The ideal engineer is a composite … He is not a scientist, he is not a mathematician, he is not a sociologist or a writer; but he may use the knowledge and techniques of any or all of these disciplines in solving engineering problems.
N. W. Dougherty, 1955
We don’t know about you, but that sort of sounds like he was describing a ninjaneer. We set the bar pretty high.
There are many roads you can take in life. There’s the dirt road, there’s the gravel road. Here at Fulghum MacIndoe, we make it a point to take the high road. We live by example, even when it’s difficult. But it’s definitely a core value of ours. We’re going to go the extra mile and we’re going to do it consistently. Can many others say that? These days, it seems not.
When the hit ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition decided to come to Knoxville, it was an exciting event! The Watson family was provided with a brand new home because of their work with Restoration House of East Tennessee, a group that helps low-income, single mothers who need a place to stay.
The Watsons left their jobs a few years ago to start the nonprofit organization. They have three children, all adopted, and are passionate about helping children and single mothers get back on their feet.
Their old house was falling down around them, with crumbling foundation, cracking walls and the like. You can see their new home in the video posted above…and sense the crowd’s excitement as they see it for the first time.
Our team at Fulghum MacIndoe was happy to lend a hand with this project by donating civil engineering services. FMA co-founder Billy Fulghum was featured in his alumni news magazine for his work on the project!
It feels great to live and work in a community where folks care about each other! Ninjaneers know a thing or two about what matters and helping folks like the Watsons carry out their mission of helping others matters to us!
On this day in history, baseball’s Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s record. It was a great moment in baseball and a great moment in history and we think Aaron has more than proven his status as a baseball ninjaneer!
We had something of a home run ourselves recently. In October 2004, the City of LaFollette and the LaFollette Utilities Board got a TDEC Director’s Order to do two things:
1) eliminate the bypassing of untreated wastewater at the city’s treatment plant;
2) meet stringent discharge limits for removal of Total Phosphorus and Total Nitrogen.
The project was a tall order, to say the least, but every good ninjaneer loves a challenge. We prepared a Corrective Action Plan/Engineering Report (CAP/ER) that outlined a strategy for managing the peak flow that entered the treatment plant and to satisfy the stringent discharge limits.
The $6.7 million plant upgrade included a new 1.875 mgd (million gallons per day) Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) treatment process, and this BNR process in turn required numerous other upgrades, including fine screening by rotary screens, grit removal, an anaerobic reactor for reduction of Total Phosphorus, dual oxidation ditch reactors for reduction of Total Nitrogen, secondary clarification, tertiary filtration with rotating disc filters, and ultraviolet disinfection.
Since the upgrade went into operation in March 2010, the treatment plant has consistently met its permit limits with Total Phosphorus of less than 1 mg/l (limit is 3 mg/l) and Total Nitrogen of less than 3mg/l (limit is 7 mg/l). The turbidity of the final effluent is consistently less than 1.0 NTU.
In layman’s terms, the final outcome was a “home run.”
Said GM Kenny Baird “FMA staff applied their knowledge of advanced wastewater treatment process to develop a state of the art design. They leveraged their experience with other municipalities, along with industry knowledge, to propose cost-effective alternatives. The quality of the project was exemplified by the minimal amount of change orders that occurred during construction. This is a direct reflection of the thoroughness of the design documents.”
If you ever saw Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in The Bridges of Madison County, you probably remember that it was something of a love story. We’ve got a love story of our own that also involves a bridge.
When John Huber started thinking about a bridge for the Hardin Valley subdivision he was developing in Knox County, TN, he realized he had a problem. The bridge would be the centerpiece of the subdivision’s main entrance, but the stream it would cross had a flood plain of ninety feet. After reviewing different designs and plans and vetting several very expensive estimates, John went searching for a more creative and less costly solution, which led him to FMA.
This is where the love story begins. We began by modeling the flood plain, performing trial and error scenarios, and identifying ways to reduce the ninety-foot span. The first big win came in the form of a bridge with a span of only 16 feet. We next introduced the idea of a pre-engineered covered bridge, which would further reduce the cost and construction times. After finding this more economical solution, we, along with John Huber decided to increase the span and enhance its aesthetic appeal.
FEMA and Knox County Engineering and Public Works approved the bridge, and it soon became the development’s centerpiece. The Hubers saved $290,000 and shaved weeks off of their construction schedule. This is what John had to say about the experience: “We needed a creative and aesthetically appealing solution for our bridge. FMA exceeded our expectations. From our very first meeting with them, they told us what we could expect and what the process would look like…they were right.”
Aww, John. We can feel the love.
The ninjaneers at Fulghum MacIndoe & Associates are thrilled to have been part of the site preparation and construction of the Proton Therapy Center at the Provision Health Alliance Campus in Dowell Springs. It was big news when the cyclotron rolled into town with police escorts. Sure, it caused some traffic delays, but when a 218-ton whopper of a cancer-treatment device comes all the way from Belgium, you might wanna step aside.
Happy Monday, ninjaneers! We hope you’re ready for a week of drawing, digging, mapping and planning.
Thanks to our friends at the American Museum of Science and Energy, we came across their blog of Ed Westcott’s amazing historic photos, including this video. It’s the earliest known construction footage of the Oak Ridge Manhattan Project.
Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate our 10th birthday! Ninjaneers know how to chow down on some Dead End BBQ (a great Knoxville barbecue joint owned by a civil engineer!) and shoot the breeze about a successful decade in business. We appreciate everyone who helped make our past 10 years such a fulfilling and meaningful adventure, and we look forward to the next 10!
As we gear up for Friday’s 10th birthday party at Fulghum MacIndoe & Associates, we want to be sure our guests and colleagues are fully prepared to feel right at home. There’s nothing worse than going to a party and feeling under- or over-dressed, right? We’re here to help.
Most days on the job at FMA are casual. Our ninjaneers wear button-up shirts and slacks, sometimes skirts for our women ninjaneers. But on special occasions, we suit up in basic black.
If your ninja suit is at the cleaners (or perhaps it fits a bit tighter after the holidays), we understand. Here’s a video on how to improvise a ninja suit at a moment’s notice and be perfectly dressed for Friday’s shindig.
On this day receiving a lot of attention for a supposed Maya prophecy calling for the end of the world, we salute this ancient civilization as an inspiration for our industry.
That’s right: the Maya were serious ninjaneers. Their number system included zero, which allowed them a deeper facility with geometric principles. Their incredibly advanced cities included plumbing, water pressure, a 600-foot suspension bridge and other marvels that predated such developments in Europe.
This article illuminates the Maya’s feats of engineering. We continue to be amazed by the Maya people and the mystery behind their disappearance, and we can’t help wondering what other lessons we can learn from them.