Engineering Excellence and Innovation in New Brunswick
It started here first. In 1854, the renowned School of Engineering at University of New Brunswick (UNB) was the first school to teach engineering in North America. Today, more than 90% of Fredericton’s UNB Engineering faculty members are involved in research. They attract and conduct an estimated $17 million per year in research activity, creating a stimulating environment that spurs continuous innovation.
Demand for engineers is high, with many great opportunities here in New Brunswick — building bridges, and developing methods of alternative energy or next-generation technologies. You don’t have to go far in New Brunswick to find the impact of world-class engineering and construction work.
Earlier this year, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC) held its ACEC-NB Awards Gala to celebrate engineering excellence and recognize the efforts of engineering consulting firms in New Brunswick. Below is a look at some of this year’s notable achievements.
Stantec and NB Power, the province’s primary electrical utility, collaborated on a solution to the long term maintenance of spillways at the Grand Falls Hydro Facility on the Saint John River.
The original spillways were built in 1926 and needed repair. Because the crane used to install the cofferdam work could not reach all spillways, engineers developed an innovative floating cofferdam which is placed in the river to stop the flow of water so dam repairs can be made.
A 3D model of the entire system was developed by Stantec to plan this innovative approach to dam repair. Stantec designed and built the structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering components to allow the cofferdam to be floated in the river and lowered into place to repair the dam. This mobile approach proved to be better than constructing and deconstructing fixed cofferdams at various locations.
exp Services Inc.’s Fredericton Roundabout
Fredericton’s new Smythe Street roundabout is an example of how engineering designs impact our lives, an example motorists see every day. The creation of a roundabout at the top of Smythe Street has been extremely important to the City of Fredericton, alleviating traffic congestions in a well-trafficked area. The project is especially important this year when further construction is taking place nearby. The placement of a multi-lane roundabout by exp Services Inc. on a divided four lane highway is a unique application, and one of the first done in Canada. The roundabout is now handling 25,000 vehicles daily.
Amec Foster Wheeler’s Mine Project
Engineering is not just design and construction. New Brunswick engineers also recognized Amec Foster Wheeler’s contribution to reclamation work at Teck Resources’ Sa Dena Hes Mine Project in the Yukon.
The lead/zinc mine north of the Town of Watson Lake operated in 1991/92. The reclamation plan was approved in 2013, with a closure plan addressing the socio-economic expectations of maximizing the local resources. From 2013 to 2015, Amec Foster Wheeler and Teck Resources worked with First Nation contractors to complete closure plan activities that ended with revegetation and road removal efforts across site locations.
First Nations involvement with this project was an important part of the work. “First Nations engagement was one of the project’s primary objectives and was instrumental in the project’s successes. Over 55% of the project’s 66,260 man-hours were worked by First Nations personnel.” notes ACEC.
Crandall Engineering’s Shediac Main Street
Crandall Engineering‘s revitalization of Main Street in Shediac was done to accommodate high traffic volumes from increased tourism, and create a landscape friendly to cyclists and pedestrians. Preliminary designs were focused on a parking and active transportation strategy which included readily accessible parking areas, and walking and cycling access for tourists and locals. Construction teams installed bike lanes and a shared left-turn lane, and created a streetscape that reflects Shediac’s unique heritage and culture.
Fredericton is home to the largest concentration of engineers per capita in all of Canada. UNB even attracts talented engineers from across the pond that end up launching new businesses. Want to learn more about doing business in this engineering hotbed? Connect with an ONB Business Development Executive at the button below.