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Michigans top engineering and surveying projects recognized at annual ACEC Excellence Awards Ceremony

LANSING, MICH. — The American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) recently honored firms for engineering and surveying excellence during the association’s 49th annual Engineering and Surveying Excellence Awards ceremony. On February 22, design professionals and guests gathered at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids to recognize outstanding Michigan engineering and surveying projects from the past year, as well as engineering professionals who have significantly contributed to the profession.

The ACEC/M Awards Program recognizes outstanding efforts of professional design firms to solve clients’ needs through exceptional projects, and offers the opportunity to showcase the year’s best engineering and surveying achievements to an audience of peers, clients and decision makers at all levels.

“This program serves as the final celebration of Engineers Week,” said Ron Brenke, P.E., ACEC/M Executive Director. “The knowledge and expertise that filled the room on Saturday was astounding! The projects engineered by private sector firms have a profound effect on the quality of life for all Michigan residents. Their efforts result in quality roads and bridges, safe drinking water, and a clean environment for people to live, work and play.”

This year’s engineering Eminent Conceptor Award winner was Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering, Inc., Grand Rapids, for the West Bay County Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrades. The $8.2 million project expanded the plant to handle existing flows and add two new communities. Fleis & VandenBrink used an innovative hydraulic design, installed a high rate anaerobic digester which helped eliminate odors, decrease sludge volume, and captured greenhouse gas methane for energy use (thus reducing operating costs). Fleis & VandenBrink saved West Bay County millions of dollars while providing a sustainable design with increased plant capacity for years to come.

The firm also took home the surveying Eminent Conceptor award for the Kalamazoo River Bank

Stabilization. Fleis & VandenBrink utilized various surveying methods and laser technology to create a thorough site map and model used to stabilize an eroding bluff. Data proved crucial to quickly and accurately analyze the site and develop effective, sustainable solutions. The Eminent Conceptor Award is ACEC/M’s top honor.

Four firms were honored with the Engineering Honorable Conceptor Award: Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. for the Mackinac Island Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements (Mackinac Island); HH Engineering LTD and G2 Consulting Group, LLC for the I-94/Sargent Road Interchange Road Realignment and Bridge Replacement (Jackson); Harley Ellis Devereaux for the CHASS Southwest Center (Detroit); and HNTB for the Blue Water Bridge Plaza CBP Primary Inspection Booth Expansion (Port Huron).

Engineering Merit Awards were presented to Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick, Inc. for the Ember Oaks Drain Drainage District (Ingham County); Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. for the M-20 over Schrader Creek Design/Build project (Mecosta County); Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. for the East Stadium Ann Arbor Bridges Replacement project (Ann Arbor); OHM Advisors for the DTW Deicing Runoff Pumping Station and Force Main project (Detroit); HNTB for the Blue Water Bridge Freeway Corridor Reconstruction (Port Huron); and Byce & Associates for the Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Brewhouse Expansion and Renovation project (Galesburg).

Surveying Merit Awards were presented to Abonmarche Consultants, Inc. for the South Haven Maintenance Dredging Project (South Haven) and Surveying Solutions, Inc. for the M-1 Rail Data Fusion Project (Detroit).

The Judges’ Choice Award for Board Design was given to Spalding DeDecker Associates, Inc., for the project board designed to ‘tell the story’ of the Veterans Memorial Pointe Enhancement project (Rochester Hills).

This year’s ACEC/M Vernon B. Spalding Leadership Award was presented to Melvin ‘Ernie’ Orchard, P.E., founder and past president of OHM Advisors to honor his outstanding leadership roles in ACEC and several community organizations. The ACEC/M Felix A. Anderson Image Award was presented to Richard Anderson, P.E., of Somat Engineering, Inc. for his actions and contributions to enhance the image of the profession.

The Eminent and Honorable Conceptor award winners are eligible to compete at the National ACEC engineering competition in Washington, D.C. For more information on the projects and award winners, visit the ACEC/M website at www.acecmi.org.