alfred-g-handy-jr-peAlfred G. Handy, Civil Engineering Manager, has been appointed Principal - Civil Engineering for the firm.

Mr. Handy brings a wealth of management experience to the executive management of Twin Oaks.

John Ackerman, PE, PG, President of Twin Oaks Research Centre, Inc., was invited to attend the U.S.-Saudi Investment Forum  - 2015 on September 4th.  The Forum was held at the Ritz-Carleton in Washington, DC.  Over 700 attendees were present.

Pleanary Session

The Forum was held in conjunction with the visit to the United States of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.  The highlight of the Forum was the Ministerial Plenary Discussion on the Fostering an Attractive Investment Climate.  The ministers comprising the Plenary Panel included: H.E. Irbrahim Al-Assaf, Minister of Finance; H.E. Tawfig Alrabiah, Minister of Commerce and Industry; H.E. Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Health; and H.E. Abdullahtif Al-Othman, Governor and Chairman of the Board of SAGIA.

In conjunction with the Forum the "Invest Saudi" Exhibition was held by the Saudi Export Development Authority with leading Saudi companies like Saudi Aramco and the Saline Water Conversion Company present along with numerous Saudi Government organizations.  Mr. Ackerman discussed the Research Centre's new desalinization technology with many of the exhibitors.

Wounded WarriorsThe line of Jeeps that would carry the Veterans on a 2 hour trail ride.

On August 29, 2014, Twin Oaks Principal in Charge of Civil Engineering attended the "Wheelers for the Wounded" event in northern New Jersey.

Volunteers provide the opportunity for local veterans to experience a much deserved day of adventure and relaxation in the outdoors. The day starts with a continental breakfast followed by a JEEP ride through the woods of northern New Jersey. They ended their ride with a hot lunch of pulled pork, BBQ ribs, chicken and all the fixin's.

Wheelers for the Wounded-NJ was formed seven years ago and this year had 167 Veterans/families, drivers and volunteers attend.

Wheelers for the Wounded is a nation-wide event that provides a weekend of off-roading for both wounded and non-wounded military veterans.  This excellent multi-state program was conceived by Jason Havlik, a Gulf War veteran.

Al and Jimmy"Jeepin' Al" and his Veteran son, Jimmy with Al's Jeep

 

The Borough of Shickshinny, Luzerne County, recently named Twin Oaks Consulting, LLC as the Borough's Consulting Engineer for the remainder of 2015.

Shickshinny, located along the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, covers 0.4 square miles and has a population in excess of 900 residents.

John R. Ackerman, P.E., P.G., BCEE, F.NSPE stepped down as chairman of PADEP's Certification Program Advisory Committee for Water and Wastewater Operators at the annual reorganization meeting after thirteen years of chairing the Committee.  Mr. Ackerman agreed to accept nomination and election as Vice-Chairman.  He was succeeded as chairman by Paul Zielinski, P.E., Senior Director for PA American Water Company.

 

John R. Ackerman, P.E., P.G. served on a six member panel to discuss ethical practices and the career paths they have experienced to the Wilkes University Student Chapter of the Keystone Northeast Chapter, Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers in Wilkes-Barre, PA the evening of March 10, 2015.

JRA Ethics Panel

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Students 1

John Ackerman, President of Twin Oaks Research Centre, Inc., attended the 16th Annual "Bringing the World to Northeastern Pennsylvania" business trade event sponsored by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance and the Center for Trade Development of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Mr. Ackerman engaged in conversations about the markets for water harvesting through desalinization and wastewater treatment with trade advisors from Saudi Arabia, the Arab Gulf, Singapore, India, Australia, Chile, Mexico, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The event was held at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Plains Township, Luzerne County.

 

 

PADEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo reappointed John R. Ackerman, P.E., P.G., BCEE, F.NSPE to the Certification Program Advisory Committee for Water and Wastewater Operators for his fourth four-year term (2014-2018).  Mr. Ackerman was first appointed to the committee in 2002 and has served as chairman since that time.

CPAC was formed as the Advisory Committee to aid PADEP in the development of the program manual detailing the regulations covering the responsibilities for operators in both the water and wastewater treatment programs.  Its components ranged from how to become a certified operator, the testing required to obtain the operator's certificate, the responsibilities entailed in controlling the treatment systems and the continuing education requirements needed to maintain their operator's certificates.  The committee members reviewed the materials developed by PADEP staff, discussed the materials in quarterly meetings and decided if the materials needed revisions or additions.  All decisions coming from the Advisory Committee were decided by majority vote and recommendations were submitted to the program managers for their review.  After about ten years the program manual was finalized and is now known as the Operator's Handbook.

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John Ackerman, Principal Engineer of Twin Oaks Consulting, LLC attended a presentation and panel discussion in Washington, DC on the Water Crisis occurring in California and how the effects of the drought have been enhanced by strict adherence to environmental regulations.  Congressmen David Valadao (CA-21) and Jim Costa (CA-16) commented on the effects the current drought is having on the agricultural mecca of California's Central Valley.  Their comments were followed by a panel discussion (consisting of Aubrey J.D. Bettencourt, Executive Director of the California Water Alliance; Maria L. Guiterrez, volunteer with El Agua Es Asunto De Todos; and William Yeatman, Competivitive Enterprise Institute) moderated by Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review, the program sponsor.

Points of interest presented during the presentation include: 1) California is No. 1 in vegetable production, No. 1 in citrus, No. 1 in dairy and No. 1 in almonds, walnuts and pistachios (World No. 1 passing Iran);  2) 800,000 acre-feet of water have been removed from Central Valley Project water distribution system to protect the delta smelt and juvenile salmon; 3) Close to 800,000 acres of farm land is now fallow because there is no water for irrigation; 4) although 17 cities have been in the news because they have no water, there are numerous other municipalities in the San Juaquin Valley that are also without water; and 5) The federal government agencies now decide who gets the water despite the water rights held by the property owners.

The most tragic component of the drought is the human expense.  Unemployment rates are expected to reach 50-60% among residents as the farmers and ranchers cannot afford to keep them on with no farm work available due to the lack of water.  As noted by Ms. Guiterrez, there are many angry Hispanics who cannot afford housing, a car or even food and their children are worried that they will have to drop out of school because the federal government is protecting fish rather than their citizens.

The most ironic component of this denial of water for people is that California stocks what is an invasive species, striped bass, for their sport fishery.  The prey for this voracious fish is delta smelt and juvenile salmon.  Additional water release to save them cannot succeed when they are the favorite food of a stocked species.

Ms. Bettencourt noted that a possible solution is for the coastal cities to use desalinization for their public water supplies and leave the rest for the agricultural community, but in the City of Santa Barbara, they cannot afford to run their desalinization plant most of the time due to the energy costs. They have to run it during the drought crisis and they now have to eat the higher energy costs.

This crisis reaffirms the need for our sister company, Twin Oaks Research Centre, to continue development of the energy efficient rainmaker water harvester.

And why should the rest of the country worry about what is happening in California?  Most of our vegetables, especially lettuce, broccolli, asparagus and artichokes, along with citrus and nuts are going to increase in price due to less farming in the San Juaquin Valley.  It is not just a California problem.

Twin Oaks Research Centre, Inc. has been formed to investigate a new desalinization concept conceived by John R. Ackerman, PE, PG, BCEE, F. NSPE, Principal Engineer and Geologist of Twin Oaks Consulting, LLC.

The process shows the potential to provide a sustainable method to convert seawater to fresh water and wastewater to fresh water.

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