Transportation, Engineering, and Construction, Inc
P.E., M.S., B.S.C.E
On the banks of the Merrimack River in Lawrence lies an old mill building that once functioned as a power plant, relying on natural resources such as river water and coal to keep the mills running efficiently.
Today, the former power plant is the focus of an incredible structural and economic undertaking by local businessman Sal Lupoli (owner of “Sal’s Just Pizza” chain) with the help of some local talent, namely Merrimack College alumni and current students offering their budding expertise alongside seasoned professionals.
James D’Angelo, a 1970 civil engineering graduate of Merrimack and co-owner of TEC (Transportation, Engineering, and Construction, Inc.) in Lawrence, has led Merrimack College’s role in the redesign of the mill building that is part of the Riverwalk project.
“Merrimack provides an education with balanced lessons in the technical and the ethical,” said D’Angelo. “From my own Merrimack experience, I knew that these students would have a greater understanding of how engineering skills acquired in the classroom can translate into a real, human environment. The power plant project seemed like a perfect opportunity to benefit everyone involved.”
D’Angelo developed a plan specifically for the students. Once they were given the rundown about what Lupoli wanted to accomplish with the 40,000 square feet of space the former power plant offered, the students were charged with identifying the most efficient way for the structure to be re-used.
Under the guidance of Merrimack civil engineering professor Anthony DeLuzio, the students conducted a structural analysis of the facility, determining how the original building was constructed and how the space could be restored. Ultimately, through the students’ data, it was determined that the most reasonable plan would be constructing a building inside of a building.
“The students worked with my firm and Sal Lupoli directly to conceptualize and design the building inside-of-a-building plan,” said D’Angelo. This plan will preserve the historic exterior look of the building while creating a modern structure for future businesses to call home.
Six months later the project is well underway and D’Angelo has hired Nicholas Scenna, a 2006 Merrimack graduate, to work full time and a Merrimack junior Steve Mallory as a cooperative education student. Scenna was one of the students who worked on the original design.
D’Angelo views his consistent involvement with his alma mater as a means for continued growth. Students gain knowledge while businesses gain talent.
“When the college calls, I have been happy to respond to help foster civil engineering at Merrimack,” said D’Angelo. “My hope is that the college will continue to reach out to its alumni and see them as a source of connection to professional practice, and likewise, that other alumni see the college as a resource for their professional practice, creating opportunities for both students and graduates.”
D’Angelo established Merrimack’s Civil Engineering Alumni Association four-and-a-half years ago. Thirty-five years after D’Angelo graduated, he remains connected to the vast majority of the 19 civil engineering students who were in his graduating class.
This collaboration between Merrimack students, alumni and a local business will pave the way for tremendous growth in the historical city of Lawrence. The project was completed in 2007, and helped to further revitalize the area. Once again D’Angelo is helping our seniors with their 2008 project.
Civil Engineering Major
Learn more about Civil Engineering from Maggie Jacques ’13 who traveled to Haiti to help design and implement a clean water delivery system.
Class of 2008
Civil Eingineering Major
Amy came to Merrimack knowing she wanted to major in civil engineering, and that she would to play field hockey. What she didn’t know is that she would find her spiritual interests as well.
Though being a civil engineering major and college athlete has kept Amy quite busy, she found the time and passion to develop her spirit along with her mind.
By attending a religious ceremony on campus, Amy discovered that she wanted to make her spiritual participation official. In her freshman year, she made her first communion and was confirmed in the Church of Christ the Teacher at Merrimack.
“The great thing about Merrimack is that spiritually, you can be involved as much or as little as you want,” said Amy. “There is plenty of opportunity right on campus.”
Beyond her interest in traffic and geotechnical engineering, Amy makes it a priority to expand her spiritual horizons on and off campus. She was a regular participant on Merrimack’s spiritually-based M.O.R.E retreats and also volunteered in Chicago and Virginia with the college’s annual Alternative Spring Break. Above all, Amy’s spirit was made stronger by the connections she made at Merrimack.
“I have only met quality people at Merrimack,” said Amy. “My classmates became my best friends and I will continue to stay in touch with them after college.”
Class of 2010
Civil Engineering Major, Math Minor
Richard lives and breaths civil engineering. In addition to working full-time through a cooperative education position at a Cambridge civil engineering firm, he is also president of Merrimack’s American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter, and he leads the steel bridge team.
As a student who was always practical and good at math, Richard knew he was destined to be an engineer.
As the first in his family to go to college, Richard’s motivation has him building bridges, literally. As captain and four year member of the Steel Bridge Team, Richard has had a hand in designing and fabricating bridge models and competing against several New England colleges – including MIT which Merrimack won over with Richard on the team.
After graduation, Richard wants to pursue structural engineering and he is confident in his choice of career thanks to his curriculum. “At Merrimack, you get a taste of each type of engineering so you can see what you like and don’t like, and your professors really do know who you are. Other schools didn’t offer that.”
Between bridge building and engineering classes, Richard finds time to mentor younger engineers in local competitions, visiting high schools to talk to future engineers, and has even represented Merrimack at regional engineering events.
“I will do whatever it takes to make sure people know about engineering.”
A “Powerful” Internship Experience
Rebecca Read, a Civil Engineering major, took on a unique internship after her sophomore year here at Merrimack College. A native to Massachusetts, Rebecca was excited to apply for an internship opportunity at a power plant in Portland, Oregon during the summer of 2012. She explained that after the Civil Engineering faculty helped her find a potential internship position, they supported her by offering their letters of recommendation and she made a trip to the O’Brien Center for Student Success for help with her resume and cover letter. She soon found out that she would be spending the summer interning at NuScale Power in Oregon.
According to their website, NuScale is currently completing the design of a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) that offers the benefits of nuclear power while eliminating the issues presented by installing a large power plant. Each NuScale Power Module produces more than 45 megawatts with its own designated turbine-generator set. Also, NuScale power plants are scalable—additional modules can be added as customer demand for electricity increases. When asked about her experience at NuScale Power, Rebecca explained that this internship position provided her with the professional experience, knowledge, and skills that will be necessary in order to enter the Engineering field in the future. Rebecca’s drive to succeed in the field of engineering is not new—in the spring of 2010 she was the first woman to win Merrimack’s STEM $60K scholarship for best design, construction, and performance of a trebuchet catapult. Paired with her education from Merrimack College, Rebecca’s experience with and passion for engineering will open up even more exciting opportunities for professional development in the future.
Precast Segmental Bridge Construction
Thomas Roby, a junior Engineering major from Lawrence, MA has taken on a unique directed study course here at Merrimack College this semester. The objective of this directed study is to investigate the 3D response of three different full bridge models. The full bridge models will have different abutment boundary conditions and represent the three segmental bridge configurations that are expected to be the most common and include: a deep ravine configuration; a long viaduct configuration without pounding between frames; and a long viaduct configuration with longitudinal pounding between frames. While this may sound foreign to many people, the discussion of methods such as precast segmental construction has been a common occurrence for Thomas during his one-on-one meetings with Dr. Marc Veletzos, an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering here at Merrimack College.
When asked about his interest in these methods, Thomas explained that being able to research different types of bridge construction and work directed my Dr. Veletzos in this directed study has been a great opportunity and that the combination of all of his experiences in the School of Science and Engineering has been solid preparation for his future engineering career. Thomas is confident that his academic and hands-on practice in this directed study will be extremely beneficial in preparing him for graduate school in the near future.
Class of 2008
Civil Engineering Major
Joseph Tierney, III spent five years building bridges at Merrimack College – literally.
A long-time member and captain of Merrimack’s award winning Steel Bridge building team, Joe also served as President of Merrimack’s American Society of Civil Engineering student chapter.
Building a model-sized steel bridge for competition means creating strong infrastructure in the least amount of time, and Joe’s experience made him the resident expert at building bridges. In 2007, Tierney led Merrimack’s steel bridge team to win the New England competition over MIT, UConn, and Northeastern, securing a spot for Merrimack at nationals in Los Angeles, Calif.
Tierney chose a cooperative education path at Merrimack, where he spent two semesters working full-time to gain as much professional experience as possible. While at Bayside Engineering (Woburn, Mass.), he focused on structural design such as highways; he also spent a semester at CDM (Manchester, NH) assisting with sewer design.
Merrimack provided Joe with exactly what he wanted in a college education - professor involvement. “All of my professors give good advice. In class and with the steel bridge, they take time to attend meetings and give suggestions on design, budget and even the way the meetings are being run. It is extremely helpful.”
Joe also saw Merrimack’s small class sizes as a huge advantage. He bonded with his fellow students due to group projects and discussions. “I didn’t have a class at Merrimack where the professor didn’t know my name and something about me.”
Tierney is currently attending graudate school for civil engineering.