Plans for the most ambitious National Engineers Week in the 49-year history of the event have been unveiled by the National Engineers Week Committee. The week, February 20-26, 2000, will showcase a host of new projects and programs intended to spread the message of engineering's importance to society. Plans also include a concerted effort by engineering societies and businesses to actively recruit minorities and women into their ranks.

According to Phil Hall, chairman of CH2M Hill (Denver), which serves as National Engineers Week 2000 co-chair along with the ACEC, "Recruiting, retaining, and advancing a diverse engineering workforce is more than a moral imperative, it's good business."

Another effort includes the selection of the "Great Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century," to be announced at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington during E-Week 2000. Considering the staggering engineering accomplishments of the past 100 years - the U.S. moon landing, construction of the Hoover Dam, creation of the interstate highway system, and invention of the artificial heart, to name just a few - the selection is certain to challenge the team of experts who will make the final decision. That panel, who will meet anonymously, will be made up of engineers from the National Academy of Engineering.

The overall selection process marks a rare collaboration between the National Academy of Engineering and more than 60 professional engineering societies, designed to help stimulate public discussion on the impact of engineers and engineering on the quality of life in the 20th century.

CH2M Hill will also contribute to the event by creating a high-school-level CD-ROM program encouraging interest in engineering through environmental action. The CD emphasizes that promoting sustainable development, safeguarding dwindling national resources, and facing crises such as global warming are all engineering concerns and offer great career opportunities. Meanwhile, ACEC will produce a complementary video about consulting engineers for students, interested professionals, and community groups. GRI: Pipelines Good For Cashflow A study of 10 U.S. natural gas pipelines shows they can expect to collectively derive a total of $42.5 million per year in financial benefits from Gas Research Institute (GRI) technologies over a four-year period from 1997 to 2000 - more than three times the cost of developing those same technologies. The study, which relied heavily on information from the pipelines themselves to quantify the impact of GRI technologies, found that savings to individual pipelines ranged from $500,000 to $14.5 million per year during that timeframe. The savings stemmed from improved productivity, reduced O&M and capital costs, and avoided regulatory costs.

The pipelines represent a cross section of the nation's transmission industry, transporting between 340 billion cu ft of gas and 3 trillion cu ft of gas/yr through 6,300 to 45,000 miles of pipeline. The technologies identified had a positive impact on areas such as air quality, compression, storage application, risk management, measurement, and design and construction tools. Each company tended to derive most of its benefits from just one or two key areas.