Bingo Night for Veterans

Our Glen Allen/Richmond office sponsored Bingo Night for veterans at the local VA Hospital in Richmond on Thursday, February 22. We supplied goodie bags, drinks, raffle and bingo prizes to help bring some cheer to hospital life for those who have given so much for our country! Thirteen Schnabel volunteers, including a few family members and client partners, served veterans throughout the night. Pictured (left to right) are Kyle Campbell, Jeff Sollinger and Robin Emanuele, Ellen and Randy Reaves, Alma and Kenny Megginson, Victoria Landrum, Heather Baskin, Craig Ponte, and Evan Morris. We are proud to support our veterans!

Schnabel Team Takes 2nd Place in Giant Jenga Tournament

The Schnabel Engineering team proudly took second place out of 40 teams competing in the Giant Jenga Tournament sponsored by the ACE Mentor Program of Eastern Pennsylvania on February 15.  Nate Young, Evan Binder, Karen Leddy and Emily Gibson of our West Chester office formed a steady-handed team, and Kirsten Wilde—a former ACE Mentor Program scholarship recipient—was a referee. Proceeds from the Giant Jenga Tournament will go to scholarships for high school students and ACE Alumni currently enrolled in school and focusing on an A-C-E related career path.

Founded in 2000, the ACE Mentor Program of Eastern Pennsylvania gives students from local high schools an exciting opportunity to learn more about potential careers in architecture, engineering and construction. ACE-EP works with 300 students from 30 area high schools in Philadelphia, and 150 students from Montgomery County.

VDOT’s Route 29 Solutions Project Wins ACEC Virginia Pinnacle Award


The Route 29 Solutions design-build project, led by RK&K, has won the 2018 Pinnacle Award from ACEC Virginia. As the highest honor given by the chapter, it recognizes projects demonstrating innovation, complexity, achievement, and value to the industry. Project manager Nate Dumas, PE (second from left) represented Schnabel, which was one of three major subconsultants on RK&K’s team. Nate and Jim Seli, PE, both based in our Richmond office, were instrumental to the success of the geotechnical and geostructural portions of the work and were well-supported by an in-house team of engineers and scientists.

RK&K worked in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the contractor LANE/Corman Joint Venture to deliver the Route 29 Solutions project which consisted of three distinct project elements: Route 29 and Rio Road Grade Separated Intersection (GSI); Route 29 Widening from four lanes to six lanes for approximately 1.8 miles from Polo Grounds Road to Towncenter Drive; and Berkmar Drive, an extension of 2.3 miles on new alignment from Hilton Heights Road to Towncenter Drive.

The 2018 Pinnacle Award focused on the Rio Road GSI, for which RK&K was the design leader.  The innovations developed during design led to early completion and opening of the intersection and has led to improved safety and mobility in this heavily traveled corridor. The $69.7 million Rio Road grade-separated intersection project was completed in December 2016. Replacement of the existing at-grade intersection with a grade-separated intersection accomplished VDOT’s goals of easing congestion and improving safety for motorists in the area. The Rio Road grade remained essentially unchanged, whereas Route 29 was reconstructed to separate through traffic and local traffic exiting at Rio Road. Four through lanes (two each direction) were constructed underneath Rio Road to carry traffic with destinations north or south. Local lanes were built to the outside of the through lanes so traffic with local destinations can leave Route 29 onto Rio Road or access the businesses near the intersection.

The Pinnacle Award is one of several that the overall project has won. Others are a Grand Award from ACEC Virginia, and Overall Winner, Transportation Engineering Awards, presented by the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance.

Dreaming Big with Villanova’s College of Engineering

“DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World” was presented at ASCE’s GeoFrontiers 2017 conference attended by Chairman of the Board Allen Cadden, who envisioned it as a local event sponsored by the West Chester office. Mia Painter, who heads the office’s geoscience group and chairs our Women’s Initiative Network, ran with the concept and invited Villanova University’s College of Engineering to partner. It all came together at an invitation-only screening at the UA King of Prussia (Pa.) IMAX-RPX theater on Saturday, January 20.  DREAM BIG, made by MacGillivray Freeman Films in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers and Bechtel Corporation, reveals how engineers have changed both everyday lives and entire societies. The 40-minute film wowed the all-ages audience of 300 people with engineering innovations past, present and future, and made a compelling case for advancing STEM education for the good of the planet.

Science Matters

Geologist David Ebinger volunteered to help judge a science fair on January 16 at Harbison West Elementary School, in Irmo, South Carolina. He was encouraged to participate by his West Columbia office co-worker Mickey Edwards, whose wife is a teacher there. What surprised him the most was the sheer quantity of the entries, which he described as “somewhere north of 150.” David was in good company with four other judges: a retired engineer, a geologist at Congaree National Park, a teacher, and the science director for School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties.

Over the course of eight hours, the judges selected their top choices from three groups: 4th and 5th grades, and gifted/advanced. These were then scored according to the South Carolina Science Fair rubric, and a panel of teachers selected from among them projects that will advance to the school district fair.