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Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala recognizes top projects and honors individuals
On February 22, 2014, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) honored firms for engineering and surveying excellence during the association’s 49th annual Engineering and Surveying Excellence Awards ceremony at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids. Outstanding Michigan engineering and surveying projects from the past year, as well as engineering professionals who have significantly contributed to the profession, were honored.
Great Lakes Engineering Group – ACEC Small Firm of the Year
Great Lakes Engineering Group (GLEG) is the 2014 Small Firm of the Year and specializes in bridge inspection – one of only three firms in the state to obtain MDOT prequalification for underwater bridge inspection. The firm’s founder and principal, Amy Trahey PE, a 1994 civil engineering graduate of Michigan Tech University, was instrumental in obtaining this prequalification. Mrs. Trahey has served on the ACEC/Michigan Board of Directors since 2009. She was Treasurer for two years and will become ACEC/Michigan’s first female president in 2015.
GLEG employees hold memberships with ASCE, MSPE and MCA and actively participate in local schools and zoning boards, along with youth baseball teams. GLEG encourages students to pursue careers in engineering through mentoring, internship programs, and job shadowing. Employees serve on the Michigan Technological University Civil and Environmental Advisory Board and routinely support the ASCE steel bridge competition.
GLEG is a woman-owned civil and structural engineering firm dedicated to providing full engineering services to private and public clients primarily in Michigan. The company was founded upon the need for structural engineering services that specialize in the field of bridges.
Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering – Eminent Conceptor Winner
This year’s engineering Eminent Conceptor Award winner was Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering, Inc., Grand Rapids, for the West Bay County Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrades. A number of Michigan Tech civil engineering alumni worked on the project including: Rich Grant – 1984, Bruce Sabin – 1979, 1981, Eric Griffith – 2007, Gary Bartow – 1976, Steve VandenBrink – 1978, Bob Wilcox – 1999, Carey Bond – 1992 and also a couple of chemical engineering alumni: Elaine Venema – 2006 – ChE, and Brian Schanhals – 2009 – ChE
The West Bay County Regional WWTP (WBC) provided wastewater service to six communities. In 2009, the City of Essexville and Hampton Township requested to connect to WBC and provide them with 2.3 million gallons per day (mgd) capacity. WBC would need to move quickly since they would have to have this capacity available before the wastewater service contract with another municipality expired.
While WBC wanted to accommodate these neighboring communities, WBC already needed to mitigate Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) overflows for up to 25 year storm events. The added 2.3 mgd flow would complicate the solution. Before additional customers could be connected, MDEQ required WBC to create additional treatment capacity, mitigate both WBC’s SSOs, and the customer community Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).
Critical project needs included significant WBC plant capacity expansion, add flow equalization, address odors and inadequate biosolids storage capacity, and improve on the chlorine contact time for disinfection.
FLEIS & VANDENBRINK’S ROLE IN THE PROJECT
Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) completed a capacity study, design and construction engineering as part of an expedited schedule to complete the project within about 15 months. F&V also was the inter-community consensus builder while provided funding assistance, construction management, and start-up and operations assistance.
CEE ACADEMY Alumni News
This year’s ACEC/M Vernon B. Spalding Leadership Award was presented to Melvin “Ernie” Orchard, PE, founder and past president of OHM Advisors, to honor his outstanding leadership roles in ACEC and several community organizations.
When Ernie Orchard became president of the consulting firm Orchard, Papke, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. in 1972, he immediately engaged with ACEC/MI. Energetic in his support of ACEC, Ernie later held leadership roles at the state and national levels. In the mid-70’s, he helped to organize the first Political Action Committee in Michigan’s Chapter of ACEC and the first Legislative Day in Lansing to bring attention to issues impacting the design profession.
The ACEC/M Felix A. Anderson Image Award was presented to Richard Anderson, PE, of Somat Engineering, Inc. for his actions and contributions to enhance the image of the profession.
Mr. Richard O. Anderson, a 1971 civil engineering graduate of Michigan Technological University (MTU), is a Principal Engineer and former President of Somat Engineering, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan.
As a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), he is a nationally known expert for his innovative and cost effective solutions to infrastructure projects and engineering education. During a distinguished career spanning over 42 years, he has worked on over 6,500 projects including airports, high-rise office structures, health care facilities, transportation facilities and many others.