Monday, May 30, 2011

Encouraging a Career in Engineering

When a planned speaker couldn't attend Career Day at Clyde Boyd Middle School in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, Garver aviation engineer Jeremy Stahle raised his hand and stepped to the front of the class. Jeremy recently spent a full afternoon speaking to 8th graders about the various career opportunities in civil engineering.

After using a PowerPoint presentation to show students what engineering fields are available, he talked about his experience with Garver and his passion for the profession. He also fielded questions ranging from "What's the starting pay?" (which was a popular question) to "Do you get to blow things up?" Before ending each 25-minute session, Jeremy expressed the importance of doing well in math and science classes and encouraged the students to work hard in high school.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rehabilitating Del City's Clearwell

Garver recently provided engineering and construction administration services to repair a water treatment plant clearwell in Del City, Oklahoma. The 2.5 million gallon finished water clearwell had deteriorated, and leaks were negatively impacting the city's water production.

After draining the clearwell, an elastomer (a material with rubber characteristics) approved for potable water use was used to seal exterior and interior joints and cracks.

In addition, the clearwell's roof slab was badly spalling. Garver's design prioritized the damaged areas for repair, and a sealing material was applied to restore the existing surface. The resultant topcoat acts as a barrier to help prevent further concrete deterioration.

Garver's services included design, formation of plans and specs, bidding assistance, and construction administration.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tornado Relief Efforts

When the recent tornadoes swept through Alabama, Garver's Huntsville office spent a week without electricity. During that time, our employees worked in their communities. Jerry McCarley is Garver's Regional Office Administrator and works in the Huntsville office. The following message contains some of Jerry's thoughts as he's witnessed first-hand the vast destruction and Garver's outreach efforts.

"We've all been deeply affected by the destruction and loss of life caused by the April 27 tornadoes that struck the north Alabama area. The scale is staggering, and everyone in our Huntsville office knows a victim or someone who has lost everything.

"Over the past few weeks, Garver employees have responded to their neighbors' needs with an impressive effort that is helping the area begin to recover from the unprecedented disaster. Some grabbed their chain saws and tractors and went to work removing tree limbs and debris, which helped emergency vehicles reach the hardest hit areas. Others helped victims salvage personal items and memorabilia from the wreckage and found additional ways to comfort those who've lost everything. Our staff has handed out food and clothing, donated blood, and contributed financially. We've also offered to assist one of the most damaged communities with surveying, mapping, and basic planning services.

"This is deeply personal to us, and as a company and individuals, we will continue to help our communities recover."

According to the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and other emergency response organizations, the best way to help tornado victims and relief workers in the coming days is to make a financial contribution. The donations allow the organizations to meet specific needs in individual communities. Below are several ways to contribute:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hennelly Talks about Experience in Afghanistan

Civil Engineer Tom Hennelly, PE recently talked about his time as a senior inspection engineer in Afghanistan. Hennelly made a presentation to the SAME Tulsa Post in Oklahoma detailing his experience with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

The organization was created by the U.S. Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act to identify and report fraud, waste, and abuse related to American-funded reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. For 11 months, Hennelly inspected power plants, bridges, roads, police stations, military installations, schools, hospitals, and prisons. After the inspections, he reported his findings to Congress and detailed whether or not the projects were being constructed within the terms of the contract.

In the above picture, Tom (right) inspects a new Afghanistan National Army Base under construction in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The New Verdigris River Bridge

Garver provided services to replace the eastbound State Highway 51 truss bridge over the Verdigris River near Wagoner, Oklahoma. The new girder bridge is an 805-foot, two-lane structure. The project involved improving roadway approaches, raising the bridge's profile grade, establishing standard paved shoulders, and providing proper clear zones for 2.6 miles.

This portion of the Verdigris River is along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, and it connects the Tulsa Port of Catoosa to the Mississippi River. Garver's bridge design involved providing barge traffic with lateral and vertical clearance to safely travel under the new structure.

One of the unique project aspects involved demolishing the existing bridge by a series of synchronized explosions. Multiple truss spans were removed to make room for plate girder main spans. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation provided Garver with a video showing the explosions and bridge demolition.

Garver's services included preparing detailed roadway, right-of-way, and bridge plans, a hydrology and hydraulics study, traffic engineering and construction control, and surveys.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bike to Work Week Events

The League of American Bicyclists is again sponsoring Bike to Work Week, May 16-20. Below are some of the organized events near Garver office locations. Other events may be available, so make sure to check your local news sources. And happy biking!

Little Rock/North Little Rock, Arkansas
Sharing the Road Workshop (Friday, May 13) A three-hour educational workshop that addresses responsible ways for motorists and bicyclists to share public roadways.

Ride of Silence (Wednesday, May 18). A memorial ride to remember bicyclists killed or injured in traffic crashes.

Bike to Work Day (Friday, May 20). Garver is defending its Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas Commuter Challenge trophy. The company with the most riders attending the rally will win the trophy, and Garver has held the title for two consecutive years.

A great source for central Arkansas bicycling news, commentary, tips, and links is the blog JBar Cycling.

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Kick-Off Proclamation and Urban Ride (Friday, May 13). The city mayor will read the Bike to Work Week Proclamation, and then an urban bicycle ride will begin.
Bicycle Commuter Challenge (May 15-21) The workplace with the highest percentage of bicycle commuters on any single day has the chance to win great prizes. Garver has won the title two years in a row.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Free Workshop Series (May 15, 17, and 20). The Indian Nations Council of Governments has organized a number of training workshops for bicyclists. Remaining events include "Gear Up," "Bike to Work Essentials," and "Happy Hour."

Norman, Oklahoma
Bike To Work Day (Friday, May 20). The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments is helping coordinate Bike to Work Day rides for for numerous communities, including Norman. Two group rides are planned. More information is available on ACOG's website.

Frisco, Texas
Irving Bicycle Fest (Saturday, May 14). Planned events include group rides, kids' bicycle safety, bike repairs, and a safe route finder.

Ride of Silence (Wednesday, May 18) . A memorial ride to remember bicyclists killed or injured in traffic crashes. Events are planned in Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston.

City of Allen Family Bike Day (Saturday, May 21). Bike day events include bike safety check up, games for kids, and educational presentations.

Nashville, Tennessee
Ride of Silence (Wednesday, May 18). A memorial ride to remember bicyclists killed or injured in traffic crashes.

Tour de Nash (Saturday, May 21). Family rides and longer tours are scheduled.

Jackson, Mississippi
Bike to Work Week Events (May 16-20). Bike to different businesses throughout the week and get free coffee and discounts on other food and drinks.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Race for the Cure

More than 16,000 participants took to the streets in Rogers, Arkansas for the 13th annual Susan G. Komen Ozark Race for the Cure. Garver employees Nathan and Natalie Becknell, (along with their daughter), Brandon Bynum, and Adam White participated in the race.

Sporting Garver-designed team t-shirts, Nathan, Brandon, and Adam ran in the competitive 5k race. Natalie and her daughter joined the 1k family fun walk, and the Becknell baby also showed her support in the Crawl for the Cure.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Arc of Madison County

Garver's Huntsville, Alabama office supports The Arc of Madison County in several ways, which includes participating in its recycling program and serving as a golf tournament sponsor. The Arc of Madison County offers adults with intellectual disabilities habilitation, residential, therapy, and supported employment services.

Every two weeks, The Arc employees visit Garver to pick up empty ink cartridges and paper, aluminum, and plastic products to recycle. The money earned by selling the recyclables supports the program and helps pay employee salaries.

Garver also helped sponsor The Arc's annual Mike Scherer Memorial Golf Tournament. The Arc "Sponsor Thank You Brigade" recently visited the Huntsville office to take a picture with Garver employees and drop off a commemorative event book and gourmet cupcakes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Top 500 Design Firm!

Garver moved up nearly 40 spots on Engineering News-Record's annual list of the Top 500 Design Firms nationwide. Garver is listed #224, up from #262 last year. This is the 25th time Garver has been listed as a top design firm in ENR's annual rankings.

Based on Top 500 survey information, ENR reported a number of findings regarding industry markets and trends in 2010.

  • The $79.8 billion in design revenue was down 0.2 percent from 2009's $80 billion.
  • Design revenue for projects located in the United States dropped 2.3 percent, $59.22 billion down to $57.86 billion.
  • When asked about the future market, 418 firms responded, and 58.9 percent said the market would improve in the next 12 months.
  • 457 of the firms ranked in 2009 were also ranked in 2010. Among those firms, 41.6 percent saw revenue increase last year, and 57.1 percent saw revenue decline in 2010.
  • Twelve firms listed in last year's Top 500 have been acquired or absorbed into parent companies. This includes #12 Arcadis acquiring #56 RTKL Associates Inc., #25 Stantec acquiring #85 Burt Hill, and #1 AECOM acquiring #102 Ellerbe Becket.
  • Two firms on the list this year have already been acquired by another company. This includes #23 CDM's acquisition of #70 Wilbur Smith Associates.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tiner Inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering

Traffic Group Leader Nicci Tiner, PE, PTOE has been inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering. Since 1981, the University of Arkansas academy has inducted more than 300 members, and Nicci was voted in with the 2011 class.

Nicci graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. She is beginning her 20th year with Garver, and she is one of only two certified Professional Traffic Operations Engineers in Arkansas. Under her leadership, the Garver Traffic Group has become one of the fastest growing areas in the company, and her project experience includes designs in Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama.

Nicci joins 10 other active Garver employees who are members of the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering:

  • Ron Pierce (1990)
  • Brock Johnson (1995)
  • Bert Parker (2000)
  • Kirby Rowland (2002)
  • Gary Bennett (2002)
  • Dan Williams (2003)
  • Glynn Fulmer (2005)
  • Bill Ruck (2005)
  • Mike Griffin (2007)
  • Brock Hoskins (2010)


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