Gunston Science and Engineering Club — space balloon success

This high-altitude balloon, dubbed “Heron 4” as it is the fourth in a series of balloon missions launched by Gunston students, reached an altitude of 18.5 miles above the Earth’s surface. At that point, the balloon burst as planned and the instrument package was delivered safely to Earth via parachute.

Spotlight

Engineering Consultants Group S.A.

ECG Engineering Consultants Group, S.A. is a joint stock company offering a wide range of professional services. It was founded in 1969, by a group of highly qualified consultants, whose expertise in large and complex projects covers all major disciplines of design and construction services.

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Engineering Tech

IFS CLOUD FOR CONSTRUCTION – THE TIME TO TRANSITION IS NOW

Article | July 14, 2022

Theconstruction industryhas long been challenged by a number of inefficiencies. As countries across the world look to stimulate their economies into recovery, investment in infrastructure and construction projects is at the forefront for many—meaning now is the time for construction companies to face and resolve their inefficiencies. In an earlier blog I looked atkey trends in the industry for 2021and noted that increasing productivity is still one of the major hurdles that the industry needs to overcome. However while there is no one-size-fits all to resolving this, there are some general themes that can be adopted by all who are ready to transition to a more dynamic, agile and profitable construction company which is centered around the adoption of best practices.

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Engineering Tech

Midyear Deals in Engineering 2022

Article | August 25, 2021

Recent M&A activity has slowed slightly in 2022, owing primarily to economic and geopolitical uncertainty. In the short term, deal activity is expected to remain stable. This continued investment is expected to be driven by capital availability, private equity (PE) investors, and strategic balance sheet strength. Despite a drop in deal volume in the last quarter, deal activity remained consistent with pre-pandemic levels. Volumes in the four quarters ending in the first quarter of 2022 exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 18%. Deal values fell in the last two quarters due to fewer megadeals (deals worth at least $1 billion), as companies became warier of complications arising from government approvals. With the exception of construction machinery, North American activity drove deal volume growth over the last four quarters across all engineering and construction (E & C) subsectors. This region saw a shift toward local, strategic investor transactions, emphasising the impact of global economic headwinds. Prospects for Engineering Transactions Despite headwinds from slowing economic activity, rising interest rates, and cost pressure from rising material costs, increased competition for labor, and ongoing supply chain issues, the outlook for E & C sector deal activity remains positive, driven by the continued availability of capital and bolstered by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The recent improvement in the performance of the residential market is expected to continue, owing to historically low interest rates, a housing gap caused by underbuilding over the last decade, the millennial generation entering prime home-buying age, and housing inventory near all-time lows. The non-residential market is expected to expand, but the outlook varies by sector. Transportation, manufacturing, and education are expected to benefit from infrastructure spending, while construction spending on offices and hotels is expected to decline, owing to continued remote working and business travel trends post-pandemic. “E&C deal activity is expected to remain stable due to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, private equity and corporate dry powder, realignment of end market exposure and acquisition of new technologies to support operations, despite the impact of inflation, supply chain disruption, labor shortages, and the war in Ukraine.” - Danny Bitar, US Engineering and Construction Deals Leader in the United States

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Construction

Jigs and Fixtures: 6 Ways to Improve Production Efficiency with 3D Printing

Article | July 14, 2022

Whether it’s jigs, fixtures or grips, tooling remains a vital, if seemingly mundane, part of the manufacturing process. Regardless of the complexity of your products, the productivity and efficiency of your production depend on the availability of high-quality tooling aids. Maximising production efficiency and productivity is a key concern for manufacturers. Jigs and fixtures are manufacturing aids used to increase the reliability, accuracy and quality of the manufacturing process whilst minimising production cycle times and improving worker safety.

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Construction

Queen's Speech 2021: why it was a good one for infrastructure

Article | May 17, 2021

Andrew Jones MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure, comments on last week's Queen’s Speech announcements.

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Spotlight

Engineering Consultants Group S.A.

ECG Engineering Consultants Group, S.A. is a joint stock company offering a wide range of professional services. It was founded in 1969, by a group of highly qualified consultants, whose expertise in large and complex projects covers all major disciplines of design and construction services.

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Construction

Oldcastle APG Acquires Operations of Sterling Sand and Soil Mender Products

CRH | November 25, 2022

Oldcastle APG, a CRH company, has acquired the packaging operations of Sterling Sand and the soil business of Soil Mender Products. The acquisitions of its co-packing partners enable Oldcastle APG to extend its geographic position and production capabilities in high-demand, high-growth markets to best serve its customers. With operations in South Carolina and North Carolina, Sterling Sand is a leading regional manufacturer and distributor of specialty sands for industrial, construction, recreation and other end-market uses. An established co-packer for Oldcastle APG's Techniseal business, Sterling Sand is a key partner in the bagging and distribution of its polymeric sand products for customers in the Southeast US. The acquisition of Sterling Sand's packaging operations will enable Techniseal to achieve increased production capacity and market share growth potential in southeastern markets. Soil Mender Products is a leading regional manufacturer of lawn and garden solutions that promote soil health, biodiversity and outdoor aesthetics while supporting a thriving ecosystem. Located in northwestern Texas, it operates as a co-packer for Oldcastle APG's large retail customers in the Texas market. Soil Mender's advantageous geographic position, coupled with its exceptional product offerings and industry knowledge, effectively strengthen Oldcastle APG's Lawn & Garden business in the region. "As North America's leading provider of integrated and sustainable outdoor living solutions, we are excited to welcome Sterling Sand and Soil Mender Products to the APG Family as we enhance our Techniseal and Lawn & Garden manufacturing capabilities, With increased production and growth in the Carolinas, Texas and surrounding markets, we can continue to provide end-to-end outdoor living solutions to customers across the country." -Tim Ortman, President, Oldcastle APG. About Oldcastle APG: Oldcastle APG, a CRH Company, is an international provider of outdoor living and building materials, with industry-leading positions in hardscapes, concrete masonry, fencing and railing, bagged dry mixes, lawn and garden, pool finishes and composite decking. Oldcastle APG's signature brand portfolio includes Belgard, Echelon, Barrette Outdoor Living, Sakrete, Pebble Technology International and MoistureShield. About CRH: CRH is the leading building materials business in the world, employing c.73,000 people at c.3,200 operating locations in 29 countries. It is the largest building materials business in North America and in Europe and also has regional positions in Asia. CRH manufactures and supplies a range of integrated building materials, products and innovative end-to-end solutions which can be found throughout the built environment in a wide range of construction projects from major public infrastructure to homes and commercial buildings. A Fortune 500 company, CRH is a constituent member of the FTSE 100 Index, the EURO STOXX 50 Index, the ISEQ 20 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) Europe. CRH is ranked among sector leaders by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) rating agencies.

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Engineering Tech

PulteGroup Announces Expansion of Innovative Construction Group Operations into South Carolina

PulteGroup | November 21, 2022

PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM) today announced the unveiling of its subsidiary Innovative Construction Group’s second off-site solutions manufacturing operations in Florence, South Carolina. Focused on single-family and multi-family wood framed construction, this facility will expand ICG’s production and distribution capabilities to meet growing demand in the Southeast. “Part of the Company’s ongoing expansion of the ICG platform, we are excited to open our newest off-site production facility, This facility increases the scope of ICG’s manufactured framing solutions to serve new home construction in South Carolina, including PulteGroup’s communities in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, Rock Hill and Columbia.” -Ryan Marshall President and CEO, PulteGroup. The Florence operation integrates cutting-edge technology, automation and intellectual property exclusive to ICG to deliver a comprehensive range of framing solutions. Designed to enhance production efficiency and build quality, ICG provides design services, wall panels, roof trusses and floor systems, and on-site installation to provide a fully integrated shell construction process. “Opening a facility in South Carolina was a natural next step to expanding the ICG platform as it allows for collaboration with our operations in Florida, while extending our offerings and services to several new housing markets, With this expansion completed, we are excited to shift focus towards further vertically integrating our operations.” -Ryan Melin, Co-Founder and President of ICG. About PulteGroup: PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in more than 40 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, American West and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the company is one of the industry’s most versatile homebuilders able to meet the needs of multiple buyer groups and respond to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup’s purpose is building incredible places where people can live their dreams.

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Construction

Oldcastle APG Acquires Operations of Sterling Sand and Soil Mender Products

CRH | November 25, 2022

Oldcastle APG, a CRH company, has acquired the packaging operations of Sterling Sand and the soil business of Soil Mender Products. The acquisitions of its co-packing partners enable Oldcastle APG to extend its geographic position and production capabilities in high-demand, high-growth markets to best serve its customers. With operations in South Carolina and North Carolina, Sterling Sand is a leading regional manufacturer and distributor of specialty sands for industrial, construction, recreation and other end-market uses. An established co-packer for Oldcastle APG's Techniseal business, Sterling Sand is a key partner in the bagging and distribution of its polymeric sand products for customers in the Southeast US. The acquisition of Sterling Sand's packaging operations will enable Techniseal to achieve increased production capacity and market share growth potential in southeastern markets. Soil Mender Products is a leading regional manufacturer of lawn and garden solutions that promote soil health, biodiversity and outdoor aesthetics while supporting a thriving ecosystem. Located in northwestern Texas, it operates as a co-packer for Oldcastle APG's large retail customers in the Texas market. Soil Mender's advantageous geographic position, coupled with its exceptional product offerings and industry knowledge, effectively strengthen Oldcastle APG's Lawn & Garden business in the region. "As North America's leading provider of integrated and sustainable outdoor living solutions, we are excited to welcome Sterling Sand and Soil Mender Products to the APG Family as we enhance our Techniseal and Lawn & Garden manufacturing capabilities, With increased production and growth in the Carolinas, Texas and surrounding markets, we can continue to provide end-to-end outdoor living solutions to customers across the country." -Tim Ortman, President, Oldcastle APG. About Oldcastle APG: Oldcastle APG, a CRH Company, is an international provider of outdoor living and building materials, with industry-leading positions in hardscapes, concrete masonry, fencing and railing, bagged dry mixes, lawn and garden, pool finishes and composite decking. Oldcastle APG's signature brand portfolio includes Belgard, Echelon, Barrette Outdoor Living, Sakrete, Pebble Technology International and MoistureShield. About CRH: CRH is the leading building materials business in the world, employing c.73,000 people at c.3,200 operating locations in 29 countries. It is the largest building materials business in North America and in Europe and also has regional positions in Asia. CRH manufactures and supplies a range of integrated building materials, products and innovative end-to-end solutions which can be found throughout the built environment in a wide range of construction projects from major public infrastructure to homes and commercial buildings. A Fortune 500 company, CRH is a constituent member of the FTSE 100 Index, the EURO STOXX 50 Index, the ISEQ 20 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) Europe. CRH is ranked among sector leaders by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) rating agencies.

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Engineering Tech

PulteGroup Announces Expansion of Innovative Construction Group Operations into South Carolina

PulteGroup | November 21, 2022

PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM) today announced the unveiling of its subsidiary Innovative Construction Group’s second off-site solutions manufacturing operations in Florence, South Carolina. Focused on single-family and multi-family wood framed construction, this facility will expand ICG’s production and distribution capabilities to meet growing demand in the Southeast. “Part of the Company’s ongoing expansion of the ICG platform, we are excited to open our newest off-site production facility, This facility increases the scope of ICG’s manufactured framing solutions to serve new home construction in South Carolina, including PulteGroup’s communities in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, Rock Hill and Columbia.” -Ryan Marshall President and CEO, PulteGroup. The Florence operation integrates cutting-edge technology, automation and intellectual property exclusive to ICG to deliver a comprehensive range of framing solutions. Designed to enhance production efficiency and build quality, ICG provides design services, wall panels, roof trusses and floor systems, and on-site installation to provide a fully integrated shell construction process. “Opening a facility in South Carolina was a natural next step to expanding the ICG platform as it allows for collaboration with our operations in Florida, while extending our offerings and services to several new housing markets, With this expansion completed, we are excited to shift focus towards further vertically integrating our operations.” -Ryan Melin, Co-Founder and President of ICG. About PulteGroup: PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in more than 40 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, American West and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the company is one of the industry’s most versatile homebuilders able to meet the needs of multiple buyer groups and respond to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup’s purpose is building incredible places where people can live their dreams.

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