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Louis Berger sweeps ACEC Metro Washington Engineering Excellence Grand Awards

Morristown, N.J. — Louis Berger took top honors in both the design and non-design categories from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Metropolitan Washington (ACEC/MW) at its annual Engineering Excellence Awards dinner. The industry organization honored the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool reconstruction as the top design project and the Washington Monument earthquake repair project, which Louis Berger managed jointly with Hill International, as the top non-design project.

SWEMA announces new board of directors

Roxborough, Colo. — The Stormwater Equipment Manufacturers Association (SWEMA) announced a new Board of Directors for 2015-2016. SWEMA Members elected Will Harris as President (Oldcastle Stormwater Solutions); Derek Berg as Vice President (Contech Engineered Solutions), and Kevin McKee as Treasurer (Hydro International).

Soils could keep contaminants in wastewater from reaching groundwater, streams

University Park, Pa. — With endocrine-disrupting compounds affecting fish populations in rivers as close as Pennsylvania's Susquehanna and as far away as Israel's Jordan, a new research study shows that soils can filter out and break down at least some of these emerging contaminants. The results suggest that water pollution can be diminished by spraying treated wastewater on land rather than discharging it directly into streams, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

New water degree offers a wealth of career opportunities

Blacksburg, Va. — Virginia Tech’s new undergraduate degree in water, approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in early December, is one of the most innovative, interdisciplinary offerings in the country and will position graduates for a wide spectrum of careers in private industry, federal and state agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.

CFSEI to host webinar on changes to AISI S100 and Cold-Formed Steel Framing Standards

Washington, D.C. — The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI) will host a webinar on “Back to Basics: A Look at Changes to the North American Cold-Formed Steel Specification and Cold-Formed Steel Framing Standards” on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET. This is the fifth webinar in CFSEI’s “Back to Basics” series and is designed for architects, engineers, building officials and contractors. Participants are eligible for 1.5 PDHs.

Eighty percent of construction firms plan to expand headcount in 2015

Washington, D.C. — Eighty percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2015 while only 7 percent expect to reduce headcounts, according to survey results released by the Associated General Contractors of America. The survey, conducted as part of Ready to Hire Again: The 2015 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook, indicates that most contractors are optimistic about the year ahead and ready to expand, but will have to cope with challenges including worker shortages and regulatory burdens.

Researchers call for changes in 50-year-old drinking water standards

Blacksburg, Va. — Changes in drinking water quality in the 21st Century are coming from a myriad of circumstances, and not all are for the best. Top contenders for why water-drinking quality might become suspect to the average consumer include California's drought conditions, the technology of fracking, and the nationwide aging infrastructure of rusty, degrading pipes.

More cranes in skyline mean more U.S. construction in 2015

Phoenix — Rider Levett Bucknall, an international property and construction consultant and industry leader in construction cost research, launched its inaugural edition of the North American RLB Crane Index. The new report measures construction activity in major cities across North America and predicts the health of the U.S. construction industry.

Amazon to build Indiana wind farm to supply datacenters

Seattle — Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company, announced that it has teamed with Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) to support the construction and operation of a 150 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Benton County, Ind., called the Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge). This new wind farm is expected to start generating approximately 500,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power annually as early as January 2016 – or the equivalent of that used by approximately 46,000 US homes1 in a year.

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