Archive

Archive for February 2024
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Jen Porter Featured in New Hampshire Business Review’s Ask the Experts: Women In Construction Overcome Obstacles, Innovate for Change

New Hampshire Business Review‘s February 23rd issue features a women in construction spotlight, with input from Jen Porter, PE. Read Jen’s insights below:

(Ask the Experts) Women in construction overcome obstacles, innovate for change

Women in Construction Week takes place the first full week in March, celebrating the history of women in the industry who faced tremendous challenges in a traditionally male-dominated field. In this issue of NH Business Review, we learn from an expert in the field who shares insights and perspectives on what it’s like for women in construction today, and how they’re helping to foster inclusivity, develop talent and innovate for the future.

Our expert: Jennifer F. Porter, PE, senior project engineer for civil/traffic, TFMoran Inc.

Q: What led you to choose a career in engineering?
A: Throughout high school I always thought my future career would be in the sky, as I wanted to be a pilot and go to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to study.

Sometime during my junior year in the early ‘90s, I attended a Women in Engineering Symposium at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, NH. That day inspired me and shifted my interests back on the ground to the field of engineering.

When I enrolled at Bucknell University, I was unsure if civil or mechanical engineering was the correct path for me. Luckily, Bucknell requires all potential engineering students to take Engineering 101, a class that explores all disciplines of engineering with weekly hands-on problem-solving labs. It didn’t take long for me to decide to pursue civil engineering.

These early opportunities and hands-on learning not only taught me the skills required for my course work but also set the foundation for my future in engineering. The many hours of traditional academics and practical labs, in addition to my collegiate sports career — I was a member of the Track and Field team — helped me sort priorities and budget time; attributes that would serve me well in my profession. My engineering class had a very high percentage of women enrolled, and it’s where I developed some of my best friendships, many of which went on to be very successful women in the field of engineering.

Q. How can the construction industry attract and retain more women professionals, ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce that enhances creativity and productivity?
A. Providing opportunities that introduce girls/women to construction and engineering opportunities can be the spark that changes the course of thinking for a young person. Many women do not consider the construction industry based on the simple lack of knowing it is an option. Having a sound understanding of basic construction and engineering principles and receiving proper training early in your career is key to establishing confidence and comfort in the construction environment. Providing resources for mentorship, male or female, can also make a tremendous difference to a new engineer starting out, so providing this resource is pivotal to women entering into the profession and staying with it.

I’ve had the pleasure of working for my current employer, TFMoran, for over 25 years. It has been my first (and only) engineering job since college graduation. I started at entry level in the office, running errands, making prints and reading regulations. I asked a lot of questions.

At TFM, I have had great mentors to educate and support me in my career. Teaching by example, showing patience, providing opportunity and pushing me to be a problem-solver by asking the right question and seeking out the answer. They provided me with challenges and the support I needed to grow as an engineer and a person. I am proud to be part of the team at TFM.

With the good also comes the bad, as I have had encounters in my career where my job experience appeared to be questioned due solely on my gender. When confronted with such a moment, I have felt I had two choices: deflect or stand tall. I have not let those moments define me, and have used each opportunity to build confidence and a greater belief in myself. To treat others with respect, setting boundaries to form positive relationships based on trust, and to project the confidence my experience and knowledge should garner after 25 years in the field of engineering. Much like the values my parents instilled in me, and I hope to inspire in my children, I choose to be fair and respectful to others. We should all expect nothing less. Treat everyone as you want to be treated.

Q. What initiatives or programs have proven effective in breaking down barriers and biases, promoting skill development, and providing equal opportunities for women pursuing careers in construction?
A. Educating men and women that intelligence is not defined by gender. Providing a company culture that brings everyone on the team to the table on equal ground and treated with respect. Engineers are engineers, period.

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Celebrating Engineers Week 2024!

February 18-24 is National Engineers Week, and TFMoran is celebrating the hard work of our over 30 Civil, Structural, and Traffic Engineers! This week is promoted annually by Discover E, an ASCE partner, to promote the profession and celebrate engineers by showing the world the essential work engineers contribute to our everyday lives.

This year’s theme “Welcome to the Future”, is about celebrating today’s achievements and paving the way for a brighter and more diverse future in engineering.

Engineering is at the forefront of innovation and is instrumental in designing and creating the solutions that are shaping the world of tomorrow. From the development of the internet and smartphones to space exploration and renewable energy solutions, engineers have been at the forefront of progress, making our lives more efficient, comfortable, and connected. Through their creativity, expertise, and dedication, engineering teams are addressing global challenges, driving technological advancements, and making a positive impact on society’s future. 

Discover E Engineering

Our local publications including the New Hampshire Union LeaderNew Hampshire Business Review, Concord Monitor and the Seacoast Papers published special sections this week to help celebrate the profession. Check out TFMoran’s contributions!

A special thanks to all our engineers and support staff! Happy Engineers Week!

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Kyle Roy Featured in NHBR Ask the Experts: Engineering Best Practices Help Businesses Gain

New Hampshire Business Review‘s February 9th issue features an engineering spotlight, with input from numerous New Hampshire engineering professionals. Principal and Senior Structural Engineer, Kyle Roy gave his thoughts on engineering best practices and how businesses gain from these practices. Read Kyle’s insight below:

Ask the Experts: Engineering Best Practices Help Businesses Gain

As New Hampshire’s commercial building boom kicks into high gear in 2024, some of the Granite State’s leading engineering firms are using the latest cutting-edge technology to provide the best structural designs for their clients. In this week’s New Hampshire Business Review, we take a deep dive into how some of these tools will help these engineering firms deliver better projects and how they can improve their capabilities to better serve their clients. We also talk with both engineering and legal experts about how businesses can save energy costs and help the planet through NH Saves and what New Hampshire is doing to help curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Q: What emerging technologies are poised to revolutionize the structural engineering landscape, and how should businesses prepare to leverage them?
A: Structural engineers seek to provide innovative, efficient and safe structural solutions for every project. A company’s investment in efficiency will be successful if they are willing to rethink existing technologies and adopt recent technologies.

Q: What is a technology tool taking hold in the engineering sector?
A: Off-site and modular construction is established and currently one of the best ways to streamline the building process, to reduce waste and improve project timelines. New materials and fabrication technologies are challenging the industry to rethink what can be built off-site. Building projects must entertain new approaches and explore more off-site construction methods, materials and modular solutions.

Companies should invest in developing expertise in modular construction design. Building information modeling (BIM) is currently being used to create more accurate models that can be used on the fabrication floor to reduce production time and errors.

In addition to being leveraged in modular construction, BIM is a commonly used technology in the architectural, engineering and construction community. BIM is used to create digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of buildings. The digital models enhance collaboration, streamline design and facilitate better project decision-making.

The next evolution for digital models is to pair them with artificial intelligence (AI), and generative design (GD) software. Structural engineers can integrate the use of AI and algorithms to explore numerous generative design options rapidly. Companies should further invest in AI, adopt GD tools and train staff to effectively use it.

Companies that leverage these tools can speed up cloud collaboration and interoperability with other stakeholders in the design and construction process.

BIM models can also be generated from point cloud data from aerial and surface drone scans for existing site surveys and inspections. Drones provide a safe and efficient way to collect data from challenging or dangerous locations.

This data, when paired with cloud storage solutions, provides a significant improvement over traditional photos and field measurements. Companies should integrate drone and LIDAR scanning technologies in the early stages of design for better visualization, collaboration and more accurate data. Invest in drones or scanners and training for staff to champion the technologies.

Develop protocols for incorporating 3D point cloud data from these sources into the design processes. This can lead to improved project understanding of existing conditions, reduce field time and reduce design and construction errors and omissions.

Q: What should businesses do to support the use of building information modeling?
A: With more data collected, a fast and reliable infrastructure is necessary to process and share the data. 5G mobile promises faster and more reliable connectivity, enabling the growth of data collection and other data-intensive applications.

Businesses should explore how 5G can enhance their operations and services. This may require investing in new equipment, adapting IT infrastructure, and developing new applications that leverage high-speed, low-latency connectivity.

To take advantage of these technological advances, businesses should adopt an initiative-taking and agile approach. To do this, businesses need to hire or train to build a tech-savvy workforce who can understand, implement, and manage these technologies. Employers need to listen to and invest in their employee’s interest in specific fields.

This approach creates a base level of empowered staff to incorporate innovative technologies into the company’s service strategies.

Q: What do engineering firms need to do to remain competitive and productive?
A: Given the rapidly evolving nature of technology, it is important to stay informed on the latest developments. Businesses need to collaborate and network with vendors, technology providers, startups and research institutions to stay abreast of the latest innovative products and regularly monitor industry advancements.

It is important to adapt to changing technological landscapes. Companies that are nimble in adopting new tools and services will remain competitive in tomorrow’s engineering landscape.

Check out the rest of the article here.

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Dylan Cruess Participates in Special Olympics of New Hampshire Penguin Plunge!

Dylan Cruess participated in the Penguin Plunge on February 11th, 2024. This fundraiser for Special Olympics New Hampshire (SONH) took place at Hampton Beach, NH, where thousands of participants plunged into the freezing water of the Atlantic.

Dylan, dressed as a TFM surveyor (hard hat and all!) was among the first in his group to make it into the water, running and jumping in with a belly flop! Dylan raised $695 for SONH, whose mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These continuing opportunities help develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event, supporting the mission of Special Olympics New Hampshire.

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TFMoran Supports New Hampshire Students

TFMoran is sponsoring ‘Are You Smarter than a Breakthrough Student?’ an event by Breakthrough Manchester. The event challenges attendees with trivia from Breakthrough’s academically rigorous middle school curriculum to support BTM’s summer program.

Breakthrough Manchester supports Manchester students from traditionally underserved communities on their path to college and inspires emerging leaders in high school and college to be the next generation of educators and advocates for educational equality.

The event will be held at Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.

See more about the event here.

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TFMoran Sponsors Henniker/Weare FIRST Robotics Team

TFMoran is sponsoring Hopkinton High School and John Stark Regional High School’s FIRST Robotics Team OzRam 1922 for the 2024 Season. The team consists of students from Weare, Henniker, and Hopkinton, participating in the global FIRST Robotics Program. Each season, the team builds a robot from materials including mechanical gears, motors, and software to compete with other regional and worldwide teams in the yearly FIRST Robotics Challenge.

Last year, the team made it to the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas, competing against almost 700 robotics teams from around the world.

This program relies on financial sponsorships to support team activities. Sponsorship allows the team to attend local, regional (and hopefully international) events, update components for their robots, equip their lab, and help promote STEM!

Best of luck this season, OzRam 1922!