, Salem, MA


September 21, 2011

Bioengineering firm turns 20

Salem-based company puts ecology first

1She was right.

"Everything worked great, and to be perfectly frank, I didn't have any concern, nor was there any warranted," said Goldsmith, 46.

The Commercial Street science and engineering company is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and it is just coming off two major contracts for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hurricane Protection Office.

The firm has designed and managed the building of levees, flood walls and navigation gates to protect New Orleans and surrounding parishes that were hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Some of these projects are so large they can be seen from outer space, said Goldsmith, who was down in New Orleans last week for a conference focused on the work done there.

At its core, Bioengineering Group provides scientists, engineers, landscape architects and construction managers to work on a variety of development projects, but all with an ecological bent. They work to restore damaged ecosystems, promote energy and water conservation, and look at ways developments can make a low impact on the environment.

For the most part, their projects tend to blend in with their natural surroundings once completed. Bioengineering Group is not one to leave its footprint in the sand.

The firm is also unique in that it takes an "interdisciplinary" approach to projects, Goldsmith said. Ecologists, earth scientists, landscape designers and engineers work on projects together, so they can share their insights, instead of working separately, as is tradition.

"We blur those lines intentionally," said Bioengineering Group's new president, Doug Smith.

"Here, every project gets a team, where all of the factors are thought of ahead of time," said landscape designer Andrew Keel of Milton, who works at the company's Salem headquarters.

Piling up awards

Goldsmith started the company in late 1991 before incorporating in 1992. She did so at a time when the words "green" and "sustainable" were not on many engineering firm's radar screens.

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