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. Please join us for an evening of delicious food, amazing scenery, and award-winning projects.

Important Dates to Remember

  • June 1, 2022 – Submission portal opens
  • July 31, 2022 – Submission portal closes

Part 1: Official Entry Forms and entry fees due to ACEC Arizona via an online web portal.

Project Submission Guidelines

Project Submission Portal

Part 2: Completed entries (submitted via an online web portal) and photographic display panels are due to ACEC Arizona as instructed in the Call for Entries. All materials submitted for judging become the property of ACEC Arizona and may be used in publications or other promotional. Submitted materials will NOT be returned. Materials received after July 31, 2022, will NOT be accepted.

  • August 1, 2022 – August 10, 2022 – Judging
  • August 17, 2022 – Winners Notified
  • October 16, 2022 – Please join us at the Phoenix Zoo for an evening of celebration!

Request for Judges

  • Please fill out the form below if interested.

    Give us your best JUDGE-ment! Entries for the 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards will be due Fall of 2020 and we anticipate receiving submissions in a variety of categories. How can you help? We need a pool of competent judges to make the winning selections. Judges may be an in-house employee of a member firm, client, professor, or retiree with the only stipulation being that ALL JUDGES MUST BE ENGINEERS. Should a judge discover a personal or professional conflict with a submittal, we ask that they abstain from judging the entry.

    Following the 2020 deadline for award submissions, all entries will be reviewed and volunteer judges with the appropriate expertise will be contacted via email. Judging will take place via a web-based portal (login information will be provided) and will take place after. As a special thanks to those who give of their time, judges will receive two complimentary tickets to the 40th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala and commemorative pin.

    Ready to be a judge? Please complete the following information and submit by Friday, August 27, 2021.

11th Annual Arizona Transportation Legacy Awards

  • Legacy Awards Committee is seeking your nomination(s) for an individual to receive the 11th Annual Arizona Transportation Legacy Award.

    The criteria for submitting individual nominees for this prestigious award are:

    • The Nominee must have made a significant, noteworthy contribution to any mode of transportation in Arizona. Significant contributions include (but are not limited to) planning, design, technical development, construction, management, education, and/or multi-modal transportation.
    • The Nominee may come from government, private practice, construction, education, or industry.
    • The Nominee may be living or deceased and may be working or retired.

    Questions? Please email the Legacy Awards Committee co-chairs Kelly Kaysonepheth at kkaysonepheth@aztec.us or Karla Petty at karla.petty@dot.gov

    Deadline: Friday, August 27, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.

    The Legacy Awards Committee will review all entries and select the recipients. The Committee comprises current and retired transportation leaders in the industry, including some past Legacy Award recipients. There is no minimum or a maximum number of recipients to be selected.

    August 27, 2021 Deadline to submit nominations
    September 3, 2021 – September 10, 2021 Committee review period
    September 17, 2021 Notification of selection(s)
    October 16, 2021 Please join us at the Desert Botanical Garden for an evening of celebration!

    Nominee Information:

  • As applicable, the Nominee’s contact information:

  • If the nominee is deceased, the best contact information for his/her family or friends is:

  • Nominator's Information:

  • Consider: Your nominee’s educational background, career highlights and community/industry involvement.
  • Consider: How has he/she affected change? Describe how the nominee has mentored others in the industry? Why is the transportation industry better in Arizona because of this person?
  • Note: If the nominee is selected, this section will provide the basis for all ACEC/AZ publicity for this award.
  • Note: If the nominee is selected, this photo will be used for all ACEC/AZ publicity for this award.
  • Letters of reference, newspaper articles and other supporting documents may be included and can be scanned and submitted as attachments with the nomination. Please do not submit resumes.

Engineering Excellence Awards Banquet

Phoenix Zoo

455 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona 85008, 602-286-3800

Thank you, Judges, of the 2021 Engineering Excellence Awards!

 

JUDGES: Keith Drunasky, Brett Howey, Brent Knezacek, Bob Mickelson, Scott Sayles, Benny Young, Robert Buss, Karim Dada, Chaun Hill

 

2021 Judges Choice Award

J2 Engineering and Environmental Design, LLC

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River

The USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River honors the brave individuals that served aboard the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The “Relic” piece of the USS Arizona is a former component of the actual “Boat House” of the ship and served as a major component of the original USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii, beginning in 1951. In 1961, the Relic was relocated to a Naval yard allowing for the
construction of the current USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, where it sat until it came to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRP-MIC), prompting the
implementation of the USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River.
This is one of the most unique projects that J2 Design has ever worked on and we continually say how humbled we are to have been a part of this incredible and impactful project. Each step of the process was meticulously thought out and
required innovative design and implementation. The uniqueness and innovation of this project is evidenced throughout this award submittal and in the project’s
stunning photos.

2021 Grand Award

J2 Engineering and Environmental Design, LLC

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River

The USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River honors the brave individuals that served aboard the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The “Relic” piece of the USS Arizona is a former component of the actual “Boat House” of the ship and served as a major component of the original USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii, beginning in 1951. In 1961, the Relic was relocated to a Naval yard allowing for the
construction of the current USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, where it sat until it came to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRP-MIC), prompting the
implementation of the USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River.
This is one of the most unique projects that J2 Design has ever worked on and we continually say how humbled we are to have been a part of this incredible and impactful project. Each step of the process was meticulously thought out and
required innovative design and implementation. The uniqueness and innovation of this project is evidenced throughout this award submittal and in the project’s
stunning photos.

2021 Grand Award

HDR

Pima County Water Reclamation Department

Tres Rios Water Reclamation Nutrient Recovery Project

As the Tucson region continues to grow, the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (RWRD) continues to invest in sustainable and efficient ways to reduce resource consumption. Focusing on resource recovery and following the principles of the circular economy, wastewater is a valuable extraction target for
energy and nutrients as well as an additional water source.
The Tres Rios Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) is the centralized biosolids processing facility for RWRD’s seven WRF’s. To reduce the release of energy and nutrients from
the plant, the RWRD partnered with HDR, Quanta EPC, and Schwing Bioset to capture phosphorus, as struvite, which can be sold as a fertilizer additive. This successfully completed process, referred to as the Nutrient Recovery System (NRS), has improved plant operations, reduced maintenance and operating costs, decreased chemical use,
and ultimately will provide a new revenue stream. The technology used was NuReSys® and this is the first implementation in the United States, noting there are multiple installations in Europe. The project team overcame substantial challenges, introducing the first struvite
sequestration system in the United States and constructing during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project’s three new tanks and equipment building provides easier access and maintenance for operations crews while eliminating safety hazards. The design compliments the four publicly visible zones that surround the facility and feature the muted desert tones and seamlessly integrate into the rest of the 160-acre facility. To maximizing the existing equipment and assets, the team located the system downstream of the sludge screens to reduce fouling and adjacent to the screening and
centrifuge facilities. This reduced pipe run lengths and maximized facility occupancy, by using a small space not previously slated for other use. Further, RWRD repurposed an unused chemical storage tank to reduce equipment costs.

2021 Grand Award

J2 Engineering and Environmental Design, LLC

City of Phoenix

Piestewa Peak Mesquite and Brittlebush Trailheads

The City has been the steward of approximately 41,000 acres of urban park and Sonoran Desert preserve since 1973. The Phoenix Mountains Preserve is rich in biological, hydrological, and geological diverse features which Phoenicians and visitors from all over the world are able to experience firsthand thanks to the City’s preservation efforts. One of the most popular destinations, Piestewa Peak, is nestled in the heart of this preserve. A favorite of both locals and tourists alike, the existing facilities at the Piestewa Peak Trailhead were experiencing a shortage of parking and due to the facilities age, failing infrastructure. The Piestewa Peak Trailhead is a series of six smaller parking areas which start at the entry of the preserve and wind up the mountain following a large wash. Phoenix undertook a master planning effort for these trailheads and is implementing a phased design and construction approach to address identified issues. The first of phase of renovations encompassed the formerly unnamed parking area, now named Brittlebush, and the Summit trailhead, now known as Mesquite. This project posed many challenges and required intricate, and unique engineering solutions.

2021 Grand Award

Stanley Consultants

Arizona DOT

I-19/Ajo Way Traffic Interchange

Stanley Consultants was responsible for the total engineering design of both Phase 1 and Phase II of the I-19/ Ajo Way Traffic Interchange. The design addresses traffic flow, safety, efficiency, stormwater management and livability for the community. These included:
• Replacement of a partial cloverleaf interchange with one of the area’s first Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI). The 218-feet wide Ajo Way bridge over I-19 has a single set of
traffic signals controlling traffic entering and exiting the interstate rather than signals at multiple locations.
• First braided ramp alignment in southern Arizona, which eliminates the merge weave in traffic along I-19.
• ADA-compliant pedestrian bridge with approach ramps
• Santa Cruz River bridge west of I-19.
• I-19 noise walls from Ajo Way to protect adjacent neighborhoods from traffic noise and construction disruptions.
• Repaving Elizabeth Drive in the eastern neighborhood and providing a channel to collect stormwater and direct it to the detention basin to mitigate flooding.
• Widening Ajo Way from two to three lanes

• Widening the southbound I-19 off-ramp at Irvington Road to provide an additional turn lane and increased capacity to prevent traffic from backing up onto the interstate.
• Reconstructing Lamar Avenue in the neighborhood west of I-19.

2021 Grand Award

Carollo Engineers, Inc.

City of Mesa (lead agent); Town of Gilbert, AZ and Town of Queen Creek, AZ (co-owners)

Greenfield Water Reclamation Plant (GWRP) Phase III Expansion

Carollo Engineers, Inc. (Carollo) was the lead [prime] consultant during the planning, preliminary and detailed design, construction administration and inspection, startup and commissioning phases of the Greenfield Water Reclamation Plant (GWRP) Phase III Expansion project, which was delivered using the construction manager-at-risk (CMAR) integrated project delivery method. Carollo, with
assistance from Brown and Caldwell and several other subconsultants, joined with the City of Mesa, Town of Gilbert, and Town of Queen Creek (co-owners of the regional facility) and McCarthy Building Companies (CMAR) to form and nurture a highly collaborative working relationship to deliver this significant upgrade to the existing facility. Located in Gilbert and serving the water reclamation
needs of the three co-owners’ communities, the project provides an additional 14 million gallons per day (mgd) annual average day flow (AADF) expansion of liquids and solids treatment capacity.
The plant can now reliably treat up to 30 mgd AADF
of liquids and 38 mgd AADF equivalent of solids,
capable of reliably producing Class A+ reclaimed
water and Class B biosolids for beneficial reuse. The
project was delivered at a total construction cost of
approximately $171 million and total overall project
cost of $206 million, representing one of the largest
municipal wastewater capital improvement projects
in the entire Southwest region over the past decade.
Conceptual planning for the plant expansion
started in early 2015, followed by detailed design
efforts over an 18-month period. Carollo provided
overall project management and subconsultant
management, permitting assistance, CMAR
coordination assistance, led the overall facility
development (including all site/civil and liquids
treatment train designs), and led the construction
administration and inspection services. Procurement
and construction activities commenced in November
2017, led by McCarthy Building Companies as
the CMAR, and reached substantial completion
in August 2020 and final completion in November
2020. This project endured and conquered numerous
challenges to become a showcase facility in the
Phoenix metropolitan area.

2021 Honor Award Winners

AZTEC

Client: City of Phoenix

Project Name: 3rd and 5th Avenues Roadway Modernization

As a priority project originally identified in the Phoenix
Comprehensive Downtown Transportation Study (2014), upgrading these sections of 3rd and 5th Avenues have allowed for more efficient circulation, safer roadways,
multimodal connectivity for all travelers, greater economic development opportunity and area neighborhood preservation. Constructed in 2021, key final design elements delivered by AZTEC Engineering Group, Inc. (AZTEC) included the following:
Š Provide a conversion from one-way to
two-way auto circulation on both 3rd and
5th Avenues from Washington Street to
Roosevelt Street
Š Maintain one-way auto circulation on
both 3rd and 5th Avenues from Roosevelt
Street to McDowell Road and while
implementing a road diet to remove one
vehicle lane
Š Deliver the first two-way protected cycle

track in the City with Sonoran Bikeway
connectivity from Washington Street to
McDowell Road
Š Innovative traffic signal concept with
a “bike-only” phase to allow for the
two-way cycle track to transition into a
conventional bike lane at 3rd Avenue and
Roosevelt
Š Maintain the existing southbound bicycle
lane on 5th Avenue while adding bike
buffers, on-street parking and pedestrian
improvements
Š Provide pedestrian safety improvements
at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater and
Kenilworth Elementary School
Š Engaging key stakeholders through
thoughtful and continuous public
involvement

Dibble

Client: City of Eloy

Project Name: Eloy Municipal Airport Taxiway 'A' Relocation & Drainage Improvements

One of the most critical and unique aspects of this project was the grant funding from both the FAA and the ADOT Aeronautics Group. The FAA provided the grant funding for the design and the construction of the majority of the work, including the demolition of the existing alignment of Taxiway ‘A’, the new alignment/relocation of Taxiway ‘A’, the electrical improvements, and all adjacent ancillary pavement improvements and tie-ins. ADOT provided grant funding for the drainage improvements and major infrastructure adjacent to and crossing the FAA-funded pavement work. Unless otherwise and previously agreed to, both agencies require low-bid procurement for their respective pieces of grant work. The Dibble team utilized its positive reputation and longstanding relationships with local FAA officials and ADOT Aeronautics to negotiate and gain
approval to allow the grant work scopes to be combined into one bid package with two separate bid schedules. Utilizing two bid schedules provided the opportunity to easily track the work for each grant. This approach is not typically encouraged or approved by these agencies due to the individual competing requirements for low bids for their respective grant scopes, as well as the complexities of
tracking time and quantities for each grant. However, based upon the integral nature of each grant scope and associated
area, and the fact that each ultimate construction project cannot function without the other, Dibble made the case
to the FAA and ADOT and got approval for combining the scopes into one bid. Our team also incorporated two-dimensional drainage modeling software, FLO-2D, to refine the outputs and design recommendations previously identified Airport Drainage Master Plan (ADMP). By utilizing this program, Dibble was able reduce the drainage and conveyance infrastructure, such as channel widths
and box culvert sizes, and maximize the graded clear zones along the taxiways – providing an increased level of safety for
aircraft utilizing the facilities.

Burgess & Niple, Inc.

Client: Maricopa County Department of Transportation

Project Name: Northern Parkway, Loop 101 to Grand Avenue, Scoping Assessment

Located in central Maricopa County, Arizona, Northern Parkway is an important regional corridor that traverses and connects the cities of Peoria, Glendale and El Mirage and lies
just one mile north of one of the state’s top entertainment tax revenue generators, the Westgate Entertainment District. Burgess & Niple (B&N) was contracted by the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) as the prime consultant to develop a solution to support economic development, minimize congestion and accommodate 20 years of traffic growth along four miles of Northern Avenue as part of the Northern Parkway Corridor
project.
Challenge
A previous corridor master plan had been completed over a decade prior, but traffic forecasts and revenue projections differed greatly from the prerecession project. The
eastern four miles of the dated project exceeded available funding and were not implementable because it all had to be constructed at once. It also required large amounts
of developed and undeveloped land, hindering economic development of prime real estate. The goals of the new project included matching the scope of improvements to both the traffic projections and budget while reducing right-of-way needs to help spur economic growth. The study corridor included a traffic interchange with Loop 101 and Grand Avenue (US 60), both under jurisdiction of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).
Because Northern Parkway spans and is funded by multiple cities and agencies, B&N had to build consensus among all partner agencies. Primary project partners include: MCDOT and the cities of Glendale, Peoria and El Mirage. Additional partners include: ADOT and the Maricopa Associations of Government (MAG), the metropolitan planning organization for the region.

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

Client: Town of Queen Creek

Project Name: Rittenhouse Road, Ocotillo Road to Riggs Road (213th Street to Riggs Road)

The QC Wash bridge bisects the project limits and required a full bridge replacement. Construction closures to replace the bridge that impacted the public, especially where alternative routing was limited, were a major concern at this location. Haydon was brought onto the team as a construction manager at risk (CMAR) to expedite the removal and
construction of the new bridge. While it was an added challenge to coordinate between two independent contractors (Haydon and DCS), it was worthwhile
to minimize disruptions to the traveling public. The coordination between contractors ultimately allowed for alternate routes to open, which meant traffic was
maintained and the closure duration was limited to just three months

Burgess & Niple, Inc.

Client: City of Phoenix, Water Services Department

Project Name: Security Assessment and Master CIP Plan

With water conservation and drought concerns, every drop of water counts in the state of Arizona. The City of Phoenix (City), Water Services Department (WSD) provides more than 1.7 million customers with drinking water and more than 2.9 million people in the Phoenix
metropolitan area with wastewater collection and treatment services. Any prolonged or widespread disruption to this important infrastructure could have a devastating impact to the lives of Phoenix residents. Following the federal Risk and Resilience Assessment (RRA) mandate as part of the 2018 American Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA), WSD contracted with B&N to facilitate a proactive
measurement of security of their water and wastewater infrastructure. As part of this project,
B&N was to address three major goals: 1) update the 2009 City of Phoenix Security Design Guidelines to 2020 standards, 2) assess the security of WSD’s existing water/wastewater facilities and related remote sites, and 3) develop a master Capital Improvement Program
(CIP) for budget considerations and implementation in fiscal year 2021 (FY2021). This task was to be completed in 12 months, within a budget of $487,858.12.
With several dynamic elements associated with the project, B&N phased the project into three parts. First, the 2009 City of Phoenix Security Design Guidelines were updated by applying industry standards from professional society publications to establish appropriate levels of
security for all types of facilities based on complexity and criticality. Second, B&N conducted 351 field assessments utilizing their proprietary Facility Assessment of Security Tool (FAST) which allowed for comprehensive, efficient, and rapid field data collection. Last, B&N analyzed
the field data and guidelines to develop a Security Master Plan that focused on eliminating security gaps. B&N developed a viable five-year CIP budget, providing WSD with a roadmap to update security measures at all facilities and protect their vital assets. As the primary and only consultant for this project, B&N mobilized a field staff of seven engineers including Project Manager, Hector Vasquez, PE, to conduct field assessments throughout the Valley. To assist with accessibility to the sites and oversight, the B&N field staff was supported by Joseph Banzon, Project Manager for WSD, who helped to assign site security escorts as needed by B&N field crews.

2021 Clifford C. Sawyer Achievement Award

HDR

Client: Pima County Water Reclamation Department

Project Name: Tres Rios Water Reclamation Nutrient Recovery Project

As the Tucson region continues to grow, the Pima County Regional Wastewater
Reclamation Department (RWRD) continues to invest in sustainable and efficient
ways to reduce resource consumption. Focusing on resource recovery and following
the principles of the circular economy, wastewater is a valuable extraction target for
energy and nutrients as well as an additional water source.
The Tres Rios Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) is the centralized biosolids processing
facility for RWRD’s seven WRF’s. To reduce the release of energy and nutrients from
the plant, the RWRD partnered with HDR, Quanta EPC, and Schwing Bioset to capture
phosphorus, as struvite, which can be sold as a fertilizer additive. This successfully
completed process, referred to as the Nutrient Recovery System (NRS), has improved
plant operations, reduced maintenance and operating costs, decreased chemical use,
and ultimately will provide a new revenue stream. The technology used was NuReSys®
and this is the first implementation in the United States, noting there are multiple
installations in Europe.
The project team overcame substantial challenges, introducing the first struvite
sequestration system in the United States and constructing during the Covid-19
pandemic. The project’s three new tanks and equipment building provides easier
access and maintenance for operations crews while eliminating safety hazards. The
design compliments the four publicly visible zones that surround the facility and feature
the muted desert tones and seamlessly integrate into the rest of the 160-acre facility.
To maximizing the existing equipment and assets, the team located the system
downstream of the sludge screens to reduce fouling and adjacent to the screening and
centrifuge facilities. This reduced pipe run lengths and maximized facility occupancy, by
using a small space not previously slated for other use. Further, RWRD repurposed an
unused chemical storage tank to reduce equipment costs.

2021 Best Small Project Award (under $2.5 Million )

Burgess & Niple, Inc.

Client: City of Phoenix, Water Services Department

Project Name: Security Assessment and Master CIP Plan

With water conservation and drought concerns, every drop of water counts in the state of
Arizona. The City of Phoenix (City), Water Services Department (WSD) provides more than 1.7
million customers with drinking water and more than 2.9 million people in the Phoenix
metropolitan area with wastewater collection and treatment services. Any prolonged or
widespread disruption to this important infrastructure could have a devastating impact to the
lives of Phoenix residents.
Following the federal Risk and Resilience Assessment (RRA) mandate as part of the 2018
American Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA), WSD contracted with B&N to facilitate a proactive
measurement of security of their water and wastewater infrastructure. As part of this project,
B&N was to address three major goals: 1) update the 2009 City of Phoenix Security Design
Guidelines to 2020 standards, 2) assess the security of WSD’s existing water/wastewater
facilities and related remote sites, and 3) develop a master Capital Improvement Program
(CIP) for budget considerations and implementation in fiscal year 2021 (FY2021). This task
was to be completed in 12 months, within a budget of $487,858.12.
With several dynamic elements associated with the project, B&N phased the project into three
parts. First, the 2009 City of Phoenix Security Design Guidelines were updated by applying
industry standards from professional society publications to establish appropriate levels of
security for all types of facilities based on complexity and criticality. Second, B&N conducted
351 field assessments utilizing their proprietary Facility Assessment of Security Tool (FAST)
which allowed for comprehensive, efficient, and rapid field data collection. Last, B&N analyzed
the field data and guidelines to develop a Security Master Plan that focused on eliminating
security gaps. B&N developed a viable five-year CIP budget, providing WSD with a roadmap to
update security measures at all facilities and protect their vital assets.
As the primary and only consultant for this project, B&N mobilized a field staff of seven
engineers including Project Manager, Hector Vasquez, PE, to conduct field assessments
throughout the Valley. To assist with accessibility to the sites and oversight, the B&N field staff
was supported by Joseph Banzon, Project Manager for WSD, who helped to assign site security
escorts as needed by B&N field crews.

2021 Best Large Project Award (over $2.5 Million )

J2 Engineering & Environmental Design, LLC

Client: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Project Name: USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River

The USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River honors the brave individuals that
served aboard the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The “Relic” piece
of the USS Arizona is a former component of the actual “Boat House” of the ship
and served as a major component of the original USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii,
beginning in 1951. In 1961, the Relic was relocated to a Naval yard allowing for the
construction of the current USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, where it sat until it
came to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRP-MIC), prompting the
implementation of the USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River.
This is one of the most unique projects that J2 Design has ever worked on and
we continually say how humbled we are to have been a part of this incredible and
impactful project. Each step of the process was meticulously thought out and
required innovative design and implementation. The uniqueness and innovation
of this project is evidenced throughout this award submittal and in the project’s
stunning photos.