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

  • August 28, 2020

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 USB) 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 August 28, 2020, will NOT be accepted.

  • September 4–September 11, 2020 – Judging
  • September 18, 2020 – Winners Notified
  • Tuesday, September 22nd – Friday, September 25th Winners announced during the 2020 Arizona Virtual Conference on Roads & Streets

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 28, 2020.

10th Annual Arizona Transportation Legacy Awards

  • Ready to be a judge? Please complete the following information and submit by Friday, August 28, 2020.

    Legacy Awards Committee is seeking your nomination(s) for an individual to receive the 10th 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.

    Please email all questions to co-chairs Kelly Kaysonepheth at or Karla Petty at

    Deadline: Friday, August 28, 2020 at 5 p.m.

    The Legacy Awards Committee will review all entries and select the 2020 recipients. The Committee is comprised of current and retired transportation leaders in the industry, including some past Legacy Award recipients. There is no minimum or maximum number of recipients to be selected.

    August 28 Deadline to Submit Nominations
    September 4 to September 11 Review Period for Committee
    September 18 Notification of Selection(s)
    September 22-25 Winners announced during the 2020 Arizona Virtual Conference on Roads & Streets

    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.

Thank you, Judges and Sponsors, of the 39th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards!


JUDGES: Brian Davis, Keith Drunasky, Duane Eitel, Larry Hanson, Chaun Hill, Brett Howey, Brent Knezacek, Bob Mickelson, Fred Rustam, Scott Sayles, James Schleich, Jim Schumann, Benny Young

SPONSORS:  AZTEC Engineering Group, Inc.; HDR; Dibble Engineering; LSW Engineers Arizona, Inc; GHD; J2 Engineering & Environmental Design, LLC; Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc.


2019 Judges Choice Award

Wood Enviormental & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc

City of Prescott

Granite Creek Dam Valve Rehabilitation

Time and budget constraints required Wood to deliver an engineer-led design-build project so complex that only an innovative, multi-phase answer would solve this City’s unique challenge. The first construction phase was a risk mitigation step necessary to stabilize the valves and minimize the risk of a valve failure during phase two of the work. This portion was completed in May of 2018. The second phase of construction began in March of 2019. One of the most interesting aspects of this project was that the dam is not accessible by land, resulting in most of the construction being staged from a barge. At various stages of the project, a crane and concrete truck were operating from the barge while divers worked in an underwater environment with low visibility. Fellow team members worked simultaneously from the dry side of the dam.

Wood’s Granite Creek Dam Valve Rehabilitation project is a resounding success… from above and below.

2019 Grand Award


City of Scottsdale

Scottsdale Zone 2 Improvements

The City of Scottsdale implemented this project to improve customer service, water quality, and consolidate assets. A lack of transmission capacity resulted in low system pressures. This led the City to install 4.5 miles of 24-inch waterline, upgrade existing facilities, remove two pump stations and one 3-million-gallon reservoir. GHD met the challenge of this project in a high-profile, high-traffic area, while maintaining continuous water service. Their innovative approach of horizontal direction drilling, slip lining and open trench installation satisfied the many project stakeholders.

2019 Grand Award

J2 Engineering & Enviormental Design, LLC

City of Chandler

Commonwealth Canal Promenade

The Commonwealth Canal Promenade was a key to Chandler’s long-term downtown redevelopment plans to create a “live, work, play” experience. Restoration of the Canal was a centerpiece to the Historic Square improvements. The key component was maintaining the open-flow canal structure. The project included clearing large groves of oleanders and palm roots, re-establishing the flow line and concrete lining, and constructing a canal promenade. Other improvements included an art fence, historic information panels, a courtyard, landscaping, lighting, drainage, and roadway reconstruction.

2019 Grand Award


City of Tucson

Clearwell Reservoir

Tucson’s 60-million-gallon Clearwell Reservoir is Arizona’s largest potable concrete reservoir. The improvements include a new liner and roofing system; shear walls, modified structural steel, and carbon fiber wrapping for seismic resilience. Drones helped evaluate existing structural steel, and accelerated shop drawings, procurement and installation. HDR overcame the site’s mountainous location, uncertain foundation, the jurisdictional dam status, and blistering temperatures to provides 2/3 of the City with water. On time and under budget, the Clearwell Reservoir provides Tucson with clean drinking water for decades to come.

2019 Grand Award

Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc

City of Prescott

Granite Creek Dam Valve Rehabilitation

The Granite Creek Dam in Prescott, AZ was constructed in 1919. Prior to this project, both valves were inoperable, leaking, and had no means of isolation. Wood delivered a three phase, design-build project for the City. With the 48” lower outlet covered by 20’ of sediment, the 48” outlet was filled with grout and abandoned. The 36” outlet was retrofitted with a new trash rack, sluice gate, 36” and 10” flow control valves, and access ladders and platforms. The project outcomes allow the City of Prescott to better control dam releases and improve management of water resources in the years to come. 

2019 Grand Award

LSW Engineers Arizona, Inc.

DWL Architects + Planners

Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 3 Modernization

Dedicated “skin” air handling units allow for a system to address the heating and cooling loads of the glass and wall components. This system allows for interior loads and ventilation to be addressed by “right sized” units with more uniform loads. Coupling “right-sized” equipment with new ionization technology, which cleans the heavily polluted outside air, reduces energy consumption while allowing for expansive glass. Modernizing this facility with dynamic retail and dining destinations, without compromising facility operations, is a commendable testament to the LSW team’s accomplishments.

2019 Grand Award

J2 Engineering & Environmental Design, LLC

City of Mesa

Mesa Rio Salado Pathway-Stadium Connector

The Mesa Rio Salado-Stadium Connector is a 3.5-mile combination of shared use pathways and two-way cycle tracks weaving along SRP canals, the Rio Salado, and public neighborhood streets. The path creates a connection from Oakland A’s Hohokam Stadium to the Chicago Cubs’ Sloan Field. Signalized bike/ pedestrian crossings, street improvements, themed signage, custom railing, decorative seating, walls, and enhanced landscaping with water harvesting bio-swales are found throughout the route and provide an environmental and aesthetic landmark

2019 Honor Award Winners

AZTEC Engineering Group, Inc.

Client: City of Scottsdale

Project Name: Crosscut Canal Path from Culver Street to McDowell Road

Carollo Engineering, Inc

Client: Town of Marana

Project Name: Marana Water Reclamation Facility Expansion

Dibble Engineering

Client: City of Prescott

Project Name: Prescott Regional Airport Runway 3R-21L Rehabilitation and Hot Spot No. 2 Mitigation

Gannett Fleming

Client: Arizona Department of Transportation

Project Name: I-40, Devil Dog Wash

Sunrise Engineering

Client: Town of Gilbert

Project Name: Fiesta Tech Sewer Service & Lift Station

Wilson Engineers

Client: City of Wilcox

Project Name: City of Wilcox Wastewater Treatment Plant

2019 Peoples’ Choice Award


Client: City of Scottsdale

Project Name: Scottsdale Zone 2 Improvements

Providing safe travel for a community and a foundation for progress via future development in Pinal County, this project is a testament to preservation, perseverance, and progress.

2019 Best Small Project Award (under $2.5 Million )

J2 Engineering & Enviormental Design, LLC

Client: City of Chandler

Project Name: Commonwealth Canal Promenade

This unique amenity is part of a canal system pioneered by the city’s namesake, Dr. A.J. Chandler.

Today, the canal is a picturesque, pedestrian promenade showcasing our desert’s most valuable resource, water. The path showcases abstract historical imagery that transforms at night with LED backlights and is supplemented with educational plaques adjacent to each image.

2019 Best Large Project Award (over $2.5 Million )

Wood Enviormental & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc.

Client: City of Prescott

Project Name: Granite Creek Dam Valve Rehabilitation

With limited time and budget available to maintain control of water releases, the City of Prescott wisely contracted Wood to deliver an engineer-led design-build project that would solve the City’s challenge. It included abandoning the 48” outlet, replacing the 36” gate valve with two new valves, and carefully installing a stabilizing reinforcement structure around the 48” valve.