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An Iconic Shoreline from Above: McLaren Engineering Group Wins the 2024 Engineering Drone Video of the Year Competition

An Iconic Shoreline from Above: McLaren Engineering Group Wins the 2024 Engineering Drone Video of the Year Competition

The competition for the Engineering Drone Video of the Year (EDVY) competition was fierce this year with more than 2,500 votes being cast during two weeks of online voting.  Over the first four days of the EDVY Competition, there was little to discern between the top five videos, with each receiving between 100 and 200 votes.  As the first week closed on day seven, one video from a familiar name began to emerge as a leading contender to finish online voting in the top five.

Submitted by last year’s EDVY winners Cody Rogness and Moore Holding Company/Moore Engineering, the video tiled “Cub Creek Development 2nd Addition” highlights a civil engineering project in Horace, North Dakota.  Completed by Moore Engineering’s Land and Site Development Group, the project is a new residential development featuring 215 single-family residential lots, 2 multi-family lots, stormwater ponds, 2 park properties, and pedestrian paths.  The video visualizes Moore Engineering’s civil, water resources, and environmental engineering services for the Cub Creek project.  Using drone footage to provide a comprehensive view of the project, the video pairs visuals with information, tracing the progress of project features such as the collector roadway, which includes 2,100 lineal feet of new concrete roadway, shared-use paths, and sidewalks.  This trend continues as various aspects of the project are paired with information about material, development, and community impact.

As week two of online voting got underway, the jockeying for position in the top five intensified, and the final four changed no less than three times.  As the second week continued, another video that emerged as exceedingly likely to finish in the top five was DRMP’s submission titled “Suncoast Parkway 2 State Road 589 Expansion Project.”  The video features a critical project that provides region connectivity and was included in the 2022 Yearbook of Engineering Achievement from Civil+Structural Engineer Media.  Using voice-narration paired with video footage, photos, and visualizations captured with drone-flight, DRMP’s submission tells the story of Florida’s infrastructure expansion over the course of the last 10+ years.

The final three positions in the top five remained in hot contention as online voting drew to a close in the second week.  During this time, several videos made quick jumps up the leaderboard with perhaps none larger than McLaren Engineering Group’s “Promontory Point” submission.   At the conclusion of online voting,  four submissions were in direct competition for the final spot.  Another submission that made a significant jump in the final days of online voting to secure a spot in the top five was “Lynnwood Link Extension (L300) Light Rail” from Skanska USA Civil.  The video uses drone flight to trace an overview of rail project just north of Seattle.  Flying overhead the project, the video gives viewers a unique perspective on the project’s 3.8 miles of aerial guideway, two elevated stations, and a five-story parking garage at the Lynnwood Transit Center.

The final video to secure a spot in the top five at the conclusion of online voting was Thomas & Hutton’s “HMG Metaplant America EV Facility,” which is situated in Bryan County, just minutes away from Savannah, Georgia.  Thomas & Hutton provided comprehensive services for the groundbreaking project, including site selection, general consulting, due diligence assistance, site master planning, project management, and the design and permitting of offsite and onsite infrastructure.  The video gives an aerial view of Thomas & Hutton’s work on the project’s roads, water supply, sewer systems, storm drainage infrastructure, and mass grading plans.

After the end of the online voting period, our top five videos were compiled and passed along to our prestigious panel of judges to determine the top spot.  Composed of AEC industry professionals, drone pilots, and experts, our judging panel worked together to determine which submission was worthy of the top spot.  And, after adding up all the numbers, one video rose to the top: McLaren Engineering Group’s “Promontory Point”.  McLaren Engineering Group’s video features Promontory Point, which is a landmark park in Chicago that features a notable limestone shoreline built in the 1920s for protection against Lake Michigan’s waves.  This iconic shoreline faced a proposed demolition due to concerns over its condition, and McLaren’s submission uses textual overlays to outline their comprehensive inspections carried out by drones and divers.  The video uses points created through drone imagery to outline various project features, and demonstrate the result of their determination that the park’s revetment could be preserved with proper rehabilitations.

McLaren Engineering Group’s winning submission to the 2024 EDVY Competition opens with a sweeping shot of the Chicago shoreline, with the historic Promontory Point —an 18-acre public park and landmark known for its expansive limestone revetment shoreline—surrounded on three sides by the waters of Lake Michigan.  The video uses textual overlays to tell the history of the park, describing how the 3,150-ft shoreline was constructed to protect the park from the lake’s intense waves.  Using labeled points, the video shows the different structures that make up the park’s iconic shoreline, including its limestone revetment and promenade, steel waler, and concrete coffins.  The video continues the story by outlining proposed plans to demolish the iconic structure amid fears of collapse.  However, thanks to the McLaren’s deployment of aerial drone surveying as well as topside visual- and underwater dive- inspections, the shoreline structure was determined to not be in danger of collapse.  As a result of this assessment, McLaren proposed rehabilitations that would ensure the continued existence of the shoreline structure.

McLaren’s winning submission to the 2024 EDVY competition in many ways represents the growth and further potential for development for drones within the AEC industry.  Using video and imagery captured with drones, McLaren successfully crafted a narrative that outlined the importance of our work to a larger audience. Furthermore, in doing so, the winning video was able to capture the importance of drones both as a function of our job in managing the built environment and in communicating and growing our profession.

Judging Panel

  1. Bree Sikes, Marketing Coordinator, Zweig Group
  2. Alexander Lopukhov, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development, TOPODRONE SA
  3. Will Anderson, Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor, Zweig Group
  4. Matt Hassett, Product Manager, AGTEK Development Co.
  5. Luke Carothers, Editor-in-Chief, Civil+Structural Engineer Media

2024 EDVY Finalists

Cub Creek Development – Moore Engineering

Promontory Point – McLaren Engineering Group

Suncoast Parkway 2 Expansion Project – DRMP

HMG Metaplant America EV Facility – Thomas & Hutton

Lynnwood Link Extension (L300) Light Rail – Skanska