Awards People

2016 ACEC/MA EEA Winners

(l-r) Ed Studniski (Trustee, ACEC Retirement Trust), Corentin Fivet (Ochsendorf DeJong & Block, LLC), State Senator Karen Spilka, MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Gary Tondorf-Dick (MIT), Chief John DiFava (MIT Police), John Ochsendorf (Ochsendorf DeJong & Block, LLC), Kurt Jelinek (ACEC/MA Awards Committee Co-Chair, Nobis Engineering), Cynthia Carleo (ACEC/MA Awards Committee Co-Chair, HDR Engineering), David Vivilecchia (ACEC/MA President, VHB) /Frank Monkewicz Photography

(l-r) Ed Studniski (Trustee, ACEC Retirement Trust), Corentin Fivet (Ochsendorf DeJong & Block, LLC), State Senator Karen Spilka, MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Gary Tondorf-Dick (MIT), Chief John DiFava (MIT Police), John Ochsendorf (Ochsendorf DeJong & Block, LLC), Kurt Jelinek (ACEC/MA Awards Committee Co-Chair, Nobis Engineering), Cynthia Carleo (ACEC/MA Awards Committee Co-Chair, HDR Engineering), David Vivilecchia (ACEC/MA President, VHB) /Frank Monkewicz Photography

Boston – The American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) announced the recipients of the 2016 Engineering Excellence Awards along with several other awards at the ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence and Awards Gala. Emcees State Senator Karen Spilka and Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack (Massachusetts Department of Transportation) presented the awards in March in a ceremony at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge.

The Sean Collier Memorial at MIT, designed by Ochsendorf DeJong and Block Consulting Engineers, Inc., received the 2016 ACEC/MA Grand Conceptor award.

ACEC/MA recognized 29 engineering projects and presented several individual awards.

  • Below are the 2016 Award Winners:

Grand Conceptor – Firm: Ochsendorf DeJong and Block Consulting Engineers, Inc.; Project: Sean Collier Memorial, Cambridge, Client: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Contractor: Suffolk Construction 

MIT has sponsored ODB in recognition of their masonry specialty structural engineering work on the MIT Sean Collier Memorial in Cambridge, MA. The Collier Memorial marks the site where Officer Sean Collier was shot and killed on April 18th, 2013 with a timeless structure. Professor John Ochsendorf, Matthew DeJong, and Phillipe Block developed a 3D digital modelling software to evaluate the structural performance behavior of the gravity forces in this five-way shallow unreinforced stone arch of 32 granite blocks. These were part of the Memorial’s design concept of “strength through unity”, expressing the qualities of strength and openness. ODB completed the project in one year in a record winter in New England.


Gold Award Winners


Firm: Arup

Project: Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building

Project Location: Boston, MA

Client: City of Boston

Arup worked in collaboration with the Sasaki / Mecanoo design team to engineer the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Office Building. Dudley Square is a mass transit hub, rich with culture and history. The facility is a part of former Mayor Menino’s Dudley Square Vision Project, which sought to revitalize the once-thriving urban neighborhood. Using the past to create the future, the facility preserves and incorporates the iconic Ferdinand Building, an emblem of the square’s historic commercial vitality. The 215,000-SF structure is the new headquarters for Boston Public Schools. It includes a green roof, state-of-the-art office space, retail, civic spaces, and community meeting space.
Firm: Simpson, Gumpertz, & Heger Inc.

Project: China Pavilion Expo Milano 2015

Project Location: Milano, Italy

Client: Studio Link-Arc, LLC 

The China Pavilion at the 2015 World Expo in Milan celebrates the Expo’s theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” by focusing on sustainability and the coexistence of nature and city. The 4,000-sq-m pavilion’s undulating roof appears to float above the “Land of Hope,” a light installation below. Longitudinal timber members connect the structure’s sharp-edged and angled timber rafters on the roof’s northern side, representing the urban skyline. Soft waves define the pavilion’s southern side, symbolizing the Chinese rolling landscape. Close collaboration and a holistic approach to architecture, engineering, and fabrication brought the pavilion to life for its global audience.
Firm: Stantec – Formerly FST

Project: Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge 

Project Location: Shrewsbury/ Worcester, MA

Client: Massachusetts Department of Transportation 

The Burns Memorial Bridge Replacement, the first of MassDOT’s APB design-build “mega-projects”, has produced a bridge which is quickly becoming an infrastructure icon for central Massachusetts. The bridge, designed by Stantec – Formerly FST, carries Route 9 over Lake Quinsigamond between Worcester and Shrewsbury, and features overlook viewing areas, and architectural steel ‘sail’ sculptures which reference the lake’s use for boating and crew regattas. Project benefits include improvements to local roads and intersections, improved accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians, and new stormwater treatment. Innovative design and construction techniques allowed completion of this complex project over three months ahead of schedule.
Firm:  WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

Project: Port of Miami Tunnel

Project Location:  Miami, FL

Client:  Florida Department of Transportation




The Port of Miami Tunnel provides a long desired second means of accessing the Port. The project was the first 1) developed under Florida’s Public-Private-Partnership legislation and 2) approved by FHWA as an availability payment. It is the first major tunnel in Florida and the largest soft ground bored tunnel in North America. The project also widened MacArthur Causeway Bridge and reconfigured Port roadways. Benefits of the project include a direct connection of the Port to the Interstate Highway system, decrease in downtown traffic congestion, reduction in noise and air pollution, and a safer and friendlier pedestrian environment.
Silver Award Winners

Project:  Newport Water Treatment Facilities: Design-Build

Project Location:  Newport/Portsmouth, RI

Client:  The City of Newport, RI 

As an oceanside tourist destination community, Newport, Rhode Island experiences greater water demands during the summer when raw water quality is at its poorest. Increased drinking water quality regulations, Water Treatment Plant (WTP) capacity and reliability issues prompted the City to seek improvements to the water system, which provides drinking water to three communities. AECOM and C.H. Nickerson partnered to replace an aging WTP in Portsmouth and upgrade a second WTP in Newport. Project scope included permitting, design, construction, start-up, training, O&M manual, and commissioning. The treatment plants were delivered under budget and ahead of the consent agreement driven schedule.
Firm: BSC Group, Inc. and Geonetics, Inc.

Project: MassDOT Wheelchair Curb Ramp

Project Location: Statewide, MA

Client:  Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division

As part of MassDOT’s ADA Transition Plan, the agency undertook a statewide inventory of wheelchair curb ramps on its roadways. Geonetics and BSC Group collaborated for the design and implementation of a mobile tablet application that allowed for the collection of ramp data, along with full, real-time integration with MassDOT’s GIS. Using the application, field crews captured data on the condition, slope, and dimensions of 28,000 ramps along 4,700 miles of roadway. Data was then synced with the Scorecard program, also designed by Geonetics, to identify non-compliant locations and prioritize them for repair.
Firm: CDM Smith

Project: Education Complex Field Improvements Project

Project Location: West Roxbury, MA

Client: City of Boston – Public Works Department

The West Roxbury Education Complex (WREC) – Raiders Field Project represents a major milestone in the City of Boston’s efforts to complete the closure of the former Gardner Street Landfill site and transform it into the largest and most majestic parks in the City of Boston. This former landfill, located on the banks of the Charles River, was once an environmental liability that the City has now addressed with the completion of the WREC – Raiders Field Project. This project not only benefits the environment but all citizens, and is especially important for students and young athletes from the community.
Firm: Collins Engineers, Inc.

Project: Ashley Falls Road Bridge Design Using GRS-IBS

Project Location: Andover, MA

Client: Massachusetts Department of Transportation

As part of MassDOT’s Accelerated Bridge Program, the bridge carrying MA Route 7A / Ashley Falls Road over the Housatonic Railroad in Sheffield was selected for replacement. This project employed the use of a new technology developed by FHWA called Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil–Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS).The use of GRS-IBS results in a bridge requiring less maintenance with an increased design life. Collins Engineers, Inc. designed the replacement bridge using this technology. This was the first application of the guidelines to MassDOT’s standards in the development of plans and specifications. It is also believed to be the first use in New England.
Firm: Environmental Partners Group, Inc.

Project: Complex River Crossing and Pipe Jacking Caps Six-Mile Interceptor Sewer Program

Project Location: Framingham, MA

Client: Framingham Department of Public Works

Environmental Partners Group, Inc. provided Construction Administration and Resident Engineering services and assisted the Town of Framingham and contractor in overcoming many construction and community challenges for the capstone project of their overall sewer program involving the replacement of an aged 15-inch VC siphon sewer across the Sudbury River and below the foundations of an Army Corps flood gate. Modest in length but deep in complexity, this project was fraught with implementation and construction challenges. Timing was critical to the Town’s goal of minimizing disruption of the neighborhood, taking advantage of low stream flows, and reducing traffic snarls.
Firm: GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

Project: Byron Weston Hydroelectric Project

Project Location: Dalton, MA

Client: Crane

The Byron Weston Hydropower Project generates clean, renewable energy using an existing dam on the East Branch of the Housatonic River. A 250 kW double regulated Kaplan turbine was installed in an existing mill building to “re-power” the site and provide energy to the owner’s (Crane) on-site manufacturing operations. The project does not result in incremental increases in environmental impacts. The on-site use of the energy generated by the project results in the off-set of carbon emissions and energy cost savings for Crane.
Firm: Kleinfelder

Project: Western Avenue Infrastructure Improvements Project

Project Location: Cambridge, MA

Client: City of Cambridge Department of Public Works

The City of Cambridge, MA had a vision for the Western Avenue Improvements Project as an integration of surface and subsurface urban infrastructure to achieve maximum environmental, transportation, and neighborhood benefits. Just as important was that its implementation minimized disturbance during construction by focusing on efficiency, cooperation and community. The final product is a streetscape that has revitalized the neighborhood while meeting the City’s subsurface objectives, which include improving the following: the structural conditional of existing sewer pipelines; the drainage level of service in the community during storm events; and the water quality of nearby Charles River.
Firm: Tighe & Bond

Project:  City of North Adams E Street Solar Project

Project Location: North Adams, MA

Client: City of North Adams

Tighe & Bond teamed with Borrego Solar Systems to perform engineering services and construction administration duties for the re-use of the closed E Street Landfill in the City of North Adams. Completed in June 2015, the 3.5 megawatt North Adams E Street Landfill Solar Project is one of the largest of its kind in western Massachusetts. Its output, when combined with power being purchased from two other nearby PV sites, makes the City 100-percent solar powered. All of its municipal buildings and facilities (e.g., schools, state-owned skating rink, street lights, etc.) are running on renewable energy. Borrego estimates that the array offsets 2,989 tons of carbon annually, the equivalent of removing 630 cars from the road or the amount sequestered by 2,450 acres of U.S. forests in a year.
Bronze Award Winners
Firm: Air Water Energy Engineers, Inc.

Project: Athol Public Library Renovation and New Addition  

Project Location:  Athol, MA

Client: Athol Public Library


Air Water Energy Engineers, Inc.

also received the Small Firm Project Award.

The original Athol Public Library, built in 1918, was one of the many libraries across the U.S. funded by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In 2011, a construction grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners was awarded to the town for the library renovation and new addition project. The library identified the goal of achieving LEED Platinum certification, reflecting the community’s desire to have a truly “green” building for its historic Carnegie Library. AWE was hired by Tappé Architects, the project architect, as the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineer. AWE also provided energy modeling services for the project.
Firm: Alfred Benesch & Co.

Project: Willimansett Bridge Rehabilitation

Project Location: Chicopee/ Holyoke, MA

Client: Massachusetts Department of Transportation – Highway Division

Constructed in 1891, the Willimansett Bridge is the oldest steel (opposed to wrought iron) bridge in Massachusetts. The bridge carries Cabot Street (State Route 116) over the Connecticut River and the Pioneer Valley Railroad, connecting the cities of Chicopee and Holyoke. Due to heavy deterioration, it was restricted to trucks weighing less than 7, 8, and 12 tons on 2, 3, and 5 axles since 2007. Alfred Benesch & Co. was selected by MassDOT for the design of the bridge rehabilitation project. The rehabilitated structure eliminated the restrictive load posting without adversely affecting its character-defining features.
Firm: BETA Group, Inc.

Project: St. Mary Street Pump Station

Project Location:  Needham, MA

Client:  Town of Needham – Department of Public Works

The St. Mary Street Pump Station withdraws water from the MWRA’s system and pumps into the Town’s distribution system. The new station is a 6,300-SF single story, multi-use facility that includes an administrative block, water meter workshop, 2-bay vehicle storage area, electrical/control room, future chemical storage area, and mechanical/process pumping room. BETA served as designer for this $5 million multi-use pumping facility. BETA provided civil/site, structural, and process design work while leading a team of architects, MEP consultants, hazardous material assessment specialists, and subsurface consultants.
Firm: Design Consultants, Inc. 

Project: East Broadway Roadway Streetscape Improvement Plan, Study, and Design

Project Location: Somerville/ Boston, MA

Client: City of Somerville

The East Broadway Streetscape and Roadway Improvement project in Somerville transformed a 1.25-mile stretch of strategically located urban corridor, from a neglected and underutilized area, into a vibrant and attractive commercial and residential district consistent with new and neighboring activity centers. The DCI Design Team achieved this by promoting multimodal equity (i.e., complete streets) for pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles, and mass transit; instituting an innovative road diet; upgrading subsurface utilities to support current needs and future growth; and implementing a “node and link” streetscape plan that enhances aesthetics, supports community events and attracts new business investment, residents, and visitors.
Firm: Dewberry

Project: Callahan Tunnel Rehabilitation

Project Location: Boston, MA

Client: Massachusetts Department of Transportation – Highway Division

The Callahan Tunnel is a critical transportation link for travelers from downtown Boston to Logan Airport and communities north of Boston. The $23 million rehabilitation project was constructed on an accelerated schedule that completed the essential reconstruction of the roadway deck in just 2.5 months. The fast-track work was accomplished by closing the one-way tunnel to all traffic and detouring 30,000 vehicles/day to provide the contractor with uninterrupted work zone access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which allowed for the expedited completion of the work while greatly reducing the duration of traffic impact on the travelling public. Dewberry served as the prime consultant and provided a full range of engineering services to MassDOT.
Firm: Kleinfelder

Project: Salem Commuter Rail Station Improvements

Project Location: Salem, MA

Client: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is addressing accessibility throughout their facilities. Improvements at the Commuter Rail Station in Salem, Massachusetts include a five-level parking garage replacing the existing parking lot, a pedestrian bridge replacing the existing stairway connecting track level with downtown Salem, two accessible elevators, and a full-length accessible high-level platform. The unique site and subsurface conditions required additional coordination between the design and construction teams to maximize cost and schedule efficiency for the project. These methods allowed the project to move forward, ultimately saving the client millions of dollars in construction costs.
Firm: Louis Berger

Project: Bridge No. 456 Replacement I-195 Ramp (DR-2) over Warren Ave

Project Location: East Providence, RI

Client: Rhode Island Department of Transportation

Warren Avenue Bridge No. 465 is the on-ramp to Interstate 195 westbound, which carries Veterans Memorial Boulevard over Warren Avenue in East Providence, Rhode Island. The existing structure, constructed in 1959, was a three-span, simply supported bridge, with an overall length of approximately 123 feet, and needed replacement. The proposed bridge design implemented a variety of Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques, Systems and Structure Erection techniques, which in their totality were new to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT). Combining the various techniques significantly reduced bridge closure time, from 11 months to 22 days.
Firm: Michael Baker International, Inc. 

Project: CTfastrak

Project Location: Central Connecticut

Client: Connecticut Department of Transportation

CTfastrak is Connecticut’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. BRT is an innovative, high capacity, cost-effective public transit solution that can significantly improve travel times through heavily-congested areas by using dedicated transit guideways or lanes to avoid traffic and quickly transport passengers to their destinations. By operating in a permanent, dedicated bus-only guideway, while allowing buses to enter and depart the line, the CTfastrak system offers the speed of a rail system with the flexibility of bus service to meet transit demand and provide passengers convenient point-to-point service to their destinations.
Firm: Nitsch Engineering, Inc

Project: Gallery Automotive Dealership

Project Location: Rockland/ Hingham, MA

Client: A.W. Perry, Inc.

Green infrastructure applications for stormwater management are becoming more accepted, but private developers remain hesitant as they navigate perceived cost and schedule issues. These concerns are compounded by inconsistency of acceptance from municipalities, with some encouraging green infrastructure use and others reluctant to install practices they consider unproven. Nitsch Engineering provided engineering and land development consulting services for the Gallery Automotive Dealership, a 49,400-SF project that straddles the Rockland and Hingham town lines, on a site with numerous space constraints and environmental sensitivities. Nitsch implemented green infrastructure techniques, including porous asphalt, to meet stringent regulatory requirements for stormwater management.
Firm: Pare Corporation

Project: Marshfield High School

Project Location: Marshfield, MA

Client: Marshfield Public School District

The 42-year-old Marshfield High School was suffering from overcrowding, outdated facilities, and worsening structural and infrastructure deficiencies. Teamed with Ai3 Architects, Pare was responsible for design, permitting, and construction-phase services related to site/civil, traffic, geotechnical, and environmental engineering for a new $102 million educational facility adjacent to the old high school. The project required innovative construction phasing to avoid disruption of school activities at the existing high school and the middle school and elementary school that share a common campus. Site design also included 2 multi-use synthetic turf fields, 11 turf ballfields, 1 new synthetic track, and 8 tennis courts.
Firm: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Project: Hoover Mason Trestle

Project Location: Bethlehem, PA

Client: Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC

For decades, the 1906 Hoover Mason Trestle at the historic Bethlehem Steel plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, supported ore-filled rail cars transporting raw materials from the ore yard to the steel plant’s large furnaces. Abandoned for many years, the reinvented trestle is now the backbone of a new, half-mile-long elevated promenade offering pedestrian views into the historic steel plant, new SteelStacks Campus, and surrounding town. Visitors can use one of the site’s new striking features —  a monumental stair or elevator — to access the elevated walkway, which follows a sinuous path along the railway tracks.
Firm: Stantec – Formerly FST

Project: Logan Express Parking Garage

Project Location: Framingham, MA

Client: Massachusetts Port Authority

The difficulty and expense of parking at the airport has made the convenience of Logan Express a critical benefit to the Metrowest passenger. The Logan Express facility consolidates all parking into one reliable, safe and secure facility. The 1,100 space multi-modal center houses a 6,000-SF passenger terminal building and includes provisions for passenger pickup/dropoff, taxi, Logan Express bus and charter bus services within the garage footprint. Construction of the garage has added to Massport’s High Occupancy Vehicle capacity for passengers and employees, enhanced customer services and alleviated inefficiencies of the previous surface lot and overflow parking lots.
Firm: TEC, Inc. | The Engineering Corp.

Project: Andover Medical Center

Project Location: Andover, MA

Client: Lupoli Companies, LLC

TEC worked closely with the Town and the Lupoli Companies to craft a strategy to overcome the design and permitting challenges of the 40,000-SF Medical Office Building on Lowell Street in Andover. Challenges for the formerly residential parcel included an irregular lot shape, no direct access to a public way, and adjacency to a large-scale residential project. TEC spearheaded a collaborative effort with the support of Town Staff and Boards and ultimately the project obtained the necessary Variances and Special Permits to allow the project to become a reality, bringing a world class medical facility to Andover.
Firm: TEC, Inc. | The Engineering Corp.

Project: UMass Lowell North Campus Bus Stop

Project Location: Lowell, MA

Client: UMass Lowell

The UMass Lowell North Campus Bus Stop Project was born from a need to improve pedestrian safety and roadway efficiency on University Avenue and provide a dedicated bus depot facility for the multiple transit corridors serving the UMass Lowell campuses and downtown Lowell. The TEC, Inc. team evaluated thirteen potential sites and identified and designed a preferred site adjacent to Olney Hall that allows buses to be proximate to the largest collection of student buildings and parking facilities. This project further substantiates the University’s dedication to advance multi-modal projects and reduce the public’s dependence upon single-occupancy vehicles.
Firm: VHB

Project: Logan Airport Sustainability Management Plan

Project Location: East Boston, MA

Client: Massachusetts Port Authority

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) selected VHB to lead a comprehensive effort to prepare a Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) for Logan International Airport. VHB guided the Authority through a planning process that reached all Massport departments and developed a vision for a sustainable facility that enhances environmental sustainability, improves the passenger experience and employee wellbeing, provides community benefits, and focuses on financial feasibility. The SMP guides Massport’s sustainability planning and practices over the next decades, which will help Logan Airport continue to be a trailblazer in sustainability.
Firm: VHB

Project: Memorial Avenue over US Route 5

Project Location: West Springfield, MA

Client: Massachusetts Department of Transportation

This project involves the replacement of two bridges carrying the Memorial Avenue Rotary over U.S. Route 5 in West Springfield. Both bridges are located along the rotary; each with unique and complex geometry. Due to the high traffic volumes and critical utilities carried by the bridges, accelerated bridge construction techniques were used. The replacement of each bridge superstructure was completed in single 79-hour shutdowns, minimizing traffic impacts and disruption to the traveling public. The project also included a series of multi-modal improvements enhancing the mobility and safety of the rotary for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Small Firm Project Winner:
Firm: Air Water Energy Engineers, Inc.

Project: Athol Public Library Renovation and New Addition  

Project Location:  Athol, MA

Client: Athol Public Library

The original Athol Public Library, built in 1918, was one of the many libraries across the U.S. funded by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In 2011, a construction grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners was awarded to the town for the library renovation and new addition project. The library identified the goal of achieving LEED Platinum certification, reflecting the community’s desire to have a truly “green” building for its historic Carnegie Library. AWE was hired by Tappé Architects, the project architect, as the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineer. AWE also provided energy modeling services for the project


“These winning projects exemplify ingenuity and professionalism and represent the breadth of engineering’s contribution to our everyday lives,” said ACEC/MA President David Vivilecchia. “They are outstanding examples of how engineers connect communities, provide safe and reliable water and energy, and make our buildings safe and efficient. The professional engineers and their colleagues at our member firms are dedicated to working on quality infrastructure, which wouldn’t otherwise exist. These outstanding projects are but a few examples of the quality work designed by Massachusetts (and Rhode Island) engineering firms.”
In addition to the project awards, ACEC/MA also presented these awards on March 16:

  • ACEC/MA Education Corporation President’s Scholarships to Emily Derrig and Lindsey Vazquez, both studying at Northeastern University.
  • ACEC/MA Community Service Award to Henry Russell, Senior Vice President at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff.
  • ACEC/MA Young Professional Award to Adam Leonard, Project Manager at Fitzemeyer & Tocci Associates.