Latest News

2023 STEM Excellence in Teaching Awards Program

Date: November 15, 2022

NSPE-NH is now accepting application packages for the STEM Excellence in Teaching Awards program until January 31, 2023. Access the application information and forms here.

NSPE-NH has joined forces with other engineering societies, the NH PE Board, the University of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics, and the New Hampshire Science Teachers Association to recognize deserving teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels who are promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum in the classroom. This year marks the 17th consecutive year of this exciting program, and we have had the pleasure of honoring many outstanding teachers throughout New Hampshire. These great teachers are the motivators and educators for our next generations of engineers, inventors, mathematicians, and scientists.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: November 15, 2022

The New Hampshire (OPLC) Board of Professional Engineers will hold its next meeting on Friday, November 18, at 9:00 a.m. Access meeting information and Zoom access information here.


State Receives $104 Million for Energy Plans

Date: November 15, 2022

A fuel assistance program has begun in New Hampshire that, in part, aims to help residents switch to heat pumps in their homes, the New Hampshire Bulletin reports. This will help with the fight against climate change.

The Department on Energy has allocated $70 million for home energy rebate programs, as well as another $34 million for the state’s Fuel Assistance Program, which helps households in need with heating costs through grants.

Approximately 22,000 New Hampshire households have applied for assistance or scheduled an appointment to apply, said Deputy Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Energy Chris Ellms. Nationwide, $9 billion in funding that is available is enough to help 1.6 million households switch to a heat pump, according to White House National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi.


Trial Begins for Power Plant Lawsuit

Date: November 15, 2022

A trial has begun in a lawsuit against the coal power plant in Bow; environmental groups brought the suit saying that heat regularly discharged by the plant into the Merrimack River makes the environment inhabitable by native species. They also contend the plant, owned by Granite Shore Power, is violating its EPA permit.

The company stated it has been operating under the stipulations of a permit created by EPA in 2020 even though its issuance never went through. It has cut back operation of the plant in recent years. Reed Super, a lawyer for the environmental groups, said the plant shouldn’t operate when the river levels are low, or install a better cooling system. Read more.

Study to Inform Public Utilities Commission’s Future Solar Energy Policy

Date: October 18, 2022

The New Hampshire Department of Energy has released the results of a study that will guide how the state’s Public Utilities Commission decides to move forward with compensation for generators of energy using rooftop solar panels. Residents and small businesses with panels have been paid using net metering, which was put in place temporarily, but there has been discussion in the state about whether cost shifting was occurring, according to nhpr.

The Value of Distributed Energy Resources Study was directed by the Public Utilities Commission and is being facilitated by the state DOE. The goal was to estimate hourly costs of net-metered distributed generation and analyze rate and bill impacts to all customers. The study provides a clearer picture of the value of resources that could be net metered.

The study revealed that the development of distributed generation would raise electricity rates around 1% for customers. That would mean a slight increase in monthly bills for customers without solar or other renewables. However, monthly bills would go down up to 92% for customers with renewables of their own.

New Hampshire has the last two remaining coal fired power plants in New England and is working to shift toward more renewable energy use as is the nationwide trend.


Water Infrastructure Projects Receive Millions in Funding

Date: October 18, 2022

An assortment of wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects have been funded in 16 New Hampshire communities by $17.8 million in federal and state dollars, New Hampshire Business Review reports. The funding comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and the state’s Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund, Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

The projects to be funded include a $30,000 ARPA grant to the city of Franklin to develop a wastewater asset management program, as well as $100,000 to seven towns to create a master plan for their wastewater facility. Two communities also received funds for cybersecurity improvements to their water systems. Several others received drinking water infrastructure support.

Awarded clean water infrastructure grants and loans to make improvements to their infrastructure were:

  • Ashland—$1.5 million ARPA grant and $3.5 million Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF) loan
  • Greenville—$150,000 ARPA grant
  • Rochester—$379,500 ARPA grant, $885,000 CWSRF loan
  • Dover—$900,000 ARPA grant, $2.1 million CWSRF loan

State Agrees to Construct Water Treatment Plant at Hatchery

Date: September 23, 2022

New Hampshire has agreed to build a wastewater treatment plant at the Powder Mill fish hatchery, where polluted water has been discharged into the Merrymeeting River for years, according to the Union Leader.

The plant will cost millions, officials say, with one expert putting the price tag at an estimated $85 million. The action is being taken in response to a lawsuit filed by the Conservative Law Foundation against the Fish and Game Department. The water contains large amounts of excrement that eventually ends up in Lake Winnipesauke.

In a statement, the Attorney General John Formella said New Hampshire is committed to continuing its progress in cleaning up the waterway. Phosphorous levels have dropped thanks to recent efforts to “achieve compliance with its lowest-in-the-nation phosphorus concentration limit imposed by EPA in late 2020 to protect water quality in the Merrymeeting River.” Read more.


Bi-Directional Charging Offered by New Hampshire Energy Co-op

Date: September 23, 2022

An energy co-op in Plymouth is offering owners of electric cars with vehicle-to-grid or “bi-directional” chargers a membership that would save them money on their energy bills, Energy News Network reports.

Members will have the option to charge their cars when demand is lower and the energy is therefore cheaper, and they can also discharge energy from their vehicle into the grid during high demand times in order to receive a credit on their bill. The charging technology was developed by Fermata Energy in an effort to increase the use of electric cars and improve sustainability.

Currently, only a few electric vehicles have bi-directional charging capability, including the Nissan Leaf, but many others will soon, such as the Ford F-150 Lightning. Read more.

EPA Funds Cleanup of Contaminated Sites in New Hampshire

Date: August 17, 2022

Through its Brownfields Program, the EPA has awarded a total of $4 million in grants to New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services and other organizations to assess and safely cleanup sites across the state, the agency announced in a news release.

This is part of a greatly increased Brownfields investment in New England this year made possible by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act revitalize communities across the country by cleaning up contaminated and blighted sites and redeveloping them for productive use.

Brownfields sites often lie in proximity to overburdened and vulnerable communities where people live, work, and play. These funds serve to support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities.


Costs Increase for Roadway Projects

Date: August 17, 2022

The New Hampshire Executive Council signed off on $1.3 million in additional spending to cover cost increases for major roadway construction projects across the state, caused by increasing crude oil prices. These increases drive up the cost of asphalt, as well as fuel for construction vehicles, according to thecentersquare.com.

The increased funding will come from the federal government. New Hampshire will receive more than $2.05 billion from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over the next five years, including at least $1.1 billion for highway upgrades and $225 million for bridge repairs, the White House notes.

NSPE-NH, Partners Present the 2022 S.T.E.M. Excellence in Teaching Awards

Date: July 18, 2022

The New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE-NH) joined forces with other engineering societies, and the University of New Hampshire to recognize deserving K-12 teachers who are promoting S.T.E.M. curriculum in the classroom. This year’s winners were honored at a ceremony this past spring at their schools. Each teacher received a plaque honoring their achievement along with a stipend check.

This year marked the 16th consecutive year of this exciting program. We have had the pleasure of honoring many outstanding teachers throughout New Hampshire. These great teachers are the motivators and educators for our next generations of engineers, inventors, mathematicians, and scientists.

2022 Award Winners

Ms. Shannon McCracken
High School - Ms. Shannon McCracken, Farmington High School, Farmington, NH

Ms. Sarah Wisecarver
Elementary School - Ms. Sarah Wisecarver, Hampstead Central School, Hampstead, NH


Effects of Climate Change are Already Changing Life on the Seacoast

Date: July 18, 2022

Those living on the New Hampshire Seacoast are intimately aware of the impacts of climate change. They’ve watched high tides draw closer over the years, flooding their streets and homes. The ocean that drew them here now threatens their ability to stay, according to a New Hampshire Bulletin report.

As sea levels rise, communities are scrambling to adapt to the new reality. Steve Belgiorno, a retired math teacher, has seen the flooding worsen since he first bought a house in Hampton in 2005. In 2017, he said, a nightmare storm ruined the house’s boiler, hot water tank, and flooring, leaving marsh grass and kelp in exchange. “We’re the Titanic,” he said.

The 2022 New Hampshire Climate Assessment, published in June, documented changes that affect the entire state. Looking at data from 1901 to 2020, the report found that the state is becoming wetter and warmer, trends that are projected to continue. New Hampshire has warmed an average of 3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1901, the report found. How significant the future impacts are will depend on how much we do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the report said, echoing consensus from the scientific community. Read more.


PFAs Found in Drinking Water Near DOD Sites

Date: July 18, 2022

Recently released data from the Department of Defense show high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) found in drinking water near military bases, including in New Hampshire, waterworld.com reports. The EPA says no level of the toxic, cancer-causing chemicals are considered safe for human consumption.

The chemicals were found in groundwater near 400 military installations in 18 other states, as well.

In June, the EPA issued four drinking water health advisories relating to PFAs. To help combat PFAS pollution, it has also invited states to apply for part of $1 billion in funding to address contaminants in drinking water, specifically in small or disadvantaged communities. An additional $4 billion will ultimately be available for this purpose as part of infrastructure law grant funding.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: July 18, 2022

The New Hampshire Board of Professional Engineers will hold its next meeting on Friday, July 22 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.). The meeting will be held at 7 Eagle Square, Concord, NH 03301, but can also be attended remotely via Zoom. Access more information here.

Governor Signs Wind Power Bills

Date: June 14, 2022

Governor Chris Sununu has signed two bills aimed at helping the state with complex financial and regulatory challenges associated with major offshore wind projects, according to The Center Square.

The first will require the state Public Utilities Commission to set criteria the state should use when considering power purchase agreements for offshore wind. The second will give the state regulatory authority over any wind projects within 200 miles off the coastline. Currently, the state only has a say over potential projects up to 3 miles off the coastline. Read more.


Smart Camera Sends Environmental Data After Weather Events

Date: June 14, 2022

Vue Robotics, located in Portsmouth, has created a solar powered camera with environmental sensors that provides real-time weather condition updates at key infrastructure sites. Increasingly volatile weather events caused by climate change is making such innovations desirable.

The new technology, called ARC1, reduces the need for on-site inspections by people. “Vue’s service will better and more quickly inform the operational decisions that key stakeholders need to make leading up to, during, and after critical weather events,” Vue Robotics cofounder and CEO, Patrick Baglien said. “The data our ARC1s provide are essential to supporting operational decisions, mitigating risk, and reducing loss.”

The low light, high-definition camera uses an infrared optical sensor that accurately measures ground and object temperature, a gas sensor with artificial intelligence, and an integrated high-linearity and high-accuracy pressure, humidity, and temperature sensors. It can detect volatile organic compounds and gases like carbon monoxide in the part per billion range, the company reports. Read more.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: June 14, 2022

The New Hampshire Board of Professional Engineers will hold its next meeting on Thursday, June 24 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.). The meeting will be held at 7 Eagle Square, Concord, NH 03301, but can also be attended remotely via Zoom. Access more information here.

New State Energy Efficiency Plan in Place

Date: May 18, 2022

A new energy efficiency plan for New Hampshire has been approved by the Public Utilities Commission, the New Hampshire Bulletin reports, via a recently issued order. It authorizes spending $223.7 million across seven energy efficiency programs through 2023.

The plan features residential, commercial, and industrial programs, with rebates and incentives covering things like home and building weatherization, lighting improvements, heating and hot water equipment upgrades, and energy-efficient appliances. Also, $3.9 million is allocated to a program aimed at helping small cities and towns increase the efficiency of municipal and school buildings.

The 2022-2023 plan received broad support from the state's utilities, as well as the Department of Energy, the Department of Environmental Services, and the Office of the Consumer Advocate, the article says.


Rising Temperatures Threaten State's Waterways

Date: May 18, 2022

Climate change is causing increased cyanobacteria blooms in New Hampshire's waterways, threatening lakes and streams, according to a WMUR article. The high bacteria levels are a result of rising temperatures and increased precipitation, a trend that is likely to continue. More rainfall means more soil runoff, resulting in increased pollution in water, which helps bacteria grow.

In a 2009 action plan, then-Governor John Lynch's state task force on climate change recommended that New Hampshire strive to achieve a long-term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. To do this, among other actions, the task force recommended reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, electric generation, and transportation; protecting natural resources to maintain the amount of carbon sequestered; supporting regional and national initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases; and adapting to existing and potential climate change impacts.

Granite State Getting $17 Million for Clean Energy Infrastructure

Date: April 15, 2022

New Hampshire will receive $17 million to strengthen its clean energy infrastructure as a part of the bipartisan infrastructure law.

New Hampshire native Jane Flegal, a member of the White House Office of Domestic Climate policy, said one way to restore manufacturing in New Hampshire is by investing more in clean energy, WMUR reports. In 2020, 19% of the state’s energy came from renewable sources, according to the US Energy Information Administration.


Berlin Plant in Danger of Closing Unless Bill Passes

Date: April 15, 2022

Burgess BioPower’s Berlin biomass station is in danger of closing, which lawmakers say would be economically devastating for the region, according to an article in the New Hampshire Bulletin. The plant generates 75 MW of green energy on an ongoing basis and employs more than 200 people in Coos County, which has been hit hard by a recent mass exodus of paper mills.

The state legislature has advanced a bill to make ratepayers responsible for paying off a three-year debt on overpriced energy from the plant, meaning they could face $160 to $170 million in costs. But without the passage of the bill, its supporters say, the plant is likely to close. Detractors say the measure represents yet another ratepayer buyout for the company.


New Hampshire Licensing Board Meeting

Date: April 15, 2022

The New Hampshire OPLC Board of Professional Engineers will hold its next meeting on April 22 at 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Meetings are held at 7 Eagle Square, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. The meeting can also be attend virtually via Zoom (Meeting ID: 944 450 2704) or by phone. Find your local number.

New Report Identifies New Hampshire as Promising Offshore Wind Provider

Date: March 15, 2022

A new report from the New Hampshire Departments of Energy, Environmental Services, and Business and Economic Affairs explores the possible positive outcomes of harnessing wind power at state sites at the Gulf of Maine. The agencies report that wind initiatives could help New Hampshire’s economy and create jobs while reducing greenhouse emissions in the region.

Factors that were considered include existing port infrastructure in the state, coastal transmission infrastructure, and opportunities to attract offshore wind supply chain operations to New Hampshire. The report’s authors also considered possible impacts to maritime industries.


Internet Service Providers Oppose New Hampshire Broadband Improvement Projects

Date: March 15, 2022

In conflict with Grafton County’s plan to beef up broadband infrastructure for its towns, some internet service providers argue the move is unnecessary because they already provide high-speed internet to the area, according to Bristol Town Administrator Nik Coates, WMUR reports.

Grafton County applied for a federal grant through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to fund the broadband project. Coates said some of the current providers, such as Comcast, have challenged more than 3,000 of the 4,000 census blocks that would be part of the project because they provide internet to at least one household in each block.

The Impact of Supply Chain Issues on New Hampshire Construction Firms

Date: February 17, 2022

Contract flexibility is key to addressing a customer’s pricing, progress expectations

Pricing construction goods and services during the pandemic has become a roll of the dice. Early manufacturing lockdowns and a downturn in the economy caused labor pools to shrink and material production to slow. As construction recovered from the initial shock, demand began to outstrip supply, causing prices to soar. This phenomenon triggered breakdowns in several key sectors, including manufacturing, labor, and transportation.

Inevitably, supply chain issues lead to price escalation and delays. When goods and services are more difficult to obtain, prices increase and delivery schedules are unreliable. Since October 2020, steel prices have increased by more than 140%, gypsum products rose nearly 25%, and insulation jumped by 17%. In the transportation sector, trucking costs are up 16%, and fuel costs have nearly doubled. Scheduling issues are also becoming the norm.

Read more in the NH Business Review.


Utilities Commission Restores NHSaves Funding to 2020-2021 Levels

Date: February 17, 2022

The Public Utilities Commission has restored funding for energy efficiency programs through NHSaves, allowing budgets to return to 2020-2021 levels, the New Hampshire Bulletin reports.

According to the order made on February 10, the commission changed course because of the consumer advocate’s recent appeal before the New Hampshire Supreme Court, saying it is “just and reasonable and in the public interest” to approve the agreement ultimately negotiated by the Department of Justice. The consumer advocate, in return, agreed to drop his request that the order be suspended entirely.

The Office of the Consumer Advocate’s appeal was echoed by the state’s utilities, as well as Clean Energy New Hampshire, the Conservation Law Foundation, and LISTEN Community Services.

Solar Array Opens on Site of Former Landfill

Date: January 19, 2022

A 3.3 megawatt solar array on top of the former Dunbarton Road landfill in Manchester is complete after two years of planning, the Manchester Ink Link reported. It is the largest municipal array in the state, with 8,000 panels covering 12 acres. It will provide 3.8 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy per year, and an estimated 2,700 metric tons of CO2 will be offset annually.

“The electricity produced by these solar panels will be enough to power hundreds of homes annually across the city. I want to thank the hard work of the Manchester Department of Public Works and our partners, for their commitment to this project,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. Those partners included Kearsarge Energy, Competitive Energy Services, AEGIS, and Kingsbury Co.

The city has made significant moves toward clean energy over the past few years, resulting in a decrease of 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions.


Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Allocates Millions for Bridge Repairs in New Hampshire

Date: January 19, 2022

Under President Biden’s infrastructure plan that infuses $26.5 billion into bridge repair across the US, New Hampshire will receive $$225 million. The funds will come over five years via the Federal Highway Administration. Aside from making much-needed repairs, a major goal of the funding is to help bridges withstand the effects of climate change by modernizing them, FHWA Administrator Stephanie Pollack said.

Metal Recycling Company Will Pay for New Water Treatment Plant

Date: December 15, 2021

The city of Dover has reached a settlement with New England Metal Recycling Inc., which polluted a major city aquifer. The company will pay more than $13 million to construct a new water treatment facility and fund its operation for the first three years, according to Foster’s Daily Democrat.

Last year, the company was fined $2.7 million, the largest fine ever levied in New Hampshire for a hazardous waste violation, after it buried crushed car materials that leaked PFAs into the city’s water supply.


Infrastructure Law Funds Bridge and Road Repair, Transportation Upgrades

Date: December 15, 2021

The federal bipartisan infrastructure law will pay to repair and rebuild roads and bridges in New Hampshire, with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. In New Hampshire, there are 215 bridges and over 698 miles of highway in poor condition, according to the Department of Transportation. The state is expected to receive approximately $1.4 billion over five years in federal highway formula funding for highways and bridges.

In addition, $126 million over five years will be spent on improving public transportation in New Hampshire. Funding will also cover modernization of freight rail, increased EV charging options, airport improvements, and other infrastructure updates.

UNH to Lead Atlantic Marine Energy Center

Date: November 17, 2021

In partnership with the US Department of Energy and several east coast universities, the University of New Hampshire will lead the Atlantic Marine Energy Center, the university announced. The center, which has been awarded $9.7 million over four years from DOE, will focus on research and development on sustainable renewable ocean energy. It will be one of only four National Marine Renewable Energy Centers in the country. The other academic institutions in the consortium are Stony Brook University, Lehigh University, and Coastal Studies Institute, which is administered by East Carolina University.


Renewed Interest in Retired “Pumpkinseed” Bridge

Date: November 17, 2021

The former Livermore Falls Bridge over the Pemigewasset River near Campton, closed since 1959, could become a new viewing spot for geological formations. Questions over the bridge’s ownership have hindered past efforts to protect it, the Union Leader reports, and could hamper new plans. Today, advocates want to convert it to a safe public viewing area for some of the area’s most spectacular sights.

The bridge, built in 1886 by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co., features a distinctive “pumpkin seed” truss superstructure below the deck. It has been photographed and studied by many engineering and architecture students and interested hobbyists over the years.

NHJES 2021 Annual Conference! Let's Get Virtual

PLEASE JOIN THE NEW HAMPSHIRE JOINT ENGINEERING SOCIETIES FOR THE 2021 ANNUAL CONFERENCE.

All proceeds will go toward NH STEM Programs.

Register for all sessions for just $50!

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. We have 2 sponsorship opportunities available per session at only $200 each, or become THE EVENT SPONSOR for only $750

Calendar of Sessions:
10/7/2021: 12:30 – 1:30, Steve Camerino Broadband Provisioning (1 PDH)
10/14/2021: 12:30 – 1:30, Jeff Benway, Retaining Wall Design (1 PDH)
10/21/2021: 12:30 – 1:30, Aaron Drammeh, Energy Discussion (1 PDH)
10/28/2021: 12:30 – 2:30, Joe Ruelas, Fabrication and Design of Spray Nozzles for all Industries (1 PDH)
Commissioner Robert Scott, Clean Water Act (1 PDH)

The New Hampshire Joint Engineering Societies


Massive Plant Coming to Concord, Securing Jobs

Date: October 19, 2021

Last month, the Concord Planning Board approved construction of a 356,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, in which Bow-based commercial fryer manufacturer Pitco Frialator will combine all of its operations, New Hampshire Business Review reports. This will allow the company to merge its three existing locations in various parts of the Concord area.

About 300 individuals will work at the facility. The company plans to install a solar array on the roof of the facility. “This project is a win not only for Concord, but also keeps a growing manufacturing business in New Hampshire safeguarding hundreds of local jobs,” Mayor Jim Bouley was quoted.


Gas Appliances Can’t Be Blocked in New Hampshire

Date: October 19, 2021

New Hampshire has become one of 20 states with laws on the books that prevent local lawmakers from putting restrictions on natural gas hookups, according to Energy News Network. With positive implications for the natural gas industry, the trend has drawn criticism from environmental groups that believe the move hurts efforts to combat climate change. Others, including those with gas interests, advocate for consumers’ freedom of choice.

In a growing trend, cities nationwide are considering measures that require new construction to use electric heating and stoves to cut back on fossil fuel emissions.

UNH Researchers to Study Flooding’s Impact on Roadways

Date: September 10, 2021

Engineering researchers at the University of New Hampshire have been awarded a $1.8 million federal grant to study how and why coastal hazards like excessive flooding are causing roads to crack and crumble and find ways to protect them, reports Seacoastonline.com. The project’s focus is to understand the combined hazards of overtopping and subsurface moisture. Information gathered by the researchers will help state and town officials to assess the impact of sea level rise on the longevity of coastal roadways and help implement practical alternatives for communities to protect the infrastructure.


Anti-Licensing Forces Miss the Point

Date: September 10, 2021

Extreme anti-licensing bills have popped up in numerous states and are posing a threat to the rigorous and established professional standards followed by PEs, architects, and others who design and construct the built environment, according to an op-ed in The Hill.

Lawmakers calling for these extreme measures don’t differentiate between barbers and manicurists, for example, and PEs and architects, say Tom Smith, executive director of ASCE, and Michael Armstrong, CEO of NCARB. “In their absolutist free-market view, reflected in the language of their model legislation, a visit to a barbershop or beauty salon should be treated the same as designing a bridge or water treatment plant.”

The legislative proposals range from measures that would eliminate licensing entirely to so-called “Universal Licensing” bills that would require states to accept licenses from any state regardless of whether the out-of-state license had the same level of qualifications behind it.

Towns Prepare for Energy Choices

Date: August 16, 2021

New Hampshire cities and towns will soon be faced with big decisions on where their energy comes from, reports Energy News Network. Thanks to a new community choice aggregation law, municipalities are drafting plans for purchasing cleaner and cheaper power for residents.

There are two competing models: Local governments can band together to create a clean power portfolio, or they can seek services from energy brokerage firms that promise more localized solutions. Both models, experts say, can lead to greater use of renewable energy and lower costs.

The city of Lebanon, for example, is joining other municipalities as a founding member of the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire. The coalition will procure shared power services and adopt a portfolio management approach for their supply. In contrast, the town of Keene is going it alone while relying on the expertise of energy brokers such as Standard Power and Good Energy, which have partnered to consult with New Hampshire municipalities on community power.


Residents May See Higher Bills as Wastewater Grants End

Date: August 16, 2021

Residents of the Upper Valley may face higher tax and utility bills due to the recent reinstatement of a moratorium on new projects eligible for wastewater state aid grants, reports the Valley News. Municipal managers say the loss of grants that helped towns and cities pay for costly wastewater upgrades means that residents are likely to see the costs passed on to them.

The moratorium leaves about 110 projects without funding over the next two years, many of which are already underway. Lebanon, for example, had seven projects on the state’s lists of potential grant recipients, including three CSO projects. The three projects have an estimated cost of $18.2 million, and the state grants would have typically contributed at least $3.6 million.

By implementing the moratorium, the state essentially failed to meet its promises and left local officials in a bind, said the executive director of the New Hampshire Municipal Association.

NHSPE and Partners Present 2021 S.T.E.M. Excellence in Teaching Awards

Date: July 21, 2021

NHSPE has joined forces with the NH Joint Committee of Engineering Societies and the University of New Hampshire to recognize deserving teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels who are promoting S.T.E.M. curriculum in the classroom.

This year marked the 15th consecutive year of this exciting program, and we have had the pleasure of honoring many outstanding teachers throughout New Hampshire. These great teachers are the motivators and educators for our next generations of engineers, inventors, mathematicians, and scientists.

This year’s winners were:

High School - Mr. James Miller, Bishop Brady High School, Concord, NH

Mr. James Miller, Bishop Brady High School, Concord, NH

High School - Mr. John Tietjen, Lebanon High School, Lebanon, NH

Mr. John Tietjen, Lebanon High School, Lebanon, NH

Elementary School - Ms. Sandy Fitzmorris, Milan Village School, Milan, NH (No picture available)

All three of this year’s winners were honored at a ceremony this past spring at their school. Attending the ceremonies were faculty and administrators, and in some cases family and students. Each teacher received a plaque honoring their achievement along with a stipend check.

Submitted by Robert Rotier, NHSPE Teachers Awards Chair.


In Memoriam: Benjamin Pratt, P.E.

Date: July 21, 2021

Benjamin Pratt

The New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers is sad to report the passing of Benjamin Pratt. Ben served a crucial role with the New Hampshire MATHCOUNTS program and was a part of the NHSPE community for over three decades. Ben was also the 2014 recipient of the New Hampshire Engineer of the Year award.

Ben started with MATHCOUNTS in 1983, when the competition was established, and for 37 years (until 2020), he served as the Keene Regional Coordinator. From 2003 to 2018 (15 years) he also served as the State MATHCOUNTS Coordinator of the six New Hampshire regions. Ben devoted many hours to help grow the New Hampshire MATHCOUNTS program to a point where hundreds of middle-grade students now compete each year for a chance to represent their region at the state competition and then to represent New Hampshire at the national competition.

Ben’s importance to the MATHCOUNTS program is perhaps best expressed by the following sentiments sent by staff at the National MATHCOUNTS office in Alexandria, Virginia: “It was always evident that Ben took great pride in his chapter and state program and cared a great deal for the students and coaches they served. MATHCOUNTS was truly fortunate to have been represented by him.”

Ben spent 44 years in the engineering field working for Kingsbury Machine Inc., Raytheon, Anderson-Nichols Inc. and finally with New Hampshire Ball Bearing (NHBB) until his retirement in 2004. Ben was also extremely active in the Town of Antrim, where he served as library trustee, chairman of the Zoning Board, and as a member of the Board of Selectmen, the Antrim Water and Sewer Commission, and as the town treasurer.

Ben enjoyed 35 years of marriage to his wife Patricia until she passed in 1988. Shortly after retirement Ben met his partner Diane Chauncey with whom he shared the rest of his life. Ben is survived by Diane Chauncy, his oldest son Peter Pratt, his daughter Debbie Brown, and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

UNH Engineering Researchers Publish Studies on Forever Chemicals

Date: June 9, 2021

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have conducted two of the first studies in New England to collectively show that PFAS end up in the environment differently after being processed through wastewater treatment facilities—making it more challenging to set acceptable screening levels, reports the NH Business Review. The researchers looked at the journey of 24 different PFAS through six New Hampshire wastewater treatment facilities.

The researchers found that short-chain PFAS ended up in effluent, while long-chain PFAS were more abundant in the sludge due to their higher affinity toward solids. They also found roughly 10% of the PFAS present in Great Bay could be traced back to the wastewater facilities. The second study found that 29 of the 39 biosolids reviewed in sludge waste had PFAS levels that exceeded screening levels set by the Maine DEP.

“State agencies across New England are all considering regulating PFAS in wastewater biosolids,” said an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at UNH, “but there is still more we need to know about how the treatment of wastewater sludge influences these forever chemicals.”


Renewable Natural Gas Facility Is a New Hampshire First

Date: June 9, 2021

Construction of a renewable natural gas processing facility is underway in Bethlehem—a first of its kind project in the state, according to Vermont Biz. Casella Waste Systems Inc., in partnership with Rudarpa Inc., broke ground on the facility on May 19 at its North Country Environmental Services disposal facility. The facility will capture the landfill gas, which is currently being flared, and separate it into marketable gases. Emphasis will be on methane and carbon dioxide. Once processed, the renewable natural gas will be transported by truck for injection into pipelines owned by Liberty Utilities. Converting the landfill gas into a transportation fuel will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 78,000 tons, equivalent to taking more than 15,000 passenger cars off the road.

The number of RNG projects in the US increased by 42% from early 2019 through 2020, reports Natural Gas Intelligence. There are currently 157 RNG projects in operation in the US with 76 projects under construction and 79 in development. “I can tell you that we have identified 43,000 sites in the US and Canada where organic waste is aggregated today,” RNG Coalition CFO David Cox said. “So when we’re talking about around 300 RNG projects, we are just scratching the surface of potential.”

NHSPE Awards North Country Teacher for STEM Excellence

Date: May 14, 2021

Sandy Fitzmorris, technology teacher at the Milan Village School, was selected as the winner of the 2021 Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) award by the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers. The Milan resident works with the Lego League of the North Country and coordinates the After School STEM program with the White Mountain Science initiative, reports the Berlin Sun. “Sandy is a great representative of the North Country. She is truly the heart of STEM education and this award is well deserved,” said School Administrative Unit 20 Superintendent David Backler.


Water Treatment Facility Cleans Up PFAS

Date: May 14, 2021

A $13 million water treatment facility that will clean up contaminated water at Pease International Tradeport has been completed, according to the Union Leader. Portsmouth leaders, Air Force officials, and New Hampshire’s congressional delegation celebrated the plant’s completion, marking it as a major milestone in addressing PFAS in water at Pease and in other parts of the state and the country. The contamination at Pease, the article says, was linked to firefighting foam from the former US Air Force base. Seven years ago, Portsmouth’s deputy director of public works was notified by the state for the first time that the Haven Well, one of the wells serving the Pease drinking water system, had tested above the preliminary health advisory limit for PFAS.

Old Bridge Finds New Purpose in Keene

Date: April 21, 2021

To expand the local rail trails, the city of Keene has decided to buy a 1962 bridge from Londonderry, reports the Sentinel. The 216-foot Prowse bridge was removed from its original location to allow for highway widening, but due to its historical significance, NHDOT required efforts to preserve the bridge. Ultimately, NHDOT accepted Keene’s proposal to reconstruct the bridge over Route 101 as part of the city’s planned Transportation Heritage Trail. The steel rigid-frame structure with five parallel and nearly identical frames, according to the article, “reflects the post-World War II initiative for highway bridge designers to produce connections through welding rather than riveting technology.”


Buzz Builds Over Whitewater Park

Date: April 21, 2021

Construction of a 13-acre whitewater park billed as New England’s first, is scheduled to begin in July, reports the Boston Globe. The Mill City Park at Franklin Falls, where visitors can whitewater raft, surf, bike, and camp, plans to open in September. The free park is funded by $2.5 million in grant money and private donations. “People were a little bit nervous to embrace it in the beginning,” the city manager said. “Our last mills — we’re a mill town — closed in the early 70s and there’s been no real movement since then to reinvent ourselves.”

The project’s master plan was created by Resilience Planning & Design of Plymouth.

NHSPE Member Helps Manchester’s Millyard Prep for Makeover

Date: March 12, 2021

Matt Low, P.E.

Longtime NHSPE member Matt Low, P.E., was recently featured in an Ink Link article about Manchester’s plans to redesign the area around the famous Mill Girl statue in the city’s millyard. Low, senior vice president at Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, worked with architects from Lavallee Brensinger and others on a proposed redesign of the area that would relocate the statue, build an ADA-compliant ramp, install colored light fixtures in a new set of stairs, and expand a seating area. Low said, “we really wanted to make it a destination rather than just a conveyance.” Final designs could be completed this spring, with construction starting in the summer or fall.


Tiny House Designed for Regular-Size Engineering Students, Ecologists

Date: March 12, 2021

Six Dartmouth engineering students are finishing work on an ultra-sustainable, tiny research station on wheels for ecologists working in a 27,000-acre township close to the Canadian border, reports the Dartmouth. When the station isn’t being used by ecologists in the winter, engineering students will use it as a living lab to perform experiments and test structural engineering theories.

The idea came from Vicki May, a professor at the Thayer School of Engineering. “I’ve always believed in experiential learning,” May said. “If you’re going to be an engineer, you might as well be an engineer and do the whole process, as opposed to learning different little pieces.”


Paul Schmidt Named Engineer of the Year

Date: February 16, 2021

Paul Schmidt, P.E., F.NSPE, vice-president and principal of CMA Engineers, Inc. of Portsmouth has been selected by a jury of his peers from New Hampshire’s engineering societies as the 2021 New Hampshire Engineer of the Year. The New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE-NH) nominated Paul based on his record of professional accomplishments, service to his profession, record of contributions to his community, and dedication to his family. Paul is an environmental engineer, managing water, wastewater and solid waste projects.

Paul has been an active member of the New Hampshire engineering community for over 25 years and is a previous NH Young Engineer of the Year Award recipient and Fellow of the National Society of Professional Engineers. He received a BSCE from Clarkson University and an MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He is a licensed professional engineer in New Hampshire and Maine.

Paul provides project development for CMA Engineers, Inc., managing high-level projects and mentoring younger staff. In addition to significant project work state-wide, Paul managed the implementation of an innovative solid waste/wastewater project in Berlin that was selected as the NH Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award in 2014. The project was described as “the essence of good engineering” by the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, as the project was accorded one of two annual national project awards by ASCE.

Paul masterfully balances his drive and passion for engineering while giving back to his profession and community. He has been actively involved in multiple New Hampshire engineering organizations including the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE-NH) where he has held national and state positions and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) – Northern New England, where he currently serves as Treasurer.

Paul and his wife Cathy reside in Stratham, NH with their daughter, Andrea and son, Adam. They are active in their community and volunteer their time to a number of local, state, and national charities.

COVID-19 concerns have delayed the award presentation. Paul will be officially honored at the 2022 Engineers Week Awards Banquet & Exhibition.

New Hampshire’s engineering societies also named Harrison Roakes, P.E., as the 2021 Young Engineer of the Year. Harrison is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire environmental engineering program (’12, ’14G) and joined Sanborn Head in 2014. Over the past six years, he has steadily advanced in his career and is currently a project manager responsible for numerous projects for private and public-sector clients. He was nominated for the award by the American Council of Engineering Companies of New Hampshire.

Within the local environmental engineering community, Harrison is well-respected and was the recipient of the Environmental Business Council of New England’s Ascending Leader award in 2019. In addition, he has been instrumental in building Sanborn Head’s visibility and reputation within the environmental profession nationwide by becoming one of the firm’s leading experts in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) fate and transport, among other emerging topics.


Hampton Beach Seeks Expert Input On Coastal Resilience Master Plan

Date: February 16, 2021

As Hampton Beach officials work on a new town master plan, they are turning to climate change scientists for help with coastal resilience, reports New Hampshire Public Radio. The village is experiencing more frequent low-level flooding on the streets, and scientists say it will get worse in the coming years. A 2019 state report estimated that sea levels off New Hampshire could rise a foot or more in the next thirty years, even with action on climate change.


Opinion: NH Needs the R&D Tax Credit

Date: February 16, 2021

A bill to roll back the state’s R&D tax credit would be a blow to New Hampshire’s manufacturing sector, says the past chair of the Business and Industry Association. Val Zanchuk’s commentary in NH Business Review explains that use of the tax credit has grown every year since it began in 2008. “Some legislators are opposed to targeted tax credits. I disagree,” writes Zanchuk. “Promoting manufacturing by investing in the state R&D tax credit program encourages new products and innovations, job growth (and job protection), and helps boost New Hampshire’s economy in ways no other sector can match.”


Granite State Job Opportunity

Date: February 16, 2021

Civil Site Project Manager
Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.

See other engineering job opportunities on the NSPE Job Board.

Londonderry Takes Action on Water Contamination

Date: January 27, 2021

The town of Londonderry is forming a task force to respond to the problem of drinking water contaminated by PFAF, reports the Eagle Tribune. The task force will partner with New Hampshire's Department of Environmental Services. Residents have spoken out about their water concerns and the potential dangers, but the town council chairman was unsatisfied with the state’s response. The task force will three residents who have occupations or training in the environmental or chemical engineering, environmental sciences, toxicology or hydrogeology, or similar, and three at-large resident members, preferably with backgrounds in engineering, science, or public health.


Keene Begins Pursuit of All-Renewable Energy

Date: January 27, 2021

The Keene City Council has committed to achieving 100% renewable energy in the coming decades, according to the Keene Sentinel. A committee began working on the plan in 2019, after the city council set goals of using renewables to generate all electricity used in the city by 2030, and switching transportation and heating and cooling systems to renewable power by 2050. “The plan combines several broad approaches, including reducing energy demand, generating more clean energy locally and meeting additional demand by buying energy from renewable sources on the grid,” the article says. “Under each, it identifies a range of specific actions the city could take.”

UNH Joins Manufacturing Cybersecurity Group

Date: December 14, 2020

The University of New Hampshire has joined a public-private partnership aimed at improving cybersecurity in manufacturing, according to the Union Leader. The Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute is led by the University of Texas at San Antonio and is a five-year cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy. The institute, known as CyManII (pronounced sī-man-ē), will focus on three priorities where collaborative R&D can help US manufacturers: securing automation, securing the supply chain network, and building a national program for education and workforce development.


Wind Farm Illustrates Tension Over Renewables

Date: December 14, 2020

A commercial-scale wind farm on a ridgeline in Antrim continues to generate tensions nearly a year after it began operating, reports Energy News. Opponents say the nine wind turbines are noisy and ruin the area’s natural beauty; proponents believe they are an acceptable tradeoff to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. The Antrim Wind Energy project is the state’s fourth largest. The town receives an annual $324,000 payment in lieu of taxes.

Skilled Workforce Critical for New Hampshire Manufacturing

Date: November 18, 2020

Building a skilled workforce for advanced manufacturing opportunities in New Hampshire is crucial, considering that manufacturing accounts for one of every eight jobs in the state, reports the Union Leader. At the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute in Manchester, efforts are underway to manufacture human tissue and whole organs. Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, ARMI has more than 150 partners, with more than $300 million in government and private investment committed. On a recent ARMI webinar, a former director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute said, “My world view is that if we’re going to build a truly competitive workforce for tomorrow, we have to meet people where they are, and during my 20 years in this field, what I’ve learned is that people learn what interests them, they learn what excites them and they learn 24/7/365, so we have to meet people where they are.”


NH Shows Strength in Science, Tech

Date: November 18, 2020

Once again, a California think tank has listed New Hampshire as one of the most innovative states in the US, reports NH Business Review. The Granite State moved up two spots from 2018, to No. 7, in the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index. The ranking provides a benchmark for evaluating the knowledge economies of all 50 US states. The index compares each state’s capacity for achieving prosperity through scientific discovery and technological innovation. According to the article, New Hampshire performed well in technology and science workforce metric, which measures intensity of computer and information science experts, engineers and life and physical scientists in the overall workforce.


Article Infrastructure History: Can Concord’s Gasholder Be Saved?

Date: October 28, 2020

The historic round brick gasholder in south Concord faces demolition, but hope remains for its preservation, reports the Concord Monitor. The structure, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1888 to store gas made from coal brought to the site in rail cars. The gas was used for lighting and heat downtown Concord before natural gas arrived in 1952. City council is re-examining the issue to determine if the gasholder can be saved. The article quotes a city council member: “We are seeking another engineering review of the building using an engineer who specializes in historic buildings. Modern engineering firms … who are not familiar with older buildings, they tend not to attribute any value to some of the older architectural techniques.”


Major Solar Project Moves Ahead

Date: October 28, 2020

State regulators have approved a utility-scale solar project for the first time, according to New Hampshire Public Radio. The 30-megawatt array will cover about 100 acres of private land in the town of Fitzwilliam. The developer, Florida-based NextEra, is aiming to complete the project by the end of 2021. Energy from the array will “will feed into the New England-wide power grid, but its emissions benefits will count toward Southern New England’s climate change goals, under a tristate effort to fund renewable energy development, NHPR reports.


We Want to Hear from You!

Date: October 28, 2020

Do you know of engineering news in New Hampshire that would be great for this newsletter? Maybe it’s a project you or your firm is working on, or perhaps you read some interesting engineering news in your local newspaper. Or maybe you know of a fellow PE or student who deserves a little recognition. If so, we want to hear from you. Email your ideas to pemagazine@nspe.org.

Milford Teacher Honored for STEM Excellence in Teaching

The New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers has joined forces with the NH Joint Committee of Engineering Societies and the University of New Hampshire to recognize deserving teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels who are promoting STEM curriculum in the classroom.

This year marked the 14th consecutive year of this exciting program, and we have had the pleasure of honoring many outstanding teachers throughout New Hampshire. These great teachers are the motivators and educators for our next generations of engineers, inventors, mathematicians, and scientists.

Mr. Frank Xydias

This year’s winner, from the high school level, was Mr. Frank Xydias, of the Milford Applied Technology Center in Milford. Mr. Xydias received a plaque honoring his achievement along with a stipend check. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we were not able to honor Mr. Xydias at a formal ceremony prior to the end of the school year. We extend our extreme appreciation to Frank and to the work he does with youth in the Milford area.

Submitted by Robert Rotier, NHSPE Teachers Awards Chair, rdmrotier@gmail.com.

Learn more about the awards and view winners.


2019 NSPE-NH John Alger Memorial Scholarship Winner Announced

Jared Fortier

NSPE-NH is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2019 NSPE-NH John Alger Memorial Scholarship is Jared Fortier of Newbury, NH. Jared is currently attending the University of New Hampshire in Durham majoring in Computer Engineering and expects to graduate in May 2023. Jared plans to get a job here in New Hampshire as a computer hardware engineer once he earns his degree. At UNH, Jared is involved with the UNH Hamel Scholars Program and the UNH Honors Program.

Thank you to all that donate to the scholarship fund to make this program possible.

DONATE HERE.


New Hampshire Society Celebrates STEM Teachers

Robert Rotier (left) presents Robert Lalancette, a teacher at Nashua North High School, with a STEM Excellence in Teaching Award in 2018.

ROBERT ROTIER (LEFT) PRESENTS ROBERT LALANCETTE, A TEACHER AT NASHUA NORTH HIGH SCHOOL, WITH A STEM EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD IN 2018.

Elementary school teacher Suzanne Schedin created an Innovation Lab, a MakerSpace full of supplies and activities that any group in the school can use for STEM activities. High school teacher Robert Lalancette developed a Marine Robotics program, in which students build remotely operated vehicles and learn ocean engineering, marine biology, computer engineering, and manufacturing.

These are just a couple examples of the activities and individuals who have garnered STEM Excellence in Teaching Awards over the last 13 years. The awards are given to elementary, middle, and high school teachers by the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers in collaboration with the Joint Committee of New Hampshire Engineering Societies and other partners, such as the state licensing board.

According to Matthew Low, P.E., an NSPE member who oversaw the awards from 2010–2017, they began as a way to recognize educators who were “energizing and inspiring the potential engineers of tomorrow.” The New Hampshire Society knew from NSPE and others that students decide in the middle school years whether they may pursue a technical path. Says Low, “We wanted to recognize the teachers at all levels who were helping to keep scientific or engineering fields as options for students as long as possible.”

Nominated teachers are evaluated on their creativity, innovation, integration of programs, and learning effectiveness. Nominations may be made by parent teacher organizations, fellow teachers, school administrators, or others. The winners receive about $250.

According to Robert Rotier, a retired chemical engineer and teacher who has chaired the awards committee for the last two years, a growing number of nominations are in the technology and engineering areas. More schools are building engineering programs into curricula, he says.

Key to winning the awards is what he calls “STEM leadership.” Are the teachers getting grants, modifying the curriculum, “changing the world of how kids learn”?

Learn more about the awards and view winners.


February 19, 2020 SAVE THE DATE - eWeek Banquet

National Engineers Week (E-Week) is celebrated around the country every year in February to commemorate the birth of engineering, beginning with the first US engineer and President, George Washington. This year our Annual Awards Banquet will be held at the Grappone Conference Center – 70 Constitution Avenue in Concord, NH. On behalf of the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE-NH) and the New Hampshire Joint Engineering Societies, we invite you to join us for casual evening with friends and colleagues to honor scholarship recipients, Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year.


Now accepting applications for the NSPE-NH State Scholarship

Application deadline is April 30. To read more, go to our Scholarship page.