Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ACEC Recognizes Garver for Falls Creek WTP

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Oklahoma recently awarded Garver an Engineering Excellence Award in the Water Resources category for work done on the Falls Creek Water Treatment Plant project.

Garver designed and oversaw the installation of a new advanced membrane water treatment plant to replace the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center’s slow sand filter treatment plant, which has been in operation since the late 1960s. The old water treatment system was simple and effective, but it lacked redundancy and automation. The new water treatment plant is capable of treating the maximum daily demand for the campground’s expected population at full utilization.

Garver worked on the project from beginning to end—from the engineering report to the design, from construction to start-up, and writing the operations and maintenance manuals to assist the operators with the new technology. Despite the tight footprint, the challenging site, and the aggressive schedule circumstances required, the client received a state-of-the-art plant within a very short timeline.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

First CAP Project Nearing Construction

The proclamation was signed by Arkansas State Highway Commission Chairman John Ed Regenold, AHTD Director Scott Bennett, Garver Director of Transportation Jerry Holder, and Jeff Kolb of Kolb Grading.

With the first of 31 projects in the Connecting Arkansas Program (CAP) soon to begin construction, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) and the Northwest Arkansas Council hosted a luncheon and kickoff event to celebrate the historic day.

Garver is serving as the program manager for the $1.8 billion program, which widens and improves 180 miles of highways and interstates through the 31 projects around the state. The first project to go to construction is the next section of the Bella Vista Bypass in northwest Arkansas. The project extends the bypass approximately 6 miles from Highway 71 in Bentonville to Highway 72.

Director of Transportation Jerry Holder represented Garver at the event and signed his name to a proclamation stating, “The Arkansas Highway Commission, AHTD, Garver, and Kolb Grading, on behalf of the citizens of Arkansas and all interested parties, recognize the beginning of this historic highway program by proclaiming our commitment to uphold the standards entrusted to us by our citizens with this investment in our highway system.”

The CAP is one of the largest highway construction programs ever undertaken by AHTD, and it is funded through a voter-approved 10-year, half-cent general sales tax.

“It’s a great day for Arkansas, a great day for northwest Arkansas,” said AHTD Director Scott Bennett.

You can learn more about Garver’s management of the CAP by visiting the Garver website or the CAP website.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Steel Girders Set at Don Tyson Parkway Interchange

This time-lapse of the Don Tyson Parkway Interchange project in Springdale, Ark. shows the steel girders recently being set at night. Work done over a nine-day period is compressed into the video, which runs for less than four minutes.

Garver designed the I-49/Tyson Parkway Interchange to open the southern portion of Springdale to greater traffic mobility and development. Construction is scheduled to complete on the project by August of this year.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Garver Up 21 Spots in ENR Top 500

Garver moved up 21 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 2013. Garver is listed at #181, up from #202 last year, marking the company's highest ranking to date.

Based on Top 500 survey information, ENR reported a number of findings regarding industry markets and trends in 2013.

  • The Top 500 had overall domestic and international design revenue of $92.69 billion in 2013. This is up 2.7% from 2012.
  • The Top 500 experienced a 3.7% gain in revenue earned from domestic projects, which was $64.13 billion. 
  • The largest domestic public infrastructure market was transportation, which rose 7.5%, to $14.31 billion in 2013. However, the water market was down 5.6%, and sewer and wastewater was down 5.1%. 
  • There were 468 design firms on this year's Top 500 that also sent in surveys last year. Of that number, 69.9% experienced increasing revenues from 2012 to 2013, while 29.9% had declining revenues.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

ACEC Recognizes Garver for Oklahoma River Lighting

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Oklahoma recently awarded Garver an Engineering Excellence Award in the Special Projects category for work done on the MAPS 3 Oklahoma River Race Course Lighting project.

Garver was honored to be selected by Oklahoma City to provide design services to illuminate and aesthetically enhance the first permanently lit 1,000-meter race course in the world. The project included event, practice, and architectural lighting to support nighttime activities, U.S. Olympic time trials, and other special racing events.

Garver designed and installed lighting for the equivalent surface area of nearly nine football fields along the Oklahoma River. Twelve poles, with a combined 346 lights, made up the construction of stadium-style lighting for 500m of the Oklahoma River in what is the first of three phases for this lighting project. In addition to the 1,500W light fixtures on the 12 poles, Garver’s design called for fixtures installed on Byer’s Bridge for lighting the racelanes and turn-around area under and around the bridge.

Other MAPS 3 projects to be completed in the next few years include a multi-purpose trail and a new convention center, but for now, in a city that lies far from any oceanic beach, cutting-edge technology is proving useful to shine the spotlight on the middle of the country when it comes to world-class water sports.

For more information, see the project's article in Infrastructure Quarterly.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

U of A Researchers Partner with NSF, Garver, and others to Join the National Center to Advance Development of Membranes for Water Treatment

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas will join the National Science Foundation’s Membrane, Science, Engineering and Technology Center, which focuses on developing materials for energy production, water treatment, pharmaceutical purification and chemical processing. The center, known as MAST, is a multi-campus collaboration that includes such institutions as the University of Colorado and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Garver has long supported the UA College of Engineering, and now the company will be one of four industry partners who will provide the program with a total of $600,000 over three years. The NSF will commit $300,000 over five years as part of its nationwide Industry and University Cooperative Research Program.

“Garver is making an investment in research and development and our commitment to this MAST Center is a major step in that strategic direction,” said Garver Director of Water Services Steve Jones.

Dr. Ranil Wickramasinghe, a UA professor of chemical engineering, will take the opportunity to focus on membrane separations, which includes water treatment, wastewater recovery and reuse, and bioseparations for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. The center’s expertise in membrane separations will enhance its research mission and emphasis on industry participation.

“We are excited and proud to be an active research partner in the Membrane Science, Engineering and Technology Center,” Wickramasinghe said. “Our research focus is imperative, not only to the goals of the center, but to a broader community, especially as water becomes a more precious resource.”

Garver’s Water Design Center works with Wickramasinghe to improve already-cutting-edge membrane technology. Such technology recently won Garver a Grand Conceptor award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Alabama for design of the Tuscumbia Water Treatment Plant, the first dual-series membrane plant in the state of Alabama.

“Garver engineers are directly involved in research projects at the University of Arkansas, and are translating their research into improved treatment plant design for water reclamation,” said Dr. Michael Watts, senior process engineer in the Water Design Center. “This means our clients will have access to the state-of-the-art, and beyond, in membrane filtration and will see direct benefits to the quality of water in their communities.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

Garver Publishes IQ Volume 6 Issue 1

Keep an eye on your mailbox for the newest issue of Garver's IQ, which has undergone a formatting change in order to best show the visual aspects of Garver's many projects. In the meantime, you can begin reading our online edition now. This edition features:

Ultraviolet Pilot Study
A Texas-Sized UV Pilot: Pursuing Alternative Disinfection 
"The data the Garver field team gathered by managing the day-to-day operations of this complex pilot study will ensure this future UV facility will be optimized for performance and efficiency."  Water Team Leader Jeff Sober

NAS Corpus Christi
Garver Announces Facility Design Team 
"Our Team is as multi-disciplined as they come. We provide civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, pluming, fire protection and architectural design for a wide variety of project types and clients." — Facilities Design Director John Watkins

Interstate 244
Construction Nearing Completion at I-244 Multimodal Bridge 
"There were many design challenges, but in the end, we're taking a bridge that was old and costly to maintain and replacing it with one that has an increased capacity and functionality." — Project Manager Jason Langhammer

Huntsville International Airport
Upgrades at Huntsville International 
"By adding the ability to serve the largest cargo aircraft in the fleet, the Port of Huntsville can fulfill its mission of providing a single hub location specializing in receiving, transferring, storing, and distributing international and domestic cargo via air, rail, and highway." — Regional Aviation Director Ryan Sisemore

Garver Celebrates 95th Anniversary
Preserving Values. Advancing Infrastructure. 
"The principles Garver had when I started working here in 1982 are the principles we still have."
 President and CEO Dan Williams 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Garver Hires Forbes to Lead Business Development

Garver has hired Scott Forbes, PE, as its business development leader. Scott will focus on business development efforts and building client relationships. As a professional civil engineer licensed in three states, Scott brings more than 29 years of experience in design and project management as well as marketing leadership to Garver.

"I've known people who have worked at Garver for years," Scott said, "so I know the quality of work this firm does. Garver has a great reputation in the A-E industry. I'm excited to be a part of the Garver family, and I look forward to doing great things here."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Future Engineers Visit Garver Corporate Office

The Garver Bridge Team recently hosted pre-engineering students from Beebe Public Schools to give the future engineers an idea of what engineering in the real world looks like.

“Visiting Garver gives the students a chance to see engineers actually doing the work,” said Jeff Wisdom, Beebe’s pre-engineering instructor. “It makes being an engineer a real thing instead of just an abstract career that they’ve heard of.”

The ninth- through 12th-graders recently built 20-inch-long Popsicle-stick bridges, which the Garver Bridge Team tested by measuring each bridge’s deflection at 10 pounds. To test bridge strength-to-weight ratio, each bridge was subjected to more and more weight until it failed. The winning bridge was a truss bridge that weighed 7.3 ounces and held 55 pounds.

“It was fascinating to hear how the teams thought through and studied the process of how to build a strong bridge,” said Garver Project Manager Seth Yancey. “We very well could have been talking to some future Garver employees.”

“I liked talking to the engineers at Garver,” said Brandon Lercher, a senior at Beebe High School planning to major in mechanical engineering at Arkansas State University next year.  “It was nice to hear them say they like their jobs and they use the stuff we’re learning in our classes now.”

“I was lucky enough to have a program like this that inspired me to go into engineering,” said Garver Project Engineer Luis Cobos, “so it was pretty cool to come full circle and hopefully inspire another group of kids to do the same thing.”

Beebe High School is an active participant in Project Lead the Way, which is an internationally recognized provider for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum and teacher training. According to the PLTW website, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that by 2018, the U.S. will have more than 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs because there won't be enough qualified workers to fill them.

“Giving students the opportunity to visit places like Garver helps create excitement and enthusiasm for our engineering program, and it gets more kids to enroll,” said Counselor and Scholarship Coordinator Carla Choate.

Garver is committed to working with schools like Beebe to help foster students’ interest in engineering.

“Our profession is only as strong as the next generation of engineers,” said Garver Bridge Design Manager John Ruddell. “It’s very important to the long-term viability of our practice to have smart, young engineering candidates for the future.”


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