Utility Engineering in a Dense Urban Environment
On March 15, 2012, Joe Martin. P.E. and Jane Raba, P.E. gave a presentation on "Utility Engineering in a Dense Urban Environment" to the Geotechnical Group at the CUNY Graduate Center Recital Hall. The presentation focused on Con Edison's infrastructure in New York City. Con Edison operates the largest underground electric distribution system in the world with over 94,000 miles of underground electric cables.
The system operates in an ever-changing urban environment, sharing space with the subway, water, gas, steam, and telecommunication systems.
Joe Martin (left) receiving a golden apple from Geotechnical Group Vice Chair Michael Chow (right) at the end of the lecture.
Mr. Martin introduced the organization of the Electric Distribution Structural Engineering Group. As the Principal Engineer in charge of Structures and Tools for the Distribution Engineering Department of Con Edison, he is responsible for engineering and design standards for structures associated with Con Edison's underground distribution system. Mr. Martin also develops and maintains specifications for tools and safety equipment used by field crews in Con Edison's electric operations.
Jane Raba (left) receiving a golden apple from Geotechnical Group Vice Chair Michael Chow (right) at the end of the lecture.
Ms. Raba then explained the impact of the urban environment on the underground electric distribution system. She provided background on Con Edison's involvement with public improvement projects such as the Second Avenue Subway and the City Water Tunnel No. 3. She also provided several case studies demonstrating the implication of geotechnical design on underground utility structures. Ms. Raba holds the engineering license for the Electric Distribution Engineering Department of Con Edison. She is responsible for filing new projects related to electric load relief, expansion of public works, and new customer service. Additionally, Ms. Raba developed a long term structural asset management program for the maintenance and upkeep of existing underground structures.
Summary by Nidal AbiSaab, photos by Ken Wigg