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Norfolk Ram Engineers mentor middle school students in engineering


Perry-mentoring 2

Wayne Perry working with the students at
Normandin Middle School in New Bedford 

Citizens Schools is an educational organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day and show students apprenticeships in different career fields. 

Since February of this year, John McAllister has been volunteering in the Citizens School program at the Normandin Middle School in New Bedford, MA.  The class of about 13 students, has been learning about the design process, putting together professional design drawings, water supply, and how different cultures have different access to their water supply.

 Last week, Wayne Perry from our office, came in as a guest speaker to discuss their public water supply in New Bedford and help the students create design drawings for increasing the pumping efficiency for a water supply in rural Uganda. (The project is actually a derivation of an active project that the Tufts University Engineers without Borders group is implementing in Uganda that John McAllister is also active mentor for.)

The Middle School Students will be presenting plans and a model to interested community members on May 7th at 6 p.m. at the school. All are welcome to attend. I would also encourage people if interested to volunteer at a school near year to mentoring in your specialty, you can check it out at Citizens Schools volunteer page . For any questions on the experience, please contact John B. McAllister, P.E. at (508) 747-7900 extension 117.

Developers Should Avoid Reliance on Municipally-Contracted Third Party Reviewers


Norfolk recently became aware of a Massachusetts Appeals Court Ruling regarding the liability of peer review engineers that are hired by a municipality to review a development project.  The news item came to us from Julie Pruitt Barry, a partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish, LLP, a Boston-based law firm, with whom Norfolk has worked together on several different projects to assist our mutual clients.  You can read Julie’s article here.

 The ruling related to a dispute between the developer of a subdivision in North Attleboro and a peer review consultant hired by the municipality.  In the case, the developer claimed that the town’s peer review consultant failed to discover deficiencies in work performed by the developer’s contractor. The developer argued that because the Engineer was the sole engineering inspector approved by the Town, the developer relied on their inspections as its “best protection against costly problems down the road.”  

To quote the article, “The Appeals Court found that, absent a contractual relationship, a professional employed by a town to inspect the construction of a subdivision does not owe a duty of care to a developer or its contractor unless the developer reasonably relied on the professional’s services to the town and the professional was aware of this reliance.” Norfolk found this case very interesting, as engineers and consultants who provide municipal consulting services as well as site engineering and oversight for private site development

Developers are often asked by municipalities to fund the cost of a third party review.  Often the developer has no contractual relationship with the third party reviewer and in most cases the third party reviewer is acting solely in the interest of their client (the municipality).  In these situations the developer should be certain that their own engineers and consultants are looking after their interests. 

For more information about site development services or municipal third party review please contact Mark Bartlett at 508-747-7900 x131.    


Interesting Article on Water Rights


Here in the northeast, despite the unusually dry spring we are having, we live in a "water rich" climate, with around 45 inches per year of rainfall. In fact we get so much rainfall, that we as engineers are concerned with whether or not the intensity of the rainfall events for the stormwater management systems we design should be increased.  Because of our frequent and consistent rainfall, you typically don't hear much about water rights. Out west, water rights are more of an issue, particulary around the Colorado River basin, which provides the drinking water supply for several states in that area.  That being said, water rights issues can be very important in different places, which was clearly demonstrated in a recent article in Time.

The article is about the water rights to rivers when the states of India and Pakistan were created. The article provides some good perspective about the issues upstream impacts can have on downstream resources, please have a read and leave us some comments with anything you've taken away from the article: Waters wars with India and Pakistan

A Jack of all Trades


In some more lighthearted news and updates:

Wayne Perry, a Norfolk Ram Associate, Professional Engineer, and Licensed Site Professional, was able to add one more accredidation to his already impressive resume: Top Bowler!

During a bowling event last week in Somerville for the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts, Wayne bowled the highest score out of all of the participants. In the spirit of full-disclosure, it was Candlepin bowling, and he didn't finish the second round, so his score was pro-rated based on the frames he had bowled in the second round.

Congratulations Wayne! 

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