Tag: Engineering

Hoyle, Tanner Engineers Showcase their Knowledge of Asset Management

Asset Management

On September 20, John Jackman, PE and Rychel Gibson, PE will be presenting on the basics of an asset management system at the Sunday River Grand Summit Resort Hotel & Conference Center in Newry, Maine, as part of the Maine Water Environment Association’s fall convention.

The focus of their presentation will be the documentation, organization and data collection for physical assets using tools like Google Forms. By using Google tools  (Drive, Calendar, Maps, and Forms), users can input data for free from a computer, tablet or phone. Among other tasks, John and Rychel will demonstrate how to use Google Forms to fill out daily logs and inspection sheets, and how to use Google Maps to document and track GPS assets.

Physical assets – like pipes, pumps, and valves — can be stressed from over-use, underfunding, and aging. It is the responsibility of the asset manager to know when an asset has reached its useful life. Over the past two decades, practical, advanced techniques have been developed for better managing physical assets. Hoyle, Tanner has assisted close to 40 municipalities, counties and state agencies with their asset management plans system. John Jackman has been involved with asset management for 16 years and joined the New England Water Environment Association in 2004. Rychel is a member of the Maine Water Environment Association and has been integrally involved with developing freeware-based asset management assistance during her time with Hoyle, Tanner.

 

john-and-rychel

NHDOT 2018 TAP Grant Application Deadline Fast Approaching

Manchester Piscataquog Trail

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) is providing an opportunity for communities to secure funds to promote non-motorized transportation facilities under the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP). New Hampshire’s allocation for TAP projects over the next 2 years is approximately $3.2 M.

If your community has voter and administrative support for your intended project(s), then the TAP program may be for you! Full details on the program can be found on the NHDOT’s website.

A few key dates to know:

  • A letter of interest (LOI) is due to the NHDOT by July 13, 2018 (must be an electronic submission). A sample letter can be found here. The LOI must be accompanied by a plan or map that shows key project area elements.  Based upon the LOI, communities will be invited to prepare and submit a formal application.
  • A municipal representative that will be directly involved with the management of the project must be available to attend a mandatory informational meeting between July 23 and August 24th.
  • A complete application must be provided to NHDOT by September 7, 2018.

Tips for preparing your application:

rep-icon

 

A full-time employee of the community must assume assigned duties of “Person in Responsible Charge” and must attend training to be Local Public Agency certified as such. If a full-time employee is not currently certified, the next training session is currently scheduled for October 2018.

 

 

data-icon

 

Propose a manageable project and schedule for the community and the person in responsible charge. (Budget inflation and the required regulatory elements into the estimate.)

 

 

collaboration-icon

 

Working with the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) to develop your application will likely improve success (this is important such that the RPC understands the potential positive impact your project could provide to your community and/or region). The RPC representatives will likely be able to assist with highlighting the evaluation criteria strengths of your project. Sample evaluation criteria may include:  Public Benefit, Connectivity, Accessibility/Equity, Safety, Financial Support/Project Readiness, Potential for Success, Demonstrated Need, and/or Socioeconomic Benefits.

 

match-icon

 

Determine what total project cost percentage the community wishes to match. The community will be responsible for at least 20 percent of the total project cost, but a community pledging a higher match percentage has been known to favor an application.

 

 

Hoyle, Tanner’s team can assist with all aspects of the application process.  For questions, email or call me at 603.669.5555 x 125.

Get that Dream Job with a Good Resume

Resume Writing Graphic

If you type “how to write a resume” into Google you are going to come up with thousands of results with varying and sometimes conflicting advice. That’s because there is no perfect way to write a resume. In fact, many experts recommend you steer clear from resume generating sites or cookie cutter formats all together. Resumes are unique and what you should and should not include varies based on several factors including industry, personal experience, profession and qualifications.

A good resume will get your foot in the door while a bad one may ruin your chances of landing the job from the start. There is no doubt that writing a resume can be a very daunting task and there really is no “right answer” in how you should do it. However, there are generally accepted guidelines that you can trust to help you along the way. We want you to be as successful as possible so before sitting down and updating your resume, take a minute to review these tips:

Spelling & Grammar: Missing typos or using bad grammar is the single easiest way to get your resume thrown out. Despite industry affiliation, most employers demand strong written communication skills in their new hires. To ensure your resume is free of any spelling and grammar mistakes, make sure you review it several times on several different occasions. Sometimes all you need is a pair of fresh eyes to catch a mistake you didn’t see before. In addition, have a friend or family member review it as well; the more people who review your resume, the less likely a simple error will go unnoticed and cost you your shot at landing an interview. For more advice, check out this list of top 5 grammar mistakes people tend to make on their resumes.

One size DOES NOT fit all: Sending out the same resume for every job that you apply for is not going to do you any favors and will most likely hurt your chances in the long run. Every job is different and every employer is looking for something different, so why would you give them all the same resume? You should customize your resume for each job you apply for. Although it may seem tedious and time consuming, you are increasing your chances of grabbing a hiring manager’s attention. If you’re not willing to tailor your resume to the job description, the employer has no reason to think that you are serious about the job opportunity and will not find it worth their while to call you in for an interview. Take your time to be thorough, research the company you are applying to work for, and tailor your resume to the job description. We promise the extra effort will pay off.

The key is in the keywords: With today’s advanced technology, most resumes are screened electronically before landing on an employer’s desk. Large companies in particular use computer technology that will search for keywords, keeping the resumes with them for review by a manager and discarding the rest. With that being said, you could have the best resume in the world but if it lacks the specific keywords the computer is looking for, your application won’t even make it into the hands of your potential employer. Although there is not a specific list of keywords to include on your resume, you can make a pretty good guess as to what they might be by carefully reading and analyzing the job description. For more information on how to identify and utilize key words on a resume click here.

Design for “Skimmability”: Most employers decide within a few seconds whether a resume is worth a full read or not, so you need to make sure yours is clean, consistent and easily readable. You do not want to distract the employer from reading what’s really important (your skills and experiences). Choose a modern classic font and stick with it. Make sure the margins are even and that the layout is navigable. You should avoid writing in paragraphs and instead present all of your information in clear and concise bullet points. A hiring manager is not going to work to find the information they need, so if it doesn’t stand out to them at the very beginning, the higher the chances are that your resume will end up in the reject pile. Sometimes people create flashy resumes that are designed to get the attention of an employer; this might be a good idea if you are pursuing a profession in a creative industry like design, but otherwise it is best to avoid using this tactic because it is risky and could be potentially distracting or unwanted to an employer.

Find a balance: A resume is about marketing yourself to an employer by telling a story about how and why your professional career up until this point has prepared you for the job. Often times people get caught up in trying to squeeze every experience right down to the first job they had in high school onto their resume. Although that job might be important to you, it may no longer be relevant. When it comes to writing a resume, it really is quality over quantity. Be specific and tell the employer your experiences that are both relevant and applicable to your ability to be successful in the position you are applying for. The standard rule of thumb is to keep your resume to a page in length. If you truly have enough relevant and important experience training and credentials, then it is okay to add a second page.

Accomplishments over responsibilities:
When listing your job experiences, it’s easy to get caught up in listing your job duties and responsibilities. An employer does not care so much about what you did while at your past job but instead is interested in what you accomplished. For example, did you drive sales up by 5%? Were you responsible for landing a new client? These are things you should take note of on your resume. A good way to do this is to include as many quantifiable facts and figures on your resume as possible, allowing potential employers to better visualize your capabilities and the positive contributions you’ve made working for past employers.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “do’s” and “don’ts” of resume writing. There is so much out there to consider that it’s easy to get lost in all of the technicalities. Before you go rewrite every line of your resume, we would like to remind you that it’s important you don’t edit your resume so much that it loses personality. At the end of the day, your resume is your introduction to your potential employer. Let them get to know you, but at the same time be honest, be concise and be relevant.

Written by Grace Mulleavey

Drones: Enhancing Safety & Expanding the Aviation Community

Flying Drone

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS), or as they are more commonly known as, drones, are changing inspection and construction methods and expanding the aviation community. Drones are the fastest growing segment of aviation. Currently, they are being used by public safety officials, realtors, farmers, engineers and of course by aviation hobbyists across the country. Depending on your perspective, drones are an emerging aerial solution or an impending aerial disaster just waiting to happen.

A major concern of the FAA regulators are the hazards of drones and manned aircraft in the same airspace. On December 12, 2017, Barrie Barber from Cox Newspapers published “FAA: Drones more deadly than birds.” In the article, Barber writes the “FAA has guidelines for building aircraft to withstand bird strikes of a certain weight, but tougher requirements do not exist specifically for drone collisions.” While it might seem obvious that a drone could do some damage, the impact damage of a bird and drone of similar weight are significantly different.

“The research found heavier, stiffer components, such as a drone motor, battery or a camera, could cause more structural damage to an aircraft than birds of the same weight and size,” said Kiran D’Souza, an Ohio State University assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

While pilots have reported many drone sightings to the FAA, the FAA reports only one incident in the United States of a drone striking a Military Black Hawk helicopter in October 2017. In fact, the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team (UAST) Drone Sightings Working Group released a new report on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) 3,714 drone sightings reports collected by flight crews, air traffic controllers and citizens from November 2015 to March 2017. The report found that only a small percentage of drone reports pose a safety risk, while the vast majority are simply sightings.

Despite growing pains employing drones, many industries and public agencies are adding them as tools and developing workflows to effectively employ them. Stamford Connecticut police Sgt. Andrew Gallagher did an interview for the Fairfield Citizen and explained how his police department has used drones to document and analyze accident scenes, conduct searches and track suspects. Fire Departments are now using drones with infrared cameras to quickly view fire scenes from different angles to best direct the crew response.

“I have stood on more fire trucks than most firemen looking for an overhead shot. We are always looking for something to stand on,” Gallagher says in the article. Drones provide different aerial shots that can give intelligence about where a person or accident could be – in real time, without putting lives in danger.

In addition to first responder use and Amazon’s idea to deliver packages via the airways, drones have provided opportunities in the professional planning and engineering field.

Evan McDougal, Airport Planning Manager with Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc., is an FAA-certified manned aircraft pilot as well as an FAA Section 107 Remote Pilot. McDougal says that drones are an inexpensive data collection solution when airports have tree obstructions that have grown into the runway approach surfaces. These obstructions can limit the ability of pilots to use instrument approaches at night and in some cases the obstructions cause the FAA to increase the cloud ceiling or visibility requirements or limit how low a pilot can descend on approach to a runway. Many runway ends in Maine are not available at night due to known tree obstructions.

McDougal believes drones could be part of the solution.

Drones can quickly capture highly accurate aerial imagery that can be analyzed using photogrammetry software to identify the boundaries of tree canopy penetrating the imaginary (but very real) instrument or visual approach surface. An example of the typical results can be seen in this effort. https://www.dropbox.com/s/iw4vabrcszm5w1s/B21_17%20End%20P4D%20Ani.mp4?dl=0

How it works: while following an autonomous flight plan the drone takes hundreds of georeferenced high definition photos. Photogrammetry software accurately stitches these photos together by matching thousands of key points within adjacent photos. This creates a full orthomosaic of the entire surveyed area and produces a very accurate three-dimensional model or point cloud that can be measured and examined thereby allowing engineers and airport owners to see exactly where runway obstructions exist.

This is but one use for a drone at airports. The technology is evolving very quickly and is limited only by our imagination.

5 Extraordinary Women in Engineering

March 8th International Womens Day

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women today and throughout our history.

As engineers, we understand the need to increase the involvement and participation of women within our industry, as well as the other STEM fields. Today at Hoyle, Tanner we are celebrating a few extraordinary women throughout engineering history who have made a tremendous impact in our field and shown tremendous strength in times of opposition.

Martha J. Coston (1826-1904)
At the age of 21, Martha Coston was already a widowed mother of four children struggling to make ends meet. So when she happened upon a design for night flares that her late husband left behind in a notebook, she took advantage of the opportunity and went to work. For 10 years she revised his original design and even added pyrotechnic components in order to achieve a multicolored system that could be used for coded messaging. It was a long road, and along the way, Martha was forced to overcome unimaginable challenges, including the death of one of her children. However, all of her hard work eventually paid off when she succeeded in creating a bright, durable and long lasting tool that could be used for ship-to-ship or ship-to-land communication. When she patented the invention in 1859, the Navy purchased it from her for $20,000. (the equivalent of half of a million dollars for the time period). In addition, she won the rights to manufacture the devices for the United States Navy. Historians argue that the “Coston Flares” were a major contributing factor to the North’s victory during the Civil War. To this day, pyrotechnic devices are still used as a means of communication by the U.S. Navy. Throughout her lifetime, Coston demonstrated a profound ability to overcome failure and persist through hardship, and for that reason she is an inspiration to not only all women, but all engineers.

Helena Augusta Blanchard (1840-1922)
Helena Augusta Blanchard was born into a wealthy family from Portland, Maine. When her family lost everything in a financial crisis, Blanchard went to work using her talents to single-handedly restore their fortune. At the age of 30, she patented the zigzag sewing machine, her first and most famous invention. From there she went on to hold 28 patents, most of which were related to sewing machines. However, notable inventions by Blanchard also include the surgical needle and the hand crank pencil sharpener. She went on to open the Blanchard Overseam Machine Company in 1881 with the help of her sister. Helena Augusta Blanchard is the most prolific and successful female inventor of the 19th century. She loved what she did and continued to improve upon her designs and create new ones up until having a stroke in 1916.

Emily Warren Roebling (1843 – 1903)
Unlike others on our list, Emily Roebling never intended to become an engineer. However, when her husband became ill in 1872, she assumed the role of “first woman field engineer,” overseeing the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge — one of the biggest engineering projects of that time period. For 14 years, Emily executed many of the chief engineer’s duties, which included day-to-day supervision, project management, and even acting as a liaison with the bridges board of trustees. Although throughout the construction processes, Emily’s contributions were largely hidden due to the circumstances of the time period, today you will find a plaque on the bridge honoring both her and her husband.

Edith Clarke (1883-1959)
Edith Clarke was born in a small Maryland town and found herself an orphan by age 12. When she was 18, she made the courageous decision to spend all of her inheritance money on an education in mathematics at Vassar College. After graduating in 1908, Clarke worked as both a teacher and a computing assistant for AT&T before deciding to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she became the first female to graduate from their electrical engineering program. In 1922, Edith accepted a salaried engineering position at General Electric, making her the first professionally employed female electrical engineer in the United States. Edith Clarke was a loyal employee and stayed with GE for 26 years. During that time, she invented and patented her most famous contribution to the field, the graphical calculator “that simplified the equations electrical engineers used to understand power lines.” Edith Clarke was a pioneer for women in the engineering fields. Other firsts for her include being the first woman to present a paper before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE), the first woman to become an accepted voting member of the AIEE, and the first woman to be elected a fellow of the AIEE. Edith Clarke is honored in the National Inventors Hall of Fame for her extraordinary career.

Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000)
Hedy Lamarr is most commonly remembered as a beautiful movie star from the late 1930s to the 1950s. However, many are not aware of her talents off screen as an inventor. When Lamarr found herself bored with her daily duties as an actress, she started to spend all of her spare time on various inventions, despite a lack of formal training in the field. Her commitment to her hobby paid off when Lamarr patented a remote-controlled communications system that would be used by the U.S. Navy to jam enemy systems that interfered with torpedoes during World War II. The frequency hopping theory behind the design is the foundation for our communication technologies today, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network systems. It was not until 2014 that Lamarr was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. There is no doubt that Hedy Lamarr was an incredibly talented woman who did what she loved despite the limitations of the time in which she lived. Next time you go to log onto your email or connect to Wi-Fi, take a moment to remember the woman who made it possible for you do so.

Written by Grace Mulleavey

Engineers Week: Girl Day

Girl Day Engineers Week

It’s no secret that there is an underrepresentation of females in the field of engineering. Here at Hoyle, Tanner, we recognize diversity and inclusion as an instrumental part of making sure we are developing the best solutions to our region’s challenges. That is why we are participating in Girl Day, a recognized day of Engineers Week that is specifically geared toward generating awareness and educating young females about the opportunities available to them within the industry.

In 2015, women made up roughly 47 percent of the workforce but only 24 percent were working in STEM careers. Studies from Engineer Your Life & Changing the Conversation indicate that the lack of female interest and presence in the field may be due to the fact that many girls:

  • Do not know what engineering is
  • Think engineers must be exceptional at both math and science
  • Believe engineering is difficult and challenging

The gender gap in the industry can also be attributed to a matter of confidence. Studies show that when asked to assess their math abilities, female students tend to report lower capabilities despite equal levels of class achievement compared to their male counterparts.

There are many ways to encourage young girls to learn more about engineering, whether it be hosting events at your firm, visiting classrooms, or providing extensive access to role models or mentors within the field. However, if we are going to be successful in closing the gap and boosting the number of female engineers in future generations, we need to shift the focus of the conversation.

According to Discover Engineering, the only way to change young women’s thoughts about engineering is to change the way we talk about engineering. It is important to explain to young women that there is no “type” of person who becomes an engineer, and that a potential successful engineer does not necessarily have to be someone who “excels at math and science.” Instead, leaders of the women in the engineering movement suggest we begin to define a good engineer as someone who:

  • Is creative and imaginative
  • Likes to collaborate with others
  • Is curious and persistent
  • Wants to make a difference
  • Enjoys solving problems

By participating in Girl Day, we at Hoyle, Tanner hope to play our part in encouraging young women to study engineering. As a firm, we are proud to celebrate our female engineers and recognize how diverse minds at work help to increase the success of our projects.

Written by Grace Mulleavey

Act Like a President, Think Like an Engineer

Presidents Graphic

The majority of our nation’s past presidents came from an academic or professional background — such as law, writing or education — rather than a technical or scientific one. In honor of President’s Day and as the kick-off to this year’s annual Engineers Week, we are celebrating five unique presidents who proved to have minds for engineering.

George Washington – (Presidency: April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797)
Most famous for being the first President of the United States and cutting down cherry trees, many people are not aware that amongst George Washington’s many talents was a knack for both geography and cartography. In fact, Washington spent his early professional career as a surveyor before some of his more distinguished endeavors as a business man, war hero and president. History shows that when serving as a military officer during the revolutionary war, Washington preferred to create his own field sketches as opposed to having them drawn up for him.

Thomas Jefferson – (Presidency: March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1809)
Perhaps one of the most famous and influential figures in United States history, our third president, Thomas Jefferson, certainly thought like an engineer. Although classicism was his official expertise, Jefferson is often celebrated as America’s first great native-born architect. Even more impressively, Jefferson was self-made, gaining all of his architectural knowledge from books because of the lack of schools in colonial Virginia. Evidence of our founding father’s talent can be seen at the University of Virginia, or the state capitol building in Richmond, Virginia (both of which he designed). Jefferson’s work is uniquely American and still influences modern day architecture.

Abraham Lincoln – (Presidency: March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865)
Most famous for abolishing slavery, our 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln is known as both a successful lawyer and politician. However, most people are not aware that Lincoln spent a great deal of time studying mathematics, which qualified him for his early career as a land surveyor. In fact, in fall 1833 Lincoln spent countless days and nights pouring over texts such as Gibson’s Theory and Practice of Surveying and Flint’s Treatise on Geometry, Trigonometry, and Rectangular Surveying, both of which prepared him for making measurements in the field.

Herbert Hoover – (Presidency: March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933)
President Hoover is the only president who had an official background in engineering. In 1985, he graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor degree in mining engineering. Before winning the presidential election by a landslide in 1928, Herbert Hoover had a colorful career. The 31st president of the United States built his foundation working around the world on mining and railway projects, participating as a member of several war boards and councils and also serving as the Chairman of the American relief administration engaged in children’s relief in Europe. President Hoover greatly enjoyed his work as an engineer and spoke of the profession in high regard.

“It is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer’s high privilege.”

Jimmy Carter – (Presidency: January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981)
Next to President Hoover, Jimmy Carter is the second closest of all 45 presidents to have an official background in engineering. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology for one year before enrolling in the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis where he received a Bachelor of Science degree and became a submariner. While serving as a submariner in Schenectady, New York, he took graduate classes at Union College in reactor technology and nuclear physics. Carter served in the United States Navy for seven years on nuclear submarines. In fact, Carter was preparing to become the engineering officer in 1953 for the Seawolf before he abruptly resigned in the event of his father’s passing. Carter’s love for engineering is evident in the years following his presidency through his extensive work for Habitat for Humanity.

Written by Grace Mulleavey

Stephanie Bishop: Experiencing Civil Engineering First Hand

dscn0663

Hoyle, Tanner recently partnered with Milford (NH) High School & Applied Technology Center to host Stephanie Bishop, a high school senior, for the fall semester so she could further her passion for engineering.poster

What are your career goals after high school: Civil and Environmental Engineer

What inspired/influenced you to choose this career path: I love hands-on work. The whole design process from an idea to a sketch to an object seemed appealing to me. After taking the first engineering course at my high school, one project particularly stood out: paper bridges. I always wondered how bridges were able to hold so much weight. That curiosity combined with the knowledge gained from that unit in class, influenced my decision that civil engineering was the right path for me.

Provide a short description of the steps you are taking while in high school to pursue your career path: To start, I took all of the engineering courses available at my high school to make sure I liked it

img_1663

Stephanie shares her internship experiences with her high school classmates.

and wanted to continue with the subject. I got involved with STE(A)M nights as a student ambassador and got to share my knowledge and potentially spark an interest in younger kids. I wanted to know what other types of engineering were like so I joined the Women in Technology program with BAE Systems. This helped me gain an understanding of other options available should I decide that civil isn’t a right fit for me. I am currently in an internship with Hoyle, Tanner which is an amazing opportunity at the high school level to experience civil engineering first hand.

 

Tell me about your internship, what it involves, and who it’s with: My internship is with a private civil engineering firm called Hoyle, Tanner & Associates located in Manchester. I’m currently in the structures group which focuses on bridges but there’s also highway, environmental, and aviation groups within the firm. Being a structural engineer involves looking over blueprints, CAD drawings, quantities, load calculations, etc. To get out of the office you can also visit a job site and make sure everything is in check, which I’ve had the amazing opportunity to do within this internship.

We wish Stephanie the best in her college career and look forward to potentially having her return to Hoyle, Tanner, as a full-time employee.

26 in 2017: Environmental Permitting Experience Recap

Hoyle, Tanner Staff Inspecting River Bed for Permitting

Environmental permits give clear instructions on how the environment must be protected to maintain a precise balance between development and environmental protection. Environmental permitting is the process by which impacts to the natural environment are regulated and monitored to ensure minimal damage or disruption to environmental and human health. Because of permitting, activities that may cause pollution are prohibited by environmental protection agencies as well as local authorities.

With rigorous regulations established around environmental protection, a proactive approach for obtaining permits is required for projects to minimize impacts while maintaining the project’s schedule. As we look back at the permitting efforts completed in 2017, we are proud of the accomplishments our team has made to assist in leading these projects to successful completion. Our team members permitted 26 new projects in addition to the activities continued from prior years, here is what some of them entailed:

State Permitting Efforts:
20 NHDES Wetland Permits
10 NHDES Shoreland Permits
1 CT DEEP Wetland Permit
2 Maine DEP Natural Resource Protection Act (NRPA) Permits
3 Maine DEP Site Location of Development Act (SLDA) Revisions /Amendments
1 NHDES Alteration of Terrain (AoT) Permit
1 VT ANR Wetland Permit

Federal Permitting Efforts:
4 FAA NEPA Categorical Exclusions
1 FAA NEPA Environmental Assessment (Florida)
7 FHWA NEPA Categorical Exclusions

Extensive coordination with federal, state and local regulatory agencies strengthens our relationships to facilitate successful consultation throughout the permitting and planning process. With 2017 wrapped up, 2018’s permitting efforts have started off just as strong.

45th Anniversary Announcement – A message from our President

Original Office in Terminal Building

Forty five years ago, Doug Hoyle and John Tanner opened the doors to Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc. — an engineering firm, which at that time, specialized in aviation and wastewater services. Since then, we’ve experienced tremendous growth as a company, expanding our services across multiple engineering sectors, and opening branch offices throughout New England and Florida. Our success is attributed to our resilience in the face of challenges, our willingness to adapt in times of change, and our ability to be insightful in our decisions overtime.

Over the years, we have established a strong reputation as a firm that continuously provides innovative, high-quality and sustainable solutions to our clients. As president, it is a great honor to serve in a role that helps this company and the communities we serve to accomplish everything we have set out to achieve. Our employees are not just a means to production, but part of a unique family, united under a culture of respect, social responsibility and collaboration. It is truly a joy to come to work every day and both mentor and learn from some of the best professionals in the industry.

Looking ahead, our future as a company is promising. We have been and will continue to be a small firm with large firm capabilities. We will grow not for the sake of growing, but to provide extended opportunities to both our clients and our employees. We will do so organically by promoting from within and forming strategic mergers and acquisitions. I am confident in the capabilities of our team and am enthusiastic about our future, which shines bright with the promise of continued innovation, creativity and insight. This year, on our anniversary, Hoyle, Tanner proudly acknowledges the past 45 years, but more importantly celebrates the outstanding, innovative and quality engineering that will see our company through the next 45 years and beyond.

A Look Back: Heliport System Planning

helicopter parking landing on offshore platform, Helicopter transfer crews or passenger to work in offshore oil and gas industry, air transportation for support passenger, ground service.

In the early 80’s an effort was made to focus a portion of the FAA’s Airport Improvement (AIP) grant program on the needs of heliport infrastructure through heliport system plans, master plans and design and construction. The FAA had been collecting taxes from helicopter owners and operators for some time without, in the opinion of the rotorcraft manufacturers and operators, investing in the industry. This enhanced attention on heliports came to the immediate attention of Hoyle, Tanner as we were already committed to aviation design and planning and were closely monitoring industry trends. Our Director of Aviation Business Development at that time, knew well that the greatest concentration of commercial helicopter activity was in the south, namely in New Orleans which was a hub for helicopter service to the offshore oil industry. Added to this as an impetus was the fact that the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission also wanted access to the downtown area via helicopter service. The convergence of these interests and the availability of funding came together in the form of a commission for a Downtown Heliport Study, which Hoyle, Tanner was awarded, due in large part to contacts and relationships in the industry. Our study, which was very well received by both City officials and the public, led to another more comprehensive undertaking for Hoyle, Tanner; the Louisiana Statewide Heliport System Study; the first in the nation!

We took this success and our newly found reputation as heliport consultants to the western gulf and Houston, Texas. It was there that we completed another heliport study for the City of Houston and soon after embarked upon a project that would lead us another first for Hoyle, Tanner and a 25-year client relationship 1,600 miles away that continues to this day.

Next stop was Dallas, Texas for another heliport location plan; followed by Hurst, Texas and then on to Phoenix, Arizona for yet another. Our reputation as experts was by this time unquestioned and we moved still further west.

In terms of prestige, you’d be hard pressed to surpass that of our next two clients. First, the Southern California Association of Governments, which is the largest metropolitan planning organization in the county, representing 6 counties and 191 cities in the Los Angeles area, and second, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey where we were retained to conduct a verti-port study for Manhattan. This was the big-time for Hoyle, Tanner, and we had a full-time staff of eight aviation planners supporting our heliport and airport clients.

The Hawaiian Islands are also an area that sees intense helicopter activity, driven by tourism and inter-island commercial interests. So when the Hawaiian Department of Transportation sought to plan and develop a facility dedicated solely to helicopter operations on the island of Kauai, Hoyle, Tanner drafted conceptual plans; another first for us.

The activities described so far took place over a period of almost seven years. Natural events and changing economic times brought an end to this unique body of work. On September 11, 1992, Hurricane Iniki, the most powerful storm ever to hit the Hawaiian chain, devastated the island of Kauai, putting an end to the need and incentive for that facility.  The downturn in the national economy at that time suppressed helicopter activity, lowering the priority of heliport development versus fixed wing airport development.  Our string of successes in the heliport sector of aviation had played out, but we made our mark!

How Your Community Plays a Part in National Walk to Work Day

IMG_1665-Web

Spring has arrived just in time for National Walk to Work Day! Individuals across the country are lacing up their sneakers and hitting the pavement, while communities are taking a more holistic approach to ensuring safe pedestrian and bicycle travel. Many municipalities are introducing the concept of “complete streets”, introduced by the National Complete Streets Coalition, to their design efforts to balance safety and convenience for motorists, transit users, pedestrians and cyclists alike. Currently, there isn’t a single design for a complete street; it represents creating roads that are safe for all users, regardless of age, ability, or transportation method. Growing in popularity, some of the complete streets features are being implemented throughout the state, including:

Traffic Calming
With the growing demand for alternative modes of transportation, traffic calming measures are being introduced on various roadways to ensure safe travel for all users. The use of narrowed throughways, speed bumps/humps/tables,chicanes, and curb extensions (bulbouts) are some of the many features being used in the efforts to slow automobile travel, including the Union Street Reconstruction in Peterborough, New Hampshire. This project also incorporated tree plantings along the medians to beautify the area.

High Visibility Crosswalks
History shows pedestrian crossings existing more than 2000 years ago, where raised blocks on roadways provided a means for pedestrians to cross without having to step on the street itself. In current designs, high visibility crosswalks are incorporated to guide pedestrians and alert motorists to the crossing locations. Six foot wide crosswalks are installed using long lasting plastic/epoxy or paint embedded with reflective glass beads to assist in the crossing markings. In addition to local governments, universities, like the University of New Hampshire, are incorporating these crosswalks on their campuses.

Shared Use Paths
A multi-use path or trail that has been separated from motor vehicle travel and has been established for alternative transportation purposes is another option that is growing in popularity. Utilizing existing right-of-ways to create these travel corridors for pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, equestrians, and other non-motorized users in some instances are also used to observe the natural environment in various communities. Recently, a shared use path was completed connecting Manchester’s and Goffstown’s trail system.

Multi-Modal Intersection
Intersections have the unique responsibility of accommodating and coordinating the nearly-constant occurrence of conflicts between all modes of transportation. Multi-modal intersections focus on intersections where numerous modes of travel come together and the coordination is required for the safety of all users. Utilizing different design features such as corner refuge islands, forward stop bars, and dedicated bike lanes, as used on Manchester Street in Concord, all intersection users can travel simultaneously, safely.

With many communities implementing these design features into roadway geometry, walking to work can be as simple as strapping on your shoes and heading out the door. By walking to work for this nationally recognized day, you will help reduce carbon emissions, get fit, and avoid the traffic jams.

Pi vs. Chocolate Cream

Image

Pi… I did not forget the “e”, I am referring to the mathematical constant, π, for the value 3.141592…, a ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. For some it was junior high and others it was high school, but almost everyone is taught the concept of Pi in geometry class in America. The staggering question asked by so many students over the years is “how do we use this in ‘real’ life?” Well we have answered that question for all of you as it relates to engineering:

When designing bridges many of the structures utilize reinforced concrete to provide the strength necessary to support its daily use by vehicles. For many of our bridge projects, the circle is most often representing the area of reinforcing steel used in the reinforced concrete beam.  We determine the total amount of the (steel) reinforcing to determine the capacity of a structural member such as a beam, deck or slab.

In associated roadway design, Pi is used in a slightly different manner, to calculate curvature. A maximum curvature (minimum radius) is used to ensure adequate sight distance at differing speed limits. This promotes safe vehicular travel by providing a level of comfort and expectation to the driver.

Another application for the mathematical constant is in airfield markings. Their purpose is simple – to safely guide pilots during aircraft take-offs and landings, and while taxiing around the airfield. To create these markings, Pi is utilized when calculating the amount of airfield paint required for runway designation markers, taxiway centerlines and edge lines.

Pi is also used extensively in the calculation of areas of gravity sewers, wastewater force mains, water main pipes, storm drains, drainage culverts and other types of utility pipes. These calculations are used to establish the area of the pipe for the purpose of determining flow velocities and flow volumes as well as other types of hydraulics calculations.

Now that we have proved your mathematics teacher correct, and that someday you may need to know the value of Pi, the obvious question remaining is “what does pi and pie have in common?” My answer is Pi is focused on circles, radius and diameters… and so does pie! If you want a great Chocolate Cream Pie recipe check this out!

Girl Day

1_47_Still

In honor of Girl Day, a recognized day of Engineers Week, I had the pleasure of speaking to three Hoyle, Tanner engineers about their careers: Karen J. Frink, P.E.; Audrey G. Beaulac, P.E., CPSWQ; and Jillian A. Semprini, P.E. While Engineers Week is a time to celebrate the industry and engage in topics such as engineering education and awareness, Girl Day is specifically geared toward introducing the industry to females, who tend to be underrepresented in this fascinating and essential field.

Karen, Audrey, and Jillian brought up a lot of interesting topics in the discussion, finding that they had quite a few things in common besides their place of employment. Despite working in different fields of engineering (aviation, bridges, and transportation, respectively), all three women did not always know that engineering was the industry for them.

“I started out as a music major,” explained Karen, “and then took some math classes, and said, ‘Oh, I kinda like this.’” After studying abroad in England, she decided to come back to the United States and pursue a degree in engineering.

While Karen went from music to engineering, Jillian enrolled as undeclared for her first year of college, while Audrey simply followed her passion for math and science until she definitely knew that engineering was where she belonged, around her sophomore/junior year of college.

All three ended up as Hoyle, Tanner engineers, adding their expertise to the firm and to the industry as a whole. Because the number of women in engineering is not particularly high, Girl Day’s purpose is to introduce young girls to the industry and encourage them to learn more about engineering. This can be done in many ways, from engineering firms hosting events to engineers visiting schools as role models for girls to follow, which will hopefully aid in boosting the number of female engineers in the future.

When asked whether they were ever discouraged to enter the field, Karen responded, “I don’t think anybody ever told me I couldn’t do it, but I’m not sure I remember anybody saying ‘Wow, you really can do this.’” Because engineering is not an easy field by any means, requiring extensive knowledge while balancing the responsibility of public safety, young people need the encouragement and confidence to enter the industry. Girl Day contributes to that empowerment, especially since there are so few women in the field.

“I don’t think it’s well represented by women; I think they’re discouraged by it…they don’t get the mentoring they need,” explained Karen when asked about the lack of women in engineering. Both Audrey and Jillian explained that engineering was not very prominent at their high schools either, with Jillian saying, “Going through high school, I had no idea engineering was really even an option.” She was one of three females in her graduating engineering class of 2007.

Fortunately, Girl Day will encourage girls to study engineering, but it will also help increase the success of engineering projects due to the diversity of minds at work. Karen touched upon the benefits of both men and women collaborating in the industry, explaining how the multi-tasking talents of women complement the more one-task-at-a-time nature of some of the males.

Not only does the field of engineering benefit from these diverse minds, but it also benefits from diverse skillsets. While engineering is frequently labelled as a strictly STEM field, all three women agree that a creative skill set comes in handy as well. Audrey explained that with engineering, “There’s general guidelines to follow, but not every project is the same.” She credits thinking outside the box in order to ensure all projects meet the standard criteria.

Engineering may foster a sense of creativity as well as math and science, but unfortunately, it does not receive the public promotion that it deserves, as Karen pointed out: “Even to men, it’s not well-promoted….we’re gonna run out of engineers at some point, because nobody’s majoring in it anymore.” Although I am not an engineer, I even recall that the field was not heavily promoted when I was in school. I can remember various courses and academic clubs on topics such as law and healthcare, but not so much engineering. Hopefully, Engineers Week will boost the confidence of both men and women and draw attention to the importance of skilled engineers in today’s society.

When asked what advice she would give to young people, particularly girls, wishing to enter the field of engineering, Audrey responded, “Just don’t let anyone tell you can’t. If you’re truly interested in it, just go for it.” Hopefully, more people will take Audrey’s advice and contribute their skills to the future of engineering.

Written by Abigael Donahue