Destination for The Moles 2015 Students Day
Students, faculty and Moles members toured the New NY Bridge project site aboard a Circle Lines Tour boat during The Moles 2015 Students Day earlier this month.
Interestingly, Circle Line Capt. Kenneth Corcoran is the cousin of one of The Moles members.
“They take one trip during their junior or senior year as Moles students, and they choose what they’d like to see,” Alfred Brand, PE at Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, said. “We find a very large project that can handle a large group of students, usually 400 or more.”
Civil engineering students and faculty were briefed — by project officials including TZC Vice President and Project Manager Walter Reichert and Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare — about the project, its design and engineering as the boat circled the site, stopping at different places.
They learned about the complicated geology and poor soil conditions under the river that required deep foundations and how the new design is different. The trip itself was unique: on prior trips students wore hard hats, safety vests and protective eyewear.
“Because of logistics, and because the area isn’t available for (land) viewing, we chartered a boat on the Circle Line and brought students to the site,” Brand said. “The water was uncooperative, and while the weather was foggy, we had a nice presentation and stayed in the main channel.
Each April since 1956, civil engineering students and faculty members from 20 colleges and universities within a 150-mile radius of New York City have been meeting at an active construction sites.
“Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC was honored to host the 2015 Mole’s Student’s Day to provide engineering students a close-up view into the design-build process of the New NY Bridge project. As a Mole, I know the value and importance of promoting our industry and providing support to the next generation of engineers and constructors who will build the nation’s future heavy construction projects.” — TZC Vice President and Project Manager Walter Reichert
The group made its own history, touring a site for the first time via boat.
Last year it viewed the Second Avenue Subway project — one of the projects Brand was involved with — where they toured the 86th Street excavation and viewed construction status between the 86th and 96th Street Stations; previously they toured One World Trade Center’s foundation work.
Its Education Committee looks at metro area projects and chooses hat’s most exciting for students, Brand said. “Sometimes we visit the same site two years in a row; it depends upon what will be the most educational and interesting.”
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In 1936, “a group of people formed a social organization to promote the industry and named it after the animal that digs underground since most worked in tunnels and underground construction,” Brand explained.
Membership is a selective process that requires sponsorship by a Moles member and a review process that evaluates candidates. New members have established themselves in the heavy construction or civil engineering industries for some time; 20 members on average are elected annually based on ratings and openings in four categories.
A Career Connection section lists job opportunities and contact information to network with industry leaders, and a Student Section describes the Education Committee’s programs including Student’s Day, Scholarships and Student Awards distributed each year to the 20 schools participating in Education Committee outreach.
The Education Committee looks at metro area projects within close proximity to students and chooses the most exciting. “Sometimes we visit the same site two years in a row; it depends upon what sites are active and what will be the most educational and interesting,” Brand said.
A Board member of The Practicing Institute of Engineering, Inc. in Albany, Brand has been a Moles member for 25 years and is a past president (2009 to 2010; all presidents serve one year). Executive Director Gerard J. Carty works full-time in its Chestnut Ridge, NJ, office.
Brand’s firm provided foundation construction for the bridge project. “I was fascinated hearing details described,” he said. “It’s a tremendous and excellent experience to work on it.”
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Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015