Observer Back Issues:

May 1999

A Word From The President

This will be the last issue of The Observer during my term as President of NHSPE. Accordingly, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who assisted in the administration of the Society during the 1998-1999 year.

Although I did not accomplish all I set out to accomplish, the year appears to have been a "good one". We had three membership meetings in addition to the Engineers Week Banquet. All the meetings were well attended and addressed topics of interest to all engineers. They included a presentation on the renewal of downtown areas, a tour of the Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research Laboratory (CRREL) and recently, a presentation on the new Federal Transportation Equity Act for the 21st century (TEA-21).

We fell short on the goal to re-establish an active membership committee, but it is heartening to note that the Society is attracting younger new members. Hopefully that trend will continue and my successor will be able to formalize a membership service committee that can focus on increasing the numbers and diversity of the engineering membership.

Nationally, the Society has gone through a year of moderate turmoil with the replacement of the Executive Directory, discussions on changing the focus and membership criteria for NSPE, and the development of a strategic plan. You will be hearing more about the reorganization and refocusing of NSPE in the coming months through reports from your national director as well as material provided in the Engineering Times, published monthly by NSPE.

Once again, we will be cooperating with the Vermont Society of Professional Engineers in a joint annual meeting to be held on May 27th. This year the meeting will be in New Hampshire with the location to be the Enfield-Shaker Village Museum and Restaurant. Matt Purcell, a State Director and the nominee for incoming Vice President has set up an interesting program dealing with Shaker history. More on that meeting can be found on the next page (page 3) in this issue of The Observer.

I look forward to a final year on the Board of Directors as Past-President, and wish the new officers well in continuing to serve the professional engineering community as directors of this Society.

by David W. Gates, P.E., L.L.S.
President, NHSPE

Engineers Week 1999

The 1999 NH National Engineers Week Celebration was certainly a busy and exciting one! This year's activities included: library displays in Concord, Manchester, Dover, and Hopkinton (setup by Wayne Wheeler, Rueben Hull, and Judy Houston); the annual Engineering Mall Display at the Steeplegate Mall, in Concord, NH was a success bringing engineering to the public (coordinated by Athanasia Setas, assisted by Judy Houston, Holly Gallagher, David Eckman and a slew of other volunteers); and the Engineers Week Awards Banquet and Exhibition at the Center of NH, certainly was the highlight of the week (coordinated by George Fredette and Judy Houston).

This year's banquet was quite the interesting event, to say the least! With a pending snow and ice storm (that never hit), illness and injuries, the night was almost doomed! The day started with a call from the MC for the evening, Wally Stickney, canceling due to illness; then the NHSPE President, David Gates, was injured and could not fill-in as MC; and to top off the day's stress, the keynote speaker's plane flights from Missouri were cancelled due to weather! Murphy's Law at its best!

All-in-all, the exhibition and banquet was a success (much to my surprise as fill-in MC), with over 160 attendees (topping recent attendance). Thelma Kanode, P.E., of IEEE was presented this year's Young Engineer-of-the-Year award by her father. Arthur Rose, P.E. of SENH, received the 1999 Engineer-of-the-Year award before a crowd of enthusiastic HTA employees and UNH students. Paul Zagioboylo, the 1998 NH MATHCOUNTS winner, was also acknowledged for his achievement. Many thanks also, to Barry Bresinger and Dale Doller of Lavallee/Bresinger, and Jim Swords and Pat Lempka of HOK Sports, for pulling together a very interesting, impromptu presentation on the history of sports arena, and the conceptual plans for the proposed Manchester Civic Center. Many thanks to the 11 exhibitors who also braved the pending storm to display their services during the evening's social hour.

Art Rose, P.E., 1999 Engineer of the Year gives his acceptance speech.

UNH students pose with Art Rose, P.E., 1999 Engineer of the Year, at the NH National Engineers Banquet.

Another year's celebration under our belt. I look forward to next year's events.... however, maybe next year, sitting back and just enjoying the ride doesn't sound so bad??!!

Judith E. Houston, P.E.
NHSPE Vice President/Editor

Jim Swords of HOK Sports gives an informative presentation on the history of sports arenas.

From the Editor

In early March, I had the opportunity to assist with the "Engineered for Women" program at NHTI. This program was coordinated by Judy King of NHTI to bring the field of engineering to elementary and high school girls. It was certainly an enlightening experience. With my hardhat, a set of plans, scales, and other "tools of my trade" in-hand, I braved the head-of-the-class scrutiny of students, teachers and counselors, presenting what my impression of engineering is, what I do during my workday, and what it takes to become a professional engineer. Many questions arose such as "How much do you make a year?..... How have you fared being a woman in a predominantly male profession?....." Needless to say, it was very exciting (and rewarding) to see so many bright students interested in our profession. I look forward to participating in next year's program.

Well, this is it, my last issue as Editor of NHSPE's The Observer! I have been Editor of the newsletter for many years now, and feel it's time to let someone else try his or her hand at it. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those that have provided me with articles and photos for the newsletter, including: John Alger, Dave Eckman, David Gates and CLD, Lee Carroll, Craig Musselman, Jeremy Edmunds, George Fredette, Eric Brett, The Turner Group, HEB Engineers, and UNH Engineering Depts., (not to mention the regular advertisers), to name a few. I also want to extend my gratitude to Ms. Doreen Rolls, of Rolls Graphics, for making the most recent newsletter "face-lift" a reality; her patience with our time delays, her graphical talent, and her never-ending support for our organization, have made (and will continue to make) The Observer a value-added information source for our members. I look forward to my upcoming year as President-Elect, and my future involvement on the NHSPE Board of Directors. Thank you again.

Judith E. Houston, P.E.
NHSPE Vice President/Editor


The JOINT ANNUAL MEETING for members from the Vermont and New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers, is to be held on May 27, 1999 at the Enfield-Shaker Village Museum & Restaurant in Enfield, New Hampshire with an itinerary as follows:

  • 5:00-6:00 pm   Shaker Museum Tour with presentation by Museum official
  • 6:00-7:00 pm   Cocktails at Great Stone Dwelling with cheese & fruit plate
  • 7:00-8:15 pm   Dinner from selected Shaker menu
    • Poached Salmon with lemon dill batter
    • Roast Prime Rib of Beef
    • Herb Crusted Breast of Chicken
  • 8:15-9:00 pm   Presentation by Bob Syler and induction of new boards

Contact Matt Purcell, 448-1600, ext. 206 for more information and watch your mail for the registration form!



House Bill 459, which would remove the requirement for continuing education by professional engineers, was recommended "inexpedient to legislate" (i.e. kill the bill) 16 to 1 by the Executive Departments and Administration Committee and that decision was confirmed without debate on a voice vote of the House at 3:04 PM on April 14. It would have been strange indeed if the House decided to prevent continuing education in this day of the student. However, several of our NH professional engineers sought this bill by complaining of the difficulties they allegedly would have in fulfilling the education requirement in their specialties. Good work by P.E. Board members responding to Committee concerns as well as by Fred McGeary, P.E. in testimony brought about the committee recommendation to label the bill "ITL."

Submitted by Rep. John Alger, P.E.
NHSPE Legislation Committee Chair

Bill to License Geologists Under Discussion

A bill filed this year in the legislature by a group of New Hampshire geologists has been tabled to allow time for discussions among geologists and engineers over the next year to address the interface between the two professions and other matters of concern voiced by engineers. NHSPE is represented by President David Gates, P.E. on an informal committee of engineers from CENH/ACEC, ASCE, the Structural Engineers of New Hampshire, and other engineering societies. Meetings are being held monthly with representatives of the geologists to discuss certification and licensure, the definition of the practice of geology, the necessary practice of geology by civil engineers, and other issues. The engineers have obtained copies of regulations pertaining to the licensure of geologists from 15 other states, and are attempting to formulate a workable resolution for New Hampshire. If you have questions or would like input in the process, please call David Gates at (603) 668-8223.

Submitted by Craig Musselman, P.E.

Robert Evans Memorial Award MATHCOUNTS 1999

The NHSPE has, for several years, awarded $50 savings bonds to the top individual student scorers in each of the six regions (Seacoast, Manchester, Keene, Lebanon, Plymouth, and North Country) of the MATHCOUNTS program, based on the regional competition results. This award was established in memory of Bob Evans, the individual most responsible for organizing the MATHCOUNTS program in the state from its inception in 1983 until he passed away, having served as MATHCOUNTS State Coordinator for 13 years. This year the award recipients are:

  • Stephanie Searle, Frances C Richmond School; Margot Maddock, coach
  • Paul Zagieboylo, Oyster River Middle School; Sue Gagnon, coach
  • C.H. Endee, Gilford Middle School; Sue Leitch, coach
  • Scott Caisse, South Meadow School; John Zilske, coach
  • Jesse Baver, Amherst Middle School; Heather Hector, coach
  • Jennifer Holmes, Daisy Bronson Middle School; Sharon Fadden, coach.

Funding to insure continuation of this memorial award is provided by donations from NHSPE members. Your contribution made payable to "MATHCOUNTS Foundation" and noted "Bob Evans Award" in the lower left corner of the check will be appreciated. Your gift is tax deductible.

1999 MATHCOUNTS State Competition

Benjamin Pepper, Cooperative Middle School, Stratham, with Lee Carroll

Andrew Lee and Coach Margot Maddock, of Frances Richmond School, Hanover

Oyster River School, Durham, recipients, with Lee Carroll, NH MATHCOUNTS Director

This year, of approximately 189 schools with 7th and 8th grade students in New Hampshire, there were 58 schools formally registered to participate on the local, regional, and state levels of the MATHCOUNTS program. This is an increase over last year's 54 schools. This resulted in 17 school teams and six regional individuals participating as official competitors, and many other students unofficially participating, at the March 13 State MATHCOUNTS Competition held at Plymouth State College. Thanks to the excellent coordination of activities arranged by Dr. Bernadette Russek of Plymouth State's Math Department, the day's program went very smoothly.

The state team to represent New Hampshire at the National Competition in Washington, DC is composed of the top four individual scorers based on two rounds of exams presented at the State Competition. The coach for the team going to the National Competition is selected based on the best total score obtained by the participating school teams at the State Competition, which is a combination of individual team member scores and a third round exam where the team's four members work as a group to solve problems.

The New Hampshire State MATHCOUNTS team that will compete in the National Competition in Washington from May 13-17 this year will be coached by Margot Maddock of the Frances C. Richmond School, Hanover. Her school team of Andrew Lee, Stephanie Searle, Caryln Perovich, and Theresa Zhou were the top school team at the State Competition. Margot's team members will be:

  • Paul Zagieboylo, 8th grade, Oyster River Middle School, Durham; School Coach, Sue Gagnon
  • Andrew Lee, 8th grade, Frances C Richmond School, Hanover; School Coach, Margot Maddock
  • Jesse Baver, 8th grade, Amherst Middle School; School Coach Heather Hector
  • Benjamin Pepper, 8th grade, Cooperative Middle School; Stratham, School Coach Josh Frost.

Following the official opening of the competition, which included the reading of a formal letter of greetings from Governor Jeanne Shaheen (see page 3), this years honorary Co-chairman of the NH MATHCOUNTS, the morning written competitions and lunch, the top students participated in two oral exams. The oral exam portion is not used to decide selection of team or individual placement at the State Competition, but they do provide trophies to the participants.

The first, a "Masters Round", is open to the top four individuals and consists of each student, in turn, having a 30 minute isolated period to review a special problem, then having a 15 minute time to present their solution and reasoning to a panel of three professors on the Plymouth State faculty and with non-competing students, teachers, and parents in attendance. The results of this competition were:

  • Paul Zagieboylo, Oyster River Middle School, 1st
  • Benjamin Pepper, Cooperative Middle School, 2nd
  • Andrew Lee, Frances C. Richmond School, 3rd (tie)
  • Jesse Baver, Amherst Middle School, 3rd (tie).

The Second, a "Countdown Round" places the top 10 individual students in a contest. Here the students all have a 45 second time to answer a problem after it is displayed on a screen at the front of the room, and speed in indication of having an answer as well as accuracy in having the correct answer determines the ultimate winner. In this contest the winners were:

  • Geoff Combs, Fairgrounds, 1st
  • Paul Zagieboylo, Oyster River Middle School, 2nd
  • Jesse Baver, Amherst Middle School, 3rd
  • Stephanie Searle, Francis C. Richmond School, 4th.

This year's State Competition included 74 official competitors and 21 alternates (students not eligible to win awards, but permitted to informally participate). The official participants included 21 females and 53 males.

The New Hampshire MATHCOUNTS program is funded by donations. The major contributors supporting this year's program were Bell Atlantic, The Millipore Foundation, The Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England - NH Chapter and the NH Society of Profes- sional Engineers. Many other businesses and individuals also made donations.

We now look forward to planning for next year's competitions, the 17th year of MATHCOUNTS.

Submitted by Lee F. Carroll, P.E.
State MATHCOUNTS Coordinator

Hydrologic Effects of Gravel Mining on Groundwater

A common question on the minds of Towns, property owners, and gravel mine operators is, "what effect does the gravel mining have on groundwater?" This question has two sides: that related to water quantity and that related to water quality. This article will address how gravel mining can impact groundwater quantity. This will then lead to a guideline towards the final disposition of these sites after the gravel has played out.

In order to develop this guideline, the climatology and hydrology of a typical gravel site in New Hampshire was modeled. Climatology statistics for Concord, NH were used. The original gravel site considered had one foot of loam above 49 feet of gravel. An impervious layer was below the gravel. The site was originally vegetated. At the start of mining, site clearing (vegetation and loam) was the first effect that was modeled. Next, the site was mined of various depths of gravel, then revegetated. The model used to represent the hydrology of this site was the US EPA HELP model (HELP - Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance). This model was used due to its versatility in being able to: generate long records of climatology, inclusion of evaporation and transpiration, development of a groundwater table, and ability to account for all of the precipitation in the system.

Since the sand and gravel formations have such high infiltration, groundwater discharge features (wetlands, streams, rivers, ponds, etc.) surround them. For the purposes of this exercise, the distance to the nearest such feature was modeled to be 500 feet. HELP simulations were performed for periods of 25 years. The first five years of simulation results were discarded in order to account for the system developing a steady state moisture profile and for the effect of the initial condition to be forgotten. The final 20-year results were developed into statistics of: average precipitation, average evapotranspiration, average groundwater recharge, average groundwater discharge, average water table depth from the ground surface, average seasonal high water table, and maximum water table elevation for the record. Since the climatology was the same for all systems, the effect of just the mining and vegetation could be explored.

The following are the results. First, the groundwater table does not "feel" the land surface until the natural land surface is about eight feet in distance above the average seasonal high groundwater table elevation. That is, evapotranspiration, infiltration (recharge), and groundwater discharge all stay constant until the thickness of the gravel becomes less than eight feet above seasonal high groundwater. In this case, when the gravel thickness is less than eight feet, evapotranspiration stresses increase, and therefore groundwater recharge is reduced. Table 1 shows the depth from the revegetated final land surface to the average seasonal high water table versus annual evapotranspiration. The total annual precipitation was about 42 inches. As expected, when comparing vegetated sites, the less gravel above the groundwater table, the higher the evapotranspiration rate. If mining continued until there was only 2.1 feet above the average seasonal high water table (this would be mining down to about 5 feet of the average groundwater table elevation), evapotranspiration would increase by 34 % (8.32 inches per year). This means that the annual recharge to groundwater (that started at 17.6 inches per year) was reduced by 47%! On a 2-acre plot, this adds up to a loss of 1,240 gallons per day on the average. In table 1, DA of 4.7 feet translates to a distance from the land surface to the average groundwater table elevation of about seven feet, and DA of 5.7 feet translates to about eight feet.

Table 1.  Effects of Depth to Groundwater on Evapotranspiration.

Depth (DA) From Land	AnnualEvapo-	Depth (DH) to the		    DA-DH     (ft.)

Surface to Average	transpiration	Highest Groundwater	

Seasonal High Water		(in.)	Table in the Record (ft.)

Table (ft.)						

7.8				24.74			7.1				0.7

5.7				24.74			4.9				0.8

4.7				24.93			3.8				0.9

3.9				26.85			2.9				1.0

3.2				29.34			2.2				1.0

2.7				31.62			1.5				1.2

2.1				33.06			0.7				1.4

The last column of table 1 indicates that the closer the land surface to the groundwater table, the "flashier" the system becomes. What this means is that smaller soil depth above groundwater represents less system capability to moderate the time it takes precipitation to reach groundwater. Therefore the groundwater table reacts by exhibiting higher annual high groundwater table elevation and lower annual low groundwater table elevation.

Another interesting effect is that when mining commences and the site is cleared of loam and vegetation, groundwater recharge increases dramatically because transpiration ceases. The clearing of the site reduces evapotranspiration by about three inches per year.

The basic conclusion to this study is that if you have the choice when planning gravel mining, in order to minimize the impact to groundwater quantity leave eight feet of sand/gravel above the average groundwater table elevation. Since the elevation of the average groundwater table is not usually known, use the estimated seasonal high water table (ESHWT) from test pits as the approximation to the average annual seasonal high water table. In this case leave 5.7 feet of sand/gravel above the ESHWT. This measurement of the ESHWT must be made before mining reaches 10 feet above the ESHWT, otherwise the ESHWT that is measured may already be effected by the mining. There are many other reasons to leave more sand/gravel at the site, for example if in the future the site will have homes with basements, or to allow more unsaturated zone between leach field lines and mounding above ESHWT. If more gravel is taken from the site thereby leaving less than eight feet to groundwater, the additional gain from the sale of the gravel should be weighed against the loss of: water supply, groundwater dilution, soil remediation (of leach field effluent), and constraints to future construction (slab foundations, for example).

Thomas P. Ballestero, PhD, PE, PH, CGWP
University of New Hampshire


The Observer Newsletter Online is apublication on the New Hampshire Society on Professional Engineers Copyright 1999-2000