job Board customer by offering you a Free Featured Job Upgrade with any multiple-job posting package purchased in 2010.

That’s a savings of $125—on top of the discount automatically earned when you purchase any multiple-job posting package. In addition, your posting package gives you access to the resume database.

ACEC’s Job Board is your online resource for recruiting quality candidates from a target audience of engineering industry professionals.

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.

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:

Transportation Engineer/Project Manager—Greenville/Spartanburg, SC
Hydrology & Water Resources Engineer—Wichita, KS
Transportation Group Lead PM, Road Engineer
Topeka, KS
Assistant Project Manager—Albuquerque, NM
Senior Project Manager-Civil Engineer—Los Angeles, CA

A Sampling of Posted Resumes:

Geotechnical Engineers—1,246
Water Resources/Wastewater Engineers—1,774
Civil Engineers—2,428
Structural Engineers—1,656
Environmental Engineers—1,612

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

Risk Management Publications at the ACEC Bookstore

The Blue Sourcebook
Business Practices and Risk Management for Engineering Firms

With over 200 scenarios, solutions, tips, advice or alternatives that have been previously tried and implemented by many engineering firms, The Blue Sourcebook is the ideal quick go-to reference to help you react quickly to business situations and take preventive measures to avoid trouble before it occurs.

To order downloadable version, click here.

To order printed version, click here.

Risk Management for Design Professionals
William G. Ramroth, Jr.

Given the cost of error, managing risk is not just good business for design firms, it’s essential for survival.

In Risk Management for Design Professionals, William G. Ramroth explains the principles of risk management and how any design firm can apply them to every project. By reducing the process to simple steps and comparing professional risk to familiar themes such as games of chance, Ramroth demonstrates how to avoid risk at every stage of the design process.

To order, click here.

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

Value Pricing; Economic Outlook in 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:


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.

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.

9—Value Pricing for A/E Firms by David Stone, Stone and Company
Establishing a competitive price that contributes to profitability

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.

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


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.

14—If You Haven’t Planned It, You Can’t Control It by Gary Bates, Roenker Bates Group
The alternative to ‘managing by crisis’

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:

End of Gulf Drilling Ban is "Huge Boost" to Economy and Member Firms

The Obama Administration has lifted the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

In August, after assessing the adverse impact of the ban on Member Firms along the Gulf Coast, ACEC President Dave Raymond contacted Energy Secretary Ken Salazar, recommending an expedited review of the deepwater rigs in the Gulf and a “speedy end” to the moratorium.

Kam Movassaghi, president of C. H. Fenstermaker and Associates, Inc. in Lafayette, La., said, “While it will take time to mobilize offshore activity, lifting the moratorium is a huge boost to the regional economy and to firms along the Gulf Coast. This is a big victory for ACEC and our industry.”

Obama Administration Endorses Increased Infrastructure Investment

On Monday, President Obama called again for Congress to back his $50 billion proposal that would create an infrastructure bank to invest in projects of national importance.

The Department of Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisors also released a report this week stating that the current high unemployment rate and low construction costs make this the “optimal time” to invest in public work projects. To read the report, click here.

ACEC sent a letter last month to the White House supporting increased infrastructure investment. To read the letter, click here.

ACEC/Oklahoma Joins ACEC/PAC Winner's Circle

ACEC/Oklahoma linked Member Firm business interests with political clout in reaching its annual ACEC/PAC fundraising goal for the first time.

PAC Champion Steve Ford of Zahl-Ford in Oklahoma City credited a steady campaign of educating members on how ACEC’s involvement at the federal level has a direct impact on their bottom lines.

“Once our members understood that this is ‘our PAC’ and that it exists to make sure ‘our interests’ in Congress are represented, they knew they needed to be vested financially, too,” said Ford.

For more information about ACEC/PAC, click here.

Oregon, Metro Washington "Three-peat" and "Six-peat" ACEC/PAC Goals

ACEC/Oregon has met its ACEC/PAC fundraising goal for the third straight year. “It’s not complicated, you just need the commitment of leadership,” said PAC Champion Jack Beemer of David Evans and Associates in Bend. “Any state can meet their goal using this approach.”

ACEC/Metro Washington, led by co-PAC Champions Mike Wiercinski of A. Morton Thomas Associates in Rockville, MD, and Courtney Brown of CH2M HILL in Silver Spring, MD, has achieved its goal for the sixth straight year.

“Capitol Hill may be in our backyard,” said Wiercinski, “but we still need to remind our members that their firm’s future is tied directly to Congress and federal legislation.”

Click here for more information about ACEC/PAC.

ACEC Business Insurance Trust Provides New Benefit on Deductibles

The ACEC Business Insurance Trust (BIT) has introduced a new benefit program allowing Member Firm insureds to request assistance of up to $500 on each of their auto and property insurance deductibles, up to a maximum of $1,000 per year.

The program is retroactive to January 1, 2010 for requests received by December 1, 2010.

To obtain information on this new ACEC member benefit, contact Woody Germany at or any of the BIT Trustees listed on the BIT website,

State Organization Political Activity Accelerates as Election Day Nears

At an ACEC/Kansas fundraiser, Republican Congressional Candidate Kevin Yoder (left) accepts an ACEC/PAC check from Kent Dvorak (center) and PAC Champion Craig Denny (right), both with Terracon Consultants in Lenexa.

ACEC/Florida held a fundraiser for Republican Congressional Candidate Daniel Webster (second from right) in Orlando, flanked by Genean McKinnon and Sandy Webster (on left), and Leila Nodarse, Nodarse & Associates, Inc., Winter Park (on right).

Republican Congressional Candidate Todd Rokita (center) participated in a fundraiser with ACEC/Indiana members last week. Pictured (left to right) are: ACEC/IN Deputy Executive Director Beth Bauer, Abe Swidan, Janssen & Spaans Engineering, Inc., Indianapolis; Rokita; PAC Champion Phil Beer, USI Consultants, Inc., Indianapolis; and ACEC/IN President John Brand, Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc., Indianapolis.

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 Guides.

The Guides will be published in special 2011 issues of Engineering, Inc. magazine.

Click here to access the Peer-to-Peer Resource Guide Nomination Form. You may recommend more than one vendor in any of the three categories.

For more information, contact Andrea Keeney at

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 course brochure 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 by October 15 and save $100. Click here for the course brochure, agenda details, and to register.

How to Maximize Liability Mitigation on Government Contracts, Online

November 2, 1:30-3 p.m.

Attorneys Ray Biagini and Herbert Fenster, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, present an intensive online seminar identifying engineering firms’ options and actions to gain maximum liability mitigation on government contracts.

Participants will learn how firms providing planning, design, program and construction management, inspection and other A/E services can protect themselves.

Click here for details and to register.

Industry Insiders Update High Speed Rail Market Opportunities, Obstacles

November 18, 1:30-3 p.m.

With the planning and development of high speed passenger rail service becoming a key market for engineering firms, a panel of industry experts will outline what projects will look like and where future funding is likely to be directed. In addition they will review recent guidance from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on project development and delivery and analyze potential obstacles to high speed rail development in the near- and long-term.

Click here for details and 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