Archives for Summer 2010


Taking Cues to Walk A Mile in A Clients Shoes


The saying goes, “You never truly know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” In this specialized industry, it may be hard to imagine trading places and working from the opposite side of the desk. If you were to do so, would your perspective change? Would you look at the design, permitting or construction differently? At Johnson Engineering, some of us have. Many of our employees have taken a step into their client’s shoes and received additional licenses, which are complementary to their disciplines.

outlook-newsletter-summer-2010-issue-31-1-1Erik Howard, P.E., LEED AP, holds various licenses that put him steps above his peers. Erik works within our utilities group, helping clients with all aspects of water, wastewater, irrigation water and surface water conveyance systems, focusing on pumps and pressurized pipes. He serves multiple roles for many of our clients, he is not only a State of Florida professionally licensed civil engineer, he is also a certified general contractor (CGC), certified plumbing contractor (CFC) and licensed water well contractor. Erik is also a member of the Charlotte County Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board.

Having these additional licenses helps Erik negotiate with contractors on behalf of the owner, helping eliminate duplication of staff and responsibilities, saving clients time and money. It also gives him a great understanding of the importance of proper paperwork regarding contracting, payments, change orders, field directives and schedules. Erik has hands on knowledge of pumping and piping systems from 5 gpm to 24,000 gpm that gives him an acute edge over most engineers when it comes to evaluating system problems or making an efficient design.

Erik is a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), which helps him incorporate sustainable ideas and green technology into his designs. He chooses appropriately sized pipe by considering long term pumping cost associated with pipe hydraulics. Erik explains that, “many times, pipes can be upsized to reduce pumping costs at a fraction of the installation cost”. Saving clients green, typically makes the design green. His contracting experience helps him make accurate cost estimates for both material and labor costs of pipe and pump installations to see clients are well served. He not only has the experience to act as the engineer for the project, but has the qualifications, licenses and understanding of how to actually construct the project.

Also, strapping on the client’s shoes is James “Vee” Lofton, third generation Johnson Engineering employee. Vee is the director of our construction engineering and inspection (CEI) team, within the transportation market group. He is responsible for working with various contractors daily to oversee that they are constructing roadways in accordance with the design plans, following specifications, and are complying with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) rules and regulations.

Vee worked for the FDOT for many years prior to coming to Johnson Engineering giving him a unique understanding of their needs and allowing him to manage his work group with the same strict adherence to their rules and regulations. In addition to his past FDOT experience, he holds his State of Florida certified general contractor (CGC) license. As a CGC, Vee works closely and relates with other contractors on his projects, giving him a rare understanding of monetary and time critical issues which can affect all stakeholders. This knowledge and experience allows him to understand simple and complex constructions issues, schedules and provides him the knowledge to administer construction contracts for our clients.

Erik and Vee are part of a Johnson Engineering team, who combined, hold 28 professional licenses, numerous certifications and are members of countless organizations, all for the benefit of our clients. This vast knowledge and experience coursing throughout the Johnson Engineering network, allows our projects to be nothing but well-rounded. Our team members speak the language of not only their discipline, but others as well, making for cohesive project coordination with each other as well as the client.

Going back to the quote, “You never truly know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”, Johnson Engineering employees can truly say they have walked in these shoes. We have put on the work boots and hard hats, gotten out from behind the desk and gone out to the trenches to see what works for our clients. By obtaining these additional skills our employees are proactive in their approach to find the best solution for our clients, sharing their viewpoint for the makings of many successful projects.

Read more

GIS Method Helps Capture Wildlife Data

outlook-newsletter-summer-2010-issue-31-1-1Using GIS technology, our team has developed an innovative GIS methodology used to capture and analyze wildlife data. In June, Church Roberts, Director of Environmental Services, presented this methodology for conducting hazard wildlife assessments at airports to a crowd of more than 300 wildlife experts and airport officials from around the world at the 12th Annual Bird Strike Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Church will also be moderating “Wildlife Assessments and Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Plans: What Every Airport Manager Should Know!” at the 2010 Florida Airports Council (FAC) – 41st Annual Conference & Exposition, the largest single-state aviation conference in the United States, August 8-11 in Tampa, Florida.

For more information on wildlife assessments using GIS methodology, please contact Church Roberts at 239.461.2464 or [email protected].

Read more

Supporting National Landscape Architecture Month

In support of National Landscape Architecture Month our landscape architecture and environmental team members participated in several local Earth Day and Arbor Day events hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and the City of Bonita Springs.

outlook-newsletter-summer-2010-issue-31-1-1In early April, Johnson Engineering team members participated in FGCU’s Earth Day Celebration. The celebration was a partnership between Tree Campus USA committee members, FGCU, Johnson Engineering and the Division of Forestry. FGCU is one of three schools in Florida recognized as a Tree Campus USA school. Our team collaborated with students and staff to help plant 100 littoral trees throughout the campus wetlands. Working closely with the University, our environmental and landscape architecture team was able to recommend planting locations, select the most appropriate planting materials, and provide exhibits to help educate students on the importance of littoral shelves and the carbon sequestration benefits of these trees on campus.

Our team also participated in Arbor Day activities at Depot Park in Bonita Springs, celebrating the designation of the City of Bonita Springs as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Johnson Engineering Landscape Architect, Steve Trudnak, who sits on the City of Bonita Spring Tree Advisory Board, was onsite throughout the event providing environmentally friendly advice and sharing expertise about the Live Oak trees that were available to the public from the Division of Forestry.

As a member of the Friends of Bonita Nature Place, Steve Trudnak also assisted with the grand opening of the 45-acre Bonita Nature Place in Bonita Springs. He helped with the day’s events, classes, and exhibits. Johnson Engineering ecologists’ knowledge of the site’s environmental features was useful for creating the educational displays on endangered species and gopher tortoises found on site. The site was originally a 10-acre City owned parcel, which grew to approximately 45 acres with the addition of 35 acres deeded to the City by the South Florida Water Management District. The facility includes bee and bat houses, butterfly garden, and various other displays and exhibits, designed to educate children about our unique natural landscape.

Read more

Charlotte County Declared April 13, 2010 as “Johnson Engineering Day”

outlook-newsletter-summer-2010-issue-31-1-1The Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners recognized our efforts in support of the County’s first annual Southwest Florida Green Futures Expo and Energy Options Conference held last year. Commissioners proclaimed April 13, 2010 as “Johnson Engineering Day” in Charlotte County. The proclamation below was presented to Steve Morrison, Jaime Boswell, and Chris Beers by Commissioner Duffy at the April 13th Charlotte County Commission meeting.

In support of Charlotte County’s endeavor to attract industries that promote environmentally-friendly and renewable energy concepts and practices, Johnson Engineering ecologist Jaime Boswell provided a carbon assessment for the two-day event. Her calculations determined to offset the 30 metric tons of carbon dioxide created by the event, 23 Cypress trees over their lifetime, would equalize the amount of carbon generated by the event. These trees where purchased from a Charlotte County nursery and planted earlier this year at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Read more