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Engineering Excellence Awards

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement, and value.

ACEC of Arizona 38th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards

Call for Entries ~ Application
DEADLINE: Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 5:00 p.m.

Request for Judges ~ Application
Please Respond by Friday, August 10, 2018

Celebrate Excellence!
Engineering Excellence Awards Gala

DATE: Saturday, October 6, 2018
LOCATION:   Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park

                     1300 N. College Avenue, Tempe, AZ  85281

Awards Gala Sponsorship Opportunities & Registration Form ~ link
To Register for the Banquet & Pay On-line:
 Banquet Registration

"Thank you" Judges and Sponsors of the 37th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards!

JUDGES:  Catherine Alcorn, Quinn Castro, Andrew DiLeo, Duane Eitel, Jessica Fly, Baird Fullerton, Andrew Haines, Larry Hanson, Chaun Hill, Doug Peters, Kevin Roberts, Paul Scott, and Elijah Williams.

SPONSORS:  AECOM; Amec Foster Wheeler; AZTEC Engineering Group, Inc.; City of Phoenix Public Works Department; Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.; Coffman Specialties, Inc.; T.Y. Lin International; Entellus, Inc.; Gannett Fleming, Inc.; HDR Engineering, Inc.; Speedie & Associates, Inc.; and WSP, USA

2017 Award Recipients

2017 Judges Choice Award

Gannett Fleming
City of Tempe
Tempe Town Lake Downstream Dam Replacement

As one of the largest hydraulically controlled steel-gate dams of its kind, the Tempe Town Lake Downstream Dam is a shining example of innovative design and construction.  The dam has eight hydraulically operated steel gates, each 106 feet long, 17 feet tall, and approximately 300,000 pounds, and it includes a one-of-a-kind dogging system for maintenance and repair of the dam’s hydraulic cylinders while maintaining the lake.

“Thank You” Gannett Fleming for ensuring the preservation of Tempe Town Lake, a treasured recreational facility and community gathering place!

2017 Grand Award


Arizona Department of Administration

Hillside Mine Remediation

Rich gold and silver were discovered at the Hillside Mine in 1887.  Mining activity ceased in the mid-1950s leaving behind continual erosion of tailings into nearby Boulder Creek, adversely impacting water quality.  The project goal focused on a sustainable and long-term solution.  Rather than importing soils, AECOM identified on-site locally derived rock to protect the evapotranspiration cover from erosion along Boulder Creek during flood events.

“Thank You” AECOM for designing a long-term solution and reclaiming a site that will ultimately blend into the natural surroundings.

2017 Grand Award

Dibble Engineering

City of Phoenix

27th Avenue Composting Facility

The new composting facility is capable of processing up to 110,000 tons of green and food waste per year, resulting in an estimated 11% reduction of waste being sent to the city landfills.  The compost will be sold to landscapers and used by the City to maintain its parks.  This facility is not only a key component in the City’s waste reduction plans, but is also a key piece of the City’s new Resource Innovation Campus, which aims to be a hub for innovators to develop Phoenix’s circular economy and find sustainability solutions.

“Thank You” Dibble Engineering for being a leader in sustainability!

2017 Grand Award

Entellus, Inc. / Carollo Engineers

City of Phoenix

Raw Water Pump Station

The new nine MGD Raw Water Pump Station and Pipeline from Union Hills Water Treatment Plant to Cave Creek Water Reclamation Plant provides the ability to move Central Arizona Project raw water into the Cave Creek non-potable water delivery system.  Innovations included dual mechanical strainers for mussel and debris control; 24-inch HDPE pipe; and operating at night.

“Thank You” Entellus, Inc. and Carollo Engineers for a project completed on time and under budget, leaving a legacy of innovation that can provide even greater benefit to Phoenix.

2017 Grand Award

Gannett Fleming

City of Phoenix Aviation Department

Phoenix Sky Harbor Terminal 3 Modernization - Phase 1

“Brutal architecture with good bones” – that’s how Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport leaders described their 1970s era Terminal 3 building. The transformation is a story of imagination, investigation, innovation, and teamwork.  The team demolished 56,600 square feet of underused floors, installed 14 geometrically complex skylights, and added 29,380-square-foot at the west end providing three new escalators and elevators that serve as the main interface with the PHX Sky TrainĀ® Portal.

“Thank You” Gannett Fleming for utilizing the "good bones" of this building to achieve a world-class modern terminal.

2017 Grand Award

GHD Inc.

EPCOR (USA) Water, Inc.

Bell Road Force Main Improvements

Based on the complexities of the project, EPCOR choose to use the construction manager at risk process.  GHD was teamed with Achen Gardner Construction to discuss the project approach and the team listened to new ideas and methods to complete the project on schedule.  Lessons learned included the technical design of the pipeline; the development of alternative alignments considering constructability; cost and risk; and phasing the project for permitting and construction.

“Thank You” GHD, Inc. for successfully demonstrating the value of alternative delivery methods for infrastructure projects!

2017 Grand Award

HDR Engineering, Inc.

Pima County Department of Transportation

Elephant Head Road Bridge at the Santa Cruz River

This was a severely deteriorated bridge that required a new concrete superstructure and precast, prestressed concrete box girders to support current AASHTO truck loading; design of the approach roadway, metal railings and a detour through the Santa Cruz River.  Approximately 5,000 bats were excluded from the existing bridge prior to demolition and have since re-established themselves back in the new bridge superstructure

“Thank You” HDR Engineering for access across a major river by completing the design in 10 weeks and the demolition and construction in only 49 continuous days!

2017 Grand Award

J2 Engineering & Environmental Design

City of Peoria

Peoria Cove

“Peoria Cove” adds a new dimension to Spring Training facilities.  Two distinct zones, “The Ballyard” and the “Shipyard” reached fruition through a connected design process where the client’s desire to capture a new generation of sports fans by creating a themed play zone was balanced with budgetary and site constraints.  This led to a first of its kind Kid’s Xone at a spring training facility.  No other ballpark has a custom ship integrated into a concourse, complete with a playground, splash pad, and shade sail mast.

“Thank You” J2 for providing users with new memory opportunities beyond the crack of the bat!

2017 Grand Award

LSW Engineers Arizona, Inc.

Midwestern University

College of Veterinary Medicine Equine and Bovine Center

The Equine and Bovine Center is a new 70,000 SF, two-story large animal facility located on the 143-acre campus in Glendale.  The facility consists of buildings and open structures including Bio-Safety Level 2 & 3 large animal necropsy laboratory spaces, tissue storage, histopath laboratory, biohazard storage, teaching theater, chemical storage, feed storage, bovine and equine housing areas and treatment rooms, pharmacy, and much more.

“Thank You” LSW Engineers for meeting the complex mechanical, plumbing, electrical, technology design and construction phase services for this unique facility!

2017 Grand Award

City of Tucson
Sabino Canyon Road / Tanque Verde Road to Kolb Road

This $12 million project extended a 4-lane, divided roadway approximately one mile.  Several unique challenges were addressed including construction of a bridge over a closed landfill and a bridge over the Pantano Wash; intersection and drainage improvements, bike lanes, sidewalks, and a multi-modal path connecting Pantano Linear Park with Udall Park.  The bridge over the Pantano Wash was dedicated as the Airmen Memorial Bridge to honor 18 servicemen who died in a mid-air collision near the site in a WWII Training accident.

“Thank You” Psomas for striking a balance that works for many diverse interests!

2017 Grand Award

Speedie & Associates, Inc.

Ryan Companies for Marina Heights

Marina Heights (State Farm)

The 2,040,000 SF Marina Heights campus is the largest development in Arizona history.  Understanding the local geology on which the structures would be built was imperative.  Soil conditions ranged from sand, gravel, and cobbles, then deep loose sand and shallow rock close to Hayden Butte.  An innovative combination of mat foundations, spread footings and drilled shafts were used to meet these challenges.  Special inspections and quality control services were provided to the contractor

“Thank You” Speedie & Associates for identifying and addressing the various geologic hazards!

2017 Grand Award

Structural Grace
Pima County Department of Transportation
Sunset Road / Silverbell Road to Interstate 10

The project included a new 3-lane, multi-modal arterial roadway and a new 720’ bridge across the Santa Cruz River.  The project addressed off-site overland cross drainage, with a roadside channel designed for conveyance.  Check dams were added to the channel to enhance the landscape experience by harvesting runoff for irrigation.  The underlying geology was conducive to evaluating the influence of pore water pressure during storm events allowing for shorter drilled shafts and a savings of approximately 1 million dollars.

"Thank You" Structural Grace for your multi-disciplinary approach and adaptive strategies!

2017 Honor Award Winners

AECOM Technical Services, Inc.

Client:  Arizona Department of Transportation

Project Name:  State Route 77 –  Widening & Wildlife Crossings

The wildlife crossing structures and one-of-a-kind wildlife elements are highly functional allowing wildlife to safely cross under and over SR 77, thus reducing wildlife fatalities and vehicle collisions.

Entellus, Inc.

Client:  Desert Botanical Garden

Project Name:
  Desert Botanical Garden Underground Retention System

A Master-Planned Retention Offset allowed the stormwater volume to be collected & stored at a location separate from exhibits and facilities, plus retention on a parking area decreased stormwater damage.

Entellus, Inc.

Client:  City of Mesa

Project Name:  Val Vista Transmission Main Phase 3

This project stands as a distinguished example of how a critical, rapid paced construction and design complex infrastructure project can be successful when all parties fully commit to its timely completion.

J2 Engineering and Environmental Design, LLC

Client:  City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, Natural Resources Division

Project Name:
  Desert Hills Trailhead

The design preserves the natural washes and embraces the site topography by terracing the parking areas along the existing land contours nestling them into the site with minimal earth disturbance.
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

  Arizona Department of Transportation / Mohave County

Project Name:  Oatman Highway at Sacramento Wash Crossing

The design optimized the roadway profile enabling a new bridge and roadway to be constructed utilizing FHWA’s Accelerated Bridge Construction method in a record 87 hours, thus minimizing lengthy detours
Ritoch-Powell & Associates

Client:  City of Phoenix

Project Name:  Adams Street Activation

The project activated this growing corridor by improving walkability and incorporating sustainable features such as wider sidewalks, LID bioretension basins, lighting, seating areas, and shading amenities.

Stantec Consulting Services Inc.

Client:  City of Mesa

Project Name:  Porter Park Pathway

The project has been well received by the neighborhood transforming a dark empty alley corridor into a gem that is well lit, maintained, and promotes outdoor recreation and connects schools and parks.

T.Y. Lin International

Client:  Arizona Department of Transportation

Project Name:  US 60/Bell Road Traffic Interchange

The design and construction approach included ideas providing an optimized best-value solution for traffic operations, reducing congestion, shortening wait times, shaping the community well into the future.


Thank you to all the Honor Award Winners!

2017 People's Choice Award

Gannett Fleming

City of Phoenix Aviation Department
Phoenix Sky Harbor Terminal 3 Modernization - Phase 1

“Brutal architecture with good bones” – that’s how Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport leaders described their 1970s era Terminal 3 building. The transformation is a story of imagination, investigation, innovation, and teamwork.  The team demolished 56,600 square feet of underused floors, installed 14 geometrically complex skylights, and added 29,380-square-foot at the west end providing three new escalators and elevators that serve as the main interface with the PHX Sky TrainĀ® Portal.

Congratulations Gannett Fleming!

2017 Clifford Sawyer Achievement Award

J2 Engineering & Environmental Design, LLC

City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department, Natural Resources Division
Desert Hills Trailhead

The Desert Hills Trailhead panel board by J2 Engineering and Environmental Design clearly outlines the challenges to connect pedestrians and equestrians to the desert preserve … the design solution minimizes the impact to the site … and the innovative uniqueness of preserving and making sensitive connections into the habitat of the Sonoran Desert.

“Thank You” J2 Engineering and Environmental Design for a panel board celebrating preserving the natural environment!

ACEC Arizona
330 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85012


ACEC of Arizona is devoted exclusively to the business interests of Arizona engineers in private practice.

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