Engineering Inc. - May/June 2007 - (Page 48)

ONE ON ONE Grand Conceptor Winner Looks at Challenges Ahead Robert Uhler is president and CEO of MWH in Broomfield, Colo., a firm specializing in water, wastewater, natural resource, energy and program management services worldwide. increasingly complex drought and flood control challenges. In addition, we’re seeing more client attention on allocating resources to mitigate potential disasters and on reducing energy use and resultant CO2 emissions. A. Q. Q. What does winning ACEC’s 2007 Grand Conceptor Award for engineering excellence mean for your firm? The House of Repre­ sentatives approved an ACEC­backed bill (H.R. 720) that will expand the State Revolving Fund program for wastewater projects to $14 billion over the next four years. Assuming the Senate follows suit, what impact will it have on the water market for our industry? Our most active markets abroad are the primary developed Englishspeaking countries of the UK, Australia and New Zealand. We also are seeing strong activity in the Middle East. Generally speaking, our prognosis is good, with the underlying assumption of steady economic growth and general peace on a world scale. In war, security will always trump quality of life, and our industry depends on strong quality of life drivers. intermittent supplies, and the U.S. needs a 24/7 alternative to fossil fuels. Q. How has MWH embraced “sustainability” as part of its business strategy? A. Q. A. It’s great for our company’s professional pride and allows us to celebrate an important success with our clients, who shared in the solution. Technological excellence is a core value, and competency of the company, so from that standpoint this award is particularly gratifying. A. Q. This is great news and would help our clients afford the capital improvements needed to repair deteriorating infrastructure and improve treatment levels. Our state and local government clients are strapped for cash flow, due to the rising internal costs of healthcare and pensions, so we’re hopeful that this bill will come to fruition. What is your reaction to President Bush’s call for an expansion of alterna­ tive energy sources? What are the primary challenges to achieving alternative energy capabilities? A. What major challenges do you face in the water sector? A. 48 Q. Climate change is affecting the whole industry and is something over time that we expect to cause ENGINEERING INC. MAY / JUNE 2007 As an international company, what are your most active markets abroad, and what is your prognosis for international business? This is an important and correct step for the U.S. As a prime energy user with a large carbon footprint, it is critical that the U.S. seriously partake in climate change initiatives. The U.S. is behind Europe and Asia in the recognition of the issues of temperature rise and a commitment to work toward meaningful change. We certainly hope that alternative energy sources include the reinvigoration of nuclear power generation in the U.S. Wind and solar power are The corporate purpose of our company is “Building a Better World,” and environmental, water and energy are our focused fields of interest. We naturally gravitate to sustainability principles, because they are a sound way to approach the future and demonstrate our commitment to making positive and lasting contributions to the communities in which we live and work. This is not a product line as much as a corporate ethos. We recently made a major corporate commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative and are deeply engaged in climate change education and approaches to reducing our company’s carbon footprint and the carbon footprints of our projects. Some of the other activities we currently are involved in, or are pursuing, include client-partnered tree planting projects and the education of middle-school-age children on climate change and the water cycle. n

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - May/June 2007

Table of Contents
From ACEC to You
News & Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Ac tion
Interview with Congressman James Oberstar
Port Security
Water: Managing our Precious Commodity
Engineering Excellence Awards
“Smart” Concrete
Business Insights
Members in the News
One on One

Engineering Inc. - May/June 2007