LFA Presents at ISPLS Annual Conference

At the most recent annual conference sponsored by the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors, Shane Turay and Aaron Blank made a presentation to roughly 100 fellow surveyors about the merits of being a professional topographer and civil engineering surveyor.

The course objective was to encourage surveyors to think about producing surveying products that are as professionally executed as boundary surveys. The presentation focused on the techniques and tools used by those involved in the field of topographic and civil engineering surveys. The goal of the presentation was to encourage high quality, professional work, and to share lessons and experiences with one another.

ISPLS Annual Conference

The presentation lasted 50 minutes, and with Shane’s flair for effective story-telling, the objectives of the seminar were met. Several attendees sought Shane and Aaron after the presentation to inquire about the practices employed at LFA to ensure that we consistently deliver a high quality product that not only fulfills the requested scope requirements, but also ensures that the receiver of the survey information has the highest level of confidence proceeding with the elements of their design.

It was a positive experience that Shane and Aaron both hope to repeat in the future.

30th Annual CEPDS Conference

The 30th Annual Civil Engineering Professional Development Seminar (CEPDS) Conference was held at Purdue University on November 19, 2015. The conference opened up with a presentation from ASCE President Elect Norma Jean Mattei, PhD, speaking about Ten Years After Katrina. This covered the failures that happened during the hurricane along with failures after the hurricane. It also covered all the lessons learned from engineering and the administrative side of natural disasters. As a native from New Orleans, Norma Jean had great insight on the disaster.

The Bridge Track sessions of the conference covered:

  • Short-Term Maintenance of Traffic
  • Preventative Maintenance Plan Development
  • Accelerated Bridge Construction
  • Bridge Hydraulics and Scour
  • Design and Lifecycle Considerations for Steel Highway Bridges

The Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) session gave some exposure to what goes into the development of the schemes typically used on a bridge project. They skimmed over a typical long term project scheme and focused on the differences for a short term project, typically bridge maintenance or repair projects.

Preventative Maintenance is a burning topic for bridge engineers in Indiana as everyone is learning how to implement the policy. This session covered plan development and was insightful as to where INDOT is headed in the near future. Simple preventative maintenance projects do not always require full plan sets and can be greatly simplified. One of the biggest changes includes that INDOT will be allowing is 8.5” x 11” plan sets that can be as short as four sheets. Project scope goes a […]

2015 Indiana LTAP County Bridge Conference Synopsis

On October 21, 2015, the Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) held the annual County Bridge Conference at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. This event brings together a cross section of individuals including representatives from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), county personnel including engineers and supervisors, engineering consultants specializing in bridge design, rehabilitation and inspection, as well as a host of various other industry experts. The variety of the attendees facilitates open discussion and insight into the many aspects of Indiana’s bridges.

The conference itself provides multiple tracks to accommodate the variety of interests represented by the attendees. In the morning a General Session was held that included updates from INDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Also included in the morning session was a presentation on a bridge inspection training program by Sarah Sondag of the Minnesota DOT as well as the results of a research program by Dr. Robert Connor of Purdue University.

The afternoon session was broken up into three tracks which focused on particular aspects of the bridges in Indiana. A Design Track included updates on both the INDOT Design Manual and the INDOT Hydraulic Manual, as well as updates on some of the latest research in the field of bridge design. The Inspection Track focused on updates to the INDOT Bridge Inspection Manual and State Wide QA/QC, as well as Load Resistance Factor Rating (LRFR) training. The final track, Bridge Preservation, allowed attendees to learn about INDOT’s bridge preservation […]

Amanda Budreau becomes Certified Floodplain Manager

Lawson-Fisher Associates would like to congratulate Amanda Budreau on becoming a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) through the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). Amanda wrote the following explaining a little bit about the CFM certification process and how becoming a CFM will help her on current and future projects here at LFA. Congratulations again on this achievement, Amanda!


The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) has established a national program for professional certification of floodplain managers. The primary goal of the ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager Program (CFM Program) is to help reduce the nation’s flood losses and protect and enhance the natural resources and functions of its floodplains by improving the knowledge and abilities of floodplain managers in the United States. The program recognizes continuing education and professional development that enhance the knowledge and performance of local, state, federal, and private-sector floodplain managers.

To be certified as a Floodplain Manager an exam must be passed and approved by the ASFPM Certification Board of Regents (CBOR). The exam is three hours and consists of 120 multiple choice questions pertaining to the following seven categories:

  • Overall Context of Floodplain Management
  • Floodplain Mapping
  • National Flood Insurance Program Regulatory and Non-regulatory Standards
  • Regulatory Administrative Procedures
  • Flood Insurance
  • Flood Hazard Mitigation
  • Natural and Beneficial Functions

Once the exam has been passed the Certified Floodplain Managers (CFMs) are required to earn 16 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) every two years to keep the certification. This is […]

INDOT Bridge Design Conference

INDOT hosted their annual Bridge Design Conference on February 11th. This is the first year the conference took place in the winter as it is usually late summer. The LTAP County Bridge Conference hosted by Purdue University is typically in the winter, but the decision was made for the two events to switch times starting this year.

The INDOT Bridge Design Conference is hosted jointly by INDOT and the ASCE Structures Committee. The ASCE Structures Committee assists INDOT in many ways as shown in their mission statement:

“The Committee was formed by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Indiana Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to address specific topics pertaining to the design and construction of bridges and retaining walls. The Committee is to report their findings to INDOT and ASCE. The committee will be responsible for, but not limited to the following:

  1. Assist INDOT in researching and implementing new materials and technologies.
  2. Aid in developing or modifying specifications and standards for review and approval by the INDOT Standards Committee.
  3. Develop topics and programs for INDOT’s annual Bridge Conference.
  4. Assist in the maintenance and upkeep of the structures chapters of the Indiana Design Manual.”

American Society of Civil Engineers The conference is aimed to help designers, contractors, and anyone else involved with bridges in the state of Indiana. There are a variety of topics from updates on policy and procedure to new construction techniques being used in the state. It is a great opportunity […]

Autodesk University 2014

What is AU? No, it is not “Astronomical Units”, it is Autodesk University in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the leading conference for users of Autodesk software. Lawson-Fisher Associates has had the opportunity to send employees to the three (3) day conference in past years. The conference offers several benefits not only for the individual but also for the company.

One benefit is the classes in advanced training on software (i.e. AutoCAD) features and processes, workflow strategies, and career development taught by world-class instructors. A second benefit is the Autodesk certification exams that are offered on the latest versions of several Autodesk software products to boost a company’s competitive edge. Another benefit the conference provides is the sharing experiences across industries and disciplines, and discovering how others solve Autodesk software problems; including tips and tricks.

Registration for the 2014 conference on December 2-4 is still open and you can register at the Autodesk University website: http://au.autodesk.com/.

Whether one is learning, connecting, or exploring there is something for everybody at AU Las Vegas and the best part is…what happened in Vegas does not necessarily have to stay in Vegas.