Archive for February 2018

Maureen Kelly, TFMoran Civil Project Engineer, continues her engineering assistance in Haiti with UML Haiti Development Studies Center

In early January, TFMoran Civil Project Engineer Maureen Kelly traveled to the southern Haitian city of Les Cayes. Her traveling companions were five seniors in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), as well as Physics professor and department head Dr. Robert Giles. Dr. Giles founded the Haiti Development Studies Center (HDSC), the educational facility and guest house where the group spent the week. The students are involved in multiple initiatives focusing on education and sustainable development. Maureen acts as a volunteer assistant on these projects.

BASH (Biodigester Aided Solutions in Haiti)

Several students on the trip are working on a biodigester. It collects a mixture of gases, called biogas, from decomposing organic material. The methane in biogas can power cookstoves, refrigerators, and even engines. The remaining material is ideal as a low-cost fertilizer, a vital resource for subsistence farming in nutrient-stripped soils. In Haiti the team learned more about local agricultural practices and available resources, which will inform further research and design. This project has been awarded funding through University design competitions and the team is now pursuing an EPA grant to study the effect of enzyme additions on biodigestion.

Civil & Environmental Engineering Alternative Capstone

As part of their senior capstone course, the students were tasked with exploring options for alternative waste treatment in Haitian households. In Haiti they visited a project site and performed basic soils testing in the area. This experience will inform their spring semester, during which they will focus on treatment options that address challenges specific to Haiti, where the freshwater supply is very vulnerable to contamination. The students will explore alternative methods of waste disposal that don’t put the water table at risk.

Coteaux & Port Salut 

Coteaux is a coastal community where one of the Haitian students at HDSC, Dayana, grew up. Her family still lives there. During the trip our group visited Coteaux to see her family home, walk around the town, and visit a solar energy plant that powers three communities. The solar installation was still in disrepair following damage from Hurricane Matthew. Due to a lack of funds, even municipalities require extensive periods of time to rebuild after storms. The manager at the site was kind enough to give the group a tour of the facility and pointed out the backup generator that has replaced storm-damaged panels.

A major landmark in Coteaux is “500 Marches de la Médaille Miraculeuse,” or “500 Steps to the Miraculous Medal.” This site consists of an impressive set of 500 steps up to the top of a small mountain overlooking the south-western coastline of Haiti, with a sanctuary and statue at the top. The entire team, including Dr. Giles, our driver, and Dayana’s father all made it to the top. We paused at the peak for rest, reflection, and pictures while butterflies and lizards played around us. Upon our return to the base, legs a bit wobbly and lungs well worked, we turned back to see several goats jumping effortlessly on the stairs near the top.

Port Salut, the last destination of the week, boasts a beautiful beach. Last year when we visited Port Salut, it had only been a few months since Hurricane Matthew. The road was washed out and buildings were badly damaged. Trees were down along the coast and while swimming we would occasionally run into pieces of houses that had been washed into the ocean. This year the damage was still visible, but conditions were much improved and many businesses had reopened. It’s important that travelers learn just as much about all that is beautiful about Haiti as they do about the challenges that face our Caribbean neighbors. We always make time to appreciate the wonders of nature, cultural landmarks, and the growth of communities in the face of adversity.

Moving Forward

The Alternative Capstone team has now begun their Spring semester, and will travel to Haiti again in March. Those students who are working on the biodigester have had a very busy few weeks of research, writing, and revisions; their grant application to the EPA will be submitted in early February. With luck, they will be able to pay for their enzyme research and early installations using grant funds. Through donations from friends, family, and alumni, the Haiti Development Studies Center will continue to support student groups who choose to pursue projects based in Haiti.

For more information about the Haiti Development Studies Center or any of the projects discussed above, please feel free to visit or contact Maureen Kelly at [email protected]


Union Leader features NH Engineers for National Engineers Week in Monday’s Business Section

This week, February 18-24, is the 67th annual celebration of National Engineers Week. Some New Hampshire newspapers, such as the Union Leader, are featuring a special Engineers Week section to raise awareness of what types of projects New Hampshire engineering firms are involved with and how they contribute to our daily lives. Check out this special section within Monday’s Business section, pages C5-C8. Along with many other interesting projects, you will find a story with the headline “TFMoran provides design and permits for new Millyard parking garage”. To view this story click on this pdf link NH Union Leader Feb 19 2018 Engineers Week story  or read the text below:

TFMoran provides design and permits for new Millyard parking garage

TFMoran provided survey, civil/site engineering, structural engineering, permitting and landscape architecture services for a new 6-story parking facility in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire. Once complete, it will provide nearly 1,700 parking spaces in the southern end of the millyard area. This new precast concrete structure, located at the corner of South Commercial Street and Line Drive, will provide parking for Southern New Hampshire University’s online program and administrative offices housed in the adjacent Langer Place mill.

Many site constraints presented challenges to the design of this facility. Bordered by the east bank of the Merrimack River, Line Drive, South Commercial Street, and the existing Langer mill, there was limited open space to accommodate this large parking structure.

Since the garage will be replacing an existing surface parking lot serving the Langer mill, temporary accommodation of existing traffic and parking needs, and maintaining access to the mill during construction all must be accommodated by the Construction Manager, Harvey Construction. Improvements to traffic flow patterns along South Commercial Street were also incorporated into the project, to accommodate the anticipated increase in traffic to the garage.

Situated directly across the street from Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, home of Minor League Baseball’s New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and the Hilton Garden Inn, the building will present an attractive and interesting addition to the area. Project architects Built-Form, LLC designed the parking facility to complement the historic and modern structures of the surrounding neighborhood, with a traditional brick masonry façade reminiscent of the historic mills, with contemporary vertical glass elements in the corners. The west facade, overlooking the Merrimack River, will feature perforated metal decorative panels with embossed images, providing a unique and striking visual effect as seen from I-293 across the river.

Harvey Construction is scheduled to break ground on this project this spring, with an anticipated completion in late 2019.


The Union Leader Engineers Week section also published “TFMoran voted Best of Business in engineering”, to view, click this pdf link NH Union Leader Feb 19 2018 Engineers Week BOB Award story

A big Thank You to the Union Leader for continuing to celebrate projects by New Hampshire engineers during National Engineers Week!


More about National Engineers Week.

The 2018 theme is Engineers: Inspiring Wonder. The overall idea behind the themed week is to raise awareness of all the ways engineering contributes to our daily lives and foster interest in future generations of engineers. This year, more than 70 engineering, education and cultural societies are coming together for this event, along with more than 50 corporations and government agencies. “E-week promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science and technology literacy and motivates youth to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce.” ( Engineer week is also dedicated to raise public awareness of the positive contributions to the quality of life that engineers provide on a daily basis.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is February 22, 2018. This is a day where all are encouraged to encourage females to go into the engineering field, as equals; their ideas and strategies are necessary for the future of engineering.

For more information visit: