NEW YORK CITY – WSP USA’s structural engineering practice has won the 2013 Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), announces WSP executive vice president Jeffrey Smilow, P.E., F.ASCE, who leads the practice.

WSP USA, a global engineering, design and environmental consultancy, earned the distinction for its work on the Chelsea Piers Connecticut project in Stamford, Conn.

The annual competition, which recognizes outstanding achievement in steel-frame building design, is known as the IDEAS2 Awards. Its Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering recognizes a particularly outstanding accomplishment in the engineering discipline.

Chelsea Piers Connecticut is a 400,000 square-foot sports, entertainment and educational facility on the site of a former Clairol factory building. WSP’s engineering design involved the removal of 31 existing columns to achieve 100-foot column-free zones, enabled through king post trusses.

“We are especially proud of our work on Chelsea Piers, because without a design that saved it, the old building could have simply been demolished,” says WSP vice president Allen Thompson, who served as the project manager. “It means a lot to us that the AISC has recognized this effort.”

The structural engineering practice of WSP USA, formerly known as WSP Cantor Seinuk, has a 50+ year history, more than 100 awards for engineering excellence, and a prominent portfolio of award-winning projects, including such iconic structures as The Freedom Tower in New York, the London Bridge Tower, Torre Mayor in Mexico City, Time Warner at Columbus Center in New York, the Hearst Headquarters building in New York, Citi Field in New York, and numerous other high-profile projects in the commercial, residential, hospitality, education, health care, justice and sports sectors.

Services provided by the practice include building design in high wind and seismic environments, peer review and value engineering, forensic engineering /structural investigations, building renovations and alterations, blast resistant design, construction inspection, 3D visualization, building information modeling (BIM) and steel detailing.