ACEC-NH Announces $5,000 in Engineering Scholarship Grants for 2024

ACEC-NH is proud to announce that the ACEC Research Institute has awarded $5,000 in scholarships to students in New Hampshire this year. The scholarships, made possible by generous donors, aim to make engineering careers more accessible to students and address the engineering workforce shortage facing the industry.

The scholarship winner this year was: 

  • Ana Rolfe, University of New Hampshire
    NCEES Professional Licensure Scholarship, $5,000

We are thrilled to recognize Ana Rolfe from the University of New Hampshire as this year’s scholarship recipient. Her academic excellence and dedication to engineering make her a deserving candidate. Awarding scholarships like this one allows us to invest in talented individuals like Ana Rolfe, ensuring a strong pipeline of future engineers ready to make a positive impact on our state and beyond.

Mike Carragher, chair of the ACEC Research Institute, highlighted the importance of these scholarships in encouraging the next generation of engineers. “The ACEC Research Institute is committed to supporting students who are passionate about engineering but may face financial challenges. By providing these scholarships, we are investing in the future of our profession and ensuring that talented individuals are empowered to pursue their dreams.”

The scholarships are given to a diverse group of students who demonstrate academic excellence, financial need, and a dedication to the field of engineering. This initiative is part of the ACEC Research Institute’s broader effort to address the current shortage of engineers that are critically needed to solve complex challenges. In total, the ACEC Research Institute provided nearly $700,000 to 97 deserving students this year. 

“Engineering is at the heart of solving many of today’s most pressing challenges,” Carragher continued. “By making engineering education more accessible, we are not only helping individual students but also strengthening the entire industry. These scholarships will help ensure that we have a robust pipeline of skilled engineers ready to tackle the complex issues of tomorrow.”

These students will help grow the cadre of engineers that work every day to design infrastructure that makes transportation safer, create solutions to improve our environment, and design buildings that reduce our impact on the climate now and into the future.

The ACEC Research Institute’s scholarship program is just one of many initiatives aimed at supporting the engineering community. Through original research, economic analysis and thought leadership, the Institute is dedicated to advancing the engineering profession and promoting its critical role in society.

For more information about the ACEC Research Institute’s scholarship program and other initiatives, please visit ACEC Research Institute.

Nobis Group Awards 2024 STEM Scholarships

Nobis Group Awards 2024 STEM Scholarship Recipients

(Concord, NH) Nobis Group, a 100% employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering and environmental solutions to clients throughout the Northeast, recently awarded scholarships to two 2024 recipients.

Now in its sixth year, the Nobis Group scholarship program was developed to further the company’s dedication to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to high school students. The scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors in New Hampshire and Massachusetts who have demonstrated an interest and are pursuing further education in STEM fields at a college, university, or trade school. Scholarship applications, essays, and transcripts are evaluated by an internal committee at Nobis comprised of scientists, engineers, and administrative professionals tasked with selecting students who best demonstrate a passion for STEM.

“The students who apply for our scholarship each year are truly impressive. It’s encouraging to see so many young people committed to not only the environmental and engineering fields, but also to bettering their communities,” noted Katie Dillon, Nobis Group Director of Marketing and Chair of the firm’s Scholarship Committee. “It’s always a challenging task to pick the winners, but I know our committee considers it a great privilege to be a part of supporting students in their pursuit of STEM education.”

This year’s recipients include Massachusetts student Janmarcos Espinal-Rodriguez of Abbott Lawrence Academy and New Hampshire student Abhinav Avvaru of Nashua High School South.

About Nobis Group

Nobis Group, founded in 1988, is a leading engineering and environmental services consulting firm providing expertise and solutions for public and private projects throughout the Northeast U.S. Nobis Group offers civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, water supply, and environmental remediation services. Nobis Group is a 100% employee-owned company with a legacy of collaboration, responsiveness, an employee-focused workplace culture, and community involvement.

2024 Summer Partnering Meeting with NHDOT

On June 7, 2024, ACEC-NH hosted a Summer Partnering Meeting with NHDOT. This meeting featured a panel discussion hosted by WTS-NH on Situational Awareness & Effective Communication.

The meeting agenda included:

  • 10 Year Transportation Plan Update
  • CQI Committee Updates
  • NHDOT Staff Changes
  • Upcoming Projects & RFPs
  • Updates on the LPA Program
  • Q&A/Open Discussion

Missed the meeting or looking to share anything you’ve learned with others? View Presentation Slides Here

2024 Winter Technical Conference with NHDOT

On February 2, 2024, ACEC-NH hosted a Winter Technical Meeting with NHDOT. This presentation focused on stormwater management, and other hot topics including:

Water Quality Procedures & Implementation for Efficient Permitting with NHDES and Consistency in Construction.

  • NHDOT Water Quality Procedures
  • Design phase water quality procedure implementation
  • Construction phase water quality procedure implementation

NHDOT’s Inaugural Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment

Missed the meeting or looking to share anything you’ve learned with others? View Presentation Slides Here

NHDES 2024 Water Infrastructure Funding Workshop

NHDES is hosting its  2024 Water Infrastructure Funding Workshop, from April 9-12, 2024. The online workshop will include sessions focusing on NHDES-administered funding programs with topics including funding program updates, asset management, PFAS and lead updates, and more. The intended audience includes current/future loan recipients, community/financial decision makers, public works directors, city/town managers, municipal and regional planners, consultants/engineers, operators, and others interested in the NHDES-administered funding programs.

Please see below for Tracy Wood’s PowerPoint and other information from March 28th’s NHDES/ACEC-NH CQI Committee meeting.

Env-C 500 Prequalification for Licensed Engineering Firms for Certain Projects

2024 Quarter 1: Engineering Industry Legislative Updates

10 Year Transportation Plan (2025 to 2034)

Yesterday, Bill Oldenburg (NHDOT Director of Project Development) and NHDOT Commissioner Bill Cass presented information to the House Public Works and Highways Committee.

New!! PowerPoint on the 10 Year Transportation Plan.

View current plan.

Local Bridge and Highway Aid

This week, the Senate Finance Committee sent SB 398 to interim study (effectively killing the bill). You can read the hearing report and the committee report here. The Legislature appears to have put away the checkbook and will not be spending any new dollars in this off-budget year. As you can see in the hearing report, ACEC-NH strongly supported this legislation.

Driveway Permit Bill Scaled Back

This week, the House Public Work and Highways Committee amended HB 1202. This bill seeks to establish certain deadlines for issuance of permits for the alteration of driveways exiting onto public ways. The new version of the bill only applies to any existing or proposed residential use of land, including multifamily development. In those cases, NHDOT the department shall issue a driveway permit within 30 days of filing.

Subcommittee Scraps PE & LS Licensing Board Merger

At its public hearing in January, ACEC-NH strongly opposed HB 1286 before the House Executive Departments and Administration Committee. This bill merges the board of professional engineers and the board of land surveyors into one regulatory body called the board of professional engineers and land surveyors. The board would consist of 5 members appointed by the governor and council, including 2 professional engineers, 2 land surveyors, and one public member. ACEC-NH and many other land survey, and engineering professionals opposed this bill. We believe HB 1286 is a solution in search of a problem. The two boards as currently configured serve the public and profession extremely well. A subcommittee that reviewed the bill following the public hearing voted 5 to 0 to kill it.

Drinking Water $$ Bill Moves Forward

SB 393 appropriates $25,000,000 to NHDES for the purpose of funding drinking water infrastructure in Derry. The funding will be used for Phase 2 of the Southern NH Regional Water Project, which aims to increase water supply to multiple towns impacted by PFAS contamination and growing water demands. The infrastructure will include booster pumping stations, pressure reducing stations, water storage tanks, water mains, and other necessary projects. Where does the $25 million come from? A combination of federal funds, the drinking water and groundwater trust fund, the PFAS remediation loan and grant fund and local contributions.

Wastewater Engineering Update

The State Senate has passed an amended version of SB 492, which makes several changes to wastewater engineering laws. Firstly, it removes the term “intercepting” from the description of sewers for the purpose of applying for and distributing state aid grants. Secondly, it raises the fee for wastewater operator certificates from $50 to $100. Lastly, it changes the term “consulting engineers” to “consulting engineering firms” for rule-making purposes. The bill will take effect on July 1, 2024.

Solid Waste

This week, the House Environment and Agriculture Committee conducted public hearings on bills related to solid waste regulation. This includes HB 1145, prohibiting the private ownership of landfills; and HB 1602, relative to suspending the issuance of new landfill permits until 2031. HB 1145 would ban private ownership of any new landfill, requiring the state to own all new landfills in New Hampshire. HB 1620 puts a moratorium on new landfill permits. ACEC-NH has been opposed to these types of proposals for many years.

View the complete list of bills ACEC-NH is tracking here.

The H.L. Turner Group Inc. and Quantum Construction Consultants, LLC: Building A Better Future Together

“A handshake moment as Anna Giraldi, Bill Hickey, Rick Wolf, Jr., and Jim Bouchard kickstart the merger.”

[Concord, NH – January 2024] — The H.L. Turner Group Inc. (TTG), a leader in architectural and engineering services in the northeast, announces a strategic move effective January 1, 2024: the merger with subsidiary Quantum Construction Consultants, LLC (QCC). This exciting step not only expands TTG’s service offerings but also establishes a dedicated Infrastructure Division within the company, leveraging QCC’s renowned expertise in this crucial sector. All QCC staff have joined TTG, ensuring a seamless transition and continued exceptional service for clients.

QCC brings a wealth of experience and a stellar reputation for excellence in engineering bridges, dams and roads, construction administration, and project management. Led by the highly respected Rick Wolf, Jr., QCC’s team has consistently delivered projects on time, within budget, and exceeding client expectations.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with TTG. We’re ready to unlock a new level of service and expertise for our clients and are confident this merger will drive innovation and contribute significantly to the region’s infrastructure development,” shares Rick Wolf, Jr.

The merger of QCC solidifies TTG’s position as a comprehensive, forward-thinking leader in the engineering industry. This strategic move paves the way for further growth and a commitment to delivering exceptional solutions.

“By welcoming QCC as our new Infrastructure Division, we’re not only strengthening our existing service offerings but also creating a powerhouse team capable of tackling even the most demanding engineering challenges.” – Bill Hickey, President of TTG.

About The H.L. Turner Group Inc.

The H.L. Turner Group Inc. (TTG) is a professional team of architects, engineers, and building scientists serving business, industry, and government. The company was founded in 1990. Our vision is “improving society and lives through a proactive and integrated focus on the built environment.”

Wilcox & Barton, Inc. Elevates Erin Lambert, PE, LEED AP, to Dual Leadership Roles: Senior Vice President of Civil Engineering and Senior Vice President of People & Culture

[Concord, NH] — Wilcox & Barton, Inc., a thriving New England engineering firm specializing in civil, environmental and geotechnical engineering, proudly announces the promotion of Erin Lambert , PE, LEED AP, to the prestigious positions of Senior Vice President of Civil Engineering and Senior Vice President of People & Culture.

With an outstanding record in client and staff management as well as project delivery, Lambert brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Wilcox & Barton, Inc. In her new dual role, she will continue to lead the Civil Engineering Practice, taking charge of project management, client relationships, and strategic initiatives aimed at steering the continued success of the firm. As a key member of the Executive Committee, Lambert will extend her leadership beyond project management, heading initiatives dedicated to enhancing the lives and working environment of the company’s valued staff. Her proven track record in fostering positive workplace culture aligns seamlessly with the firm’s commitment to employee success and wellbeing.

“We are delighted to recognize Erin Lambert as Senior Vice President,” said company President and CEO, William Wilcox. “Her unique ability to blend technical expertise with a people-first approach makes her the ideal leader to continue driving our Civil Engineering Practice and enhancing our workplace culture.”

Lambert expressed excitement about the promotion and stated, “I am honored to take on these dual leadership roles at Wilcox & Barton, Inc. It’s a company that consistently demonstrates a commitment to excellence and innovation, and I really value this team of people. I look forward to leveraging my experience in civil engineering and people management to contribute to the continued success of our projects and the well-being of our exceptional team.”

About Wilcox & Barton, Inc.

Since 2000, Wilcox & Barton, Inc. had provided clients with a complete range of environmental, civil, and geotechnical engineering services throughout the Northeast. The company has earned a reputation for responsiveness, successful management of complex problems, and for providing innovative, cost-effective solutions.

Bridging the Gap: Inside the ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee

Since 1990, the ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee has been a vital bridge between the consulting engineering community and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). This dedicated group fosters open communication, collaboration, and understanding, ultimately leading to better infrastructure projects for the Granite State.

Open Doors for Collaboration

The CQI Committee welcomes six representatives from ACEC-NH member firms, each serving with term limits to ensure broad participation. NHDOT’s six representatives traditionally include the administrators from the various NHDOT Bureaus. This diverse team brings a wealth of experience and perspectives to the table, enriching discussions and solutions.

Subcommittees Driving Progress

To tackle specific areas of concern, the CQI Committee has established several active subcommittees:

  • NHDOT/ACEC-NH Technical Transfer Conference: This subcommittee organizes the annual conference, a valuable platform for knowledge sharing and professional development for both NHDOT personnel and consultants.
  • Contracts Subcommittee: This group reviews and provides input on NHDOT contract documents and procedures, aiming for clarity, fairness, and efficiency.
  • Bridge and Highway Review Subcommittee: Dedicated to ensuring the quality and safety of New Hampshire’s bridges and highways, this subcommittee reviews project plans and offers constructive feedback.

Benefits for All

Participating in the CQI Committee offers numerous benefits for both consultants and NHDOT:

  • Improved Communication: Regular dialogue fosters mutual understanding and reduces friction, leading to smoother project execution.
  • Enhanced Project Quality: Shared expertise and insights contribute to better project planning, design, and construction.
  • Streamlined Processes: By collaboratively reviewing contracts and procedures, the committee helps streamline processes and eliminate inefficiencies.
  • Professional Development: Active participation provides valuable learning opportunities for committee members, keeping them abreast of the latest industry trends and best practices.

Get Involved, Make a Difference

If you’re an ACEC-NH member firm interested in contributing to the success of New Hampshire’s infrastructure projects, consider joining the CQI Committee. By sharing your expertise and collaborating with colleagues and NHDOT personnel, you can help shape the future of transportation in the state.

For more information on the ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee and its guidelines for participation, please refer to the attached PDF.

Additionally, we encourage you to visit the ACEC-NH website to learn more about the organization and its many other initiatives. Together, we can build a better future for New Hampshire’s infrastructure!

Celebrating the EPA’s SepticSmart Week!

Are you ready to join us in celebrating the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SepticSmart Week? This annual event is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the essential aspects of using and caring for your septic system. Below we have shared the SepticSmart Quick Tip Video filled with valuable insights to help you understand how your septic system functions, what to avoid disposing of, the importance of well water testing, and more. Whether you’re looking to educate clients or enhance your own knowledge, these tips will be a valuable addition to your septic system toolkit.

EPA’s SepticSmart Week is an excellent opportunity to enhance your understanding of septic systems and their proper care. The SepticSmart Quick Tip Video provides essential information on how your septic system works, what not to dispose of, the importance of well water testing, and more. Share these valuable insights with your clients or add them to your knowledge bank to ensure your septic system remains in optimal condition. Together, we can promote better septic system management for a healthier environment and safer drinking water.

What is QBS?

In the world of procurement, an approach known as Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) is gaining traction for its emphasis on experience and technical expertise over the traditional race for the lowest cost bid. QBS is revolutionizing the way firms compete for projects, with the aim of delivering high-quality results and fostering fairness in pricing negotiations.

Under the QBS framework, firms vie for contracts based on their qualifications rather than bidding the lowest price. Here’s how the process unfolds:

  1. Qualification Evaluation: The procurement process begins with an evaluation of firms’ qualifications. This evaluation considers factors such as their experience, technical expertise, past performance, and relevant credentials. Firms are shortlisted based on these qualifications.
  2. Selection of the Top-Ranked Firm: After the qualification evaluation, the top-ranked firm is selected for further negotiations. This firm is chosen for its demonstrated ability to meet the project’s technical requirements effectively.
  3. Price Negotiations: With the top-ranked firm selected, price negotiations commence. The goal is to arrive at a fair and reasonable price that aligns with the project’s detailed scope. This negotiation is informed by the firm’s qualifications and expertise, ensuring that value and quality are at the forefront of the discussion.
  4. Client’s Budget Alignment: In most cases, the price negotiated with the top-ranked firm aligns with the client’s budget, thanks to the detailed scope and the focus on qualifications. This results in a win-win situation where the client receives top-notch services within their financial constraints.

However, if negotiations with the top-ranked firm fail to reach a mutually agreeable price, the process moves to the second most qualified firm. This ensures that the client can still access a highly qualified team while working within budgetary limits.

QBS brings several advantages to the procurement process:

  • Quality Assurance: By prioritizing qualifications, QBS helps ensure that projects are executed by firms with a proven track record of success, reducing the risk of costly mistakes and delays.
  • Fairness: QBS promotes fairness by awarding contracts based on merit rather than solely on cost. This encourages healthy competition and supports firms that invest in expertise and excellence.
  • Optimal Budget Utilization: Clients benefit from QBS as it often leads to agreements that fit their budgets while maintaining the highest level of quality.
  • Minimized Risks: The focus on qualifications helps mitigate the risks associated with subpar performance and project failures, ultimately saving time and resources.

Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) represents a transformative shift in procurement, emphasizing expertise, quality, and fairness. By prioritizing qualifications over cost in the selection process, QBS aims to deliver projects that meet or exceed expectations while staying within budgetary constraints. This innovative approach ensures that the best-qualified firms are entrusted with critical projects, ultimately benefiting both clients and the broader community.

You can learn more through ACEC’s QBS Resources Portal.

Jesse Kropelnicki to Succeed Gerry Salontai as CEO at Verdantas

Verdantas is entering the next phase of their plan.

Effective September 1, 2023, Jesse Kropelnicki will succeed Gerry Salontai as CEO. “This move follows the succession plan established at our platform formation in 2020 and aligns with my intent since inception to withdraw from day-to-day management when an appropriate successor was identified. Jesse has been an asset to our organization as Verdantas’ COO, consistently demonstrating exceptional leadership and a deep understanding of our industry and our organization.” said Gerry Salontai, CEO of Verdantas.

Read more about this exciting plan!

Universal Professional Licensure In NH

On June 28, Governor Sununu signed HB 594-FN, relative to the licensure of out-of-state applicants to boards or commissions organized under the office of professional licensure and certification.

This bill (which was recommended by a legislative study committee) requires the Office of Professional Licensure (OPLC) to expand the portability of state licensure for all professions.

The new law includes professional engineers, geologists, land surveyors, foresters, landscape architects and soil and wetland scientists.

In the near future, when someone applies for a license in NH and is already licensed and the license is substantially similar to NH’s, then they will have an expedited process. The OPLC in consultation with the individual licensing boards will decide whether the other state’s requirements are substantially similar to NH.

Qualified individuals seeking licensure in New Hampshire through endorsement— also known as reciprocity—will no longer need to submit transcripts, examination results, evidence of experience, letters of reference, and other documentation typically required to obtain a license.

Please note:

  • A person does not need to reside in NH to take advantage of this new process.
  • This will not impact individuals currently licensed in NH.
  • This new law does not mean that other states will automatically recognize a NH license because that will depend on the state and its laws.

HB 594 will become effective on August 27, 2023, and requires the OPLC to adopt administrative rules to implement the bill. The Office intends to file interim rules in late August and will prioritize these professions (none are A/E related).

The Office selected the above professions after considering the current licensure requirements for endorsement applicants, the availability of other means for reciprocity (such as licensure compacts), and the volume of applications received by the Office.

ACEC-NH will continue to provide further updates as they become available.


Nobis Group Announces New President and CEO

Nobis Group is pleased to announce a significant recent leadership transition: after 34 years of exceptional service, Ken Koornneef, PE has decided to retire from his position as President and CEO. Together with Koornneef, the company’s executive leadership team and Board of Directors have been preparing for this transition through thoughtful succession planning. Nobis Group expresses deep gratitude for Koornneef’s numerous contributions and unwavering dedication to the organization.

Nobis Group is thrilled to introduce Chris Adams, PE as the firm’s newly appointed President and CEO. Adams is a professional civil engineer with over 24 years of service at Nobis Group, holding multiple positions including, most recently, Vice President of Operations and member of the Board of Directors. Adams has a proven history of success in the consulting and engineering industry and brings this wealth of knowledge and strategic vision to lead Nobis Group into the future. His expertise and leadership acumen will be instrumental in driving Nobis Group, as a 100% employee-owned company, towards growth and continued exceptional client service, maintaining Nobis Group’s commitment to excellence and partnering with our communities into the future.

Read the Full Article

NHDOT Eliminates Salary Cap

Dear ACEC-NH Members:

Please see below from NHDOT. This is hot off the press!

Special thanks to the ACEC-NH Consultant Quality Initiative (CQI) committee for all their advocacy on behalf of the entire engineering community.

I will send a broader message about this issue in the coming days but in the meantime, please feel free to spread the word.

Alex Koutroubas, Executive Director


Salary Cap Elimination Memo – ACEC-NH