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in brief

WorldWatch

This year's Deep Foundations Institute annual conference will be held in Vancouver, Canada between 29 September and 1 October.

Four sessions will discuss state of the art and state of practice in design and construction of deep foundations. Visit www.dfi.org

Hayward Baker has appointed Chris Kenney as chief engineer and business development manager for its northeast region, which includes New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the New England states.

A proposal to clarify rules on recognition of professional qualifications to allow crossborder working has passed its first reading in European Parliament.

Under the proposal, engineers and other professionals will have to register with authorities before being allowed to work and their qualifications will have to meet the same levels set in that country.

US firms DGI and Menard Soiltreatment have merged to form ground improvement contractor DGI-Menard. DGI installs vertical wick drains and Menard Soiltreatment is the US affiliate of Menard Soltraitement. Seth Pearlman, formerly vice president of Nicholson Construction Company, is president of the new firm, which will offer a wide range of ground treatment services. DGI-Menard is part of the Freyssinet Group, under the Vinci Construction umbrella.

Latest figures from Eurostat, the EC Statistical Office show construction output was down 0.2% in the Euro zone but up 0.1% in the 15 EU countries in the third quarter of 2003. Year on year output was down 0.4% in the Euro zone but up 0.6% in the EU15. Most significant increases were in Portugal and Finland (both up 3.2%) and Belgium (up 2.2%). Denmark (-0.2%), Netherlands (-0.6%), Germany and France (both -0.1%) all saw a drop in output. Year on year output rose in the UK (+5.3%), Spain (+4.5%) and Finland (+4.1%), while Germany (-5.5%), Sweden (-4.2%) and Denmark (-3.4%) had the most significant falls.

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