WEDA Newsletter for January 2016

January 2016

WEDA Newsletter, Volume 1

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Newsletter – January 2016:

In front of you is the first edition of the new style WEDA newsletter. Provided to you as one of the services specifically for our members, this newsletter will provide you with a monthly summary overview of what is going on in the world of WEDA and dredging-related activities in the Americas.

As with anything else we do at WEDA, we appreciate your input and feedback, so if you have any comments, ideas, suggestions or other feedback related to this newsletter, please e-mail that to us

Please join us March 23-25 for our Midwest Chapter Meeting in Davenport, Iowa. For all meeting details, including registration and sponsorship opportunities, click here to visit the Midwest chapter webpage. In June, get ready for the most anticipated upcoming event this year WODCON XXI which will be hosted by WEDA in Miami. This event will bring dredgers from around the globe to Miami, will host more than 80 exhibitors at the WODCON Expo, and will be the event to connect with others in the dredging industry and find out what is going on in the world of dredging. At the cross-roads of different cultures from around the world, Miami is the perfect location for this event, and will help make this an event you don’t want to miss! Click here for details.

2016 Midwest Chapter Meeting

March 23-25, 2016


June 13-17, 2016

Membership Renewals:

As 2016 is already in full swing, for those of you who haven’t done so yet, it is time to renew your membership. The easiest and fastest way to do so is online, through our WEDA website by clicking here. Those that have not yet renewed online will get contacted by e-mail and mail, so you can help save valuable resources by renewing on time. Our membership is by calendar year, so the sooner you renew or join, the sooner to reap the full benefits from your membership!

And while you are already well-aware and enjoying the benefits of WEDA membership yourself, please also look around and think about any co-workers or others that would also be interested in being a WEDA-member: you will do them as well as WEDA a favor by making them aware of WEDA and encouraging them to join.

In this section of your newsletter, we will post coverage of WEDA members in the news. Please help us keep our membership informed about news-worthy developments by sharing those with the WEDA office at

This month’s spotlight is on J.F. Brennan Company Inc.

A recognized marine contractor in North America, J.F. Brennan Company was formed in 1919. After some stints elsewhere, current President and CEO, Tony Binsfeld returned to his family’s business, in 1977 to begin realizing his dream of growing the company into a multi‐faceted, full‐service, dredge and marine construction contractor. At the time, Brennan was a small marine contractor, known more for its work in bridge building and federal construction work throughout Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. Early on, now under the tutelage of his father Roger Binsfeld, Tony set about building Brennan’s capacity to perform dredge work by focusing on navigational offerings let by the United States Corps of Engineers. At first, the work focused on mechanical dredging throughout the Upper Mississippi River’s St. Paul District. By the early 80’s, Brennan continued its focus on mechanical excavation, however expanded its work on the Mississippi River, now beginning work in the Rock Island and St. Louis Corps of Engineers Districts. Brennan further performed work throughout Lake Michigan Harbors, executing contracts for the federal government in Milwaukee and Green Bay.

In response to market changes, Tony Binsfeld created a specific division within Brennan to focus on innovation in dredge work, and appointed Victor Buhr to lead the division. Both Tony and Vic, in their quest to remake the Brennan fleet of dredges more portable and nimble, would create a collaboration with Tommy Wetta, Founder of Dredging Supply Company, DSC, who helped guide Brennan in new equipment acquisitions. Older and larger dredge equipment was replaced with newer equipment and technologies. With each replacement, Brennan would add new and innovative ideas to the equipment, an area where DSC and Brennan closely collaborated. As the new century dawned, Brennan found growth linked to new opportunities in environmental remediation and high speed dewatering. Accordingly, in the early 2000’s, Brennan made the decision to exclusively pursue dredge work that required value added services, such as environmental restoration, environmental remediation and high speed dewatering. Innovation became central to Brennan’s operations. Literally, every job completed at this point in Brennan’s history, included an “out of the box” or innovative component to it. From 2005 to 2015, Brennan generated patents in the area of dredge cutterheads, the Vic Vac, and new methods for capping contaminants, Brennan’s Broadcast Spreader System, BCS. Brennan has also brought to market additional specialized equipment in its disc cutterhead and diver dredging systems. In the area of high speed dewatering, Brennan over the last ten years, has continually designed and employed systems that increase production, reduce water content of dewatered solids and ultimately reduced cost for owners. It is important to note, that with each innovation, a financial risk is present. In the words of Tony Binsfeld “to be on the leading edge of technology, you have to be willing to go to the bleeding edge for technology”. Because Tony was willing to make innovation a cultural foundation within the Brennan, advances in the environmental dredge industry have been furthered beyond what was once thought possible.

WEDA is a non-profit organization which is governed by a Board of Directors. Each month we list the profile of one of WEDA’s Directors. We hope this will help everyone get more familiar with the people behind our organization, make it easier for you to reach out to any of them when you want to, and in general to enhance our connections within WEDA.

This month’s spotlight is on: Ram Mohan, Ph.D., P.E.

Ram is Chairman and President of the WEDA Board of Directors, and currently serves also as the President of WODA (World Organization of Dredging Associations). With over 28 years of industry experience, Ram is a senior partner at Anchor QEA, in Pennsylvania, where he supports a multitude of clients on their industrial contamination, river and wetlands restoration, navigational dredging and placement (CDF), and coastal protection and resiliency needs. He earned a Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering at Texas A&M University, and is a registered professional engineer (PE) in many states. Ram received the IADC (International Association of Dredging Companies) Award for his Ph.D. dissertation on “Capping of Industrial Lagoons with Dredged Material”.

Ram is also an active member of ASCE, ASBPA and PIANC, and is also a past member of the National Research Council (NRC) Ocean Studies Board (OSB). While at NRC, he served on a congressionally appointed panel to review and recommend revisions to the USACE Planning and Policy Guidance. Ram has been a WEDA member since 1990, and a Director since 2003, he was named WEDA’s Dredger of the Year in 2005.

Ram can be contacted at:

Thank you for taking the time to read WEDA’s first monthly newsletter in 2016. Without the feedback from our valued members, we wouldn’t be able to make the necessary improvements to the association. Please continue to provide me feedback directly, via email, telephone or in person at one of our conferences.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of our Midwest members in Davenport this March, and everyone at WODCON XXI in June.


Thomas P. Cappellino
WEDA Executive Director
(949) 422-8231
Western Dredging Association



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