On July 12, 2018, the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) hosted its annual Houston Pre-Freshmen Enrichment Program (PREP) Engineering Day presented by the College of Sciences & Technology. Houston PREP is for middle and high school students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

The day started with a welcome message at the auditorium before an audience of 200 high school students and volunteers. Ms. Sangeeta Gad, the director of Houston PREP and a Math faculty member at UHD, recognized all sponsors and participants, including ACE.

Later that morning, ACE’s Steve Cronauer, Cedrick Crosby, George Ikonomou, and Frank Reesey presented two identical sessions to an audience of approximately 40 high school students total. Each session started with a presentation by George that introduced process control and a career as a process control engineer. George’s presentation was followed by two concurrent hands-on sessions, one led by Frank and the other by Cedrick, who was assisted by Steve. Frank showed a simulated ABB system, while Cedrick ran a demo of a Rockwell Automation system. The students received a quick overview of each system and then participated in a few hands-on exercises that involved filling and emptying the tanks on the simulated PLC and HMIs. ACE was glad to see that the students eagerly enjoyed the exercises.

Our thanks go out to UHD and Houston PREP for inviting us to participate in and sponsor this wonderful event.

Austin Super and Sprint Weekend

On May 19, 2018, two engineers from ACE’s Gulf Coast office – Cedrick Crosby and Andrew Edmondson – along with a friend participated in the Austin Super and Sprint Weekend in Austin, Texas. The group competed in the Spartan Super, one of three main races offered at this mud run. Rated as the second most difficult course of the weekend, it is advertised as being about 8 miles. However, with various obstacles peppered along the rugged terrain that winds through the wilderness of Central Texas, it actually ends up being closer to 9.5. Vaulting over eight foot walls, crawling under barbed wire, climbing rope, and traversing muddy river crossings were just some of the obstacles they managed to conquer in the blazing Texas heat. Yet, the views at the peaks and the sweet taste of victory at the finish line made it all worthwhile.

Rim to Rim

On May 19, 2018, ACE engineers Tim Cole and Shawn Coughlan along with their friends and family hiked rim to rim of the Grand Canyon. Wondering what a journey like this entails? Here are some stats:

  • Distance of 23.9 miles (not 22 as Tim Cole had implied)
  • Descent of 6,000 feet
  • Ascent of 5,500 feet
  • Temperatures beginning below freezing and finishing above 90 °F
  • Altitude of 7,500 feet at the South Rim
  • The fastest runner in the group completed the trek in 5.5 hours

A great motivator for finishing rim to rim is being left on the North Rim and having no choice but to reach the South Rim in order to get home. There are only two ways out of the Grand Canyon: your own power or the back of a mule, which is pretty much the worst way to get rescued. A special thank you to Peggy Cole for picking everyone up on the South Rim so that they did not have to journey all the way back to the North Rim to retrieve the car – pretty confident that would have required the mule.

A final thank you goes out to Tim Cole for organizing and herding all the runners from one rim to the other. Every second was worth it. The views were spectacular, the people friendly, and the beer cold. The Grand Canyon absolutely lives up to the hype and if you ever get the chance to see it, take it!