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MIT study shows effective way to desalinate water from fracked wells

Cambridge, Mass. — The boom in oil and gas produced through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is seen as a boon for meeting U.S. energy needs. But one byproduct of the process is millions of gallons of water that’s much saltier than seawater, after leaching salts from rocks deep below the surface. Now researchers at MIT and in Saudi Arabia say they have found an economical solution for removing the salt from this water.

Asphalt gets cooler, greener

Lanham, Md. — Asphalt pavement mixes have grown significantly more sustainable over the past five years thanks to the increased use of recycled materials and energy-saving warm-mix technologies. According to the latest survey of asphalt mix producers conducted by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 106.4 million tons of warm-mix asphalt — nearly a third of all asphalt pavement mix production — was used during the 2013 construction season.

Bridging the gap: Bridges and the people they connect

Athens, Ohio — It can be hard to imagine a world without bridges. Fortunately, the ancient Romans stepped up to the plate. Ohio University’s Online Masters in Civil Engineering program took a look at the five major bridge designs in the world’s history, and examined the people and cultures they connect.

FRA develops first multi-state planning study for high-performance rail

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published its first multi-state plan for a comprehensive, high-performing passenger rail network that will support rail planning in six Southwestern states over the next 35 years. This is the first multi-state rail planning effort FRA has embarked upon, making it a model for future regional planning efforts.

New ACI committees announced

Farmington Hills, Mich. — At the 2014 ACI Technical Activities Committee Summer Meeting, in Waimea, Hawaii, two new ACI technical committees were formed — Committee 240, Natural Pozzolans, and Committee 241, Nanotechnology of Concrete.

IES publishes Recommended Practice for Roadway Lighting, RP-8-14

New York — The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) published Recommended Practice for Roadway Lighting, RP-8-14, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved standard. The IES, as an accredited ANSI standards developer, revised RP-8-14 in accordance with ANSI consensus-based procedures. The primary purpose of this Recommended Practice is to serve as the basis for design of fixed lighting for roadways and streets, including pedestrian and adjacent bikeways when associated with the public right-of-way.

CH2M HILL named Outstanding Employer of the Year by TSPE

Denver — CH2M HILL was recognized by the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) as its Outstanding Employer of the Year for 2014. This award is given to companies that make outstanding contributions in advancing and improving the engineering profession through its employment policies and practices.

AECOM completes acquisition of URS Corporation

Los Angeles — AECOM Technology Corporation said it completed its acquisition of URS Corporation with broad support from stakeholders following approval of the merger agreement by URS’ stockholders and the stock issuance proposal by AECOM’s stockholders at each company’s respective special stockholder meetings held on Oct. 16, 2014.

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