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Engineering Excellence Awards

Please join us for 2018 ACEC California's 2nd Annual Scholarship

Foundation Fundraising Dinner at the Sheraton Grand in downtown Los Angeles on

February 8, 2018 at 5pm. We will be presenting the 2018 ACEC California Engineering Excellence

Awards (EEA). We are excited to bring the Scholarship Foundation and EEA together to celebrate

the achievements of the Engineering and Surveying industries, while supporting students and

strengthening the future of engineering. Please click here to register.

ACEC California is pleased to announce the 2017 Engineering Excellence Award winners. Eighteen

projects were named Honor Award winners, Twenty projects received Merit Awards,

10 projects received Commendation Awards and the Golden State Award (the top award) went

to  AECOM for their work on the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.  The award winners

were announced at the Engineering Excellence Awards Banquet on Thursday, February 2 in

San Francisco at the Parc 55 Hotel. See the ACEC California press release here and for photos

of the Engineering Excellence Awards Banquet, Click here



Golden 1 Center


2017 Golden State Award Winner






"Golden 1 Center is a dynamic example of how engineers and designers can create a structure that movingly captures the pride, the culture, and the priorities of a community. AECOM and Henderson Engineering should be very proud of their contribution to the City of Sacramento and we could not be more pleased to recognize the unique and environmentally innovative concepts implemented throughout this impressive project," said Brad Diede, Executive Director of ACEC California.


With a specific focus on sustainability, the arena contains several groundbreaking features that were designed to reduce energy use and harness Sacramento's natural environment. Such features include: five-story high aircraft-hangar doors     that open to the city and the natural cooling of the Sacramento Delta breeze; and a first-of-its-kind displacement     ventilation system that saves energy and improves comfort by delivering conditioned air directly beneath the seats - even     allowing fans to influence the temperature through an app on their cell phones. The 100% solar-electric venue will also achieve a 45 percent reduction in water use and 30 percent reduction in energy use of a typical arena.  


Beyond sustainability, the building is designed to provide fans with an unprecedented entertainment experience. The seating bowl puts over 60 percent of the fans close to the action in the lower bowl, while the hangar doors and unique indoor-outdoor atmosphere reflect the regional lifestyle. Golden 1 Center will demonstrate environmental leadership to     an estimated 1.2 million visitors each year at over 200 events. 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. AECOM's role on the project included architecture, engineering (MEP, structural, civil and high-performance buildings), programming, interior design, environmental design, urban planning, landscape design and sustainability consulting.


Honor Awards

(listed alphabetically)



Arcadis U.S., Inc.


Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant




The $922-million desalination plant is the largest desalination facility in the Western Hemisphere, with production           capacity of up to 50 million gallons per day of fresh, high-quality drinking water. Owned by Poseidon Water and       completed by the Design-Build team of Kiewit Shea Desalination with Arcadis, Kleinfelder, IDE Technologies and Tetra Tech, the Carlsbad plant provides 400,000 San Diego County residents with a locally controlled, drought-proof water      supply that meets or exceeds state and federal drinking water standards.



Arcadis U.S., Inc. 


Port of Long Beach, Middle Harbor


Redevelopment Program, Phase 1




The Middle Harbor Program is a nine-year, $1.62 billion development program.  The five-year contract under Phase 1 included multiple upgrades such as wider and deeper channels, wharf construction, backlands development,      

shore-to-ship power, expansion of on-dock rail yard facilities and construction of a fully automated container terminal, signifying the Port’s commitment to sustainable commerce and environmental excellence.


Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc.    


Tustin Avenue/Rose Drive Railroad Grade Separation



The Orange County Transportation Authority contracted Biggs Cardosa Associates as the prime consultant to provide the engineering design for this grade separation crossing over a busy railroad line, a four-lane commercial arterial road, and a flood control channel. The project’s success came from the team’s highly inclusive approach to working with stakeholders and its innovative design and staging, which reduced impacts on the railway and neighboring businesses and residences during and after construction. Delivered on time and under budget, the Tustin/Rose grade separation has removed a long-problematic barrier, enhancing traffic flow and the community’s economic vitality.


Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc.  


Central Marin Ferry Connection Multi-Use Pathway



Biggs Cardosa Associates was contracted by the Transportation Authority of Marin as the prime consultant to provide project management and engineering design for this publicly praised iconic pedestrian/bicycle bridge crossing over the heavily used Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Larkspur. The new structure provides safe access to bus, ferry, and rail transit facilities. Assembled in mid-air in only two nights, the bridge elegantly references the nearby Larkspur Ferry Terminal’s iconic canopy. The project was delivered on time and under budget.



Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Inc.


Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project 500kv


Underground Transmission Mira Loma-Vincent



Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Inc. was contracted as owner’s engineer for Southern California Edison to provide design and construction services for a 3.7-mile, Mira Loma-Vincent 500-kV underground transmission line, one of the first of its kind in the world. The project went through densely populated neighborhoods, roadways, a shopping center, flood control channels and a golf course. The project demonstrates the feasibility of delivering large-scale renewable energy        from source to point-of-need through sensitive and challenging environments.


Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group, Inc.    


Healdsburg Avenue Bridge over the Russian River



Omni-Means and their sub consultant Cornerstone were contracted by the City of Healdsburg to perform scoping, environmental clearance, permitting, and final design on this project. Originally constructed in 1921, the Healdsburg Avenue Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and required state of the art rehabilitation and seismic retrofit techniques in order to preserve the historic fabric of one of the few steel Pratt Truss bridges in the western United States. Through collaboration with local community members, Caltrans, FHWA, and State Historic Preservation     Officer, the City and their design team successfully delivered this project on schedule and within budget.


Hill International 


Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa



Hill International was contracted by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority as the program manager to provide the unique oversight required to manage the creation of this forward thinking and environmentally conscious transit project. The Foothill Gold Line light rail project extends the currently operating Metro Gold Line approximately 12 miles east from Pasadena to the border of Azusa/Glendora, California and is the first of two extension segments.  The Foothill Gold Line was built using design-build project delivery.


Holdrege & Kull Consulting Engineers and Geologists


Closed Lincoln Landfill Groundwater


Corrective Action Project




The City of Lincoln California 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 to maintain a minimum    5-foot separation between the bottom of 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 approximately $12 million when compared to a clean closure alternative solution requiring complete removal and disposal of the waste at a Class I landfill facility. H&K successfully completed the project on time and within budget.


Kennedy/Jenks Consultants


Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant Long Term


Improvements Project - 11MG Treated Water Reservoir




Kennedy/Jenks was contracted by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to provide engineering design services for the new Treated Water Reservoir, as necessitated by the abandonment of the plant’s two existing treated water reservoirs due to unacceptable ground deformations below the foundations in the event of a major seismic event. The Treated Water Reservoir was designed to resist high vertical and lateral seismic forces, and includes an external chlorine contact raceway for water treatment surrounding an internal treated water storage reservoir. The Treated Water Reservoir is considered a critical component of the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant’s Long Term Improvements Project, which was implemented to upgrade the existing plant to limit potential damage and allow the plant to deliver a minimum of 140 million gallons per day within 24 hours after a major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault.


Kennedy/Jenks Consultants


Converting Waste to Vehicle Fuel at the City of San Mateo


Wastewater Treatment Plant Project



The design of the Digester Biogas to Clean Burning Vehicle Fuel project for the City of San Mateo, is the first of its kind in California. This exciting, innovative waste-to-energy project produces sustainable vehicle fuel from the unused biogas generated at the City’s wastewater treatment plant. The biogas is cleaned to produce renewable natural gas and then compressed to produce compressed natural gas that will be used as clean-burning vehicle fuel. The project converts approximately 100 cubic feet per minute of biogas to sustainably produce up to 500 gas gallon equivalents of biofuel every day. The City will initially fuel 50 new clean natural gas vehicles for use in the Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments, thus supporting its long-term environmental initiative by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Kennedy/Jenks Consultants & Trussell Technologies, Inc.


Padre Dam Municipal Water District's


Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project




This Potable Reuse demonstration project involved the design, construction, and yearlong testing of an advanced water purification facility. The project demonstrates the viability, reliability and robustness of an alternative advanced water treatment train in achieving compliance with California’s newly formed regulation for groundwater recharge and recovery and the emerging regulations in surface water augmentation utilizing recycled water. This research creates a regulatory approval pathway to achieving full-scale project implementation, which will result in providing up to 30% of East San Diego County’s water through this new local water supply source.




Blue Line Light Rail Transit Renewal Project



Contracted by the San Diego Association of Governments, as the prime consultant to provide innovative planning and engineering design for this landmark project. The project allowed the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System to implement low-floor boarding service on the Blue Line—one of the busiest lines in the MTS system—and revitalize the look and feel of the 30-year-old transit stations. These improvements greatly enhanced accessibility for persons with disabilities, reduced delays on the line, made the trolley schedules more reliable, and increased ridership capacity. Construction of all improvements was completed without any interruptions to passenger service. The project completed construction in 2015, and was delivered on time and under budget.


Kimley-Horn & Mott MacDonald


Interstate 80 Smart Corridor Project


Integrated Corridor Mobility



The team was contracted by the Alameda County Transportation Commission, as the prime consultant to provide innovative engineering design required to create this landmark project. For what is believed to be the first time in history, freeways, ramps, and arterials can be controlled in an integrated fashion from a single user to allow for better traffic flow and safer, smarter drivers. The project was delivered on time and under budget.


Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc.


San Jose - Santa Clara RWF 3D Scanning, Modeling & Mapping



KSN was retained as a subconsultant to Brown and Caldwell to provide 3D scanning and 3D modeling services for the Digester and Thickener Facility’s Upgrade Project, and the Secondary Blower Building Project.  KSN’s unique delivery of scanning and modeling services was an integral part of the team’s successful ability to deliver design documents, which led to the award of a $108 million construction project at the plant.




Cross Border Xpress Terminal Building and Pedestrian Skybridge



Otay Tijuana Venture, LLC contracted Kleinfelder as a prime consultant to perform multi-disciplinary design and construction services on this landmark bi-national project.  The facility provides direct, secure, and convenient access between the Tijuana International Airport and the United States.  Kleinfelder integrated bridge and geotechnical expertise to meet the requirements of stakeholders and agencies in both the U.S. and Mexico, completing the project on time and within budget.


Kleinfelder I Simon Wong Engineering


Auto Center Drive Grade Separation Project



Kleinfelder|Simon Wong Engineering was contracted by the City of Corona as the prime consultant to provide the construction management and public outreach required to complete construction of this high-priority project—a new grade separation of the former at-grade crossing of Auto Center Drive with the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway. The new grade separation will increase public safety, improve vehicle circulation and train operations, as well as facilitate future rail expansions. The project was delivered on time and under budget.


Maintenance Design Group, LLC


Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority


Division 13 Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility



The first ground-up bus operations and maintenance facility in nearly 30 years, this innovative, sustainable facility is designed to optimize LA Metro’s bus transit service throughout Central Los Angeles and will accommodate 200 CNG-fueled buses.  The design supports the overall health and safety of Metro employees and is a model of energy efficiency and design.  Division 13 will serve as a model for other transportation agencies worldwide and for future generations.





Merit Awards

(listed alphabetically)



Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group, Inc.  

Sylvester Greenwood Academy + Leadership Public Schools


HDR Engineering, Inc. 
Perris Valley Line


HDR Engineering, Inc. 
San Bernardino Transit Center

Huitt-Zollars, Inc. 
Trancas Creek and Lagoon Feasibility Study 


VA Loma Linda Ambulatory Care Center


Monterey Peninsula Airport

(CIP and RSA of Runway 10R/28L)  

A Avenue Green Street 


Michael Baker International
Kaiser Permanente San Diego Central Hospital 


Michael Baker International
Mission Beach Bulkhead Seawall Replacement


Michael Baker International
Springbok Solar 1 & 2 

Michael Baker International

Point Loma Nazarene University Science Center


MNS Engineers, Inc. 

Colorado Esplanade 


MNS Engineers, Inc. 

Los Osos Valley Road Interchange at US 101


Mott MacDonald, LLC

New Irvington Tunnel   


Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group 

Packwood Creek Water Conservation Project 


Los Angeles County, Department of Public Works'

Santa Anita Oak Woodland Project  


Rick Engineering Company

Hotel Churchill Renovation 


Rick Engineering Company

Hanson El Monte Pond Restoration & Flood Control/Groundwater Recharge Project 


WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff 
Riverfront Reconnection Project-Phase I


WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff 
Bailey Creek Bridge Replacement Project 



Commendation Awards

(listed alphabetically)



Carollo Engineers, Inc. 

City of Yuba City Water Treatment Plant Low Lift Pump Station Security Improvements 

Contra Costa Transportation Authority/ Rajappan & Meyer

SR4/SR160 Ramp Connectors


Drake Haglan and Associates 
Sacramento City College Pedestrian & Bicycle Bridge 


Kjeldsen, Sinnock, Neudeck, Inc. 
Mid and Upper Sacramento River Regional Flood Emergency Response Project 


Nasland Engineering
Horton Plaza Park


QK, Inc. 

Cameron Creek Colony Emergency Water Supply Project

Rick Engineering Company 


Rick Engineering Company 
San Diego Downtown Wayfinding  

SHN Engineers & Geologists, Inc. 
City of Eureka Martin Slough Interceptor Project

Summit Engineering, Inc. 

Napa Berryessa Resort Improvement District 





Next Year Details


To enter a project in the ACEC California competition, engineering and land surveying firms must have an office

based in California or be an ACEC California member. Submitted projects must be substantially completed and

ready for use between November 1, 2015 and October 31, 2017


The Golden State Award will be presented to the best overall project in the competition. Only Golden State and Honor Award winners are eligible to advance to the ACEC National competition. 


Entry into the ACEC National level requires completion of a separate entry and photographic panel,

in accordance with ACEC National guidelines.  


Before beginning to prepare a project entry, it is suggested that entrants make certain that the client and/or owner

will grant permission to enter this project in the state and/or national competition, and will authorize the release

of information about the project and approves of the project summary.


Dates to Remember


June 5, 2017

Intent to Enter information is sent to all firms by email and posted on our web-site. Official Entry will be mailed once the Intent to Enter is received.

July 1, 2017

The Official Entry Form will be posted on the ACEC California website


July 31, 2017

Intent to Enter deadline. (Official entry will still be accepted after this date).

September 30, 2017

Deadline for submission of Official Entry form and delivery of completed project to ACEC California office.

Early November 2017

Judging will take place and results will be announced.








ACEC National EEA deadline for submission(

ACEC California EEA Banquet will be hosted by ACEC California Scholarship Foundation and held at in Los Angeles the 1st or 2nd week in February 2018. All banquet proceeds benefit ACEC CA Scholarship Foundation.

ACEC National Awards banquet will be held in Washington D.C. (








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