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Facade Engineer Nominated ASCE Director of Community Outreach

Congratulations to Facade Engineer, Brenna Henry on her installation as Director of Community Outreach at the Lower Hudson Valley Branch of ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Met Section!

Brenna started as an intern in our Building Envelope Group and was hired full-time facade engineer right after receiving her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2018.

Specializing in consultation, design and inspection of facades, she has been a part of building up some of the most iconic projects in and around NYC, including the TWA Hotel Renovation, LaGuardia Airport’s Concourse B, the Virgin Hotel in NoMad, Design of the Highline’s West Stair, Columbia Business School and the Marriott International Headquarters in Maryland.  Check out some of the other stunning building envelope work she has been a part of on our Facade Engineering page.

Brenna has been giving back to her community in countless ways, making her a great asset to the ASCE Met Section as they continue to reach and bring a younger demographic into the engineering field. Her local involvement includes:

  • Academic advisement through the Liberty Partnership Program to help decrease dropout rates by advising students on college applications and college life, and helping them with their homework, studying and time management skills.
  • Mentoring her alma mater high school robotics team to victory in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competition that aims to give students real-world engineering experience in a fun and collaborative environment.
  • Participated in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Awareness panels, answering engineering questions students had for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE)
  • Motivating students interested in engineering through her volunteer work at the annual Tri-State Engineering EXPO
  • and more

Join us in congratulating Brenna on LinkedIn!

Even prior to COVID-19, the lack of Affordable Housing was an entrenched problem that is now being exacerbated by the unprecedented levels of unemployment and loss of income being experienced.  Faced with this challenge, cities like NYC have been continuing affordable housing development as essential construction.

McLaren’s Senior Associate, Structural Engineer, and Pratt Professor, Jesse Chrismer, PE and his fellow panelists, Desiree Andrepont, Christopher Cirillo (he/him/his), Jerrod Delaine, Nicole Ferreira, recently came together to discuss the issues in “Affordable Housing’s Response to the Pandemic.”

Gain insights into the difficulties and the current economy, hear how affordable housing development incentives work, understand coliving solutions, and learn what experts in the industry are saying.

This AIA-accredited course was made free by the partnership of Pratt Institute School of Architecture and AIA Brooklyn in an effort to service and benefit the AEC industry during COVID-19.

Bridges for NYSDOT Design Build in Pre-Construction Phase

McLaren’s Bridge/Highway/Rail team has begun work on the $115 million Design-Build of the Lower Westchester bridges with Halmar International. During this initial phase, our surveyors and geotechnical engineers have been in the field completing pre-construction evaluations at three locations just north of NYC in preparation for the replacement of five full bridges and a culvert.

This NYSDOT infrastructure project (D900049) aims to mitigate frequent flooding concerns of the sites’ overpasses and adjacent highways and includes 1,700 feet of soil stabilization along the Saw Mill River Parkway and extensive highway, drainage, utility and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) improvements along each high-volume corridor.

The projects are located at three specific sites in lower Westchester County: Hutchinson River Parkway at Lincoln Avenue in Pelham, NY; Saw Mill River Parkway in Thornwood, NY and Route 1 in Mamaroneck, NY. Further details on the five bridges include:

BIN No. Carried Crossed Spans Length
5500100 Lincoln Avenue Hutchinson River Parkway 1 63 ft 46 ft Concrete
3348300 Lincoln Avenue Hutchinson River 1 35 ft 44 ft Concrete
5500859 Saw Mill River Parkway Saw Mill River 1 27 ft 61 ft Stringer/Multi-Beam Girder, Steel
5500839 Saw Mill River Parkway Saw Mill River 1 29 ft 61 ft Stringer/Multi-Beam Girder, Steel
1000040 US Route 1 Mamaroneck River 1 50 ft 53 ft Concrete Arch

Take a sneak peek into a project that may soon serve as a unique model for urban ecological restoration. McLaren’s project partners recently presented South Wetlands Park: A 3D Walk Through of What Could Be! Delaware River Waterfront Corporation and Olin discussed the fascinating features and activities slated for Philadelphia’s nature-based public space and testbed for innovative waterfront adaptive reuse techniques and technologies.

McLaren is providing marine engineering services for the designs of piers 64, 67 and 70. By blending public access with the creation of terrestrial and aquatic habitats that will enhance and revive resiliency and ecological vitality in the area.

Learn about the concepts for the ecological restoration of this community-centered park and what McLaren is doing to employ natural processes in riverbank stabilization and innovation in wave energy dissipation, here.

Coastal Models Expert Achieves ACOPNE Certification

Congratulations Senior Coastal Engineer, Long Xu, P.E., D.CE, CFM, on receiving Coastal Engineering’s highest achievement — Diplomate in Coastal Engineering from the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port & Navigation Engineers (ACOPNE)!

Long brings his expertise in the combination of coastal science and engineering, to analyzing the difficult issues that occur where land and water meet. With state-of-the-art coastal models, he evaluates the environmental forces and hydrodynamic impacts that are placed on coastal structures. The coastal models allow our clients to see the “what-if” scenarios and the effects climate change, storm surge, and waves have on waterfront structures, and how they can be designed to mitigate flood risks and potential storm damage.

ACOPNE proclaims Mr. Xu was board certified for his advanced expertise, advanced education, and attainment of specialized body of knowledge in coastal engineering.

Mr. Xu’s expertise include coastal processes, coastal structure design, mooring analysis, storm surge analysis, coastal flood hazard analysis, modeling of tide, wave, current, and sediment transport….His team is responsible for developing coastal basic and advanced analyses packages to meet various projects; provide technical design support for coastal and marine environments in NY, NJ, and surrounding areas; assist in bulkhead, revetment, breakwater, wave screen, riprap, pier, floating barge, and other waterfront design work. Long is leading the coastal analysis of NYC Parks Design Services for the reconstruction of Parks Waterfront Infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The project goal is to bring waterfront facilities up to a state of good repair in accordance with FEMA grants and other available funding.

“This is a great achievement in my career. It took a while before I meet all the requirements needed to achieve this certification,” said Long. “I am thankful McLaren has supported me along the way, and I am honored to join my mentor and the Vice President – Marine, Stephen Famularo, P.E., D.PE, in having an ACOPNE Board Certification.”

Is the Drive-In Experience Really Safe? With Covid-19 forcing the entertainment industry to reimagine a “new-normal” for the upcoming summer season, business owners are scrambling for innovative and safe ways to generate socially distanced events. The biggest challenge centers around how to bring the public together, while avoiding tightly packed gatherings and providing a new standard of cleanliness demanded by both patrons and local authorities. One solution gaining much traction across the nation is the resurgence of the drive-in movie theater and the evolution of other automobile-centered performances.

Once considered a kitsch relic of American culture, drive-ins are now being hailed for their ability to provide a show-going experience that adheres to our current pandemic health protocols. Prepaid spots, delivered refreshments, and hundreds of people sitting inside their own cars to watch a film, seems like a perfect solution to preserve summer revenue while keeping patrons socially distanced and entertained. With only about 300 operating drive-ins left around the country, numerous local businesses (many inexperienced in the production of such events) are taking a leap and converting existing parking lots and open spaces into pop-up drive-ins – but is the drive-in experience really safe?

Is the Drive-In Experience Really Safe?

Example of not adhering to pandemic health guidelines.

To ensure true safety, precautions for these events cannot solely focus on COVID-19 related measures. While many owners and event producers will inevitably be emphasizing the social distancing aspect, there are other traditional safety concerns that cannot be overlooked. Makers of these local pop-up productions need to also consider fire safety, security, weather safety and structural safety. Protecting the public from preventable dangers, such as LED screen supports that are vulnerable to high winds, is equally as important as adhering to pandemic health guidelines.

For these pop-up drive-ins, tight schedules and limited budgets put events at risk for lapses in overall safety measures. When developing a live event production, owners who are not familiar with the logistics and complexity of such an undertaking, may underestimate the costs associated with the equipment and related safety planning. Likewise, in today’s lean market, event production companies may be hungry for work and could be vulnerable to cutting corners to provide a quick and inexpensive solution. With local officials and businesses eager to bring economic activity back to life, it is important to understand that skimping on traditional safety measures and only focusing on COVID-19 precautions, can cost owners and patrons more in the long run.

When all factors are considered, the drive-in experience can be a great option for entertainment events this summer season and well into the future. However, when pop-up events are created with only COVID-19 measures in mind, patrons are at risk for other potential hazards. Pop-up events and specialty productions should always involve experienced professionals who understand local guidelines and are well versed in important industry standards like the ones listed below:

  • The Event Safety Guide, published by the Event Safety Alliance, latest edition
  • ANSI ES1.19-2018 “Safety Requirements for Special Event Structures”
  • ANSI E1.21-2020 “Entertainment Technology – Temporary Structures Used for Technical Production of Outdoor Entertainment Events”
  • ANSI E1.50-1-2017 “Entertainment Technology – Requirements for the Structural Support of Temporary LED, Video & Display Systems”
  • The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide, published May 2020

About the Author…William B. Gorlin, PE, SE Vice President – Entertainment is the driving force behind McLaren Engineering Group’s flourishing entertainment division. Through his 35-year career, he has engineered and overseen thousands of projects in the Live Entertainment industry including iconic concerts and tour staging and rigging, temporary and pop-up structures, theatrical production engineering, TV and film production support, and performer flying systems and equipment design. His work also includes awe-inspiring theme park engineering, rigging, staging and equipment machinery, architectural theming, signage and displays and structural engineering of entertainment venues around the world.

Do you think this summer’s pop-up events will be safe? Share your thoughts on LinkedIn or CIANJ.

Is the Drive-In Experience Really Safe?

How much does a dive helmet weigh? A dive helmet typically weighs about 32 lbs topside but underwater the Archimedes Principle kicks in and it becomes neutrally buoyant. Watch this snippet of Senior Engineer and PE Diver, JJ Woolley, PE, sharing some more interesting facts and functions, with students during an online class, about one of his most important pieces of dive equipment.

After conducting recent underwater inspections of New York Harbor School’s kayak and boat launch piers, McLaren’s marine group saw an opportunity to give back and educate the high school students, who are preparing for careers on the water, about real-life applications in marine engineering. Initially slated as an in-person demonstration and dive inspection observation at the school’s Governors Island campus, our team had to shift gears to do a live virtual learning session. Members of our marine group answered questions and provided an introduction about the field, gave a career path overview, and discussed inspection tools and techniques.

New York State Historic Park Walkway Over The Hudson Says Thank You

Walkway Over the Hudson arranged luminaries to say THANK YOU to everyone going to exceptional lengths to keep people healthy and society functioning in the Hudson Valley and across the nation. McLaren is happy to have helped build this New York State historic park that spans between Poughkeepsie, NY and Highland, NY and continues to be a transformative space for its community. Originally built in 1889, this once railroad bridge, called the great connector, opened as State Park in 2009. McLaren performed the in-depth bridge inspection for the conversation as well as construction engineering services, and design of the elevator tower later on.

“We’re proud of the role that Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park plays in our community and that the bridge is able to be open at this time for people to get fresh air and exercise while taking in remarkable views,” said Linda Cooper, Regional Director Taconic Region, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Read the full article, here.

US Navy and Air Force Honors Essential Members

Yesterday, essential members of our geomatics crew were under the flight path of the US Navy Blue Angels and United States Air Force Thunderbirds’ honorary flyover. As the squadron saluted past New York State’s Lower Westchester Bridge Bundle Hutchinson River Parkway job site, our crew took in a safe moment of appreciation. Thank You to all the healthcare workers, first responders and essential personnel that are helping to keep our nation running!

Affordable Housing Pandemic Response

Apr. 23, 2020
April 29, 2020
5:00 to 6:30 p.m. ESTRegister
Affordable Housing’s Response to the Pandemic. While health concerns are now a global priority, this virtual event will consider how an economic downturn may exacerbate shortages of affordable housing.

Join McLaren Senior Associate and Pratt Professor Jesse Chrismer, PE on April 29th, as he discusses “Affordable Housing’s Response to the Pandemic.” While health concerns are now a global priority, this virtual event will consider how an economic downturn may exacerbate shortages of affordable housing.

Jesse and his fellow panelists hope to shed light on a healthy way for our communities to emerge from the pandemic by exploring the tenets of such practices as co-living, public-private partnerships, and placemaking.

The Pratt Institute School of Architecture is partnering with the Brooklyn Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Brooklyn) to offer free AIA-accredited courses that relate to COVID-19’s impact on architecture. Jesse’s panel will kick off the Executive Education Series that will focus on how architecture is changing with COVID-19 and ways the industry can be involved in recovery efforts. Participants will learn about:

  • Current affordable housing policy and practice
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic is influencing current affordable housing projects
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic will influence the future landscape of affordable housing
  • Resources for further developing their understanding of housing and public health

A Zoom meeting link will be emailed out to those who register prior to the event. Register through the eventbrite link on the left.