Part 1: AFT Arrow
By Matt Steiner & Jen Murphy
Many utility ratepayers are currently struggling with economic security. At the same time, energy costs are rising and the impact of uncertain material and equipment markets is driving project costs up and making capital planning less predictable. As such, it is important that as engineers that we leverage all available tools to optimize each project’s capital and operational costs. Almost just as important is sharing what we learn with not only our colleagues, but the wider engineering community.
The Aeration systems at Resource Recovery Facilities (Wastewater Treatment Plants) account for 30 to 80 percent of a plant’s energy usage, making them typically the single largest source of energy use within the facility. They’re also the most complex and capital intensive systems within a plant. This integral system, which ... (more)
By Mark Mazzola
The federal Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) recently finalized new rules for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which became effective on September 14, 2020. This was the first major revision to NEPA in over 40 years. The impetus for the updated rules is to streamline the NEPA process, which is often subject to delays from lengthy decision-making processes and litigation. The CEQ found that it takes an average of 4.5 years to complete a NEPA environmental impact statement (EIS) process, from a notice of intent to the issuance of a record of decision, with many projects taking over 10 years to complete their EIS process. The new regulations are meant to clarify and codify what is already required by NEPA, its implementing regulations, guidance, and case law (Venable 2020a).
Following is a summary of the major changes to NEPA made by the new rules. The discussion is taken primar... (more)
Clara Olson is a water engineer based out of our Portland, OR office who recently earned her Professional Engineer license. Learn more about Clara, the projects she’s worked on, and her advice for others taking the PE test.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Portland and after four years of college in Spokane (Go Zags!) and two years in the Puyallup office, Portland was calling me home again. I’ve been back in Portland for over two years and couldn’t be happier. The Portland office was an easy transition and I love having the community in both Puyallup and Portland.
I love the outdoors and have been getting more and more into backpacking trips in the Pacific Northwest. This summer included a lot of hiking, camping, and backpacking! Mt. Rainier is one of my favorite places on earth and I was lucky enough to spend three different weekends in th... (more)
As a former Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Parametrix believes in the importance of creating meaningful partnerships with other DBE and Minority Business Enterprises (MBE). We’re introducing you to a few of the MBE/DBE firms we’ve had the pleasure of working with.
Meet Michael Minor, President of Michael Minor & Associates, a noise, vibration, and air quality consultant founded in 1990 and based in Portland, OR. Michael has over 30 years of experience working on highway, rail, bus, and airport projects along with industrial and commercial projects throughout the northwest.
Michael Minor & Associates partners with many of the northwest’s largest and most prestigious consulting firms and also works directly with federal, state, and local agencies. The firm believes in using a team approach to perform detailed environmental analysis services on maj... (more)
We're pleased to have several interns joining us virtually this summer for our first-ever work from home internship experience. While this year looks a little different than others, we're still committed providinge challenging, hands-on project experience to students entering our industry.
Meet our summer 2020 interns:
Sneha Raza | Puyallup, WA
Education: I graduated with a Master’s degree in Electrical engineering from University of Colorado Denver this spring.
Hometown: I’m from Chennai, India.
As a former Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Parametrix believes in the importance of creating meaningful partnerships with DBE and Minority Business Enterprises (MBE). We’re introducing you to a few of the MBE/DBE firms we’ve had
the pleasure of working with.
Bright Engineering, Inc. was founded in 1997 by Ade Bright, PE, SE. The firm specializes in structural engineering and is a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).
Located in downtown Seattle, Bright Engineering has designed essential components of many prestigious projects in the region, such as Century Link Stadium (home of the Seattle Seahawks), Sound Transit’s SeaTac Airport Station, the West Seattle Water
Taxi, and Washington State University’s Recreation Center in Pullman.
As part of our on-call contract with the City of Bothell, Parametrix is providing construction management services for the replacement of a pedestrian bridge across the Sammamish River at the Park at Bothell Landing. The Parametrix team includes Matt Kastberg (project manager), Jeff Sweet, and David Ulrich.
The new structure is a timber-truss bridge with a 12-foot wide deck that meets current structural and ADA standards while maintaining the iconic arched look of the old bridge. The flatter deck and approach grades provide a fully accessible shared-use, non-motorized path for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Funding for the project came from a $1,175,000 Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grant and a $1,080,300 State Recreation and Conservation Office Washington Wildlife and Recreation trails grant.
Last month, the new bridge was hoisted into place. Jeff Sweet put together this video showing t... (more)
We’re extending our celebration of Pride Month for one more employee-owner feature. Michael Baker is a transportation planner based out of our Salt Lake City office. He has been with Parametrix for nearly 10 years.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
To me, Pride Month is about embracing who you truly are. It's exhausting and unsustainable to pretend that a part of my family doesn't exist while embracing other aspects of who I am. Hence in the spirit of Pride Month, I’d like to take this opportunity to come out as bisexual and in two happy, ethical polyamorous relationships. Naturally, this can make introductions (not to mention scheduling) a tad complicated as in, “this is my fiancée Erika, my boyfriend Austin, and his husband Arlo.” The four of us regularly spend time together whether that is over brunch, dinner, or a weekend of camping. I've been blessed to have Erika i... (more)
Over the last few weeks we’ve shared the stories of Parametrix employee-owners who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Savanna Hasegawa was a catalyst in encouraging this series. Thank you, Savanna, for advocating for greater visibility and representation of the LGBTQ+ community at Parametrix.
She says that as someone who came out at 14 years old, she’s very comfortable being “out” at work, but hoped this series might serve as a way to make others feel more confident being fully themself in a work environment.
Savanna was hired at Parametrix in 2015 as an Administrative Assistant in the Puyallup office. She now serves as a Project Coordinator for the Puget Sound Community Building group. In this role she is often working out of client project offices.
Last year, Savanna and her wife, Anika, got married and began their pregnancy journey.
June is Pride Month! To celebrate we'll be featuring Parametrix employee-owners who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Today, we would like to introduce you to Amy Jones. Many Parametrix employee-owners know her as someone who has helped them with their technology challenges. Amy joined Parametrix in 2015 as a Computer Support Technician and later moved into the role of Systems Administrator II. I asked Amy a few questions about her career and personal life – read her responses below.
How did you get started in IT? What drew you to this profession?
I grew up in a house where we always had a computer, grew up learning DOS (which I've pretty much forgotten) and playing computer/video games with my siblings. Originally, I went to college for a degree in Digital Imaging thinking I’d want to do art the rest of my life but ended up not finishing my degree. I moved to Wash... (more)
June is Pride Month! To celebrate we'll be featuring Parametrix employee-owners who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Today, we would like to introduce you to Tresia Gonzalez. Tresia is a Senior Planner in the Seattle Transportation group. She has been with Parametrix for 18 years and specializes in major corridor studies and traffic modeling.
Tresia participated in our emerging leaders program and now serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. She identifies as queer.
I asked Tresia a few questions about her personal life and career. Read her responses below.
What drew you to the transportation industry? What inspires you about your work?
I actually didn’t intend to do the work I do!
Within the civil engineering department, I focused on environmental, taking classes such as hazardous waste and ground water flow. Towards the... (more)
The class of 2020 didn’t get the traditional graduation ceremony that most of us experience. They do however have the honor of participating in what are probably some of the first ever virtual graduation ceremonies.
The Parametrix leadership team and supervisors recorded a special message for our graduates. Watch that here.
We would like to introduce you to the Parametrix Class of 2020 and congratulate them on this accomplishment. Read more about each below.
Piper Everson | Portland, OR
Oregon State University | BS, Civil Engineering
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Pride month traditions. LGBTQ Pride month is held each year in June to honor and commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which served as a turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United states. In a landmark decision, just this week the Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees.
At Parametrix, we believe it’s important to recognize this month and celebrate the progress that has been made while also recognizing the steps we can take in becoming truly inclusive to all.
This month we’ll introduce you to several Parametrix employee-owners who identify as members of the LGBTQ community. They’ll discuss their career, personal life, as well as the challenges they’ve faced. Stay... (more)
From New York to Oakland, cities across the United States are closing lanes or entire roadways in order to expand bike lanes and pedestrian environments, giving people under stay-at-home orders more space to walk and bike safely in their neighborhoods.
Salt Lake City and the Utah Department of Transportation are no exception. The agencies responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with Parametrix and other partners, the team reviewed and synthesized traffic and active transportation data to better understand the implications of the pandemic. With this information, they were able to identify roadways most suitable for temporary lane conversion based on essential business proximity, housing density, and other factors.
One of those lanes, 900 South, was opened in April as a result of this partnership. Salt Lake City had initiated other street closures on smaller roadways starting with 500 North, but... (more)
Manchester Stormwater Park aerial view with Puget Sound in the background.
April is World Landscape Architecture Month. We’re celebrating landscape architects for their role in deepening the connections between people and the environment, citizens and their communities. At Parametrix, our team of landscape architects have had the privilege of working on projects that have a profound effect on the places we live, work, and visit. Read more about those meaningful projects below.
#1 - Northern Quest Resort & Casino Grand Plaza
Airway Heights, WA | Client: Kalispel Tribe of Indians
Meet one of the newest employee-owners at Parametrix, Nicole Lipe. Nicole joins our Seattle Construction Management group. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 2018 and comes to Parametrix from Manson Construction where she worked on projects in Alaska, California, and Washington.
We asked Nicole a few questions about herself and her career – get to know her by reading her responses below!
Tell us about yourself – what are your hobbies, interests? Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Seattle, moved to Colorado for boarding school, and then went to college in California. I moved back to Seattle last year and am loving being back in the PNW!
Some of my favorite pastimes are spin classes, crossword puzzles, getting outdoors whether it be walking, going to a park, etc., and spending time with f... (more)
By Kami Matiatos
I first started working in the A/E/C industry in the mid-eighties when the industry was very much male-dominated. I have been inspired by the women in the industry who are master multi-taskers and have a positive, can-do attitude toward accomplishing anything. My mom was of course my first inspiration; she did it all and kept our family together and running smoothly, often by herself as my dad was a long-haul truck driver. She worked outside the home but still was extremely present for her three daughters. I am continually inspired by many of my female co-workers who can do it all—demanding careers, raising kids, volunteering at school or in the community.
Work-life balance is one of the main challenges that I’ve had to overcome as a woman in the industry. It can be difficult when you’re building your career and raising small children to juggle it all but set your priorities ... (more)
By Cindy Clark
During a time when it was common for me to be the only woman in a meeting, often mistaken for the secretary, my mom served as my inspiration to succeed. She was a career woman with a master’s degree back in the 1960’s.
When she married at the “old” age of 29 years, she put it all on hold to raise seven children, volunteering at the schools, teaching Sunday school, and playing the drums in a band(!). She showed me that no matter the job you’re given, you give it your all and always strive to be the best person you can.
I’ve seen the A/E/C industry evolve by leaps and bounds over the last 25 years. Now it’s much more common to see a diverse mix of people in our industry.
This was me at co... (more)
By Holli Moeini
When I began my career as a consultant, wearing a suit and tie allowed me to fit in to what was, at the time, a career largely dominated by men. I was not alone in my fashion-less choice; my female associates wore the same. Was our DNA programed to dress the part, like a man, and work harder than anyone to be noticed? Although there were women in the industry very few “sat at the table” and I often found myself the only woman in the room. It wasn’t until the mid-90’s, when I left consulting to work for a fast-growing client, that I finally had a female colleague join me at the executive table. Interestingly, she and I both wore fancy suits while the men wore khakis. Why did we do that? In order to be listened to and respected for our insights and opinions as our male counterparts were, we felt that we needed our armor.
That was a long time ago and much has changed!... (more)