32 minutes | Apr 19, 2023
Water Asset Management
Why water asset management? Good question. Join us as we talk about the challenges facing water utilities—climate change, financial and commercial pressures, depleting availability of the workforce—and how asset management can help. Utilities are facing continuing pressure to do more with less. To achieve that, they need greater control and visibility of their assets—how they're performing and how they're deteriorating. Asset management provides a framework to help you get a good understanding of where your assets are in terms of their lives and their performance. An asset management risk-based approach means thinking about your assets and continuously prioritizing them. We’ll also chat about intergenerational equity, passing on value and equity in your asset portfolio from one generation to another. Through this discussion, we’ve realized that water asset management is a journey. We’ll discuss Organizational Change Management (OCN) or change transformation and how it’s a big part of that journey. As Peter Drucker says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Joining this discussion: Shiv Iyer, Technical Director, Asset Management, Atkins Bill Irvine, Technical Director, Water Infrastructure, Atkins Jeff Wright, VP, Water Practice Director, Atkins
38 minutes | Jan 18, 2023
Dam Safety Part 2: Know Your Risk
Know your risk.There is something you can do to make a difference in your community’s dam risk resilience.This second-in-a-series of podcast episodes highlighting dam safety focuses on risk associated with dams. We’re talking about the National Inventory of Dams (NID), an essential component in a community’s understanding of risk and a great pre-planning tool.The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is in the process of modernizing the NID, which will include inundation mapping that historically has not been available. Understanding the demographics of the downstream community impacted by a potential dam incident through information available via the NID will play a key role in reducing negative impacts.We’re also talking about the Collaborative Technical Assistance (CTA) program. FEMA is providing leadership in the development and implementation this initiative which is aimed at providing the tools a community needs to effectively plan for and respond in the event of a dam incident. We’ll discuss CTA’s hands-on work with communities to ensure they know their role when an incident occurs.And you’ll hear about dam risk management and floodplain management, the High Hazard Potential Dams grant program (HHPD), FEMA’s role in the National Dam Safety Program and key initiatives for FEMA in respect to the management of that program.Take a listen.Dam safety is a shared responsibility; know your risk, know your role, know the benefits of dams and take action.Joining the discussion: Cathy Carr Clinch, VP, Civilian Sector, Atkins Ann Terranova, Project Director, Atkins Becky Ragon, Program Manager, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) National Inventory of Dams (NID) James Demby, Dam Safety Program Manager, FEMA Ed Beadenkopf, Dam Safety Subject Matter Expert, Atkins Preston Wilson, Dam Safety Program Engineer, FEMA Diana Castro, Dam Safety Subject Matter Expert, Atkins
23 minutes | Jan 6, 2023
Understanding Transportation Vulnerabilities and Resilience Through a Digital Twin
From hurricanes to heat waves, a 200-mile corridor in North Carolina is facing increasing climate change challenges. Stephen Bourne, Atkins resiliency expert, and Matt Lauffer, North Carolina DOT hydraulics design engineer, explain how a City Simulator digital twin helped NCDOT assess vulnerabilities to continued growth and future climate change to help make a 200-mile corridor more resilient.
18 minutes | Nov 17, 2022
Climate Change and Water Resilience - Part 2
This is the second roundtable episode and we’re talking about climate change. Specifically helping communities understand its impacts and the engineering tools to evaluate and respond to it. We’re also discussing equitable water resiliency efforts and more. Tune in right here.Joining the conversation today: Jeff Wright, Atkins Water Practice Director Steve Bourne, Atkins Project Director with experience in water resource engineering, climate science and decision support tool development Chris Zambito, Atkins Senior Project Manager with a focus on hazard mitigation and emergency management resilience Rick Renna, Atkins Water Resources Engineer with a focus on drainage engineering, having been responsible for most of the drainage policies that are included in the Florida Drainage Manual
35 minutes | Nov 16, 2022
Climate Change and Water Resilience - Part 1
This is the first episode on climate change and water resilience. We’re talking about the science behind climate change and the water impacts we’re seeing. We’re also discussing the development of policy regulation and how our communities can plan for the future. Tune in right here. Joining the conversation today: Jeff Wright, Atkins Water Practice Director Shayne Paynter, Atkins Water Resources Senior Technical Director with experience is innovative, regional multidisciplinary water projects Christin Perkinson, Atkins Coastal Technical Manager with a focus on improvements to coastal infrastructure for resiliency to climate change Ken Hunu, Atkins Water Resources Technical Manager with experience in water resources systems engineering, climate change resiliency analysis, integrated water resources management, and hydrologic and hydraulic analysis Phetmano Phannavong, Atkins Water Resources Senior Project Manager with experience in water resources engineering, project and program management and national FEMA flood policies
28 minutes | Nov 3, 2022
Decarbonomics: Making carbon visible in the built environment with data and technology
Buildings are one of the largest contributors to emissions.If you own, operate or manage existing buildings this episode is for you.We’re chatting about decarbonization plus economics – we call it Decarbonomics. It’s just one component of our Engineering Net Zero strategy to build quantifiable solutions for a Net Zero carbon future.We get it that while you’re building these kinds of strategies into your operations, you’ve got to contain the cost of the changes you make.It’s all about improving performance and we can help. By using the full power of technology and digitization (digital twin, data and the metrics behind carbon calculation) we’ll help you figure out which building(s) in your estate portfolio have the greatest need. Tune in for some insight and click below to generate your own preliminary roadmap. Then reach out to us to do the rest.Benchmark. Roadmap. Deliver. That’s Decarbonomics.Try Decarbonomics - Role - Engineering Net ZeroJoining the discussion: Justin Jones, Sr Vice President, Business Development & Strategy Director, Atkins North America Masjood Jafri, Resiliency Market Director, Atkins North America
34 minutes | Jul 13, 2022
Coastal Resilience: Tools & Technologies
As more of the population migrates to coastal areas, the need to improve aging infrastructure and make communities more resilient grows with it. Join us as we talk about the challenges that coastal communities are facing from climate change. From tidal flooding to pounding waves and rapid beach erosion, the risk to communities is growing and the impacts must be understood from both a physical and economic perspective. We’ll discuss the application of coastal digital tools , like our City Simulator, and numerical models that will help improve resiliency and provide more certainty for local stakeholders. Joining this discussion:Steve Bourne, Project Director, Atkins Mike Salisbury, Hydrodynamics Team Leader, Coastal Engineering, Atkins Jeff Wright, VP, Water Practice Director, Atkins
28 minutes | May 27, 2022
Dam Safety Part 1: National Dam Safety Awareness
Let’s talk about dams.Join us as we dig into dam safety awareness. We’ll talk about a pivotal incident in history that to this day is an impetus to being proactive about dam safety and is the reason why there’s a National Dam Safety Program.There are inherent risks regarding dams and many times it’s “out of sight out of mind;” you think it can’t happen to your community. It can. It’s important that we have an awareness of risk and what FEMA and others, including Atkins, are doing to manage that risk.We’ll chat about inclusion and climate change, equity and diversity, the importance of integrating dam safety, mitigation, flood risk and flood management into a national flood safety program where everyone can work together to build a program that reduces risk.We’ll also talk about the High Hazard Potential Dam Program and the availability of increased funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). It’s a game changer.Tune in to episode one to understand your risk and improve your program.Joining the discussion: Cathy Carr Clinch, VP, Civilian Sector, Atkins Ed Beadenkopf, Sr Project Director, Civil Engineer, Atkins Ann Terranova, Program Director, Planner, Atkins Diana Castro, Civil Engineer, Atkins Tom Schweitzer, Division Manager, Water Resources Engineer, Atkins
38 minutes | Feb 10, 2022
Improving Rail Safety and Efficiency with Communications-Based Train Control
On this episode, find out how transit agencies in the US and around the globe are upgrading their signaling systems. Atkins’ Kurt Goddard, transit sector manager, along with Gavin Martin, director of rail and transit and Paul Smith, senior consultant, will talk about the go-to technology in the industry: Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC). They’ll also talk cyber security, new technologies, covid-19 impacts and more. Join us.
19 minutes | Sep 10, 2021
Using Drones for Asset Inspections and Data Collection
The City of Houston has embarked on an aerial mission to capture the conditions of some assets in hard-to-reach places. From catch basins that are inaccessible by foot to miles of elevated pipelines, drones are doing the hard work. Join Jeremy Price, DTS GIS analyst, and Ricky Flakes, Aerial Ambiance drone operator, who piloted this innovative approach to data collection.
17 minutes | Aug 10, 2021
Data: Your most valuable asset - Part 4
Our final episode deals with the last two stages of the data lifecycle: Distribution - Taking the data that was analyzed and getting it to the right people. Removal - Knowing the timeframe you need to keep data, per state and government requirements is key; be aware of those rules because that information drives when to purge. This stage also addresses what can be archived vs. what needs to be purged; what systems can be retired and what to do with the data. When you’re in the planning stage, you need to consider how data will be handled at the end of its life. We’ll also discuss the importance of determining what data needs to be public-facing which entails pushing information outside of the firewall, assigning permissions, protecting backend data, etc.
34 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
Planning for the Climate Crisis
In 2018, a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico changed rapidly into a Category 5 hurricane that devastated Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida. A few months later, a catastrophic flood in the Missouri River basin completely inundated Offut Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska. In 2019, Hurricane Florence similarly devastated Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina (requiring repair and replacement programs of $1.2 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively) while an earthquake caused significant damage to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California and forced it to temporarily shut down operations. What makes these events notable is their rapid development and intensity, indicative of the magnitude of the peril and cost of such disasters. In this informative discussion, Atkins Federal Planning Director Lawrence Frank joins Federal Business Director J.R. Steele to talk about what the Department of Defense can do to plan for extreme weather events, as well as how a resilience planning decision support framework can help installations protect their facilities and the soldiers and staff who rely on them to defend our nation and improve our quality of life.City Simulator, a community focused tool developed by Atkins that allows communities to create digital twins of their buildings, roads, utilities, natural areas and other assets and then measure how resilient they are through a 30-year simulation. Executive Order 14008, an executive order issued by U.S. President Joe Biden on January 27, 2021 prioritizing the climate crisis in U.S. foreign policy and national security considerations.
14 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
PMO Part 1 – What do you know?
Acronyms are pervasive in the consulting and engineering world. And PMO is no exception. PMOs can be referred to as Project, Program and sometimes Portfolio Management Offices. Over the course of this series, we’ll be talking mostly about “Project” Management Offices, but the theories and techniques we discuss can certainly be applied across Programs and Portfolios. In this episode, you’ll find out exactly what it means and why you need it. Transportation, healthcare, energy, infrastructure—all can benefit by having a good PMO in place. At its heart, a PMO is all about making projects more efficient. Bottom line: it affects your bottom line (in a good way).
23 minutes | May 20, 2021
Data: Your most valuable asset - Part 3
Data warehousing is playing a bigger role in the assimilation of enterprise data. If you’re intimidated by the thought of implementing a data warehouse, don’t be! John, Soraya and Allen break it down. We’ll talk about how to take data from one location and into a data warehouse. Why is this important? You’ll find out in this episode as we discuss Pillars 3 and 4 of the data lifecycle, Assimilate and Use. We’ll also chat about business intelligence tools (like Power BI) that will help you create efficiencies. Tune in now.
20 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
Data: Your most valuable asset - Part 2
We’re back with part two of Data: Your most valuable asset. An important piece to implementing a data governance program is preparing for change through organizational change management – informing staff of why changes are needed and what’s in it for them. It’s important to build the buy-in at the front end so you can be successful on the back end. We’ll also talk about the elements of data lifecycle management – plan, create, maintain, assimilate, use, distribute, remove. The big takeaway: your information is only as good as your data.
26 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
How Actionable Climate Data Can Help Support Sustainable and Resilient Communities
Last month, a brutal winter storm brought freezing temperatures and snow across a wide swath of Texas, knocking out power plants and forcing millions to go without power and heat in subzero temperatures. Now, people are asking why utilities, lawmakers and state officials were caught so flat-footed by the storm, and what they could have done to better prepare for such extreme weather events. In this layered, insightful discussion, Atkins Project Director Stephen Bourne and Principal Technical Manager Mike DePue join Federal Business Development Director Danielle Barner to talk about the role of climate change in extreme weather events, as well the tools and information we should be using to help the public sector embrace resiliency and protect its communities. Show notes: City Simulator, a community focused tool developed by Atkins that allows communities to create digital twins of their buildings, roads, utilities, natural areas and other assets and then measure how resilient they are through a 30-year simulation. FLOODS Act, a proposed bill to establish a national integrated flood information system within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). PRECIP Act, a proposed bill to amend the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 to direct NOAA to provide comprehensive and regularly updated Federal precipitation information.
20 minutes | Jan 8, 2021
Data: Your most valuable asset - Part 1
This multi-part discussion will take you through the concept of data as an asset including three key pillars: Data Governance, Enterprise Data Warehousing and Data Analytics (including reporting). Find out what steps you need to take to ensure efficient and consistent data creation and assimilation, and then discover the benefits and impact of making timely, data-driven decisions.Part 1:In this episode, we’ll focus on getting the most out of your data. It requires a commitment to a structured approach that includes resource consideration for PEOPLE, PROCESSES, and TECHNOLOGIES. John Pregler is Vice President of Asset Management Solutions at Data Transfer Solutions (DTS), member of the SNC-Lavalin Group.Soraya Soflicki is Senior Business Analyst at DTS.Allen Ibaugh is CEO of DTS.
42 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Dare to be Different – Embracing Gender Diversity in the Workplace
What do you get when two successful female leaders come together to talk about gender diversity in the workplace? Professional insight, personal stories, and lots of lively discussion. They’ll chat about ways that companies in the AEC industry can be more successful by attracting, retaining and promoting a more gender diverse workforce. Join Danielle Barner and Lisa Thoele as they consider how embracing the different ways that men and women think and behave can lead to better operational performance for companies and organizations. To learn more about this topic, check out the article “Yielding Stronger Organizational Effectiveness and Winning the Talent War”, available on the SNC-Lavalin and RS&H websites. Danielle Barner is Federal Business Development Director at Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, an engineering, design and project management firm. Lisa Thoele is Business Development and Marketing Manager at RS&H, a national architecture, engineering and consulting firm.
35 minutes | Jul 31, 2020
Forces & Factors that Fracture – a COVID-19 Pandemic Response
We’re living in a challenge in real time. Particularly from an evolutionary perspective. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing immense change and disruption to every industry, not the least of which is the AEC industry. But is there a silver lining? We think so. It puts us out of our normal comfort zone to test ourselves with new technologies and new ways of doing things. Adapting to new ways of doing business. So, as you program, plan and implement your infrastructure projects, take advantage of this moment to drive innovation. Tune in. We have a lot to say. J.R. Steele is with Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, an engineering, design and project management firm. He’s interested in helping our federal clients but really, all our clients. Rebecca Rubin is CEO of Marstel-Day, a leading natural resource and environmental consulting firm.