Category Archives: Environmental

Engineers Without Borders

Sigma Design Company has been working on water products and systems for almost 20 years. Whether it is Ballast Water Treatment Testing or the design of Complex Marine Systems, Sigma has emerged as the ‘go-to’ expert on all types of water-related systems. Sigma has provided technical engineering support to Catholic Relief Service (CRS) for 15 years, with clean water projects in Guatemala, Kenya, and the Philippines.

When Fordham University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB)was looking for

 technical mentors, it was Sigma’s expertise in navigating water projects around the globe that made us a good fit. “Engineers Without Borders USA believes in the power of engineering to change lives. Clean water. Reliable energy. Safe access. These are gifts that truly keep on giving.” To learn more please visit the EWB website.

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Three years into our involvement with this impressive group of students, we have been surprised that many industry professionals do not know about EWB. There are nearly 300 chapters throughout the U.S., with each group committed to using their technical skills to improve the lives of others. The projects have been described by the students as ‘life changing’ and have made for some very interesting job interviews.

At a recent meeting at Fordham, graduates who started the EWB program returned to share their stories about how prospective employers were impressed by their involvement in this challenging venture. Check out the Fordham chapter here.

The Fordham EWB project was to design and develop a cooperative fish pond for a community in Uganda. This project is student-driven, with the mentors’ input as advisors in the design process.  After getting EWB approval for the project, the team visited thirty-four fish farming sites in the surrounding area to assess the successes and failures of each venture. Land surveys and assessments of water supply were conducted to determine a suitable site for the first fish pond. Take a look!

The team is preparing for its third working trip in 2018.

Our collaboration as technical mentors has been extremely rewarding and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with EWB!  

 

Where’d You Earn Your Stripes?

It’s hard to talk about going down to New Orleans without mentioning oysters, po’boys and beignets. But food had to take a back seat during a recent trip to the Big Easy where over 40 McDermott International employees gathered for a reunion. A street car to the Garden District brought us to Bruno’s Tavern to meet with the men who designed, fabricated, and constructed some of the largest marine equipment in the world during the 80’s & 90’s. These projects sent us to Singapore, Spain, Dubai, and our favorite assignment, the south of France. A typical project would require 18 hour days with an occasional day off with this new ‘family’ of expats. The work required supervising large groups of machinists, welders, riggers, and electricians with the task of building monstrous-sized cranes, installing deep sea platforms, and laying hundreds of miles of deep sea gas and crude pipelines.McDermott DB 101The bonds formed living and working together years ago were evident as each person shared stories from then and now. A recurring theme heard throughout the day was about the novice sent into the field, some as young as 22, without any real experience or preparation for the work and responsibility for which they were hired.   They credited McDermott International, originally headquartered in New Orleans, for hiring the right people, giving you a job to do and the tools that were needed to do it, and then just leaving you alone.   You were hired for your ability to work smartly and independently.

These experiences, particularly the offshore projects created the foundation that makes Sigma Design Company able to handle today’s challenging engineering projects. What an adventure it was! It was so great to see everyone! Thanks to Mike McIntosh, Rich Lockwood and Richard Smith for bringing so many of us together.

 

Bird-Friendly Wind Power Brings Manufacturing Jobs to New Jersey

Raymond Green, a World War II veteran and retired welder and operating engineer has hired Sigma Design Company located in Middlesex, NJ to test, analyze, refine, optimize and manufacture his patented invention: Catching Wind Power® (CWP) Compressed Air Enclosed Wind Turbine. Once launched, it will bring 25+ new technology jobs to New Jersey.

The blades of traditional wind turbines can kill bats, birds, and other flying wildlife. This was a concern to Green, so he designed a system that eliminates external blades. The patented “Inner Compression Cone Technology” (ICCT) squeezes the incoming air, compressing it as it is drawn through the turbine and multiplies it creating more power. The ICCT technology also creates virtually no noise. The blades are internal, closer together, and smaller therefore eliminating the sound traditional blades make as they spin and swoop past the tower. The turbine is offered in different sizes ranging from personal portables to massive wind farm units. This versatile product is very cost-efficient for any location and allows the user to take green energy anywhere they go.

Catching Wind Power® turbines can replace or be added to existing wind farm towers.

Green, who is 89 years old and resides in Jackson, CA, felt strongly about entrusting this project to a veteran-owned company. He found Sigma Design, owned by Jerry Lynch, P.E., a U.S. Navy veteran. Green’s vision is the launch of this alternative energy product, which will create jobs in America for U.S. veterans.

Catching Wind Power® pilot test set-up at Sigma Design Company in Middlesex, NJ.

CWP is an early-stage company and has patents in the USA, which were granted on 02/13/2007 and 03/16/2010. The company also has patents in New Zealand, Australia, China and 27 countries in Europe. These patents and IP will become major assets of the company. CWP products will have numerous applications such as military and remote installations; these systems have global market appeal.

Sigma and Raymond Green are forming an investment team to bring the product to market. Interested investors are invited to contact Sigma Design.

Contact us today and find out how Sigma Design Company can make your product a reality.


For more information about Catching Wind Power® please visit: http://www.catchingwindpower.com/

SIGMA Upgrades National Ohmsett Testing Facility in Leonardo, NJ

SIGMA Upgrades National Ohmsett Testing Facility in Leonardo, NJ

Oil spills in waterways or the Gulf of Mexico are serious business and call for innovative water cleaning technologies. To test emerging technologies for oil spill clean up, many turn to the Ohmsett National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility, located in Leonardo, New Jersey – right on the Raritan Bay about one hour south of New York City.  Sigma Design Company of Middlesex New Jersey (SIGMA) was awarded a contract to lead the upgrade of the Ohmsett Test Facility.

Ohmsett Test Platform - Delivery

Ohmsett Test Platform – Delivery

The Ohmsett National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility is the largest outdoor saltwater wave/tow tank facility in North America. This is the only facility where full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, research, and training can be conducted in a marine environment with oil under controlled environmental conditions (waves and oil types).  The Ohmsett Test Facility is maintained and operated by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Recently the Ohmsett Test Facility served as the test site of more than seven different systems that competed for a first prize of $1.4 million in the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE for highly effective oil spill cleanup methods. The facility also has the mission as a research and testing venue for wave energy conversion devices.

Ohmsett Test Platform - Placement

Ohmsett Test Platform – Placement

With such increased levels of activity, the 50 year old Ohmsett Test Facility needed an upgrade and critical components needed improvement, especially the test platform – which is affectionately called the Aux Bridge.

Unique in many ways, the Ohmsett test platform is a hybrid bridge/test platform – that is 70 feet long and weighs 35,000 lbs. Test systems are towed through the seawater tank, which is 650 feet long, 65 feet wide and 12 feet deep. The lab can also create 2 to 3 foot waves to better simulate open water challenges in firefighting and oil spill clean up.

After a competitive bidding process, SIGMA was awarded an engineering contract to design and manage the construction, as the owner’s representative, of a new test platform for Ohmsett. The major design challenges were to develop a larger test structure that was safer, easier to use allowing quicker operational set ups while reducing the overall weight, and increasing operational test load capacity.

Ohmsett Test Platform - Installation

Ohmsett Test Platform – Installation

SIGMA analyzed, designed and managed every part of the new testing system by using 3D design software, FEA structural analysis methods and mechanical engineering competencies. The platform was validated by:                1) alignment testing – to ensure “she” rolls straight when pulled 6 knots; 2) load testing- with over 80,000 lbs; and finally 3) operational testing – while being pulled 6 knots through seawater tank.

With the completed installation and acceptance of the new test platform in January 2012, the Ohmsett Test Facility is ready to serve oil spill clean up and wave energy technology testing needs for many years to come.

Sigma Design Company – Solution Analysis, Design and Construction/Installation Management 

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