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.

Amy Mestas, ASCE Region 8 Engineer of the Year

ASCE Region 8 Engineer of the Year has been awarded to PDC Engineer’s Amy Mestas. ASCE Region 8 is comprised of Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, and Yukon Territory. This region includes nearly 14,000 members.

Mestas was recognized earlier this year as the ASCE Alaska Chapter’s Engineer of the Year for 2018. To read the full press release from PDC, click here.

20190404-as-pdc-amy-087_headshot v2

President’s Letter, September 2019


APDC reconvened its regular board meetings in September after a two month break over the summer. Our accomplishments in the first part of 2019 include adopted revisions to the by-laws and selection of a preferred alternative design for a new APDC logo.  The final logo design should be ready over the next months as we prepare for outreach to our legislators in early 2020.  Our legislative committee is currently planning APDC’s positions to be communicated to our state legislators during the 2020 fly-in.  Position topics are likely to be centered around state budget considerations.

This summer, the board of Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors (AELS) adopted an extension for licensees that need extra time to achieve their HSW continuing education/ professional development hours.  The one month extension will cost $50.  2020 is a professional license renewal year, so consider if you’ve amassed the required 24 HSW related hours as 2019 comes to a close.  You can review renewal fees on AELS’s webpage.  Note that the AELS board has to positions opening up in March of 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. If you have any questions about serving,  contact Alysia Jones, Executive Administrator for more information: