R&D Forum

Research and consulting firms NHC, LaSalle announce merger

Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Ltd. has announced a merger acquisition of LaSalle Consulting Group, forming the new “Lasalle|NHC.” Before the merger, Alberta-based NHC and Quebec-based LaSalle represented two private North American companies with hydraulic laboratory operations, with NHC operating labs in Edmonton, Vancouver and Seattle and consulting offices in California and Brazil. LaSalle developed an international reputation for optimizing large hydro projects and has played an important role in developing Quebec’s large hydraulic infrastructure since the 1950s.

“As a larger operation, NHC offered more diversified services than did LaSalle,” Lasalle|NHC President Marc Villeneuve said. “The merger allows us to offer expert services in some new areas within our geographic market and expand beyond our current market, while continuing to honor our existing teaming relationships.”

Both companies specialize in numerical and physical scale models for infrastructure located in river, coastal and marine environments while also being active in other areas of hydraulics and hydrology, including flood management, water supply planning, geomorphic analysis, habitat restoration, and river and ice engineering.

“Both firms are highly regarded in the industry but operate mostly in different geographic markets. The merger will allow us to share work and specialized expertise to provide more comprehensive services to existing and new clients,” said Brian Hughes, NHC’s director of physical modeling operations.

CEATI holds workshop to educate on risk management

Risk management as it relates to hydropower was the topic of a full-day workshop held in March by CEATI International and attended by about 200 people.

The workshop consisted of 14 presentations divided into two categories:

– Operations, maintenance and reliability of critical equipment; and

– Examples of how risk-informed decision making and risk management are applied.

Attendees take a break from learning to network during a full-day workshop on risk management as it relates to hydropower, held by CEATI International.
Attendees take a break from learning to network during a full-day workshop on risk management as it relates to hydropower, held by CEATI International.

Case studies presented included lessons learned from the failure of Taum Sauk Dam in Missouri, major changes at the Sayano-Shushenskaya plant in Russia since the failure incident; and replacement of the penstock at the McClure project in Michigan. Individuals with the University of Maryland, Geocomp, Hatch, Quest Integrity and the Tennessee Valley Authority also presented data in the area of operations, maintenance and reliability of critical equipment.

The second half of the program featured presentations by Hydro Tasmania, HDR, Pacific Gas & Electric, MWH, Ontario Power Generation and Copperleaf.

CEATI brings electric industry professionals together through focused interest groups and collaborative research projects, to identify and address technical issues that are critical to their companies. Participants can undertake research projects that respond to their strategic goals.

Luebke to lead Reclamation’s Technical Service Center

Tom Luebke, P.E., has been named director of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Technical Service Center.

“The TSC is a critical component of Reclamation, providing the necessary technical expertise to inform and implement decisions by Reclamation and our partners to provide a sustainable water and power future for the West,” said Lowell Pimley, acting Reclamation commissioner. “Tom is the perfect person to provide the operational and strategic leadership needed to ensure the TSC continues to meet the evolving needs of Reclamation and the West.”

As TSC director, Luebke will oversee 500 scientists and engineers located in Denver, providing studies, analysis, research and design and specifications support for Reclamation’s programs, regions and area offices, other federal agencies and international customers.

Luebke was most recently deputy director of the TSC and before that was the TSC’s business manager, providing key financial and operational guidance to the organization.

He joined Reclamation in 1974.

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