Clients Who are Saving the World

Wonder whatever happened to the students who won awards at the science fair every year? No doubt some of them grew up to be researchers at places like the EPA, and are now discovering ways to make the environment healthier. Some are working at SSOE on projects that support the EPA by improving their facilities. The mission of the EPA’s Ecosystems Research Division in Athens, Georgia is to protect human health and the environment. The research includes analyzing our drinking water, developing better ways to clean up contaminated land in nearby neighborhoods, and identifying exactly what is leaking out of fuel tanks and into the ground at your local filling station. In Athens, as in many other EPA locations nationwide, SSOE focused on making their facilities more energy efficient, secure and environmentally friendly. As part of assessing the current condition of their facilities, we estimated the cost of implementing improvements and provided a phased implementation plan. Continue Reading →

Fueling Local Economies

Fueling Local Economies
The emerging alternative energy market is improving not only the environment of the community in which it is located, but also its economic outlook. One example is SSOE’s latest biodiesel project. Design is underway for a new $17 million agrifuel production facility owned and operated by Toledo-based American Biodiesel LLC. SSOE is providing all A/E services for the facility and detailed design for the installation of the process. The plant has dual benefits to the local economy, given that the source of the soybeans and soybean oil needed to manufacture the fuel is area farmers. David White, President of American Biodiesel, left no doubt of the company’s stance. “It’s important to us to support agribusiness locally and across Ohio. Local suppliers will be our first choice.” In contrast to other traditional manufacturing segments where U.S. jobs are shrinking, agrifuel production offers a stellar opportunity for adding workers. It’s a relatively new process and the demand has never been higher. Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner commented, “Renewable energy is critical to America’s future; this project will create good-paying jobs and put Toledo at the forefront of a growing high-tech industry.” Continue Reading →

Twenty-first Century Solutions for a Twenty-first Century Problem

A generation ago the word “security” would likely be associated with a soft, warm blanket. Today, security is a concern for everything from our computers and our homes, to our homeland. With good reason– a teenager in his bedroom on the other side of the globe can shut down a business in Nebraska with a simple line of computer code. But as technology has created more security risks, it has also provided the means to combat them. SSOE’s cutting-edge solutions include: Continue Reading →

The Inside Story of Your Grocery Bag

The Inside Story of Your Grocery Bag
A trip down the aisles at any retailer is a showcase of engineering accomplishments. It takes a dizzying series of processes to manufacture custom product containers, package them and get them within your arm’s reach. For the manufacturer, getting all that right is vital to the success of its brands. Procter & Gamble leads the high stakes world of billion dollar brands and retailing innovation. So when a major retailer requests a product be offered in a special size, and on the shelves in stores nationwide by a certain date, P&G rallies to make it happen. At one plant, P&G in turn relies on SSOE to retrofit equipment, modify conveyor lines, and determine packaging specifications, shipping flow and dozens of other engineering feats that allow them to meet this retailer’s demands. A glimpse into how SSOE makes this happen will forever change the way you look at the contents of your grocery bag. Continue Reading →

It’s 9am…Somewhere

It’s 9am...Somewhere
Any number of factors can drive a project: quality, technology, cost savings, etc. Beyond the construction documents that any number of firms could provide, a good consultant identifies what is driving a specific project and adjusts its traditional approach to ensure your priorities are met. Case in point. When two wireless companies merged, they needed to add high-speed data capabilities to their southeastern U.S. network. With fierce competition already in place, this needed to happen almost as fast as the computer signals fly over the system. Obviously speed was the driving factor, and a traditional 9 to 5 approach wouldn’t cut it. Instead, we assigned a geographically diverse team in different time zones to make around the clock progress possible on a project spanning from Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi to China. “This project required speed as well as engineering details,” notes Floyd White, PE, senior electrical engineer and technical leader on this project. “SSOE’s Shanghai office helped produce 450 sets of drawings in four months.” Using data gathered locally and a predeveloped set of five prototype designs, engineers in SSOE’s Shanghai office helped create the drawings to kick off each location’s work. Continue Reading →