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Alden Acquires Renowned Pacific Northwest Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory

Aug 17, 2012 -
Alden Research Laboratory, Inc. (Alden) of Holden, MA, has acquired AECOM’s hydraulic engineering and modeling laboratory in Redmond, WA, and has hired the associated staff. Combining the modeling talents and fisheries knowledge of Alden staff with the 34 years of hydraulic modeling and fisheries engineering experience of the AECOM hydraulic engineering and modeling operation, Alden has created the largest commercial hydraulic engineering laboratory system in North America.

The AECOM laboratory was formerly known as the “ENSR hydraulics lab,” and became part of AECOM in 2005 when AECOM acquired ENSR. Charles “Chick” Sweeney, P.E., started the independent hydraulic modeling laboratory in 1978. The hydraulics lab has been a leader in the optimization of hydraulic structures and fish passage systems associated with hydroelectric power generation, working especially closely with federal agencies and utilities in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, the group has helped municipal utilities to ensure proper performance of pump stations and water conveyance systems. Capabilities have expanded to now include physical hydraulic modeling, 1-D and 2-D numeric modeling, 3-D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, fisheries, hydraulic engineering design, and field services.

Alden has been expanding geographically in recent years, having opened up an office in Fort Collins, CO, in 2009, and establishing a presence in Portland, OR, in 2011. This addition is a major milestone in an ongoing effort to better serve clients in the U.S. and internationally.

“This transaction will establish Alden’s presence on both coasts and will enable us to better serve the growing hydraulic design and flow modeling market by bringing together two companies with extensive capabilities and complementary cultures,” remarked Stuart Cain, Ph.D., Alden President. “And we really have not been competing directly on projects in recent years, meaning we’ll be able to offer more resources and more talent to the customers of both facilities.”

“It is a win-win-win arrangement,” said Chick Sweeney. “I am very excited about the evolution of the laboratory, as both teams get to draw on each other’s knowledge base, and our clients will have much more talent brought to bear on their challenging projects. We will continue to have work collaboratively with AECOM.”

“We are happy that we will be continuing a productive relationship with the laboratory and that its employees will be supporting many of our future projects,” said Frank Sweet, AECOM Executive Vice President, U.S. West Region.