Women’s History Month: Meet Amanda Lai of Kleinfelder

FullSizeRender_new-slightly-cropped[1]During the month of March, Women’s History month, ACEC California is highlighting the past and current notable contributions of women engineers and land surveyors. As such, we are highlighting accomplished female engineers and land surveyors to gain a better understanding of how they view women’s growing place in the engineering profession and how the profession can continue to reach out to aspiring young women engineers.

Amanda Lai is a project engineer in the water group at Kleinfelder, where she works on local projects to help alleviate California’s water challenges. Ms. Lai graduated from UCLA in 2011 with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and spent three years at Parsons Corporation, working in road/highway engineering and earning her PE. She then decided to shift her professional focus to addressing the state’s water infrastructure needs.

Ms. Lai has also been named one of 2017 ACEC National’s Young Professionals of the Year.

Each year, ACEC National selects five young professionals from all over the country who represent excellence in their field and illustrate how their work has positive impacts on society. Amanda will formally accept the award at ACEC National’s 2017 Fall Conference.

Outside of the office, she serves as the President of the Engineers Without Borders San Diego Professional Chapter where she oversees international projects in El Salvador, India and Senegal that help to provide basic human needs in developing communities. She is also active in a mentorship program at Emerald Middle School in El Cajon and a STEM mentorship program at San Diego High School. In her spare time, she travels extensively and frequents local farmers markets where she dabbles with sustainable agriculture.

Below is a Q&A ACEC California conducted with Ms. Lai:

What was attractive about the profession of engineering?

Engineering is a fancy word for sustaining existence. Without engineering, the human race would have ceased to exist long ago. Most importantly, we would not have pizza.

What do you work on in your current capacity?

My team focuses on water treatment, storage and distribution. Living in Southern California is a constant reminder of the impact and imperativeness of water infrastructure. My team is comprised of a group of highly technical and creative engineers, and I am constantly amazed by their talent.

What is the one thing many people don’t understand about civil engineering?

Two things. Firstly, it’s everywhere, seen and unseen. A few obvious engineering feats are skyscrapers and bridges and the infrastructure supporting these marvels. In the last few years, I have been captivated by the things unseen, namely resource recovery. A few weeks ago, I participated in Engineering Day at the Mall where our EWB booth did a water demonstration that challenged many young students to think about where their water comes from and the engineering behind our modern existence.

Secondly, engineering is incredibly innovative. We are artists, and science is our medium. I find it amusing that engineers are often billed as less-than creative. If that were the case, we would be walking everywhere, Los Angeles would still be an uninhabitable desert, and there would be no pizza.

Is it important to you to help develop the next generation of women engineers? How might the profession do better at reaching out to aspiring young women?

I cannot imagine a world without female engineers. I was raised predominantly by strong and decisive women, and to think that there could exist a future where there are fewer females in the STEM field is unthinkable. My grandmother and her six children (5 daughters, 1 son) fled Vietnam during the Vietnam War; they oftentimes had no choice but to work hard and to work honestly. Growing up, this was normal.

We need to talk about the absence of women in leadership positions. I am lucky to work in a time and place where there are laws prohibiting explicit gender biases in the workplace, but we are now presented with the subtle microaggressions that require a different approach. Microaggressions are like the vestigial organs of our patriarch’s past. What’s worse is that people don’t like to talk about it because it’s not so obvious, but no battle worth fighting is easy. Kleinfelder hosts a quarterly women’s network to designate a space specifically to talk about inequality in all forms. Forums like this facilitate conversation to acknowledge disparities and ways to address them.

We also need to normalize women and minorities in the STEM field. My hope is that students will one day no longer have to hear the statistics about how engineering is a male-dominated field. We exist! I work with a local middle school as a mentor and STEM advocate. I have received letters from some aspiring female engineers who are encouraged by the very sight of a female engineer. I do not consider myself to be a highly exceptional engineer, but the fact that I am present in their lives is enough encouragement for them to continue pursuing their education, regardless of the antiquated statistics that they are fed.

What would be the dream project you would choose to work on?

Ideally, I would like to design a large-scale composting facility powered by vermiculture that can take in organic waste and biosolids and produce nutrient-dense compost for agriculture and protein-dense grub for livestock feed.

Realistically, I plan to travel to Senegal this summer with my EWB team to implement our sanitation project.

 

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Women’s History Month: Meet Jennifer Akashi of MNS Engineers

March is Women’s History Month and it is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the critical contributions women have made to the engineering profession. From Nora Stanton Blatch in 1905 becoming the first woman in the United States to obtain a degree in civil engineering and Lillian Moller Gilbreth who became the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering to Dr. Ellen Ochoa Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the first Hispanic woman in space, women have been breaking down barriers to open professional pathways for future generations of female engineers.

This month, ACEC California will be highlighting women engineers that are excelling at their profession and helping set the standard for future engineering professionals through dedication, high work ethic, and a commitment to serving the public. MNS Engineers submitted a profile of Jennifer Akashi, an engineer with a deep interest in water infrastructure.

Meet Jennifer Akashi of MNS Engineers

Jennifer AkashiIn celebration of Women’s History Month, MNS Engineers (a multi-service infrastructure consulting firm with offices throughout California) was asked to highlight the achievements of one of our rising stars. While we have many women at MNS who meet this criterion, we chose to focus on one of our younger engineers, Jennifer Akashi, EIT and 2016 CalPoly Pomona graduate.

Jennifer comes from an engineering family. Her father, a mechanical engineer, first sparked her interest in engineering as a profession. From a young age, Jennifer spent many hours in the garage with her dad hammering, welding, assembling, building. You name it, they did it. “My dad always had a hands-on project for us to work on in the garage” says Jennifer, “He can fix anything”. As an adult, she attributes her handy(wo)man skills to this time spent with her father.

While having an engineer in the household certainly influenced her decision to pursue engineering, it was ultimately her love of the environment and sciences which led her to choose civil engineering as her career.

1410900344665Unlike many students entering college, Jennifer knew she wanted to get a civil engineering degree. She just didn’t know EXACTLY what she wanted to do. To help guide her through her course work and lay the path for her future, she joined an on-campus chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). It was there she was advised to seek out internships as a means of focusing her career. She pursued both public and private sector opportunities; assisted with proposal preparation and budgets; and was involved in the design of water, wastewater, and surface water projects.

In August 2016, Jennifer joined MNS. When asked what attracted her to the firm, she replied, “This was the first job (in engineering) where my bosses were female. Having strong women role models and leaders was an important factor in my decision making.” She also enjoys the variety of work and growth opportunities within MNS and is particularly interested in recycled water. As her technical abilities mature, Jennifer sees herself in a Project Management role overseeing large water infrastructure projects.

Jennifer’s next challenge is the California Professional Engineers exam.

IMG_0893Some fun facts about Jennifer:

  • She holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with an Environmental Emphasis
  • She enjoys backpacking with her boyfriend, reading, cooking, and traveling
  • After graduation, she spent a month traveling through Europe.

 

ACEC California Kicks Off 2017 Engineers Week Honoring Scholarship Foundation Recipients

As the engineering professionals kick off 2017 Engineers Week, the American Council of Engineering Companies, California announced the recipients of the 2017-2018 Scholarship Foundation awards. ACEC California’s Scholarship Foundation annually awards scholarships to deserving graduate or undergraduate college students working toward a degree in engineering or land surveying, with the top award recipients nominated to apply for the ACEC National scholarship competition.

This year, nine students received scholarship funds – three graduate students and six undergraduate students. In all, the Scholarship Foundation awarded a total of $25,000 in scholarship funds.

“Supporting future engineering and land surveying professionals along their career path is a critical part of strengthening our industry,” said Brad Diede, Executive Director at ACEC California. “I am especially proud that year after year ACEC California members recognize the need to give back and help those who are as passionate about the profession as they are.”

Engineers Week also launched this week, statewide and nationally, as engineers start to participate in events to highlight the critical role the engineering profession plays in the lives of everyday Americans. From large scale public works projects, such as airport seismic safety, to smaller yet vital projects such as water treatment systems in small communities, engineers are honored this week for their efforts to serve the public.

To recognize 2017 Engineers Week in California, ACEC California members will join Senator Anthony Cannella (R – Ceres) on Thursday, February 23, 2017, on the floor of the California State Senate as he presents Senate Resolution 18 to recognize 2017 Engineers Week.

The 2017 ACEC California Scholarship Foundation award recipients are listed below:

Graduate Students

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Mani Firouzian, University of California, Irvine – Mani is pursuing a PhD in Civil Engineering. Since his undergraduate studies, Mani has been working as an intern, engineer, consultant, and senior consultant for different private and state engineering firms. Mani is also a California Air Resources Board (CARB) accredited Lead Verifier under both CARB’s Mandatory Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting and Offset Projects programs.

 

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Arwa Tizani, University of California, Irvine – Arwa is pursuing a Masters degree in Civil Engineering. Arwa has also participated in engineering competitions through American Society of Civil Engineers and Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. In addition, Arwa is holding the position of Academic Chair for a student social sorority Delta Delta Delta.

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Kellie Cochran, California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo – Kellie is pursuing a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering and will focus on advanced wastewater treatment. Following her master’s program, Kellie is interested in pursuing a career in water reuse and resource management.

 

 

Undergraduate Students

margaritakovalchukMargarita Kovalchuk, California State University, Sacramento – Margarita is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. After interning at Kennedy/Jenks Consulting, Margarita is currently conducting research on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with water resources professor Dr. Cristina Poindexter. She is also President of an award-winning Society of Women Engineers chapter at Sacramento State University.

 

img_0567Crystal Faqih, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona – Crystal is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Crystal also serves as Vice President for Engineers Without Boarders, a student organization, as well being a member of the Society of Women Engineers to encourage young teens to consider engineering as a career choice.

 

img_9426-2Cheryl Fichter, University of California, Davis – Cheryl is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and serves as External Vice President of the Society of Women Engineers at UC Davis. Cheryl also has participated in undergraduate research in the Physical Chemistry department.

 

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Brandon Elder, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona – Brandon is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and serves as the secretary of the California Land Surveyors Association. In addition, Brandon is the Crew Chief for the Pacific Southwest Conference CPP surveying competition and is currently an intern for RKA Consulting Group.

 

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Beau Forest, University of the Pacific – Beau is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and Computer Engineering. Beau is from Redding, California, where he graduated from University Preparatory High School as a co-valedictorian. He loves to design and create. Additionally, Beau looks forward to furthering his engineering and computer science skills so he can continue to do so at a higher level.

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Sam Kinsey, University of Southern California – Sam is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Sam serves on the Executive Board of USC’s chapter of the Construction Management Association of America as the Co-Chair of the annual Symposium fundraiser. Sam is also concurrently pursuing a Bachelor of Music Piano Performance.

 

ACEC California’s Engineering Excellence Awards Wrap Up

ACEC California’s 1st Annual Scholarship Foundation Fundraising Dinner presenting the ACEC California Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) was held on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco, California. With over 300 attendees and 28 firms receiving awards, this year’s awards ceremony recognized recent achievements of the engineering and surveying industries.

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Bill Wagner presenting the 2016 Legislator of the Year award to Senator Patricia Bates, at the EEA Banquet.

In December we announced Senator Pat Bates as our Legislator of the Year. We were honored that the Senator was able to accept the award at our EEA banquet.

Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center was not the only project to receive an award. Notably, many firms won multiple awards. The top 18 award winners were eligible for the top California Golden State Award. And all 18 of these Honor Award winners are eligible to go on to the national Engineering Excellence Award competition in Washington D.C.

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Left to Right: Megan Guida, Ralph Guida, Senator Bates, Kurt Yoshii, Jeff Walker, and Stephanie Wagner.

Brad Diede, Executive Director of ACEC California stated, “Many deserving projects were submitted to this competition. All of these firms should be very proud their contributions to our society. We were pleased to be able to recognize their distinctive and inventive concepts.”

For a complete list of all the award winners, click here.

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Brad Diede, Corey Walker (Past Scholarship Award Winner) and family at the EEA Reception.

ACEC California is excited to have brought the Scholarship Foundation and EEA together and affirm the fundamental role that ACEC California member firms play in building and maintaining the quality of our infrastructure. Thank you to our panel of judges and our members’ support. Congratulations to all our award winners!

Click here for a look at all the photos from the banquet!

 

Sacramento-Area Projects Honored With ACEC California Engineering Excellence Awards

Last month, ACEC California unveiled the 2017 recipients of its prestigious Engineering Excellence Awards. In all, 21 California firms representing 38 projects were named winners. Four Sacramento-area projects were recognized for outstanding achievement, including: the Golden One Center in Sacramento; the Closed Lincoln Landfill Groundwater Corrective Action Project in Lincoln; the Bailey Creek Bridge Replacement Project in Plumas County; and the Riverfront Reconnection Project-Phase I in Sacramento.

Honor Award Winning Projects in the Sacramento area include:

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Closed Lincoln Landfill Groundwater Corrective Action Project in Lincoln, CA by Holdrege & Kull Consulting Engineers and Geologists of Chico, CA. The City of Lincoln contracted with Holdrege & Kull as the prime consultant to provide environmental engineering design and construction services that achieved compliance with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Cleanup and Abatement Order. The Order required the groundwater table to be lowered beneath the bottom of the unlined landfill waste material, maintain a minimum 5-foot-separation distance between the bottom of the waste and the underlying groundwater table, and extract the offsite contamination plume. Holdrege & Kull designed a perimeter dewatering trench system that achieved full compliance within 8 months after completing construction versus the estimated 3 year period for compliance. Holdrege & Kull’s value engineering solution saved the City of Lincoln approximately $12,000,000 when compared to a clean closure alternative solution requiring the complete removal and disposal of the waste at a Class I landfill facility.

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Golden One Center in Sacramento AECOM of Orange, CA, in association with Henderson Engineering, Inc., Kansas City, MO. The AECOM-designed Golden 1 Center, home of the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings, is the first indoor sports arena in the world to achieve LEED platinum certification. The arena features five-story, aircraft-hangar doors that open to the city and the natural cooling of the Sacramento Delta breeze. A first-of-its-kind displacement ventilation system saves energy and improves comfort by delivering conditioned air directly beneath the seats and allowing fans to influence the temperature through an app on their phones. The 100% solar-electric venue will achieve a 45 percent reduction in water use and 30 percent reduction in energy use of a typical arena. The building has earned the highest score for a sports venue in the LEED program and placed in the top three percent of all LEED certified buildings.

Merit Award Winning Projects in the Sacramento area include:

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Bailey Creek Bridge Replacement Project in Plumas County, CA, by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff of Sacramento, CA. Built in 1928, the original Bailey Creek Bridge had aged into a state of disrepair and was classified as structurally deficient by the California Department of Transportation. The bridge crosses Bailey Creek on County Road 322A in a remote part of northwest Plumas County. The WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff team evaluated multiple bridge types, construction methods and bridge erection schemes to reduce the project footprint and minimize construction duration and impacts to the site. The existing three-span bridge was replaced with a precast single-span bridge on the same alignment, implementing a detour on a temporary bridge adjacent to the old structure during construction. This innovative approach saved the County time and costs, met seasonal construction restrictions, met requirements to maintain roadway traffic and eliminated permanent impacts to Bailey Creek.

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Riverfront Reconnection Project-Phase I in Sacramento, CA, by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff of Sacramento, CA. When I-5 was originally constructed, the highway interrupted the city’s grid system, separating downtown Sacramento from the riverfront area and Old Sacramento, making multimodal travel difficult. The two existing entrances to Old Sacramento were hidden and not easily accessible. The Riverfront Reconnection project provides a new bridge entrance that is accessible to motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages traveling into Old Sacramento from the Capitol Mall Bridge to 2nd Street and Neasham Circle. Completed ahead of schedule, the project provides green bicycle lanes and safe pedestrian facilities, used aesthetic treatments to blend into the historic area, met seismic safety and Americans with Disabilities Act design standards, mitigated noise and visual impacts, and minimized construction impacts to traffic along I-5. The project also includes provisions to accommodate the City of Sacramento’s future streetcar system.

About the EEA Awards

ACEC California’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes outstanding achievements in engineering and land surveying projects completed by California firms. In 2017, 18 Honor Awards were granted to 12 firms and 20 Merit Awards were granted to 11 firms. An awards dinner, which is a fundraiser for the ACEC California Scholarship Foundation 501(c)3, will be held in San Francisco, February 2, 2017, and Honor Award winning projects will have photographic panels on display at the Capitol, outside of the Governor’s office, in early 2017.

The winner of the Golden State award, signifying the best overall project, will be announced at the awards dinner. Honor Award winners also are eligible to enter the national level Engineering Excellence Awards competition.

 

 

Water Conservation Project In Visalia Honored With ACEC California Engineering Excellence Award

In December 2016, ACEC California unveiled the 2017 recipients of its prestigious Engineering Excellence Awards. In all, 21 California firms representing 38 projects were named winners – including the Packwood Creek Water Conservation Project in Visalia, which was honored with a Merit Award.

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The Packwood Creek Water Conservation Project, which was designed and constructed by Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group of Fresno, CA, aimed to benefit local water supplies within the eastern San Joaquin Valley. Fully operational in 2015, the project has the capacity to recharge 1,465 acre-feet per year, and will better manage 29,360 acre-feet per year. It utilizes five automated check structures (four newly-constructed and one retrofitted) in Packwood Creek to maintain high water levels and maximize storage/recharge capabilities. The project’s multiple innovative design features allows the project to serve as a recharge facility and to also function as an irrigation water delivery facility.

About the EEA Awards

ACEC California’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes outstanding achievements in engineering and land surveying projects completed by California firms. In 2017, 18 Honor Awards were granted to 12 firms and 20 Merit Awards were granted to 11 firms. An awards dinner, which is a fundraiser for the ACEC California Scholarship Foundation 501(c)3, will be held in San Francisco, February 2, 2017, and Honor Award winning projects will have photographic panels on display at the Capitol, outside of the Governor’s office, in early 2017.

The winner of the Golden State award, signifying the best overall project, will be announced at the awards dinner. Honor Award winners also are eligible to enter the national level Engineering Excellence Awards competition.

Inland Empire Projects Honored With ACEC California Engineering Excellence Awards

Last month, ACEC California unveiled the 2017 recipients of its prestigious Engineering Excellence Awards. In all, 21 California firms representing 38 projects were named winners – including four projects located in the Inland Empire.

Honor Award Winning Project in the Inland Empire:

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Auto Center Drive Grade Separation Project in Corona, CA by Kleinfelder | Simon Wong Engineering of San Diego, CA. The project constructed a four-lane overcrossing above operational Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks, and improves vehicular and pedestrian safety by separating trains from highway and foot traffic. The overpass was designed with future enhancements in mind and allows for the addition of two more active railroad tracks, which would increase the total rail capacity from two to four tracks. The new overcrossing also benefits daily commuters with improved travel times by eliminating the need for motorists to wait for passing trains, which could cause up to 25 minute wait times at the previous at-grade crossing. The firm helped save the City of Corona $1.3M and reduced the contract time by two months with proposed changes to the staging and construction before the contractor bidding process began and vigilant project oversight throughout construction.

Merit Award Winning Projects in the Inland Empire:

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Expansion of the Metrolink service, the Perris Valley Line (PVL) from Perris to Riverside, CA, by HDR, Inc. in Irvine, CA. As the region’s first expansion of Metrolink service in 22 years, the rail line opened in June 2016, providing a new, highly desired transit option for the area’s commuters. The 24-mile line parallels Interstate 215 from Riverside to Perris and includes four new or rehabilitated stations while bringing commuter rail south of Riverside for the first time. The PVL is expected to relieve pressure on heavily congested Interstate 215 without the negative impacts on air quality or the community. As an energy-efficient alternative to a freeway expansion project, the PVL can potentially transport more than 4,000 riders through the corridor daily and eliminate up to 20,663 metric tons of emissions per year.

San Bernardino Associated Governments- San Bernardino Transit Center

San Bernardino Transit Center procured by San Bernardino Assoc. Government (SANBAG) in San Bernardino, CA by HDR, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA. HDR, Inc., facilitated the creation of Omnitran’s bold vision, consolidating their San Bernardino City buses into a downtown multi-modal passenger transit center. HDR was selected by a consortium of three stakeholders including SANBAG, Omnitrans, and the City of San Bernardino to provide architectural and engineering services for the design of the San Bernardino Transit Center. This is the flagship facility for Omnitrans that stitches together 22 outdoor bus bays, adjacent Omnitrans sbX BRT station, and access to future Metrolink commuter rail and Redlands Passenger Rail platforms. The facility currently serves 6,000 passengers per day. HDR, Inc., master planned the site including a leading-edge 7,200 SF LEED™ “Gold” Certified passenger services building which features a large outdoor trellis canopy for passenger comfort.

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VA Loma Linda Ambulatory Care Clinic in Loma Linda, CA, by Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. of Los Angeles, CA. 7. Demand for veteran health services surpassed capacity at the existing Loma Linda VA health facility. To help meet this new demand, a state-of-the-art, 345,000 square foot ambulatory care center (ACC) was designed to alleviate pressure on the health system and to house all out-patient services. Kimley-Horn led civil design efforts as part of a design-build team operating under one of the VA’s first-ever public-private partnerships. The ACC implements a thoughtful design that raises the standard of care for patients, improves the community, and utilizes innovative cost-savings measures, all while emphasizing sustainable technology that minimizes the ACC’s environmental footprint.

About the EEA Awards

ACEC California’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes outstanding achievements in engineering and land surveying projects completed by California firms. In 2017, 18 Honor Awards were granted to 12 firms and 20 Merit Awards were granted to 11 firms. An awards dinner, which is a fundraiser for the ACEC California Scholarship Foundation 501(c)3, will be held in San Francisco, February 2, 2017, and Honor Award winning projects will have photographic panels on display at the Capitol, outside of the Governor’s office, in early 2017.

The winner of the Golden State award, signifying the best overall project, will be announced at the awards dinner. Honor Award winners also are eligible to enter the national level Engineering Excellence Awards competition.

 

ACEC California Announces Engineering Excellence Awards

Today the American Council of Engineering Companies of California (ACEC California) unveiled the 2017 recipients of its prestigious Engineering Excellence Awards. In all, 21 California firms representing 38 projects were named winners. 18 Honor Awards were granted to 12 firms and 20 Merit Awards were granted to 11 firms. An awards dinner, which is a fundraiser for the ACEC California Scholarship Foundation 501(c)3, will be held in San Francisco, February 2, 2017, and Honor Award winning projects will have photographic panels on display at the Capitol, outside of the Governor’s office, in early 2017.

“Engineering and land surveying firms excel at serving California communities through extraordinary and innovative design in order to solve real-world problems,” said Brad Diede, Executive Director of ACEC California. “This year’s award winners were no exception – from providing critical clean water infrastructure to more efficient transportation improvement projects and world-class facilities – ACEC members are moving California forward.”

ACEC California’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes outstanding achievements in engineering and land surveying projects completed by California firms. Entries are accepted into one of 12 project categories: studies, research and consulting engineering services; building/technology systems; structural systems; surveying and mapping technology; environmental; waste and storm water; water resources; transportation; special projects; small projects; energy; and industrial and manufacturing processes and facilities.

Walter P Moore Air Traffic Control Tower and Integrated Facilities Building at San Francisco International Airport

The winner of the Golden State award, signifying the best overall project, will be announced at the awards dinner in February. Honor Award winners also are eligible to enter the national level Engineering Excellence Awards competition. Last year’s Golden State Award, the Air Traffic Control Tower & Integrated Facility by Walter P Moore (pictured left), also garnered the top national honor, the ACEC 2016 Grand Conceptor Award. Photographs of award winning projects can be found here.

 Honor Awards were granted to the following firms:

  • AECOM of Orange, CA, in association with Henderson Engineering, Inc., Kansas City, MO, for its work on the Golden One Center, home arena of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Sacramento Kings, in Sacramento, CA.
  • Arcadis U.S., Inc. of Carlsbad, CA for its work on the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in Carlsbad, CA.
  • Arcadis U.S., Inc. of Los Angeles, CA for its work on the Port of Long Beach, Middle Harbor Redevelopment Program, Phase 1 in Long Beach, CA.
  • Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc. of San Jose, CA, for its work on the Central Marin Ferry Connection Multi-Use Pathway in Larkspur, CA.
  • Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc. of Orange, CA, for its work on the Tustin Avenue / Rose Drive Railroad Grade Separation in Placentia and Anaheim, CA.
  • Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Inc. of Brea, CA, for its work on the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project 500kV Underground Transmission Mira Loma-Vincent in Chino Hills, CA.
  • Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group, Inc. of Fresno, CA, for its work on the Healdsburg Avenue Bridge over the Russian River in Healdsburg, CA.
  • Hill International of Irvine, CA, for its work on the Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Asuza, CA.
  • Holdrege & Kull Consulting Engineers and Geologists of Chico, CA, for its work on the Closed Lincoln Landfill Groundwater Corrective Action Project in Lincoln, CA.
  • Kennedy/Jenks Consultants of San Francisco, CA, for its work on the Converting Waste to Vehicle Fuel at the City of San Mateo Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Mateo, CA.
  • Kennedy/Jenks Consultants of San Francisco, CA, for its work on the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant (HTWTP) Long Term Improvements Project (LTIP) – 11MG Treated Water Reservoir in San Bruno, CA.
  • Kennedy/Jenks Consultants of San Diego, CA, and Trussell Technologies, Inc. of San Diego, CA for its work on the Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project in Santee, CA.
  • Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. of San Diego, CA, for its work on the Blue Line Light Rail Transit Renewal Project in San Diego, CA.
  • Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. of Oakland, CA, and Mott MacDonald of Pleasanton, CA, for its work on the Interstate 80 SMART Corridor Project – Integrated Corridor Mobility (ICM) in San Francisco – Oakland, CA.
  • Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc. (KSN) of Stockton, CA for its work on the San Jose – Santa Clara RWF 3D Scanning, 3D Modeling & Mapping in San José, CA.
  • Kleinfelder of San Diego, CA for its work on the Cross Border Xpress Terminal Building and Pedestrian Skybridge in San Diego, CA.
  • Kleinfelder | Simon Wong Engineering of San Diego, CA, for its work on the Auto Center Drive Grade Separation Project in Corona, CA.
  • Maintenance Design Group, LLC (MDG) of Pasadena, CA, for its work on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Division 13 Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in Los Angeles, CA.

Merit Awards were given to:

  • Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group, Inc. of San Francisco, CA, for its work on the Sylvester Greenwood Academy + Leadership Public Schools in Richmond, CA.
  • HDR, Inc. in Irvine, CA, for its work on the expansion of Metrolink service, the Perris Valley Line from Perris to Riverside, CA.
  • HDR, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA, for its work on the San Bernardino Transit Center Omnitrans Bus Transit Center procured by San Bernardino Assoc. Government (SANBAG) in San Bernardino, CA.
  • Huitt-Zollars, Inc. of Thousand Oaks, CA, for its work on the Trancas Creek and Lagoon Feasibility Study in Pacific Coast Highway & Trancas Canyon Rd/ Malibu, CA.
  • Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. of Orange, CA, for its work on the Monterey Peninsula Airport (CIP and RSA of Runway 10R/28L) in Monterey, CA.
  • Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. of Los Angeles, CA, for its work on the VA Loma Linda Ambulatory Care Clinic in Loma Linda, CA.
  • Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. of San Diego, CA, for its work on the A Avenue Green Street Project in National City, CA.
  • Michael Baker International of San Diego, CA, for its work on the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Central Hospital – Civil Engineering, On-Site and Off Site Development, Utilities in San Diego, CA.
  • Michael Baker International of San Diego, CA, for its work on the Mission Beach Bulkhead Seawall Replacement in San Diego, CA.
  • Michael Baker International of San Diego, CA, for its work on the Point Loma Nazarene University Science Center in San Diego, CA.
  • Michael Baker International of San Diego, CA, for its work on the Springbok Solar 1 & 2 in Kern County, CA.
  • MNS Engineers, Inc. of Santa Barbara, CA, for its work on the Colorado Esplanade in Santa Monica, CA.
  • MNS Engineers, Inc. of Santa Barbara, CA, for its work on the Los Osos Valley Road Interchange at US 101 in San Luis Obispo, CA.
  • Mott MacDonald of Pleasanton, CA, for its work on the New Irvington Tunnel in Sunol, CA.
  • Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group of Fresno, CA, for its work on the Packwood Creek Water Conservation Project in Visalia, CA.
  • Psomas of Pasadena, CA, for its work on The Santa Anita Oak Woodland Project in Arcadia, CA.
  • Rick Engineering Company of San Diego, CA, for its work on the Hanson El Monte Pond Restoration and Flood Control/Groundwater Recharge Project in San Diego, CA.
  • Rick Engineering Company of San Diego, CA, for its work on the Hotel Churchill Renovation in San Diego, CA.
  • WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff of Sacramento, CA, for its work on the Bailey Creek Bridge Replacement Project in Plumas County, CA.
  • WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff of Sacramento, CA, for its work on the Riverfront Reconnection Project-Phase I in Sacramento, CA.

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ACEC California is a statewide association representing over 950 private consulting engineering and land-surveying firms that average 20 employees each. ACEC California is dedicated to enhancing the consulting engineering and land surveying professions, protecting the general public and promoting the use of the private sector in the growth and development of our state. Our members provide services for all phases of planning, designing and constructing projects. For more information, visit http://www.acec-ca.org.

ACEC California Names Senator Pat Bates 2016 Legislator of the Year

bates-patriciaSenator Patricia Bates (R – Laguna Niguel), a strong supporter of the design professional community, has been selected by ACEC California as its 2016 Legislator of the Year. Each year, ACEC California members recognize a member of the Legislature for his or her commitment and demonstrated political courage on public policy issues important to the engineering and land surveying industries.

“Senator Bates understands the complexities of our industry,” said Jeff Walker, of Kleinfelder and ACEC California President. “She has consistently demonstrated leadership on issues of importance to us and has risen as a champion in many ways, including standing in support of reform to uninsurable contractual requirements.”

“It is an honor to be recognized by ACEC California and its membership of consulting engineering and land surveying professionals,” said Senator Bates. “I share ACEC California’s mission of building a better California and appreciate opportunities to work with ACEC California to achieve that mission in the state legislature.”

Senator Bates demonstrated her support of efficient and effective infrastructure delivery options by authoring Senate Bill 901. SB 901 would have created the Advanced Mitigation Program in the Department of Transportation to implement environmental mitigation measures in advance of future transportation projects.

SB 901 promoted flexibility in the application of CEQA to transportation projects without sacrificing substantive environmental protections. Given the enormity of our state’s transportation infrastructure needs, ACEC California believes it is critical to consider innovative mechanisms to deliver projects as quickly as possible and strongly supported Senator Bates’ legislative effort.

ACEC California is pleased to present Senator Bates with its Legislator of the Year award this year and looks forward to working with her in the future.

 

 

Road Charge Pilot Program: Statements and Social Questions

Road Charge Pilot Program: Statements and Social Questions
By Kelly Garman, Director of Government Affairs

**This is the fifth blog post I have written since being enrolled in California’s Road Charge Pilot Program. To read the first four posts, please click here, here and here, and here.**

ca-road-charge-logoI continue to be fascinated by the mechanics of this pilot program. I’ve now received two monthly statements, both showing that if this road charge program were fully implemented, I would be saving money.

In other words, according to the results of this pilot program, I am currently paying more tax on gas when I fill up my 24 gallon Toyota Sequoia than I would be if I didn’t have to pay at the pump and was solely “billed” at a rate of 1.8 cents per mile (which, according to the information found on my statement, is the equivalent to the five year historical average of California fuel excise taxes).

Click here to view my –
August statement
September statement

The idea of being “billed” to drive is something worth discussing. Currently, I fill up my tank every 10 days or so, not differentiating in the slightest the money I spend to actually pay for the cost of each gallon of gas and the money I spend that is handed over to the state of California to support transportation infrastructure (the taxes I pay at the pump). It isn’t broken out on the pump’s screen, detailing where the $60.00 ends up. My checking account simply says how much I paid, and frankly that is all I have ever paid attention to.

Now that I see how much I would be paying per mile (should this pilot program be fully implemented) and how much each individual trip costs me (something I have never tracked before), I wonder if such information would change travel behavior for the general public. On one hand, paying for gas at the physical pump would be less expensive. Would my mind cheer and not cringe when filling up my tank?

On the other hand, the idea of receiving a bill, in the mail or electronically, for the miles I drove in the previous month makes me question the consumer’s appetite for such a thing. While currently the gas tax is sort of hidden, I wonder how Californians would react to receiving a bill, seeking payment.

The road charge pilot program is a significant societal shift. And the more I talk with others about my participation, the more I understand the importance of addressing early certain concerns that the every day, non-political driver is raising. I think I’ll talk more about the things I am hearing from others in my next post.

As a reminder, the California Road Charge Pilot Program has a comprehensive website, and I encourage you to review it, including the FAQ page.