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Critical Infrastructure in Minnesota & Beyond - 4.0 PDHs
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Critical Infrastructure in Minnesota & Beyond - 4.0 PDHs

When: Wednesday, January 10, 2018
8:00 a.m. registration, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., seminar
Where: Great River Energy
12300 Elm Creek Boulevard
Maple Grove, Minnesota  55369-4718
United States
Contact: 651-457-2347

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  Critical Infrastructure in Minnesota & Beyond


4.0 PDHs - live seminar

Due to the workshop nature and length of this seminar, there will be no live webinar.
The program will be recorded and available online via MnSPE's on-demand webinars following the program.


Program Overview: This half-day workshop includes several infrastructure-focused presentations, case studies and a panel question & answer session. The seminar is intended to provide a well-rounded look at critical infrastructure discussions among engineers and other stakeholders. 


Great River Energy will provide beverages and breakfast snacks in the morning. Attendees may choose to order a boxed lunch that will be delivered on a break near the end of the program. Lunches are $15 each.


Seminar Schedule:

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.     
8:30 - 8:35 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction
8:35 - 9:15 a.m.
State of the Electrical Infrastructure in Minnesota, presented by Gordon Pietsch with Great River Energy
9:20 - 10:05 a.m.
Infrastructure Stress Transparency Tool Version 2.0, Presented by State Auditor Rebecca Otto and University of Minnesota Professor Len Kne
10:05 - 10:15 a.m.
10:15 - 10:40 a.m.
MnDOT’s Chapter 152 Bridge Program, presented by Nancy Daubenberger, PE, MnDOT Assistant Commissioner, Engineering Services
10:40 - 11:40 a.m.
St. Anthony Parkway Bridge over the Northtown Rail Yard: A Redundant Truss Bridge, presented by Mark Maves, PE, with SEH and Greg Hasbrouck, PE, with Parsons
11:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Break to get lunches
12:00 - 12:30 p.m.
Q&A and Panel Discussion with Presenters

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, January 3, 2018

All registrations after 1/3 will be assessed a $50 late fee, up until Sunday, January 7.
No registrations will be accepted after 1/7.
No walk-in registrations will be accepted.


Presentation Details & Presenters:


1.) State of the Electrical Infrastructure in Minnesota

The State of Minnesota has a multitude of entities that have worked together for many years to plan and operate the transmission and distribution systems that serve the customers of Minnesota.  That long history has included planning for system growth, changes in generation types, the selling of energy amongst utilities, and emerging technologies and threats to the grid.

Attendees will better understand the coordination and challenges associated with planning and operating a transmission and distribution system that is reliable and cost effective.


Presenter: Gordon Pietsch has more than 30 years of working in various capacities in electric transmission and has experienced the evolution of the industry. As director of transmission planning & operations at Great River Energy, he is currently responsible for the oversight of regional and load-serving transmission planning efforts, operations of Great River Energy’s transmission system and transmission asset management. Prior to joining Great River Energy in 2001, Gordon was the director of technical services for MAPPCOR, the service organization of the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP).  He spent 19 years with MAPP working on many of the organization’s procedures for safeguarding the region’s electric grid. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.


2.) Infrastructure Stress Transparency Tool Version 2.0


Minnesota has a vast amount of aging infrastructure which protects public health and provides vital services to residents throughout the state. The state auditor and a team of collaborators have worked to create a series of interactive maps that, for the first time, visualize data on Minnesota’s drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure.  The maps were created to better inform the decision-making process at all levels of government for improving the long-term financial planning for our civil infrastructure needs.

The presentation will feature a large interactive touchscreen to give attendees the opportunity to interact with the tool and try out its features, including:

  • Generating comprehensive infrastructure stress reports for cities or special districts
  • Conducting side-by-side analysis of these entities
  • Using a variety of filters for statewide or regional analysis


Presenters: Rebecca Otto was elected Minnesota's 18th State Auditor in 2006.  State Auditor Otto was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2010 and a third term in 2014.

State Auditor Otto served on the Forest Lake school board and as state representative from the Stillwater area. She holds a Master’s Degree in education from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in biology from Macalester College. State Auditor Otto taught public-school seventh-grade science for five years.  Otto left a career as president of a 50-employee business she had helped found to devote her time to public service and give back to the community. She is a past president of the National State Auditors Association (NSAA). 


Len Kne, GISP, is the associate director of U-Spatial at the University of Minnesota, where he brings extensive experience with GIS and IT in higher education, construction, government, and non-profit organizations. He is on the faculty of the master of geographic information science program and teaches project management, spatial databases, and a variety of graduate seminar classes focusing on the use of technology in GIS.


3.) MnDOT’s Chapter 152 Bridge Program


This presentation will describe how the chapter 152 bridge program was established after the I-35W bridge collapse, bridges identified to be included in the program, and the program’s progress after nearly 10 years. This will be a broad perspective on structurally deficient and fracture critical bridges, replacement vs. rehab decisions, how historic bridges fit into the program and requirements for load-path redundant bridges.


Presenter: Nancy Daubenberger, PE, has worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation for over 18 years, in engineering and management positions. She currently serves as the assistant commissioner for the engineering services division.  For the previous four years, she served as the state bridge engineer and director of the bridge office, and earlier served as the bridge planning engineer which included overseeing the planning section of the bridge office - preliminary design, hydraulics, cost estimating and consultant agreements.  Prior to working in management roles in the bridge office, she worked for the MnDOT Metro District in the traffic section and as a south metro area engineer.

4.) St. Anthony Parkway Bridge over the Northtown Rail Yard:  A Redundant Truss Bridge


The St. Anthony Parkway bridge replacement project, located in Minneapolis and crossing over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad’s Northtown rail yard, features a 305 foot steel truss span. Designing and constructing new steel truss bridges in Minnesota, as well as the entire U.S., is a rare occurrence.  This presentation will describe how the planning of the bridge dictated an above deck structure and how the designers incorporated unique load path and internal redundancy measures into the truss span structure.  These measures included the elimination of fracture critical steel truss members and gusset plates and the utilization of a post-tensioned concrete bottom chord. The replacement of the existing bridge along the existing alignment required specialized construction techniques to minimize impacts to the BNSF’s heavily used rail yard.  These techniques included a launching beam system to remove several existing trusses and install the new truss span.


Attendees will learn:

  • Planning and design of a bridge along a critical infrastructure roadway
  • Techniques used to achieve a redundant structure
  • Techniques used to construct a piece of critical infrastructure over a busy rail yard   

Presenter: Mark Maves, PE, Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), has been the lead engineer or project manager on a wide variety of public infrastructure projects.  Throughout his 33 years in the transportation industry he has been involved in projects for state DOTs and local governments that include bridge improvements either through a replacement of rehabilitation.  He is well versed in managing complex projects requiring considerable agency and public involvement as well as multi-discipline design teams. He holds a bachelor of civil engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and has been a professional engineer since 1989.


Greg Hasbrouck, PE, Parsons, is a supervising bridge engineer with Parsons in the Chicago office and lead the engineering design for the St. Anthony Parkway Truss span. He has over 14 years of experience working on complex bridge projects including leading the design of the main span tied arch of the Hastings Bridge over the Mississippi River in Hastings, Minnesota and the new U.S. 52 Tied Arch Mississippi River Crossing in Savanna, IL.  Mr. Hasbrouck received his masters in structural engineering from Princeton University and his bachelors in civil engineering from Duke University.

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, January 3, 2018

All registrations after 1/3 will be assessed a $50 late fee, up until Sunday, January 7.
No registrations will be accepted after 1/7.
No walk-in registrations will be accepted.


MnSPE members MUST log in to see the free member rate.


Attendees have the option to purchase a boxed lunch during the registration process. Please note: No lunch orders can be accommodated after Wednesday, January 3.



  • FREE for current MnSPE members, MnSPE Platinum/Gold Industry Partners group webinar sites and non-member Great River Energy Maple Grove employees.
  • Individual non-members (in person or via live webinar): $200

*Membership must be current on the date of the seminar.
*Not a current member but want to attend for free? Join MnSPE for 6 months free or rejoin here.


To the best of our knowledge, this seminar meets the requirement for continuing education as outlined by the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Land Surveying, Geoscience and Interior Design.

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