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McGill Minute

“Shaping Communities Together” is more than a tagline, it is a culture. It is about collaborating and creating solutions together to improve the communities we love—those places where we live, work, and play. In this series, you will hear seasoned advice from local government leaders, innovators, engineers, and planners on how to shape your community for the better. Through this podcast, we plan to share successes of our clients throughout the Southeast and highlight projects other communities can replicate. Whether you want to explore topics—such as grants or arc flash—hear the latest industry trends and regulations, or dive into an innovative project, this podcast is for you.

Episode 11

STEM Day 2021: Interview with Ian Ridell, STEM Facilitator at Carolina Day School

At McGill, we are celebrating STEM Day by speaking with Ian Riddell, the STEM facilitator for grades PK-8 at Carolina Day School, in Asheville, North Carolina, about what he believes are the most important things to teach young people to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. Ian has crafted a STEM workshop at Carolina Day School that includes hand-tools, scientific equipment, Legos, computers, and much more. His passion for challenging students to think critically about science and mathematics through hands on experiences leads him to develop programming that inspires curiosity and confidence in young people and will likely result in increased numbers of workers in STEM occupations in the years to come.

Episode 10

Interconnections: Electrical Engineering from a Water and Wastewater Perspective

In this episode of the McGill Minute, we bring in Electrical Practice Area Lead, Nick Huffman, to explore his role on the McGill team as it relates to water and wastewater projects. Nick has been with McGill for over 14 years. Nick and his team play a critical role in McGill’s water and wastewater treatment projects, by upgrading electrical systems within treatment plants, providing auxiliary power through backup generators, and providing safety and operational guidance for operators. Nick shares his knowledge on SCADA, how to improve efficiency in water and wastewater plants through electrical engineering improvements, and why utilities and local governments need to be aware of updates in software and electrical systems and protect themselves from cyber attacks.

How Parks and Recreation Builds Stronger, More Resilient Communities

In honor of National Parks and Recreation Month hosted by the National Recreation and Park Association, McGill interviews Greg Stopka, the Strategy and Innovation Manager for the Park District of Oak Park, Illinois to better understand how communities are stronger, more vibrant, and more resilient because of parks and recreation. The Park District is a great example of how parks and recreation departments can use data to tell stories, from communicating messages related to park programming to telling the stories of how the Park District’s efforts build communities and result in better outcomes for community members. Greg shares how using online dashboards and internal innovation tools has led to Oak Park’s successful parks and recreation program.

Episode 08

National Environmental Education Week: Stream Restoration 101

National Environmental Education Week is the nation’s largest celebration of environmental education. Thursday the 22nd of April is also Earth Day. To do our part in environmental education we took time to talk with Jonathan Herman, an Environmental Planner at McGill about stream restoration. Jonathan has over 15 years of experience in a wide range of park and stream restoration projects. Learn what causes the need for stream restoration and what engineering firms can do to improve the quality of streams damaged from erosion resulting from both man-made and natural causes.

Episode 07

America’s Water Infrastructure Act – Don’t Delay

Are you prepared for America’s Water Infrastructure Act? Mike Dowd, PE, of McGill’s Asheville office joins us to provide information on America’s Water Infrastructure Act and what small operators need to know about the act, staying in compliance, and meeting upcoming deadlines. Mike has over 24 years of experience and leads McGill’s water / wastewater practice.

Episode 06

Pandemic Focuses Efforts on Safer Air Handling Systems

Episode 05

Landing that First Career Opportunity – Tips from Engineering Associates

Read our article with five takeaways from this McGill Minute

Episode 04

Utilities Under Stress, Part 1

Utilities Under Stress, Part 2

Utilities Under Stress, Part 3

Episode 03

Redefining Parks and Recreation: Embracing Change

Episode 02

Navigating Uncharted Waters: Financial Planning Through the Pandemic

Episode 01

Seasoned Advice for Local Government Managers:
Six Guiding Principles for Managing Through a Crisis

Download the Six Guiding Principles for Managing Through a Crisis

Our consultants at McGill have over 100 years of collective experience in local government management, including a proven track record for overcoming setbacks from the Great Recession, 9/11, and other difficult times. Together they have developed these lessons from their experience. Download the pdf for the helpful advice.

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