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R&D Forum

Study to analyze labor market for engineering sector in Canada

Engineers Canada and the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists are performing a two-year study of the labor market in Canada. This study, being undertaken with support from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, focuses on the engineering and technology sectors.

The objective of the Engineering and Technology Labour Market Study is to collect and analyze labor market information. The information is being collected via a survey on the Internet. The study is intended to develop:


Ultimately, findings from this study will be used to formulate recommendations with respect to policies and strategic initiatives related to skill and labor development, study sponsors say.

A national steering committee has been organized to provide feedback and guidance for the study. For each of the project’s major research components (listed above), separate subcommittees have been formed.

Engineers Canada is the national organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and license the country’s more than 160,000 professional engineers.

The Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists accredits more than 240 college programs for technicians and technologists in the country and has more than 49,000 certified members.

– To take the survey, visit the website: www.engineeringemployeesurvey. com/surveys/engineere.html. The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

U.S. awards $85 million for energy R&D support services

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded an $85 million contract to a joint venture to provide support services to all DOE research and development programs in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

EnergyWorks Joint Venture, a joint venture of Energetics Inc. of Alexandria, Va., and New West Technologies LLC of Greenwood Village, Colo., is to provide technical, engineering, analytical, and management services. DOE research and development programs for renewables address hydropower, as well as sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass.

Energetics announced the contract award July 7. DOE did not immediately assign tasks for specific research and development programs, Energetics President Jim Reed said. Instead, the government will assign tasks tied to specific programs over the contract period, which covers five years.

In December 2007, Congress appropriated $10 million for the fiscal year ending in September 2008 for DOE’s Water Power Energy R&D Program. House and Senate committees have endorsed $40 million and $30 million in research and development funds for marine renewables and hydropower for fiscal 2009.

Schnabel offers guidance on embankment dam armoring

Based on results of an extensive literature review, Schnabel Engineering offers guidance on designing embankment armoring. Embankment armoring, used to protect dams from failure during overtopping, has become one of the more common options for increasing spillway capacity at existing dams, says Greg Paxson, P.E., senior associate with Schnabel Engineering. In the U.S., methods of armoring embankment dams include the use of roller-compacted concrete (RCC) or articulating concrete blocks.

To provide guidance on selecting and sizing aprons, end sills, and cutoff walls for embankment armoring, Schnabel conducted a review of literature on the topics of energy dissipation, stepped spillways, and scour downstream of aprons. Paxson says the purpose of the review was to identify commonly applied methods and levels of protection for energy dissipation and scour prevention.

Design guidance resulting from the review includes:


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