As we move on to a new month, it happens to be an engineer’s favorite time of the year. February is Engineering Month! This month, we take the opportunity to appreciate the engineering discipline and the dedication that every engineer puts into their work. For this Fun Fact Friday, we will be taking a look at some of our own engineers’ favorite past projects.
Electrical Engineer Jonathan Fabian says that his favorite project was when Encorus Group was invited to provide technical engineering support for a pipe threating plant project for an engineering and fabrication company in Pueblo, Colorado. The pipe threading plant processes 4” – 10” diameter pipe that is 40 – 50 feet in length, and the scope of work for this project involved the material handling system to move the pipes and other process equipment. Jonathan traveled out to Colorado in order to provide on-site PLC programming and commissioning services. He said that this was his favorite project because he got to travel to a new place and the work was different from the types of projects that he is usually involved in. This unique experience contributed to Jonathan’s vast array of engineering knowledge and has been useful during his involvement in more recent projects.
Senior Structural Engineer Dan Sarata also recalls his most memorable project at Encorus Group: “My favorite Encorus project so far was the Furnace #1 Exhaust Stack Extension for Ardagh Group in Port Allegany, PA. The client was having issues with meter equipment located inside the stack, but near the top of it. Every time it rained the meter readings would be distorted because of the way precipitation hit the ash and hot temperature of the stack near the top. Moving the meter was not feasible. They concluded that extending the exhaust stack by 10 feet would solve the problem. Ardagh Group contacted Encorus to evaluate the existing stack and its foundation. It was great to be able to use our own civil materials testing lab and staff to core and test the existing concrete foundation, take steel thickness measurements of the stack, and test the stack’s steel material. I was able to produce a report of existing conditions that helped me make informed decisions for a solution. The exhaust stack was adjacent to an active supply rail line and a fan building, making the use of guy wires infeasible. In addition to the aboveground restrictions, there was an underground exhaust vault leading to the exhaust stack that made locating new foundations a challenge. In the end, the solution was building a steel braced frame to support the exhaust stack from lateral loads due to wind and seismic factors. It was a challenging project that allowed Encorus to use many of the services we have to offer, from multiple Encorus departments, on one project, and I am proud of that.”
Environmental Engineer Mary Padasak contributes her favorite project experience as well. Her most memorable project so far was providing civil and environmental design services for the Good Times of Olean site. This project involved providing the complete civil and environmental design for the redevelopment of an existing miniature golf course site into an entertainment and recreation center, including a full bowling alley. Mary enjoyed working on this project due to the green infrastructure and the fact that the client continuously expanded the scope, which kept the Encorus Team on their toes. The project site is located behind a flood wall, which provided issues that Mary cites as “interesting and challenging”. Despite the changing scope and other site limitations, Mary and the rest of the Encorus Team were able to successfully complete the project on time. This project was special to Mary because her final work is often hidden from public view, but she was able to actually see this project when it was done due to its purpose as a public entertainment facility. Mary has returned to the finished project several times, but says that she has yet to bowl there.
As we celebrate Engineers Month, it is important to recognize the accomplishments of engineers across all different disciplines. Each discipline involves unique talents that an engineer amasses throughout their career and implements to see the successful completion of their projects. If you cross paths with an engineer during February, be sure to wish them a Happy Engineers Month!