Month: October 2020

From Groundbreaking to Ribbon Cutting: An Internship with Hoyle, Tanner

Over the past three months, I have had the pleasure of being part of the Hoyle, Tanner team, primarily in the Bridges & Structures group. I have gotten to see and experience a variety of different projects at all stages, and I am grateful for this opportunity and everything I learned along the way.

Projects in Derry

The first half of my internship experience was spent in Derry, New Hampshire replacing a bridge with structurally deficient culverts on this box culvert project. Here I performed Resident Project Representative (RPR) services and observed construction from start to finish – when the excavator broke ground to when the bridge was reopened to traffic. It was very rewarding to see the full project life-cycle and be there to walk the bridge. Every day in the field there was a new step and process for me to learn and see for the first time. Being on site opened my eyes to how many people are involved in the entirety of a project. Now I better understand the client, contractor, and engineer’s roles in making a project successful. For example, Hoyle, Tanner, the contractor, and the Town worked together to make field changes as needed.

Working on this project also introduced me to new engineering computer programs such as Bluebeam, MicroStation, and Mathcad that allowed me to edit drawings, review check sets and create other engineering documents. User efficiency greatly improved from the first days of using a program compared to after a couple of months.

Projects in Bedford

The last half of my internship has been spent in Bedford, New Hampshire where I took on day-to-day inspections of a gas main project. My duty there was to make sure the trench is properly backfilled and compacted and make sure everything goes according to plan. This role was rewarding because it allowed me to work more independently. I frequently communicated with the client on day-to-day progress and was the bridge of communication to the site.

At Hoyle, Tanner I was welcomed with open arms (virtually) and felt like I belonged. I am thankful my supervisor emphasized spending as much time in the field as I could because the experience taught me valuable lessons. I enjoyed the team environment and how my questions were encouraged by everyone. This opportunity brought me new experience and knowledge, and has increased my interest in field work. I’d like to personally thank Matthew Low, PE for providing me with this opportunity, Josif Bicja, PE for showing me what it takes to be a great engineer, and Katie Welch, EIT for guiding me along the way.

Derry, NH Box Culvert Replacement Project

Employee Spotlight: Christopher Mellen

Christopher Mellen, Airport Engineer and New Uncle

1.  What drew you to Hoyle, Tanner?
The people and the work atmosphere drove me to Hoyle, Tanner.  When I came in for my interview, I met some of the Hoyle, Tanner employees, and I was amazed at how welcoming and kind everyone was. I could tell right away there was a very supportive work atmosphere.
2. What’s something invaluable you’ve learned here?
Since working at Hoyle, Tanner I have learned the importance of teamwork and collaboration when working on an engineering project. It was very eye- opening to see the amount of communication required between project managers and engineers and how much of a team effort it truly is to keep a project moving smoothly.
3. What’s your favorite time of year to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
Summer is my favorite time of year to work at Hoyle, Tanner due to a many of our projects beginning construction during that time. This has allowed me to work in the field on various projects which is one of my favorite parts of my job.
4. What’s the coolest thing you are working on?
I am working on a drainage study project at an airport in Connecticut. I really enjoy the hands-on aspect of it. The project involves locating drainage structures all around the airport, collecting GPS coordinates as well as carrying out Level 1 inspections on the structures.
5. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far this week?
I recently became and uncle, and I got to see my niece over the weekend.
6. How many different states have you lived in?
I have only lived in Massachusetts.
7. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
8. What kind of pet do you have and how did you choose to name it?
I have a dog named Ozzy. He is named after one of my favorite lead singers, Ozzy Osbourne.
9. What is a fun or interesting fact about your hometown?
Tyngs Island, located in Tyngsboro MA, served as the great Indian Chief’s permanent residence, Wannalancit, for many years until he left the Island in 1686.
10. What are three things still left on your bucket list
1. Take a road trip across the country
2. Backpack through Europe
3. Buy a land plot in Maine and build a cabin

11. Name three items you’d take with you to a desert island.
1. A Swiss Army knife to hunt, prepare food, and build a shelter
2. A magnifying glass to start a fire for warmth and to cook food
3. My guitar, so I can still rock out when I get bored

12. What characteristic do you admire most in others?
I admire people that are hard-working and driven. Seeing others work hard inspires me to work harder myself.
13. How old is the oldest item in your closet?
I have a leather jacket I stole from my dad that’s probably from the 70s.
14. Words to live by? Favorite quote?
“The more you seek the uncomfortable the more you will become comfortable.” – Conor McGregor I try to live my life by this quote. Always seeking out uncomfortable situations is great way to conquer your fears and anxieties.
15. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to play in the NHL.
16. If you were to skydive from an airplane what would you think about on the way down?
My first thought would be “I hope my parachute opens.” Then once my parachute opens, I would think, “Wow, this is awesome.”

What about that Tuition Reimbursement Program?

Colorful diamond graphic with photos of participants

One of the benefits of being a Hoyle, Tanner employee is the tuition reimbursement program. Eligible employees may begin participation in the program six months after their hire date. Cost of tuition, books and required course materials are reimbursed based upon final grades.

The purpose of tuition reimbursement is to “encourage employees, through financial assistance, to further their education in courses that will be of benefit to both the Employee and the Company,” as it states in the company policy.

This year, we’ve collected responses from six employees who have or are taking advantage of this policy. We asked them what it has been like to have the financial support to continue their education.

It has been a confidence booster that is for sure,” says Deb Coon, administrative assistant for our bridge department and environmental coordinator. “I have a lot more confidence in myself than I had in the past. The other thing is I feel it has sharpened my analytical skills.  Being in school and having to constantly learn and study new things has had a trickle down effect to work. It has changed the way I read and absorb information which in turn has resulted in me doing a better job at what I do. Without the reimbursement plan I’m not sure I would have gone back at all. Having the reimbursement plan was a big part of my decision to pursue this degree.” 

“I had always wanted to start my master’s and one day I just felt like it was time,” says Nahal Namazi, accountant. “Having this program available to me has made me very grateful and was a major reason for deciding to continue my education. It allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and start something that would benefit me and Hoyle, Tanner.”

“I completed my Master’s in Business Administration – Organizational Management in May of 2019,” says Rychel Gibson, PE, environmental engineer. “The reimbursement program allowed me to take courses in rapid succession as opposed to spreading them out when I could afford them. It made it much easier to complete the program and move on.

“My coursework gave me a much deeper knowledge base on the business side of engineering. It’s already given me the ability to understand why some decisions are made for the company and it will allow me to be more effective moving forward in my career and being able to make decisions that will be best for myself, my clients, and the company.”

We also interviewed Director of Engineering Operations Matthew Low, PE, Land Development Engineer Marisa DiBiaso, PE and Transportation Engineer Audrey Beaulac, PE to get their perspectives. Check out the video below!