Coffman Announces New Hires in Electrical Engineering Department

Coffman Engineers announced two new hires to their Electrical Engineering Instrumentation & Controls Department, within their Anchorage office in November:


Jason Vukovich is an Instrumentation & Controls designer with over 10 years of experience in Alaska.

Ronald Pearson, PE is a Professional Chemical Engineer, with over 13 years of experience engineering the oil & gas industry.

To read the full press release, click here.

Coffman Engineers Announces New Certification for Zack Wright

Zack Wright Corrosion

Coffman Engineers is pleased to announce Zack Wright obtained American Petroleum Institute (API) 653 Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector certification in September, 2019. Zack also holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a NACE certified CP Technician (CP-2).

The addition of his API 653 certification supplements Coffman’s ability to provide integrity solutions to clients. The API 653 certification allows Zack to perform and oversee tank inspection activities, including repair recommendations, oversight of non-destructive testing (NDT) per applicable codes, and prepare inspection reports for clients. Zack has already put his certification to use by supporting Alyeska Pipeline on both an ongoing API 653 tank inspection and future planning for four API 653 tank inspections. His certification also helped obtain new work with the North Slope Borough developing API 653 tank inspection, API 570 piping inspection, and CP Monitoring programs for their eight fuel storage tank farms as part of a three-year program. Congratulations to Zack! Please feel free to reach out to him if you have any questions about API 653 Tank Inspections.


Dale Nelson Memorial Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund

nelsonIn his honor and memory, Dale’s family established the Dale Nelson Civil Engineering Memorial Scholarship, which is currently gathering funds through the University of Alaska Foundation in a holding account. Current funding has reached $22,000, and it is hoped that the $25,000 level needed for an endowed scholarship will be reached soon.

If you are able to contribute, you may do so online (select “Other” as designation and write “Dale Nelson Memorial Scholarship Fund” in the comment section), by check, or wire transfer. See the attached for more information, including ways to contribute and biography of Dale.

Call for Entries: 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards

The Engineering Excellence Awards program was created to increase the public’s awareness of what engineer’s do, and to recognized firms and projects of distinction. Participation in the program will provide your firm invaluable public relations and marketing.

The Awards will be featured in several E-Week publications, will be displayed at the public venue during E-Week, and be part of the program at the Banquet.

There are ten different categories, and the “intent to enter” deadline is November 27th.

For the full description of the awards, click here.

PND Engineers Announces New Hires


PND Engineers, Inc., is pleased to announce the following new hires:

Don Brown has joined PND’s CAD group in Anchorage. Don earned a bachelor’s degree in science and technology from the University of Alaska Anchorage, an associate’s in electronics technology from the Community College of the Air Force and an associate’s in computer science from Charter College. He retired from the Air Force, where he served as a satellite communications technician and was deployed to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during Operation Desert Storm. He has since worked as a telecommunications worker, computer assistant, electronics mechanic, network technician, AutoCad specialist, engineering technician and adjunct professor teaching Autodesk, Microsoft Office, math and safety classes.

Sarah Boeckman has joined PND’s Anchorage accounting staff. As a project accountant, she will assist with project setup and reporting, billing, and project closeouts, and other accounting functions as needed. Sarah is a lifelong Alaskan and graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting. She previously worked for Bristol Bay Industrial where she supervised project accounting and billing for Peak Oilfield Services. Sarah has three dogs and loves exploring, fishing, hiking and camping. She also loves “all things sci-fi and geeky,” so she has been right at home.

Lifelong Alaskan and University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate Levi Overbeck, PE, has joined PND’s Anchorage civil staff. Levi is a lifelong Alaskan and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He spent three years at Jacobs Engineering in environmental and drainage design and modeling. One of his first assignments at PND is to bring his Bentley MicroStation experience to bear on Alaska DOT&PF and Federal Highway Administration projects. Levi’s educational emphasis was in arctic water resources and hydrology; he spent two summers conducting hydrology studies at remote North Slope sites. When not working at their engineering jobs, Levi and his wife, Jacquelyn, enjoy fishing and hunting, and remodeling their South Anchorage home.

President’s Letter, October 2019


Yearend always starts a busy time for APDC.  We begin focused planning of our position statement to share with legislators at the upcoming 2020 legislative fly-in.  To support this, our legislative committee led by Mike Rabe and anchored in Juneau by John Walsh, have drafted points that the board will continue to refine at our upcoming annual legislative summit on November 6th in Anchorage.  So far, draft points include support of a minimum capital budget of $2.1 billion, increased funding of maintenance for the State’s transportation facilities, support for maintaining the University of Alaska’s programs relevant to design professions, support of funding for middle school and high school educational programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and support of the efforts of the Alaska Seismic Hazard Safety Commission (ASHSC).  Please plan to participate in the summit to ensure your member organizations thoughts and interests are represented. 

Other upcoming events are Alaska Municipal League’s annual government conference in Anchorage, November 18th through 22nd, and the Alaska State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors (and Landscape Architects 😊) board meeting, November 7th & 8th in Anchorage.  Remember that AELS seeks applicants for board positions that will be vacated in early 2020. To see a full listing of AELS Board appointments and expiration dates, please see the Board Roster, located on the Alaska Boards and Commissions website.

As I think about APDC’s efforts and recall how the organization retooled itself over the last two years to ensure that it remains of value to its member organizations, I am reminded of how much we all collaborate as design professionals and how a successful collaboration results in positive benefits for all parties concerned.

On the upside, the collaborative process yields a fair distribution of work and responsibilities providing a better understanding of roles and responsibilities for all participants.  It also streamlines decision making and increases effectiveness by bringing each individual’s knowledge and skill to bear on behalf of the group. Lastly, participants know what the plan is and the reasoning behind it. With that, participants have ownership in the solution, new knowledge of their team, and a sense of pride in the effort.

That isn’t to say collaboration is without challenge.  It might be difficult finding a shared basis of understanding for the problem at hand or learning the different participant’s communication style before good rapport begins.  It can also be costly in terms of time and resources, and may produce a result that seems a watered down version of the original concept.  To offset the potential downsides, I’ve learned to be calm at the outset and trust the process.  Collaboration is about the development and completion of a project or an idea.  To that end, patience and positivity will win the day. As with any team effort, be sure to participate and share your thoughts.

All things considered, the collaborative process is a necessary part of the successful solution to a complex issue; one that we as design professionals are uniquely qualified to help with.  I am always grateful to be included and relish the chance to merge skills and experience with others to achieve a common goal.