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Wards Island Pollution Control Plant upgrade cited in national engineering competition

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Erdman Anthony of Rochester, N.Y., is a finalist in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 45th annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition for performing a laser survey as part of the upgrade to the Wards Island Wastewater Pollution Control Plant in New York City.

Erdman Anthony utilized innovative terrestrial laser scanning technology to create a 3D model of the 70-year-old plant’s 6,000-foot-long network of utility tunnels. By combining the scanning technology with GPS data, the project team provided the plant with a complete, highly accurate picture of the tunnel system.

More detailed and less expensive than anything that could be produced using conventional technology, the new model will enable the upgrade engineers to plan the routing of new pipes in virtual reality, with full confidence that no major conflicts will occur. This in turn will expedite much-needed upgrades to a facility that serves more than 1 million people.

The project is among 161 engineering projects from throughout the nation recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) as preeminent engineering achievements for 2010. Judging for the Engineering Excellence Awards — known as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry” — took place in February, conducted by a panel of more than 30 engineers, architects, government representatives, media members, and academics. Criteria for awards include uniqueness and originality, technical, social, and economic value, complexity, and success of the projects in meeting goals.

All winners, including 16 Honor Awards, eight Grand Awards, and the “Grand Conceptor Award” for best overall engineering achievement, will be recognized at the Engineering Excellence Awards Gala, to be held Friday, April 1, 2011, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.