Spottlight on Little Things


  • Sam Zook, SIT| Surveyor, Survey and Data Capture has received his certification as a Drone Pilot.  On June 21st, 2016 the FAA finalized a new regulatory framework for small, unmanned aerial systems. Titled Part 107, these new regulations created a new drone certification process that covers the majority of low-risk, commercial UAS flight operations for all commercially operated drones. Commercial refers to any kind of flight operation that can be tied to economic benefit. These new regulations were implemented on August 29, 2016.  Zook is one of three certified pilots at SSM. He is a 2009 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology.
  • SSM welcomes Christopher Colvin, EIT as Graduate Engineer in our Electrical Engineering Department. Chris is responsible for electrical design and preparation of scope, plans and specifications for industrial, commercial and institutional building projects. He received his BS in Engineering from James Madison University.

Little Things Make a Big Impact

Being the shortest month in the year, February serves as a great reminder to us to take a moment to look around and focus our attention on the little things that make a big impact in our lives. By now, our New Year’s resolutions have become habits; the days are starting to get a little longer and the nights a little shorter; and no matter what the Groundhog predicted, there’s probably a cozy, snow day in our future. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

So why not use these 28 days to reflect on the little things that will impact your life in a big way . . . say thank you and show appreciation to friends, family or co-workers . . . reflect on the positive things in your life at the end of each day and remember . . . focus on your work flow or process and identify a few small opportunities that could be developed for big results. And make it happen.

Inside this Issue

  • Small Imperfections Matter: For complex surfaces or large areas of surfaces that require high levels of flatness or levelness, using a high definition laser scanner offers millions of coordinate data points for verification or detection of anomalies that cannot otherwise easily or quickly be acquired. From offices to high density storage facilities, synthetic surface playing fields, to high-speed race tracks, the ability to rapidly and accurately measure and model large surfaces can highlight the small imperfections that can make a big difference.

  • Inefficiencies Often Abound in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants: Many Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) were built at a time when budgets were not so tight and engineers erred on the side of caution to ensure that the plant met the design criteria. There are three areas that can provide big savings: energy usage, chemical addition, and sludge generation and disposal.

  • The Little Things in Stormwater Management: With the Chesapeake Bay Reboot and new MS4 permit requirements hitting municipalities, many are left asking, “How can we possibly accomplish this?” There are many ways to attack a stormwater management issue, and in a large watershed, the task can seem daunting. But when you stop and think about it, it really comes down to identifying, prioritizing, and properly managing small areas of land within the larger watershed. The combined impact of small BMP projects on a watershed can be astounding, and are only amplified as one moves downstream.