SAME JAX March 2021 Newsletter

NAVFAC Industry Day: March 31st

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Next Meeting - Registration Is Open







Engineering Day Photos

Engineering day was help Feb 

View the Powerpoint here:


Previous Meeting Slides

Last month we had a great meeting, featuring RS&H's Victoria Mechtly discussing personal branding. To view the slides, please visit the following link:


SAME's San Juan Chapter Feb Meeting: 

Puerto Rico's Waning Window to the Universe: Arecibo Observatory Radio Telescope History and Future 

The San Juan Chapter of SAME conducted a very well-attended seminar on Feb 25th with over 100 attendees from across the country. The subject was regarding the Puerto Rican icon, the National Astronomy, and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), also known as The Arecibo Observatory. In 1960 the town of Arecibo in Puerto Rico was chosen by Professor William Gordon of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Cornell University to build an observatory primarily intended for radar studies of the Earth's ionosphere. Built in 1963 by the U.S. Air Force, they realized that the telescope would be a very significant new instrument for the then relatively new radio and radar astronomy fields. During the early 1970s, the Arecibo Observatory becomes one of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) National Astronomy and Ionosphere Centers. For five decades, it was the world's largest single-aperture telescope, surpassed in July 2016 by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in China.

On November 19, 2020, the NSF decommissioned the telescope due to safety concerns; controlled demolition was in plans. Regrettably, on December 1, 2020, before getting any opportunity of performing an honorable goodbye after so many years of service to the astronomy studies, the main telescope collapsed. The seminar offered a virtual tour through the past, present & speculation about the Arecibo Observatory future. The presenters were professionals that worked hand on hand on this past astronomical marvel.

Pilarin Ferrer CAAPPR, AIA -Moderator 

Ferrer is Associate Architect & Sustainable Technologies Academic Unit Coordinator at the PCUPR, School of Architecture. She has played a designer role on Federal Government projects for agencies such as ICE, U. S. Marshalls, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, GSA, SSODAR, DEA, VA, and IRS, many of the jobs of a highly sensitive nature. Also, worked on the design of the Arecibo Observatory's educational area.

Daniel Roberto Altschuler Stern, Ph.D. First Speaker

He was a former Senior Research Associate at Cornell University and for twelve years as director of the Arecibo Observatory. He has written several books. He is a Full Professor in the Department of Physics of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.

Luis V. Badillo, CAAPPR, AIA,  Second Speaker 

Badillo is a practicing architect & dean of the PCUPR School of Architecture. He has been responsible for designing and producing a wide range of projects in both the private and public sectors, amounting to more than $100 million in construction cost, including the Arecibo Observatory's educational area.

To view the video of this presentation, please click here


Summer Is Coming! Post Your Internships On!

Help support our Student Chapters by posting your Internship opportunities for this summer. Sustaining Member organizations can post internship opportunities for free. Internships will be promoted to SAME Student Members. Internship positions should provide authentic learning experiences. Descriptions must include: mentor name; key skills or learning objectives; description of roles and responsibilities; duration; and stipend.

Internship positions will be reviewed before posting. If you have questions about internship opportunities, contact Eddie Gonzalez. Not an SAME Sustaining Member? If you are not currently a Sustaining Member join SAME today!

To Post an internship opportunity, please click here


SAME JAX Sustaining Member Spotlight

Each month, the SAME JAX Post aims to spotlight Members, Sustaining Members and Student Members. This month we randomly chose Zapata for our Sustaining Member Spotlight, as a "Thank You" for their support of SAME. 

ZAPATA Group Inc. (ZAPATA) was founded in 1991 and received its first U.S. military contract in 1994—and joined the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) that same year. ZAPATA is a full-service architecture, engineering, and construction management firm with a track record of exceptional service and performance on complex projects for the U.S. Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, and Utility/Industrial clients worldwide. ZAPATA provides comprehensive A-E design, design-build RFP development, and construction management services for both new construction and renovations/repairs of existing facilities and infrastructure. Other specialties include general facility designs, studies, and assessments; cost engineering and estimating; facility commissioning; AT/FP, engineering forensics, security consulting and design services; and cybersecurity for complex heavy industrial and high-security facilities. At ZAPATA, we earn our clients’ Trust by conducting our business with Integrity and providing Quality services every day.

Thank you to all of our Members, Sustaining Members and Student Members for helping support SAME JAX!






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San Juan Chapter Virtual Meeting: Feb 25th 2021


The San Juan Chapter is very excited to invite all the SAME Jax Post to a free webinar we are hosting on February 25, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., (eastern time) named: Puerto Rico's Waning Window to the Universe: Arecibo Observatory Radio Telescope History and Future. 

The Arecibo Observatory, also known as the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), was an observatory in Puerto Rico owned by the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The Observatory's primary instrument was the Arecibo Telescope; it was the world's largest single-aperture telescope for 53 years, surpassed in July 2016 by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in China. On November 19, 2020, the NSF decommissioned the telescope due to safety concerns, a couple of months before two cables that supported the receiver platform broke. The astronomy studies' big sad day was December 1, 2020, when the main telescope collapsed before controlled demolition could be conducted. Besides the radio-telescope, there is a LIDAR facility (commonly used to make high-resolution maps) and an educational visitor center. All of these areas are expected to remain operational after the damage to the main telescope. Our invited speakers participated in the Observatory's construction & administration. They will introduce us to the past, present & future of the Arecibo Observatory.

This is going to be the link to our webinar:

We hope to see you all there in this virtual presentation! 


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SAME JAX Updates and News

Save the Date: Wednesday Feb 24th 12:00pm

Speaker: Victoria Mechtly, RS&H Business Development

Topic: Why you need a personal brand and how to develop it

Description: In 2021, brand development is no longer an exclusive activity for companies. Studies have shown that individuals with a focused personal brand are actually seen as more personal and more memorable. To achieve this you have to create your brand, which is not about changing who you are, it’s about highlighting the aspects that make you who you are.

Join us for this presentation, which is given each year to SAME’s National Leadership Development Program class, as well as at the SAME Career Transition Workshop.  You will learn how to take what you already have, create a brand and utilizes it in your development to be a leader in the A/E/C industry.

Speaker bio:  Victoria Mechtly is an architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) business and marketing professional who specializes in client development, strategic messaging and imagery for business-critical marketing and communications efforts. For the past seven years, she has worked with her technical staff to create business development approaches and materials, and with principals to secure new clients and projects. Ms. Mechtly holds a degree in business management, marketing and sales, and brings a passion for helping others develop interpersonal skills. She works with technical professionals and marketing staff to improve communication, team collaboration and other soft skills that lead to successful careers. Ms. Mechtly serves as RS&H’s Aerospace Business Development Lead and SAME’s Chairwomen for the National Young Professionals Community of Interest.




Jan 2021 Defense Groups Meeting Summary

Thank you to Vice Adm. Mary Jackson (USN Ret) for being our guest speaker for this year's Defense Groups Leadership Event. Also a big congratulations to Elizabeth May, in addition to UNF and everyone involved in making our January meeting a great success. Our first hybrid event with over 50 in-person registrations and over 60 virtual registrations. 

Thank you again, to Siemens, for sponsoring this event and showcasing your Gas Insulated Switch technology. 

Please view the Picture Gallery by clicking below

You can download the slides by clicking below:


Young Member Opportunity! 

Join us online Wednesday, January 27th for a virtual lunch with Young Professionals (YPs) from SAME's South Central Region! Led by Panama City Post, leaders from SAME National, Regional, and local Posts will discuss what SAME can do for you as a YP (member under age 40). You'll get to hear from rising YPs about how SAME has influenced their careers.

You do not need to be a Panama City Post member to attend. This will be an informative session for all SAME members, potential members, and students interested in the A/E/C industry! Feel free to forward this invite to others who may be interested.

Registration is encouraged but not mandatory.


Meeting ID: 759 697 7387
Passcode: SAME_SC_YM

There is no cost for this event.


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