BenchMark

BenchMark is an award-winning, quarterly, general interest engineering magazine that covers a broad range of trends, topics and engineering disciplines.

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At the largest coal-fired generating plant in Kansas, with three 800 MW units on-site, the flue gas desulfurization system produces a thick byproduct that contains materials that can be toxic to the environment. A successful pilot program developed a constructed wetland treatment system for the wastewater. Plus: Maximizing the effectiveness of teamwork; modernizing a major military fuel facility to LEED Silver; an integrated approach to land use development.

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Articles In This Issue

Innovative Energy Solutions

Coal remains one of the most abundant energy sources in the world, and it's up to us to provide the most advanced technologies to cleanly generate electricity using that resource.

Technical Q&A: Groundwater Monitoring

What does EPA’s new rule on coal ash disposal mean to the nation’s coal-fired power plants?

How It Works: Testing in the Lab Makes for Faster Work in the Field

With the promise of smart grid networks, more utilities and other industrial companies are investing in substation upgrades to gain the performance benefits of new and emerging technologies. A primary concern is realizing a return on investment with these infrastructure updates.

Safety Corner: Weekly Toolbox Talks Take Safety Beyond Job Sites

Process & Industrial Group leaders have begun conducting weekly "safety toolbox talks" in the office with the entire staff.

New Year Brings Changes to Board of Directors

Two new faces are joining the Burns & McDonnell Board of Directors. John Olander, president of the Transmission & Distribution Group, and Paul Fischer, president of the Regional Office Group, who represent two of the firm's fastest-growing business divisions, will step up to board roles in 2015.

Teeming with Teamwork

Dan Korinek learned teamwork early. He puts it to work throughout his life, whether he's coaching youth football or leading a department of professional engineers. He also believes it is one of the most important traits of Burns & McDonnell employee-owners.

Fuel for the Pacific Fleet

After serving its country for a century, one of the U.S. Navy's biggest refueling facilities for its ships, submarines and aircraft, on Naval Base Point Loma, required a major recapitalization and environmental cleanup.

Banking on Nature

Burns & McDonnell's seasoned scientists and engineers set out to discover whether microbial action in earthen materials and indigenous plants could naturally treat a wastewater stream produced by environmental control equipment at Westar Energy's Jeffrey Energy Center in St. Marys, Kan. What they learned through a successful pilot program could shape how coal-fired plant operators across the country consider alternatives to managing increased and more stringent environmental regulations at a much lower cost.

Small Particles, Big Project Empowering Search for Universal Answers

By blasting a beam of 100 trillion neutrinos per second through the Earth's crust, physicists aim to fill an informational void. Now they have a new resource to focus their efforts: a 41,000-square-foot concrete box filled with sensitive scientific equipment.

Removing Risk from the Real Estate Equation

To facilitate a sale, an increasing number of owners of contaminated property are implementing innovative risk transfer strategies that make it possible to reassign a property's environmental liabilities to a third party.

A One-Stop Shop for Land Use Development

Permitting any project — whether a 20-acre commercial development or a transmission line crossing several towns — can be complex, requiring coordination at every phase. An integrated project team can simplify the navigation process.

Celebrating 25 Years of Burns & McDonnell in St. Louis

In 1989, Burns & McDonnell handed Kansas City business development director Bob Berry a one-way ticket to St. Louis, along with the challenge of establishing a regional office there. Today, 25 years later, the office has grown to be the second-largest engineering firm in the St. Louis area.