SunSentinel Mention

April 9, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: I was very disappointed in the House State Affairs Committee this past week. In a 12-8 vote, they moved HB 1131 through the committee. The sole purpose of the bill is to remove the requirements for the State University System to follow FS 287.055 – the Consultant’s Competitive Negotiation Act. This state law requires public agencies to hire architects and engineers on qualifications first and price second. Do you want your high-rise building or bridge designed by the lowest bidder? This is required for federal funding and is overall bad policy – why start the slippery slope?

Looking ahead: Next week, we’ll continue to see the state House and Senate get together on budget appropriations. With water in the forefront of everyone’s policy, right now only about 12 of the hundreds of budget requests are in the draft funding list in both chambers. While this isn’t a death sentence for these projects, it is a step in the wrong direction. The appropriation requests were already reduced with the impacts from COVID unknown at the end of 2020. The time for our Legislature to get together and make water a priority is now.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
read more
CMA Landscape Architect Stefan Bortak to Speak at STEMpossible Series

CMA Landscape Architect Stefan Bortak to Speak at STEMpossible Series

CMA Project Landscape Architect Stefan Bortak, RLA, ASIC, CID will participate as a guest speaker in the STEMpossible Speaker Series sponsored by Valencia College on April 8 at 7 p.m. The online event will feature a panel of six guests representing the diversity of careers in engineering fields including: mechanical, electrical, civil engineering, landscape architecture, computer software and systems engineering. The event is geared towards current students as an opportunity to interact with and gain insights from experts in engineering and computer technology fields.

Stefan has over 16 years of project experience that includes parks, sports facilities, university campuses, urban streetscapes, transportation projects, and community master planning. He worked full-time while attending UCF, where he completed a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, fusing his passions for engineering and the arts, and earning a minor in Business Administration. Details available at: http://tinyurl.com/stemengine21 

Karen RachlesCMA Landscape Architect Stefan Bortak to Speak at STEMpossible Series
read more

SunSentinel Mention

April 2, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: As the “infrastructure guy” in the SF100, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan unveiled by the president this week. The problem with the figure is that, of that money, half is allocated toward elderly/disabled programs and research, development and job training. While I certainly find value in the latter, they are not capital investments in infrastructure. This result in the program only achieving about 40% of what the ASCE Report Card on America’s Infrastructure unveiled just a couple weeks ago. It’s a start, but I worry that it will be too little too late.

Looking ahead: Sticking with the topic of infrastructure, but this time putting the emphasis on the political will to make the necessary investments. In less than 20 years, not properly funding infrastructure will cost America $10 trillion, over 3 million jobs and nearly $3.4 trillion in exports. It’s a frustrating world as an engineer when we know how to fix these problems, and we hear our politicians saying they want to give the general public the best, but they are unwilling to make those tough choices. It’s not a matter of if, but when, we need to act.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
read more
CMA President Peter Moore is Guest Speaker at Two Events

CMA President Peter Moore is Guest Speaker at Two Events

CMA President Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP had a busy Tuesday! He guest lectured for a University of Florida Senior level Civil Engineering Cost Estimating class on Risk Management, Overhead and Contingency, then spoke at the 2021 NASTT Conference about the NSF-61 Liners installed as part of the Hillsboro Beach Water Main Replacement Project.  https://pheedloop.com/nodigshow/site/home/    http://www.ufl.edu/

Karen RachlesCMA President Peter Moore is Guest Speaker at Two Events
read more
CMA Staff Served as Judges for Annual ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition

CMA Staff Served as Judges for Annual ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition

CMA President and CEO Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP, Vice President Jose L. Acosta, P.E., F.ASCE and Associate Engineer Carlos Tijerino served as judges for the ASCE Southeast Student Conference Concrete Canoe Competition on March 25-26. Nancy Lehr, P.E. of Moffat and Nicol in Virginia and Dave Livingston, P.E. of Brasfield and Gorrie in Tennessee also served as judges. The virtual event was hosted by Vanderbilt School of Engineering and students from over 14 schools participated in the competition.  The goal of the event is to provide civil engineering students with an opportunity to gain hands-on, practical experience and leadership skills by working with concrete mix designs and project management.   https://engineering.vanderbilt.edu/cee/se-asce2021/events/national/concreteCanoe.php

Karen RachlesCMA Staff Served as Judges for Annual ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition
read more

SunSentinel Mention

March 26, 2021

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: This past Tuesday, it was a little breezy in South Florida, but in Egypt, there were sandstorms hitting with 50 mph gusts. Why is that important? Because that day, the Ever Given, one of the world’s largest ships, lost power and became grounded at an angle, effectively blocking the Suez Canal. A very important trade route, this blockage impacts nearly 100 ships a day. This may have impacts to oil pricing in Europe and may delay semiconductor delivery in the United States. Next time someone brings up infrastructure, please don’t forget just how interconnected this world is.

Looking ahead: As the details of President Biden’s Build Back Better infrastructure stimulus come to light, it appears that an infrastructure package would include roughly $1 trillion for roads, bridges, rail lines, electrical vehicle charging stations and the cellular network, among other items. The goal would be to facilitate the shift to cleaner energy while improving economic competitiveness. I’m a pretty fiscally conservative person, but I know that the design and construction of infrastructure improvements like these has a significant return on investment that extends well past those in the hard hats. Let’s embrace infrastructure as our future.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
read more

SunSentinel Mention

March 12, 2021

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: I was in primary school, watching a show at Parker Playhouse when the whispers came down the row, “the Challenger exploded.” When we got back to school, the news was nonstop, made even harder because a teacher was on board. This past week, Allan J. McDonald, a rocket scientist and whistleblower who refused to sign off on the launch of the Challenger space shuttle over safety concerns and, after its explosion, argued that the tragedy could have been averted had officials heeded warnings from engineers like himself, died. Thirty-five years later, this is still a lesson on how ethics matter.

Looking ahead: This coming week, the Florida House Civil Justice and Property Rights Subcommittee will hear House Bill 891, intended to limit the liability of engineers that work with urban search and rescue teams. Most people don’t even know that for every 40 people deployed as part of disaster recovery, typically 10% of that team are structural engineers that crawl into the pile to shore the rubble so that first responders can safely search for survivors or recover casualties. Over the last five years, we’ve lost 80% of those engineers as they and their companies worry about lawsuits. We need their help.

 

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
read more

SunSentinel Mention

March 5, 2021

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: What would you do with an extra $3,300 a year? That’s the cost of poor infrastructure in our country. This past week, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its 2021 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure. This was the eighth release since the original 1988 report, and the overall grade raised to a C- for the country. The grades range from a B in rail to a D- in transit. Overall, 11 category grades were stuck in the D range, a clear signal that our overdue bill on infrastructure is a long way from being paid off.

Looking ahead: I’ve spent the last two weeks doing a number of mock interviews with engineering students as they are preparing for potential internships this summer – for internships that they aren’t 100% sure will actually happen. Last year, we had eight interns, but most other engineering companies cancelled their programs. The ability for a student to intern is so critical in their career path and it isn’t really something that can be done virtually because (particularly first-time interns) have no idea what they are doing. In order for us to build the infrastructure we need, we need safe work environments.

 

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
read more