Latest News

Highway Division Needs Engineers

Date: March 15, 2021

The West Virginia Division of Highways needs engineers, reports Metro News. A spokesperson said the agency needs to replace those engineers who are retiring. “What we’re trying to do is hire in some engineer trainees out of school, When someone retires, not only do you lose that knowledge as it goes out the door. That’s not something you replace overnight, you need to look long term into the future and hire people who can learn those things over a period of years,” the spokesperson said. The agency is seeing applicants from the University of Nebraska, Ohio University, and George Mason University in addition to the schools that are regular recruitment stops: WVU, Bluefield State, Fairmont State, WVU Tech, University of Pittsburgh, and Virginia Tech.

Engineering Education Controversy Comes to Wheeling

Date: March 15, 2021

Wheeling’s efforts to bring Bluefield State College to the city are stirring some controversy over engineering education, according to the Intelligencer. The city and Bluefield State are collaborating to establish a new Engineering and Manufacturing Center, but officials at West Virginia Northern Community College, West Liberty University, and Wheeling University have expressed “strong disappointment” in the move. They argue the move will cause “negative consequences” for one or all of the local institutions, all of which dispute the assertion that there is a local void in engineering degree programs.

County To Hire Staff PE

Date: February 11, 2021

The Harrison County Commission voted 2-1 to hire an on-staff engineer, who is required to hold a West Virginia PE license, reports the Exponent Telegram. The commissioners who supported the new position believe the move will help the county save money. Commissioner Patsy Trecost say the engineer could assist with projects such as courthouse remodeling, removal of the courthouse jail annex, new roofing at the Public Safety Building in Nutter Fort, the law enforcement headquarters and storage facility in downtown Clarksburg and work at the Harrison County Senior Citizens Center. The salary range begins at $77,000.

Study: While Natural Gas Boomed, Local Economies Didn’t

Date: February 11, 2021

Despite the natural gas boom, the top gas-producing counties in the Ohio Valley still lag behind the rest of the nation economically, according to a study by the nonprofit think tank Ohio River Valley Institute. The study covers 22 Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia counties that produce more than 90% of the region’s natural gas.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported on the study. “What we’re seeing is almost the definition of the resource curse, and that is great economic growth with very little, if any, impact on local measures of prosperity,” Sean O’Leary, senior researcher at the institute, said of the report during a webinar last week that focused on the so-far unrealized dream of a petrochemical boom in Appalachia.

Wind Farm Construction Begins

Date: January 27, 2021

On the Grant-Mineral county line, construction has started on a 23-turbine wind farm called Black Rock Wind, according to Metro News. The project, owned by Clearway Energy, is slated for completion before the end of 2021. Each turbine will generate 5 megawatts, and the power will be provided to Toyota and American Electric Power. “We still don’t want to forget, in any way, our coal mine jobs, our natural gas jobs, or our oil jobs and how important they are,” said Governor Justice. “But we have embraced our role as an all-encompassing energy state. We want to welcome alternatives, and this wind farm will absolutely amp up our wind production in this great state in a big way and will help us move forward with great jobs.”

The Bechtel-Reed & Reed Joint Venture will engineer, procure, and construct the farm. The Siemens-Gamesa SG 5.0-145 wind turbines will be on 107.5-meter tall towers.

Paul A. Hornor, Jr., P.E.

Date: January 27, 2021

Paul A. Hornor, Jr., P.E., a member of WVSPE and NSPE since 1962 and former leader of the oldest engineering firm in the state, passed away on January 15 at the age of 85. In 1902, brothers Carl L. Hornor and Paul S. Hornor opened Hornor Brothers Engineers, centered in Clarksburg. The firm was instrumental to the development of the city and north-central region of the state, providing surveying and engineering services for railroad, coal mine, and municipal projects. Hornor started his career at the company in 1963 and became president in 1983. Read the September/October 2019 PE magazine article about the firm and the obituary in the Exponent Telegram.

Firms in West Virginia and Wales Launch Energy Storage Partnership

Date: December 16, 2020

A Monongalia County manufacturer has been selected as the US partner for a Welsh technology firm that will be building a new facility for energy storage development in Morgantown. The facility is expected to bring up to 1,000 manufacturing and technology jobs to the state. According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the partnership between DST Innovations in Wales and Blue Rock Manufacturing “plans to build a reactor next to a source of coal in West Virginia to reduce the coal to hard carbon that can be used to create batteries and supercapacitors.” The facility is designed to be part of the Dragon Energy Island project that DST Innovations is working to launch in Swansea, Wales. No timeframe was announced for the launch of the facility.

New Telescope Planned for Greenbank Observatory

Date: December 16, 2020

An assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at WVU, has received a grant to build a new radio telescope at the Green Bank Observatory, according to the Williamson Daily News. The telescope will work in concert with two others in Canada to triangulate the positions of targeted objects. These telescopes will then connect to a much larger telescope in British Columbia to identify precise locations. The telescopes will be searching for Fast Radio Bursts, among the brightest objects in the universe, to gain greater understanding of their nature and origin.

PE Wins Reelection to House Seat

Date: November 18, 2020

Longtime NSPE/WVSPE member David McKinley, P.E., won reelection to the House of Representatives, defeating Democrat Natalie Cline. He has represented District 1 in northern West Virginia since 2011. Born in Wheeling in 1947, McKinley graduated from Purdue University with a degree in civil engineering and spent 12 years in the construction industry before establishing his own firm. Today, McKinley Architecture and Engineering has offices in Wheeling, Charleston, and Pittsburgh.

WVU’s Engineering Expertise Helped Attract Hyperloop Center

Date: November 18, 2020

“A unique blend of expertise in multiple areas of engineering at West Virginia University, and a shared purpose have culminated in an integrated solution to meet the unique challenges of the Virgin Hyperloop Certification Center, slated to be located in the West Virginia highlands,” reports The university’s selling points include expertise in the integration of high strength polymer composites into various types of infrastructure, electromagnetic systems, vacuum systems, mining, autonomous systems, and advanced manufacturing. The area terrain and soil conditions were also optimal for the six-mile test track.

Hyperloop Testbed Slated for West Virginia

Date: October 28, 2020

Virgin Hyperloop has selected the site of a former coal mine in Grant and Tucker counties as the location for a new $500 million certification center and six-mile test track for an alternative high-speed transportation system, according to Engineering News-Record. The facility will be the first US regulatory proving ground for the high-speed travel system. Federal regulators will use the facility to establish hyperloop regulatory and safety standards, building upon regulatory framework guidance issued in July by the US Department of Transportation. Virgin Hyperloop says its system can propel passenger or cargo pods at speeds of over 1,000 km/h.

Plans for Natural Gas Plant Abandoned

Date: October 28, 2020

A developer has dropped plans for a 920-MW natural gas-fired power plant in Brooke County due to changing market conditions and alleged interference from the coal industry, reports Power magazine. The West Virginia Economic Development Authority approved $5.6-million loan guarantee for the project on September 9. The article says, “a political push and pull involving an array of business, industry, union groups, and state leadership appears to have doomed the project.”

2020 WV Construction & Design Expo

Date: March 25–25, 2020
Expo 2020

The WV Construction and Design Expo is all about helping you find better, faster, smarter, cleaner and more efficient ways to get things done. Get a snapshot of the latest and greatest products and companies in the design and construction industries.

E-Week Activities-Archives

During E-Week, on February 21, 2019 at the Four Points Sheraton in Charleston, WV, WVSPE held a Scholarship and Celebration Dinner. WVSPE member Ed Robinson, P.E., P.S., served as the keynote speaker. Several scholarships were awarded. Read the program for a list of all scholarship winners. 

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Pictured above: President, David Weaver, P.E. and a scholarship winner, Jared Neehouse

36th Annual MATHCOUNTS Competition

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The 36th Annual MATHCOUNTS competition was held at Braxton County Middle School on March 23rd. Representatives from 15 schools across West Virginia assembled to contend for the opportunity to represent West Virginia in the National Competition in Orlando, FL on May 11th -May 14th.
The middle school students gathered bright and early to put their math skills to the test. Those talented students took a math test that determined the top school teams and top individuals of West Virginia. The top four individual winners will represent West Virginia in the National Competition in Florida. Ryan Butler from Suncrest Middle School will coach the West Virginia National team.

Read the official Press Release for more information on the event and winners.

West Virginia Society at the 2018 Professional Engineers Conference

From July 18–22 in Las Vegas, at Caesars Palace, NSPE members enjoyed an exciting week full of exceptional education programs, speakers, and great networking.


West Virginia Society Members