Week of March 20, 2023
US DOT Awards $95M in IIJA Tech-Related Grants
Continuing its rollout of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation has awarded $94.8 million to a wide range of early-stage projects aimed at using various types of technology to improve transportation safety, equity, efficiency, and innovation.
In the initial round of the IIJA’s Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation, or SMART, grant awards, announced on March 21, DOT selected 59 projects in 33 states. Grants will go for planning and for developing prototypes.
DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement, “The investments we are making today are about fostering innovations that improve people’s day-to-day lives, making transportation safer, more reliable, more efficient and more sustainable.”
The winning entities are expected to use the new funds to set up their project teams and programs as they develop concepts, procure and demonstrate the technologies, and focus on acquiring workforces to carry out the work, according to DOT.
Biden Warns That Climate Change Could Upend Federal Spending Programs
The Biden administration warned on Monday that a warming planet posed severe economic challenges for the United States, which would require the federal government to reassess its spending priorities and how it influenced behavior.
In an annual report, administration economists said that reassessment should include a new look at the climate-adaptation implications of aid to farmers, wildland firefighting, and wide swaths of safety-net programs like Medicaid and Medicare, as the government seeks to shield the poorest Americans from suffering the worst effects of climate change.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers also warned that, left unchanged, federal policies like fighting forest fires and subsidizing crop insurance for farmers could continue to encourage Americans to live and work in areas at high risk of damage from warming temperatures and extreme weather — effectively forcing taxpayers across the country to pay for increasingly costly choices by people and businesses.
DOE 'Road Maps' Aim to Gain Billions in Clean Energy Investments
The U.S. Energy Dept. kicked off its effort to fast-track commercialization of clean energy technologies, issuing “road maps” for public and private investors to help advance three promising ones—clean hydrogen, long-duration energy storage, and advanced nuclear power.
DOE will invest billions of dollars in large-scale demonstration projects and technology deployments over the next decade, with the goal of unlocking trillions of dollars in private investment, officials said during a March 21 webinar to launch the effort, dubbed Pathways to Commercial Liftoff.
“Hopefully the reports will help the private sector to move,” said Vanessa Chan, the agency’s chief commercialization officer and director of the Office of Technology Transitions. The objective is to chart a course to hit critical long term decarbonization goals set by the administration, including net-zero emissions by 2050.
March 21, 2023
S.E. Minor & Company (S.E. Minor), a Connecticut-based land surveying and engineering services firm, has acquired CES Engineering Inc. (CES), a Florida-based wastewater and stormwater management engineering company. The acquisition marks S.E. Minor’s expansion into Florida’s West Coast region and further growing its market share in Florida, where it already has a 40+ year presence on Florida’s east coast through its Palm Beach County location. Additionally, this acquisition enhances S.E. Minor’s position as a leading provider of innovative, sustainable solutions in the industry and establishes a state-wide service area for its clients. “Acquiring CES Engineering Inc is an exciting step for our company as we expand our services and expertise in the stormwater and wastewater industry in all of our geographies,” said S.E. Minor’s CEO, Gigi Ma.
March 21, 2023
RJC Engineers (RJC), a Canada-based design and consulting firm, has acquired Kordt Engineering Group (KEG), a Nevada-based structural engineering firm providing structural designs for many building types, from commercial retail to landmark buildings. The acquisition allows RJC to serve the entire North American market better and for KEG to provide clients with the added capacity, depth, and experience of RJC. The firms will continue to provide structural engineering, façade engineering, structural glass engineering, and more. “RJC is excited to further establish ourselves in the United States through acquiring KEG. Our firms and people have worked together for over a decade and share a history of successfully delivering projects throughout the United States”, said Mike Moffatt, Executive Principal of RJC Engineers. “Our strategic expansion into the US allows RJC to bring its expertise in many building sectors and service offerings to a broader client base.”
March 14, 2023
Egis, a France-based global consulting, construction engineering, and operating firm, has acquired JB Barry & Partners, a Dublin-based civil engineering business. Together, Egis and JB Barry & Partners will form one of the largest multidisciplinary consultancy, engineering and operations firms in Ireland. For both organizations, the move will accelerate growth in the country and enable both Egis and JB Barry & Partners to better support clients in delivering important major infrastructure projects as part of Project Ireland 2040, such as smart cities, climate change programs and updates, and improvements to critical transport, water and energy infrastructure. Laurent Germain, CEO of Egis Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome JB Barry & Partners to Egis. This significant investment in Ireland will support our continued growth and enable us to deliver world-leading civil engineering projects at a greater scale for our clients. I extend my warmest welcome to the JB Barry & Partners team.”