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Vol. XXXIII, Number 17 - May 2, 2012
Recent Highlights
Record Convention Attendance Propels Council's Legislative Agenda
Tetra Tech-INCA's Storm Surge Barrier Named Top Engineering Achievement
Senate Passes Transportation Bill
House Small Business Committee Addresses Insourcing Concerns

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Maine Utilities Move Ahead with Ocean Tide Power Production

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on April 24 put three utilities on the path to distribute electricity harnessed from tides at the nation’s eastern tip, a key milestone in a bid to turn the natural rise and fall of ocean levels into power... click here for more.

GSA Reports Green Buildings Have Lower Maintenance Costs

According to the General Services Administration (GSA), it costs less to build and maintain a green building than it does a conventional edifice, as indicated by a study of 22 green federal buildings in the United States... click here for more.

EPA Streamlines Stormwater Construction Permits

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a streamlined stormwater construction permitting process required under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to replace the existing 2008 CGP, which expired on Feb. 15, 2012... click here for more.

Click here for more News Briefs.

Owner's Guide to QBS Now Available; Mother's Day Savings

Just Published!

Owner's Guide to QBS
Stan Slap

This manual guides facilities and infrastructure owners in the selection of design professionals. It can also be used to train staff in the Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) process.

The Federal Government and most state agencies use QBS to contract with design professionals. QBS is also used in the private sector by owners seeking quality project designs at fair and reasonable costs.

For a printed copy, click here.

For an immediate download, click here.

Order now for Mother's Day and save on flowers, plants, jewelry and more.

Click here.

Please visit us at or contact Nina Goldman at 202-682-4325 ( if you have any questions.

Use ACEC Job Board to Find Top Talent

Employers are discovering the advantages of searching online for qualified candidates, but when it comes to finding engineering professionals, the mass-market approach of the mega job boards may not be the best way to find whom you're looking for.

Stop wasting time or money and post your jobs on the ACEC Job Board!

The chart below shows, over the last 4 months the number of job applications are growing.

Compensation, Federal Market Outlook in Online Seminars

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


3—A/E Business Development Today—Not Your Father's Market Conditions, by David Stone, Stone & Company
Master the art of creating and nurturing strong, trust-based relationships with your clients to maintain a steady supply of profitable work.

8—Executive Compensation and other FAR Compliance Issues—What You Need to Know, by Dan Purvine, Kimley-Horn, and Jim Barton, Simon Wong Engineering
Get current on key issues and recent developments affecting indirect cost rate audits of A/E firms.

9—WIFIA and PABs—Innovative Water Financing for the Future by Jeffery T. More, Esq., Accord Group and Water Infrastructure Network, and Edmund DeVeaux, United Water
A look forward at legislative proposals for financing water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

10—Engineering and the Legislative Process: The Making of Laws (First of three Advocacy for Engineers webinars—special series pricing) by Richard L. Corrigan, CH2M Hill

15—Engineering Faster Project Delivery With Digital Signatures, by John Marchioni, VP Business Develoment, ARX
How to manage and control signature privileges and professional credentials to benefit from engineering business process streamlining and automation.

17—Today's Biomass Energy Industry: Key Developments Needed for Growth, by James Easterly, Black & Veatch
A look at range of issues and potential for expansion in biomass energy development.

22—Federal Architecture and Engineering Market Outlook, by Kevin M. Plexico, VP, Federal Information Solutions, Deltek
An in-depth look at current A/E market, insights into new procurement opportunities, and trends and issues that will shape the size and direction of the federal marketplace.

23—Engineering and Government Agencies: Programs, Policies, Regulations (Second of three Advocacy for Engineers webinars) by Richard L. Corrigan, CH2M Hill

24—Understanding Your Key Financial Ratios, by David Cohen, managing director, and Matt Fultz, associate, Matheson Financial Advisors
Gain a better understanding of financial statements and how to use key financial ratios to manage your engineering firm more effectively.


7—Engineering Government Advocacy: Why It's Important (Third of three Advocacy for Engineers webinars) by Richard L. Corrigan, CH2M Hill

14—Airport Construction: Federal Policy Changes and Market Outlook, by Jane Calderwood, VP for Government and Political Affairs, Airports Council International—North America
Highlights of key policy and regulatory changes made to federal aviation and capital support programs, airport capital needs, and future market outlook.

19—Accelerate Out of Recession: Six Strategies for A/E Firms, by Mike Phillips, Phillips Architecture PA
Details of the "big six" strategies for improving financial results in an immediate yet sustainable manner in key areas.

Member Action Needed as Congress Negotiates Final Transportation Bill

ACEC urges all members to contact their congressional delegation and call for passage of a long-term surface transportation bill that sustains investment levels and promotes contracting out.

The first meeting of House and Senate negotiators on the conference committee to finalize the legislation occurs next week.

Click here to access the Action Alert.

Rep. Pascrell Touts Private Activity Bonds for Water Projects at ACEC HQ

Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) (left) is the sponsor of major water/wastewater funding legislation in the House. Also pictured are ACEC President Dave Raymond and Diane Shea, ACEC's director of environment and energy programs.

Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) said at ACEC headquarters last week that he sees a real opportunity this year to pass legislation to exempt Private Activity Bonds for water/wastewater projects from dollar-volume limits imposed on states by Congress.

Pascrell said the legislation could unlock $5-6 billion annually in private funding for public projects.

Minuteman Fund Grant Awarded to ACEC/New York

ACEC has awarded a Minuteman Fund grant to ACEC/New York to help support a major advocacy and public relations campaign for a $6 billion infrastructure initiative.

Replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge with a larger, wider twin span would generate nearly $1 billion in design and related fees.

For more information on The Minuteman Fund, click here.

ACEC/Indiana Hits 2012 PAC Goal

ACEC/Indiana PAC Champion Philip Beer
ACEC/Indiana became the third Member Organization to meet its 2012 ACEC/PAC fundraising target, joining ACEC/Wisconsin and ACEC/Hawaii. The Hoosier State has made its PAC objective every year.

"It starts with a strong commitment from our state leadership, and continues with an engaged membership that understands the importance of our federal advocacy program," said Indiana PAC Champion Philip Beer of USI Consultants in Indianapolis.

For more information about ACEC's political programs, click here.

Reminder: Take Part in Professional Liability Insurance Survey of Firms

The 2012 ACEC Professional Liability Insurance Survey of Member Firms for Fiscal Year 2011 ends on Friday, May 4, 2012.

This annual survey collects information on Member Firms' professional liability insurance, claims experience, and the impact of the threat of litigation.

An email with a link to the survey has been sent to the primary contacts of each Member Firm. Click here to access the survey. Member Firms that respond to the survey will receive a free copy of the complete results upon request.

Call for Nominations for ACEC's Community Service Award

ACEC's Committee of Fellows is looking to honor the Council's most community-oriented members.

The 2012 Community Service Award recognizes Member Firm leaders who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to their local community. Recipients will be honored at the ACEC Fall Conference in Boca Raton, Fla.

Each Member Organization may only submit one entry. To review the criteria for the award and to download an application, click here. The entry deadline is June 8, 2012.

Get New Tools, Insights, Ideas to Improve Bottom Line

Get the latest and best bottom-line insights for flourishing in today's challenging economic environment in the 2012 Business of Design Consulting course, the engineering industry's premier business program for managers and up-and-coming executives, which will be held in New Orleans, May 16-19.

A faculty of industry experts will provide in-depth, custom-tailored instruction on leadership, strategic planning and growth, finance, ownership transition, marketing, contracts and risk management.

Click here to register.

Keep Up with the Rapid Changes in the Green Infrastructure Market

June 25-28, Denver, CO

The Green infrastructure market will triple to nearly $130 billion in the next three years. Keep up with the rapid changes in environmentally related markets with ACEC's new 2012 course, Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Communities.

Highlights of this intensive 3-1/2 -day program include: The business case for sustainable development; sustainable project planning; sustainable design tools and techniques (including the new Envision™ system from ISI); sustainable project management; and opportunities in specific engineering markets.

Click here for details and to register.

Get an Inside Look at Airport Construction Federal Policy Changes

June 14, 1:30-3 p.m.

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act, a four-year, $64 billion bill for federal aviation programs and airport construction projects, will alter the aviation market for engineering firms.

In Airport Construction: Federal Policy Changes and Market Outlook, Jane Calderwood, vice president for government and political affairs at Airports Council International—North America, will highlight key policy and regulatory changes made to federal aviation and capital support programs and the impact on airports. She will also discuss current airport capital needs and the future market outlook.

Click here to register.

New Strategies for Business Development in Today's Market

May 3, 1:30-3 p.m.

To reduce the influence of price as a selection criteria, raise your volume of sole-source negotiated work, cut your marketing costs and influence the client decision-making and selection process, your team needs to master the art of creating and nurturing strong, trust-based relationships with your clients.

On May 3, David Stone, Stone & Company, will examine the importance of relationship marketing in A/E Business Development Today—Not Your Father's Market Conditions. Stone will explain the process of building and maintaining quality relationships in order to maintain a steady supply of profitable work.

Click here to register.

Get the Latest on Executive Compensation and FAR Compliance

May 8, 1:30-3 p.m.

In Executive Compensation and other FAR Compliance Issues—What You Need to Know, hear the latest developments with the National Compensation Matrix, related court actions that will challenge long-standing methodology for analyzing executive compensation, and how to better support FAR allowability of compensation. Discussion will be led by Dan Purvine, vice president of finance and accounting, Kimley-Horn & Associates and chair of the ACEC Audit Subcommittee, along with Jim Barton, business manager, Simon Wong Engineering.

The program will review other key issues, including guidance on necessary steps to support the allowability of airfare costs in light of the 2010 FAR change limiting allowable costs to the "lowest priced airfare" and related discussions with the AASHTO Audit Guide Task Force.

Click here to register.

Early Look at Proposals for Financing Water/Wastewater Infrastructure

May 9, 1:30-3 p.m.

As traditional federal funding for water and wastewater infrastructure declines, WIFIA and PABs—Innovative Water Financing for the Future, will examine the alternative forms of raising revenue that are garnering new attention on Capitol Hill.

Jeffrey More of the Accord Group and counsel to the Water Infrastructure Network, and Edmund DeVeaux, vice president, government and external affairs, United Water, will look at two of the most popular concepts: The "Water Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act" (WIFIA), which would provide loans and loan guarantees to large or regional water projects; and Private Activity Bonds (PABs), which are tax-exempt bonds issued by private equity investors for public purposes, such as water and wastewater infrastructure.

Click here to register.

Learn How to Get Positive Public Policy Results

ACEC offers a new three-webinar series focusing on the structure, organization, operations, and advocacy of good public policy to help company leaders, engineering professionals, and those involved with ACEC nationally and in the states.

Richard Corrigan, SVP, director of strategic initiatives, CH2M HILL, will lead the series:

May 10—Engineering and the Legislative Process: The Making of Laws
Focusing primarily on the U.S. Congress—with some coverage of state legislatures, Corrigan will describe how ACEC takes legislative priorities from its members and wins legislation favorable to the engineering community.

May 23—Engineering and Government Agencies: Programs, Policies, Regulations
Learn how the Executive Branch formulates annual budgets, recommends legislation, writes rules and regulations to implement laws, administers programs, disperses appropriated funds, and provides oversight.

June 7—Engineering Government Advocacy: Why It's Important
Building on previous legislative and executive branch webinars, this session focuses on how engineers and Member Firms can influence public policy decisions.

Click here to register for the May 10 webinar only.

Click here and register for both the May 10 and May 23 webinars—and automatically be registered for the June 7 (third) webinar at no additional cost.

Click here to register for the May 23 webinar only.

Click here to register for the June 7 webinar only.

Solve Digital Signatures Roadblock to Achieve Faster Project Delivery

May 15, 1:30-3 p.m.

Despite the best efforts of engineering firms to adopt electronic documents and workflow automation in order to reduce paper use and accelerate project delivery time, one disruptive problem repeatedly occurs: printing documents to sign or seal.

In Engineering Faster Project Delivery with Digital Signatures, John Marchioni, VP, ARX, describes how deploying digital signatures allows companies to maintain the integrity of their electronic documents while also managing and controlling signature privileges and professional credentials.

Click here to register.

Senior Executives Institute's Class 18 Filling Fast; Register Now

Since its inception in 1995, ACEC's prestigious Senior Executives Institute (SEI) has provided the industry's top leadership program to public and private sector engineers and architects from firms of all sizes, locations and practice specialties.

In five separate five-day sessions over 18 months, participants acquire new high-level skills and insights that facilitate adaptability and foster innovative systems thinking to meet the challenges of the A/E/C business environment.

The next SEI Class 18 meets in Washington, D.C. in September 2012 for its first session. A limited number of slots remain.

For a detailed overview of SEI, click here. To inquire, contact Deirdre McKenna, 202-682-4328, or

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