Encorus has experienced an increase in growth, especially in the number of our employees. Most recently, Encorus has brought on John Bard as Electrical and Controls Project Manager, Gerald (Jerry) Sullivan as Senior Structural Engineer, Cheyenne Ricley as a Drafter, and Heather Stevens as a Civil Designer. To get to know them better, we asked our newest Encorus family members about their initial experience at Encorus, how the company is different than ones that they have worked at in the past, and what is their favorite thing about Encorus Group so far.
Electrical and Controls Project Manager John Bard has only worked at Encorus for 6 weeks, and he has already learned several things: despite his several years of experience, he should leave AutoCAD to the professionals; Encorus has interesting culture events, including a Chili Cook-Off, celebrating Chinese New Year, and Pi Day; and Encorus’ complete production division for the entire company is done by one guy who sits in the cubicle next to him. John has enjoyed the company culture at Encorus, specifically the celebration of Chinese New Year with Chinese food for lunch, and is patiently waiting for the company to participate in national “Take Your Employees to Vegas” week.
As project manager at his last job, John has worked with hundreds of companies across North America that focus on physical production. This is the first time that he has worked for a company whose emphasis was not physical production, so John is still adjusting to the focus of the firm.
One of John’s favorite things about working at Encorus is the firm’s proximity to his home. As someone who endured driving through the harsh Buffalo winters for 25 years, John claims that it feels like there are “Disney cartoon birds” that sing on his shoulder as he cruises down backroads on his way to work every morning, avoiding the traffic and maniac drivers.
Senior Structural Engineer Jerry Sullivan is finding Encorus to be a very professional workplace with young, enthusiastic, and talented employees. Jerry appreciates the systems that are in place to make each project easy to manage. His favorite thing about Encorus is that it is a family-oriented workplace that empowers each employee to find solutions. Jerry has found that many of the engineering challenges that he encounters can be easily resolved with professional interaction.
Drafter Cheyenne Ricley states that her experience at Encorus so far has been amazing. She was nervous with starting at Encorus and being able to remember the program as well and pick up the company’s standards and techniques, but with everyone’s help and willingness to work with her, it has been a pretty smooth transition for Cheyenne. Encorus is different than her previous company because she now works more closely with the engineering department and the firm is much more involved with their employees. Cheyenne’s favorite thing about Encorus so far is the flexibility to work with a family life, and her co-workers being willing to help her learn and grow in the company.
What really stands out to Civil Designer Heather Stevens is the attitude Encorus has towards its employees with teambuilding and training opportunities, lunch and learns, and encouraging cooperation between disciplines. According to her, everyone has been very welcoming, and after only a few weeks it’s evident how well the teams work together. Heather also appreciates the time and effort put into CADD standards and drafting to ensure a consistent recognizable final product. She has been involved in developing standards in the past and realizes how difficult they can be to implement. Heather feels like she is appreciated for what she brings to the table, that her opinion counts, and that there will be opportunities for her to grow within the company. It’s been a while since she has felt that way, and she wishes that she had started her job search a year ago.
We wish a warm welcome to our new employees and we are glad to have them as part of the Encorus Group family!
Encorus Group’s wide variety of in-house design services includes mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is a discipline that applies concepts from physics, engineering, and materials science for the design, production, operation, and maintenance of mechanical systems.
Encorus has six licensed mechanical engineers (Professional Engineers, or PEs), and three mechanical staff engineers. Our engineers specialize in a variety of mechanical engineering services, including HVAC and plumbing design, pressure vessel design and analysis, containment structure design, machine and equipment design and analysis, and remote handling device design. Encorus can additionally offer computer-aided engineering, 3D modeling, failure analysis, Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and several other types of mechanical analyses.
Encorus provides mechanical engineering services to a variety of clients, including those in the manufacturing, industrial, healthcare, and education, industries, as well as to local, state, and federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs. You might not think that mechanical engineering is applicable to something as mundane as a building renovation, but mechanical systems are everywhere. Heating and air conditioning? Mechanical systems. Plumbing? Mechanical systems. Elevators and escalators? Mechanical systems!
If it’s something a little more glamorous you’re looking for, look no further than the nuclear sector. The Encorus Group Team has assisted with the decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear power plants by designing equipment to handle contaminated materials remotely, designing the refurbishment of a nuclear sorting and packing system, and finding a solution for ventilation in an underground nuclear waste storage facility.The Encorus engineers behind these impressive projects are passionate about what they do. According to mechanical engineer Evan Krug, PE, he chose to pursue the mechanical engineering career path because he has always loved working with machinery and he enjoys fixing things and solving problems. Evan says that his favorite aspect of mechanical engineering is that you are able to discover the inner workings of machines and how they function. Learning as you work and make progress on a job is one of factors that Krug cites as strongly drawing him to practice this discipline. Many mechanical engineers are also tinkerers, taking things apart, building things, and trying to improve them.
February is Engineering Month, so if know someone who loves working with machines and solving problems, encourage them to explore the mechanical engineering discipline. Or maybe you should explore it! Mechanical engineers serve a very important part in the growth of society, and the world could always use more of them!
As we move on to a new month, it happens to be an engineer’s favorite time of the year. February is Engineering Month! This month, we take the opportunity to appreciate the engineering discipline and the dedication that every engineer puts into their work. For this Fun Fact Friday, we will be taking a look at some of our own engineers’ favorite past projects.
Electrical Engineer Jonathan Fabian says that his favorite project was when Encorus Group was invited to provide technical engineering support for a pipe threating plant project for an engineering and fabrication company in Pueblo, Colorado. The pipe threading plant processes 4” – 10” diameter pipe that is 40 – 50 feet in length, and the scope of work for this project involved the material handling system to move the pipes and other process equipment. Jonathan traveled out to Colorado in order to provide on-site PLC programming and commissioning services. He said that this was his favorite project because he got to travel to a new place and the work was different from the types of projects that he is usually involved in. This unique experience contributed to Jonathan’s vast array of engineering knowledge and has been useful during his involvement in more recent projects.
Senior Structural Engineer Dan Sarata also recalls his most memorable project at Encorus Group: “My favorite Encorus project so far was the Furnace #1 Exhaust Stack Extension for Ardagh Group in Port Allegany, PA. The client was having issues with meter equipment located inside the stack, but near the top of it. Every time it rained the meter readings would be distorted because of the way precipitation hit the ash and hot temperature of the stack near the top. Moving the meter was not feasible. They concluded that extending the exhaust stack by 10 feet would solve the problem. Ardagh Group contacted Encorus to evaluate the existing stack and its foundation. It was great to be able to use our own civil materials testing lab and staff to core and test the existing concrete foundation, take steel thickness measurements of the stack, and test the stack’s steel material. I was able to produce a report of existing conditions that helped me make informed decisions for a solution. The exhaust stack was adjacent to an active supply rail line and a fan building, making the use of guy wires infeasible. In addition to the aboveground restrictions, there was an underground exhaust vault leading to the exhaust stack that made locating new foundations a challenge. In the end, the solution was building a steel braced frame to support the exhaust stack from lateral loads due to wind and seismic factors. It was a challenging project that allowed Encorus to use many of the services we have to offer, from multiple Encorus departments, on one project, and I am proud of that.”
Environmental Engineer Mary Padasak contributes her favorite project experience as well. Her most memorable project so far was providing civil and environmental design services for the Good Times of Olean site. This project involved providing the complete civil and environmental design for the redevelopment of an existing miniature golf course site into an entertainment and recreation center, including a full bowling alley. Mary enjoyed working on this project due to the green infrastructure and the fact that the client continuously expanded the scope, which kept the Encorus Team on their toes. The project site is located behind a flood wall, which provided issues that Mary cites as “interesting and challenging”. Despite the changing scope and other site limitations, Mary and the rest of the Encorus Team were able to successfully complete the project on time. This project was special to Mary because her final work is often hidden from public view, but she was able to actually see this project when it was done due to its purpose as a public entertainment facility. Mary has returned to the finished project several times, but says that she has yet to bowl there.
As we celebrate Engineers Month, it is important to recognize the accomplishments of engineers across all different disciplines. Each discipline involves unique talents that an engineer amasses throughout their career and implements to see the successful completion of their projects. If you cross paths with an engineer during February, be sure to wish them a Happy Engineers Month!
Encorus is pleased to announce the addition of Heather Stevens to the drafting department. Heather has 20 years of drafting experience, with the last ten of that in civil and traffic design. Welcome, Heather!
Andy Simon is a Mechanical Integrity Project Manager with Encorus. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University at Buffalo and five years of mechanical integrity experience. He has a background in API pressure vessel and storage tank inspections. Andy has worked with Repsol, performing pressure vessel and piping inspections at numerous facilities in Pennsylvania, as well as with Praxair, Enterprise Products, and Amsec. Call Andy at 716.592.3980, ext. 126 for inspection services for your facility!