2016 Virginia Engineers Conference
For over 10 years, ACEC Virginia and VSPE have jointly hosted the Virginia Engineers Conference, sparking various interests with topics ranging from current trends to sound business practices. This year we changed things up a bit, moving the location to the Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel. And what a great change it was; participants raved about the food, the CBBT tour, and Spirit of Norfolk cruise.
Before the conference began, attendees did a “Behind the Scenes” tour of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel’s Southernmost Island and its tunnel ventilation building. Attendees were able to visit the catwalk to the southernmost tunnel, and see up close an escort for an oversized tractor trailer traveling through the tunnel. Then were able to go inside the upper air duct and see traffic flowing through under their feet (tunnel fans were turned down during the visit). The tour concluded with a walk through of the fan system and a visit to the control room where attendees were able to see the tunnel’s emergency generators, switch gear for the split distribution electricity and ask one of the Tunnel Equipment Operators questions.
Once the conference kicked off on Thursday, attendees were able to visit with exhibitors and attend sessions on six different tracks. This year’s conference included something for everyone: Business, Professional, Technical, Project Management, Civil, as well as a new Innovative Technology track, which included sessions on autonomous vehicles and drones!
At lunch, Mick Morrissey of Morrissey Goodale gave a presentation examining the big picture changes of the engineering industry and their implications for EA firm owners and managers.
Thursday night, we took a break from the conference and enjoyed a dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Norfolk. The cruise was a great opportunity for sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees to network, let loose and enjoy the view!
Here is what participants said about the 2016 Virginia Engineers Conference:
“This conference was a wonderful mix of field exposure (Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel visit), personal interaction (enabled by 30 min breaks), and relevant course offerings. It was well managed, supported, and attended, and was very enjoyable.” – Major General (retired) Merdith W.B. (“Bo”) Temple, Temple Enterprises, LLC.
“I LOVED PORTSMOUTH AND THE CONFERENCE” – Johnny Kincer, PE, CEM, Clark Nexsen
“Speaker topics were relevant and timely to the changing business and technical environment of the AE industry.” – Frank Dennis, Jr., Volvo Group Trucks Operations
Written by Carey Andrews
Mason & Hanger
Virginia Engineers Conference Committee Chair