Pictured (from left): Lance Votruba, Tetrad Property Group project manager; Mike Cera, Baxter Arena arena manager; John Savage, HDR senior structural engineer; John Amend, University of Nebraska Omaha, director of facilities; Steve Gustwiller, Kiewit Building Group project manager; and Jeff Sockel, ACEC Nebraska president.

University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) Baxter Arena took home the 2016 Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) at the Nebraska Engineering Excellence Awards Feb. 24. Though originally submitted for an award in the structural engineering category, the new arena, designed by HDR and Lempka Edson Architects, earned the highest honor as the best engineering project among all of the engineering projects submitted this year in Nebraska. Not only the best engineering project award, it also captured the People's Choice Award.

John Savage who led the structural design team on the project shared his thoughts: "We're proud to be recognized for our work on the arena. Every member of the structural engineering team earned their engineering degree on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus, so for us, this project was very personal. We all realized the impact this project was going to have on the university and on the community."

Other members of the structural design team include Cary Schroeder, Dan Hahn, Brandon Kyle, Jerry Holmes, Alan Holmes and Greg Aldrich.

As the Grand Award winner, Baxter Arena was featured on the cover of the Engineer's Week Supplement in the Omaha World Herald on Feb. 21.