Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jeff Sober Helps Plan National Biosolids Conference

Texas Water Team Leader Jeff Sober, PE has been selected as a steering committee member to plan the 2014 Water Environment Federation (WEF) Residuals and Biosolids Conference in Austin. The annual conference explores the development, implementation, operation, and maintenance of residuals and biosolids management.

The five-person committee is responsible for selecting the keynote speaker, driving conference program topics, developing workshop agendas and facility tours, and planning events.

Jeff is a leading engineer in biosolids-related projects, and his experience includes co-digestion of high-strength wastes, co-generation, sidestream treatment, anaerobic digestion, solids handling, solids management and disposal, phosphate scaling, and solids train energy efficiency improvements.

"My technical experience working with solids facility improvements in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, California, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Louisiana will help drive the development of relevant, current, and exciting topics for the workshops and technical sessions," Jeff said.

Jeff regularly uses his industry knowledge to benefit the water and wastewater sector. In addition to multiple conference presentations and papers, he has served on the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) Biosolids Committee and participated on the planning team for the 2011 WEAT Biosolids Conference.

Jeff has also been selected as a review editor for WEF's new Sustainable Resource Recovery text book. His involvement is specific to text sections discussing high-strength waste co-digestion and sidestream phosphorus recovery.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Claire McKinney is Young Engineer of the Year

The Arkansas Society of Professional Engineers Central Chapter has named Claire McKinney, EI as its Young Engineer of the Year. Claire is a civil engineer in Garver's Traffic Design Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The annual award recognizes a young ASPE member who has made outstanding contributions to the engineering profession and community.

"Claire is a joy to work with. She is very dedicated to her work and doesn't sit back and wait to be told what to do," said Traffic Team Leader Nicci Tiner. "I am very proud that she received the Young Engineer of the Year award."

Claire began her career at Garver as a summer intern and has matured into a project engineer in the Traffic Design Center. Within just a few years, Claire has provided services on large engineering projects in Arkansas and surrounding states, including the Conway Western Arterial Loop and the new Broadway Bridge over the Arkansas River.

Claire performs traffic counts and intersection analyses, designs traffic signals, computes traffic and roadway quantities, develops signing plans and maintenance of traffic plans, and works on Intelligent Transportation System designs.

She is also a leader outside the office. Her interests include juvenile arthritis and arthritis research fundraising, the Habitat for Humanity, and the Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree program—Claire organized the gift-giving event this past Christmas at Garver.

Garver is proud of Claire's achievements, leadership qualities, and professional service.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Garver Wins Alabama ACEC Grand Conceptor Award

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Alabama has honored Garver with the state's top design award.

Garver's Tuscumbia Water Treatment Plant project won the top engineering honor, the Grand Conceptor Award. The new water-softening treatment plant is the state's first water utility to use a blended series membrane process. The state-of-the-art filtration technology is the centerpiece of a new 4 million gallons-per-day (MGD) water treatment plant. The system is purifying and softening the city's water, which is high in alkalinity, aka "hard water." The blended series membrane process, consisting of ultrafiltration followed by nanofiltration, meets all filtration requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and reduces the raw water's hardness (220 milligrams per liter) down to the target of 100 mg/L.

"This community invested in the best available technology for its customer base, and this new plant is the only one of its kind in Alabama," said Garver Project Manager Kevin Mullins, PE, PLS. "This process is a unique and cost-effective solution to correcting a hard-water condition in the source water."

Teaming with the city, Garver provided project design, funding assistance, bond issue assistance, construction management and operational support.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tutoring Spaces for Elite Kids USA

During Garver's office remodel in Norman, Oklahoma, several cubicles were removed and donated to Elite Kids USA in Oklahoma City. Elite Kids USA is using the cubicles as tutoring nooks to give students additional privacy during tutoring sessions.

Elite Kids USA has started using its new tutoring spaces. Pictured above, Laporshia Simms, Elite Kids USA AmeriCorps member, is working with William, one of the organization's youth. Elite Kids USA recently received an AmeriCorps grant to help fulfill its mission to help with youth literacy.

Elite Kids USA is a non-profit organization that provides students with educational and health resources, youth mentoring and counseling services, and skill training. The tutoring program provides K-12 students with assistance in reading, literacy, math and test-taking skills.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Garver wishes you a Happy Valentine's Day.

Thanks to Aviation Project Engineer Sara Johnson for making these "sweet candy" airplanes for the Frisco, Texas office. She created the airplanes out of Smarties, sticks of gum, and Life Savers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Open House Opens Doors to the Future

University of Arkansas student Derek Strause has discovered his career path after attending an open house at Garver's Fayetteville, Arkansas office this February. "I quite literally fell in love with the idea of working in the water industry," said Derek, a Junior from Keller, Texas.

When Derek attended the open house for UofA students, he wasn't sure what aspect of mechanical engineering to pursue. After talking with Garver's water engineers and seeing the Water Design Center, Derek said he's developed a new-found interest.

"Working in this field would provide me with the opportunity to do my part in keeping the environment clean, which is something that has interested me for a long time," he said. "Plus, I want to do something that I view as important and positively impacts the world. Providing clean drinking water to homes and preventing chemicals from harming other living things certainly qualify as important subject matters to me."

Open House Night
Garver invited upperclassmen from the University of Arkansas College of Engineering to visit our Fayetteville office, meet our staff, and see how various engineering disciplines are integrated into aviation, transportation, water, and energy projects.

Dr. Kevin Hall, University of Arkansas College of Engineering Professor and Department Head of Civil Engineering, said he appreciates his university's partnership with Garver.

"The annual open house allows our students an opportunity to not only explore employment opportunities, but also to learn about the operations and scope of a full-service consulting engineering company," said Hall.  "Interaction with practicing engineers provides our students that vital link to the 'real world' and gives perspective to their academic studies."

Water Design Center
Director of Water Services Steve Jones was one of several Garver employees who gave presentations to the students. Steve focused on the Water Design Center (WDC), which brings various engineering teams together to execute large, high-volume, custom plant projects with advanced technologies.

"Our multi-discipline Water Design Center is a collection of expert minds responsible for conceiving and designing the best technologies necessary to solve water quality and quantity challenges we're faced with today and tomorrow," Steve said. "A primary reason Garver made the business decision to locate our enterprise-wide WDC in Fayetteville is to partner with the UofA College of Engineering faculty and students."

Aviation Team
Civil engineer Adam White, a member of Garver's aviation group, spent time talking one-on-one with students. As a UofA graduate, Adam said he wishes he'd had a similar opportunity when he was in college.

"It's a great opportunity for engineering students to see the kinds of exciting engineering consulting work being done at a local firm," Adam said. "By setting up information stations around our office, we were able to showcase our disciplines and the various types of projects we've worked on both locally and regionally."

The entire event left a positive and lasting impression on Derek. "I cannot begin to describe to you how good it feels to have a passion about something that I want to do for the rest of my life."

Additional pictures from the event are located on our Facebook page.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dan Williams Featured in Arkansas Business

In this week's Arkansas Business, the publication features Garver President and CEO Dan Williams in its Executive Q&A segment.

Dan was asked a number of questions about Garver and the engineering profession. He briefly shares his thoughts on what Garver has done to keep business strong during the economic downturn, what has sustained Garver's growth over the years, and what he learned about leadership from former Garver President Brock Johnson.

The publication did not have room to feature all of the questions and answers, so here's one you won't read anywhere else.

Arkansas Business: How have computers changed engineering?
Dan Williams: I've been fortunate to see the complete evolution of computers in engineering. When I started in 1981, our designs were done on a pad of "calc" paper, and our product was delivered by drawing those designs on large sheets of paper or linen with pencil or pen. Now, our engineers start and finish their designs on their computer screens. Computers have allowed us to consider more alternatives. Additionally, owners have benefited by seeing their projects modeled in 3-D, so they know how the finished product will look and operate before a shovel of dirt has been turned.

You can read the full article online by clicking here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Garver Opens Kansas City Office

Garver is pleased to announce that we've opened our newest office near Kansas City and hired Mark E. Williams to lead the operations.

5251 West 116th Place, Suite 200, Leawood, KS 66211
Garver's Kansas City office allows our firm to better serve our clients in Missouri and Kansas. Our new office will work with project owners to meet aviation and transportation needs in the surrounding area.

Mark E. Williams, PE is a Senior Project Manager with 20 years of experience. Mark brings extensive experience in the planning, design, and construction of airfield improvements. He has performed design and planning functions at airports throughout the United States. Mark’s aviation experience has involved civil airside design, lighting and navigational aid layouts, airport planning, pavement management, and GIS program development. He has served as a project manager, design engineer, and a resident engineer on projects in multiple FAA regions.

Mark has also worked with the Kansas Department of Transportation and Kansas municipalities to meet their development goals. He is a proven leader in Kansas, serving as the president of Kansas Society of Professional Engineers and the chairman of the Kansas Aviation Advisory Committee. 


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