Thursday, June 27, 2013

Garver Water Team Spreads Knowledge

Project Engineer Ashley Pifer, PhD, serves in Garver’s Water Design Center at our Fayetteville, Arkansas office. She recently presented some of her PhD research at the American Water Works Association Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Alum storage tanks and chlorine disinfectant building at Searcy Water Treatment Plant.

Her presentation focused on a comparison of UV- and fluorescence-based metrics that can be used to predict disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation in drinking water. These metrics are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain and could be used to help drinking water utilities choose and optimize treatment processes to meet the requirements of the EPA’s Stage 2 Disinfectants/Disinfection Byproducts Rule.

“I appreciated the opportunity to present my research to others in my field and to discuss it with some well-known researchers,” Ashley said.

In March, another portion of Ashley’s PhD research, an investigation of the effectiveness of fluorescence parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis for predicting DBPs in chlorine dioxide- and alum-treated waters, was published in the peer-reviewed section of Journal AWWA. An electronic copy of that article entitled “An Improved Chloroform Surrogate for Chlorine Dioxide- and Alum-Treated Waters” is available online for a fee, here.

Evan talks to future engineers at an University of Oklahoma career fair.

Project Engineer Evan Tromble, PhD, serves with Garver’s Water Team in our Norman, Oklahoma office. The International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids (IJNMF) recently accepted for publication his article entitled “Implementation and Analysis of a Partial-Element Wetting and Drying Framework for Generalized Wave Continuity Equation-Based Hydrodynamic Models.”

The article came as the result of collaborative research with another student, performed at the University of Oklahoma during Evan’s time as a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher. The research documented in the paper is the first step toward updating the wetting and drying algorithm within ADCIRC, which is a finite element hydrodynamic model that has been applied to a wide variety of coastal applications, and it has been used extensively to predict the effects of storm surge in the last decade.

The IJNMF issue with Evan’s article is available online for a fee, here. A print version of this issue has not been made available yet.

Garver congratulates our employees for their accomplishments and supports them in leading the way in their respective research fields.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Top 500 Design Firm!

Garver moved up 24 spots on Engineering News-Record's annual list of the Top 500 Design Firms nationwide. The publication ranks companies on the list according to revenue for design services performed in 2012. Garver is listed #202, up from #226 last year, and its highest ranking to date.

Based on Top 500 survey information, ENR reported a number of findings regarding industry markets and trends in 2012.

  • The Top 500 had overall domestic and international design revenue of $90.24 billion in 2012. This is up 6.1% from 2011.

  • The Top 500 experienced a 5.5% gain in revenue earned from domestic projects, which was $61.86 billion.

  • The largest domestic public infrastructure market was transportation, which rose 3.1%, to $13.42 billion in 2012. However, the water market was down 0.1%, and sewer and wastewater was down 0.7%.

  • There were 465 design firms on this year's Top 500 that also sent in surveys last year. Of that number, 69.5% experienced increasing revenues from 2011 to 2012, while 29.9% had declining revenues.

  • Seven design firms that made the 2012 list were acquired by other firms last year.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Survey Team Presses Forward, Beats the Heat

Garver’s Survey Team works in the field year-round, so they’ll be one of the first to tell you that Summer has arrived. Good weather means the job can get done, but it also means the sun is beating down, with the heat index often reaching triple digits. Ten-hour workdays begin for surveyors at the water cooler in the back of the truck and end in front of the air-conditioning in the cab. Everything in between is scouting terrain and swatting insects, but also pressing forward into the heat to complete the job in a professional manner. Our 30 surveyors are often the first introduction to Garver the public has.

“They’re always on the clock as Garver ambassadors,” Director of Survey Lanny Beavers said. “Whether that is seeing a Garver truck and crew on the side of the road or when a crew is on someone’s land to complete a survey.”

Beavers is proud that nearly 90 percent of his team either pursued an education in the field of surveying or had training in fields that crossed over into surveying. The other ten percent each have over ten years of on-the-job experience. “They chose this field; they didn’t just fall into it. This is their career,” he said.

So, why would someone choose to spend long hours working in the heat?

“I love to explore and look at different scenes, and as a surveyor I can do that rather than be stuck in an office environment,” says Instrument Man Jermey Payne, who joined Garver last year after completing his degree in industrial technology. “Surveying lets me appreciate and enjoy nature. It’s refreshing, even on hot days."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Garver Volunteers with AR Kids Read

As summer kicks off for students, Garver employees reflect on the impact they may have had as a reading volunteer this past school year. Garver employees encouraged literacy at Crystal Hill Elementary Magnet School by volunteering with the AR Kids Read program. According to the program website, studies show that nearly a third of Central Arkansas 3rd graders are reading below grade-level. Through one-hour weekly sessions, volunteer tutors helped students increase their reading and comprehension skills.

“This mentoring program created a smaller, more personal environment for the students,” said Garver Administrative Assistant Elizabeth Foster. “It also provided an opportunity to showcase their comprehensive skills by sharing a summary of what they had read.”

Garver Project Manager Robert Sunta also enjoyed his volunteering time. “I think all of us can identify with how important reading is and how it makes learning so accessible.” Employees look forward to resuming their volunteer commitment in the fall with AR Kids Read.

Friday, June 7, 2013

New Professionals

Garver congratulates six employees who have passed their professional exams and received engineering licenses.

Nick Braddy, PE is a civil engineer in Garver’s Transportation Group. Nick serves in our Tulsa, Oklahoma office and has worked with Garver for more than four years.

Charlie Bright, PE is a civil engineer in Garver’s Aviation Group. Charlie serves in our Norman, Oklahoma office and has worked with Garver for more than five years.

Wes Cardwell, PE is a water engineer in Garver’s Water Group. Wes serves in the Water Design Center in our Fayetteville, Arkansas office and has worked with Garver for more than three years.

Mitchell McAnnally, PE is a civil engineer in Garver’s Aviation Group. Mitchell serves in our Frisco, Texas office and has worked with Garver for more than five years.
Scott McKinnie, PE is a transportation engineer in Garver’s Transportation Group. Scott serves in our Brandon, Mississippi office and has worked with Garver for more than four years.

Zach Moore, PE is a civil engineer in Garver’s Transportation Group. Zach serves in our Fayetteville, Arkansas office and has worked with Garver for more than five years.

Garver's vision for future success starts with the development of our employees, whether that’s through our tuition reimbursement program, assistance in obtaining professional registration, or continuing education through our internal education program, Garver University.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tornado Cleanup in Moore, Oklahoma

Between 12,000 and 13,000 homes were destroyed during the F5 tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma on May 20. Garver employees from the Tulsa and Norman offices and their families, alongside other members of the Wichita Mountains Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, recently spent the weekend helping with cleanup efforts at one of those destroyed homes.

“Because we helped a specific family, it brought personal emotions to the effort,” said Garver Project Engineer Matthew Youngblood. “It reminded me of what is important in my life—family, friends, community.”

The Garver team helped sort through the remains of the destroyed house, trying to salvage the family’s personal items from the rubble. The team cut down trees, picked up broken glass, cleared out ditches, and carried debris to the curb to be picked up by the city, all the while searching for family photos, stuffed animals, and anything else irreplaceable.

If you would like to help with relief efforts, the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund has been set up in coordination with the United Way. The American Red Cross also provides ways in which you can donate and/or volunteer.


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