April 2020    
ACEC Supporting Engineering Firms During COVID-19 Pandemic
Providing information and resources to navigate pandemic

Over the past month, ACEC has been working hard to provide members with key information to help navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The consulting engineering industry quickly shifted to working from home as the first Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order 2020-21 from Governor Whitmer took effect on March 24. ACEC provided detailed information and hosted webinars to quickly bring firms up to speed on DOL regulations for paid sick/medical/extended leave and the Paycheck Protection Program. As we obtained information, we built a new COVID-19 Resources page on our website so firms would have a repository of important information. We teamed up with members of the construction industry to develop a COVID-19  best practices guide to help protect those working in the field on construction projects.

The ACEC National office is surveying member firms to understand business and economic impacts to our industry. We continue to advocate for a phase IV stimulus package that includes an infrastructure element to help put Americans back to work while improving critical infrastructure that is the backbone of our economy.

We are confident that this crisis will change many things going forward. Engineering designs for buildings, streets and other infrastructure will likely involve new factors to increase social distancing and to improve air quality. ACEC stands ready to help tackle these issues and assist our members in doing what they do best: Protect the health, safety and welfare of public.

ACEC/M Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards 
I-696 Innovation Project and MDOT Railway Scanning Take Top Honors

On March 7, ACEC/M honored firms for engineering and surveying excellence during the awards gala held at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids. The statewide competition recognizes outstanding efforts of professional design firms to solve clients' needs through exceptional projects and offers the opportunity to showcase the year's best engineering and surveying achievements to an audience of peers, clients and decision makers at all levels.
Engineering Eminent Conceptor Award Winners
This year's Engineering Eminent Conceptor Award went to Tetra Tech, Inc. for the I-696 Innovative Design Project in Macomb County. The I-696 Dequindre to Nieman project involved the design of 8 miles of depressed interstate freeway including 8 urban interchanges including ramps. The project design consisted of concrete inlay construction including a recently developed specification for cement treated open graded drainage course (OGDC). Several innovative concepts were utilized, including a corridor-wide project PDF, contractual 3D line strings, and a PQS spreadsheet in lieu of quantity breakdown displays. Design was on an accelerated schedule and completed in less than 4 months.

Surveying Eminent Conceptor Award Winners

The Surveying Eminent Conceptor Award went to Spicer Group, Inc. (Saginaw), for its MDOT Railway Scanning project. Spicer Group, Inc. completed a network-wide data collection project for MDOT's Office of Rail for approximately 665 miles of railroad corridor. Various data collection technologies were used including Mobile Terrestrial LiDAR and rail-view imagery, Airborne LiDAR and ortho-imagery, UAV acquired ortho-imagery and traditional RTK GNSS surveying. Using advanced techniques, all data was fused together to create a network-wide geospatial dataset of all MDOT-owned railroad assets.

Five firms were honored with an Engineering Honorable Conceptor Award for their work on the following:
  • AECOM Technical Services, Inc. (Chicago) - High-Rate Clarification Plant in Columbiaville
  • Fishbeck (Grand Rapids) - Water Treatment Plant Improvements in Ludington
  • Prein&Newhof (Grand Rapids) - Water Treatment Pilot Study for PFAS Removal project in Plainfield Charter Township.
  • Ruby+Associates, Inc. (Bingham Farms) - Mackinac Bridge Paint Platforms project in Mackinaw City
  • The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc.. (Canton) - Ford Flat Rock Facility in Flat Rock
Engineering Merit Awards were presented to:
  • C2AE (Gaylord) - Four Mile Road Municipal Water and Wastewater project in Grayling
  • Gourdie-Fraser, Inc. (Traverse City) - 8th Street Reconstruction in Traverse City
  • Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc. (Bloomfield Hills) - Groundbreaking Trenchless Technology project for the City of Royal Oak
  • NTH Consultants, Ltd. (Northville) - Auburn Treatment Plant Pipeline Rehabilitation in Pontiac
  • Parsons Transportation Group, Inc. (Troy) - I-75 Concrete Inlay Project in Detroit
  • SmithGroup (Detroit) - Biological Sciences Building at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
  • SmithGroup (Detroit) - Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University in Detroit
  • Spicer Group, Inc. (St. Johns) - Smith Consolidated Drain project in Okemos
  • Tyme Consulting Engineers, Inc. (Livonia) - I-75 ITS Fiber Network Backbone Design in Wayne County
  • Wade Trim (Taylor) - Wilson Road Extension project at Michigan State University in East Lansing
A Surveying Honorable Conceptor Award was presented to Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering, Inc. (Grand Rapids) for its Taming the Wildcat Drain project in Three Rivers.
Surveying Merit Awards were presented to:
  • Nowak & Fraus Engineers (Pontiac) - Ford Field Surveying and Scanning in Detroit
  • Spalding DeDecker (Rochester Hills) - Michigan Central Station project in Detroit
The Board Design Award went to Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc. (Bloomfield Hills) for the board designed to 'tell the story' of the Boost to the Booster Station in Rochester Hills.

For photos and further information about the 2020 projects, please visit the ACEC/M website
ACEC/M Names 2020 Firms of the Year
OHM Advisors and FK Engineering Associates   Recognized
The American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) recently presented the 2020 member "FIRM OF THE YEAR" awards at the Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala held on March 7, 2020 at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids. Both a large firm (>30 employees) and a small firm were recognized. 
This is the highest ACEC/M honor bestowed and the only award program instituted to recognize ACEC/M member firms for their leadership in professional practice and community service. Recognition is based on actions taken by a member firm to progressively develop its management practices and for assuming leadership roles in community outreach activities and ACEC/M programs that strengthen the profession for all members.
In the large firm category, ACEC/M member firm OHM Advisors, headquartered in Livonia, took the honor. 

OHM Advisors

The 2020 ACEC/M small Firm of the Year award went to FK Engineering Associates
in Madison Heights.

FK Engineering Associates

For additional information on these outstanding firms, visit the ACEC/M website.
ACEC/M Honors Individuals at Awards Gala
Vernon B. Spalding Leadership Award & Felix A. Anderson Image Award
This year's Vernon B. Spalding Leadership Award and Felix A. Anderson Image Award were presented on March 7, 2020, at the Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala. 

Jay Shah, PE
The  Vernon B. Spalding Leadership Award was presented to Jay Shah, PE, to honor his outstanding leadership roles in ACEC and several community organizations. 

Jay Shah is President of Jay Shah Associates, a management consulting firm founded in 2006. JSA provides succession planning, strategic direction and M&A consulting to A/E businesses. He has peer reviewed in excess of 16 ACEC firms nationwide, providing him the experience in mentoring the Firm's leadership and key employees.

Shah has played leadership roles in ACEC member firms Somat Engineering of Detroit and Spalding DeDecker Associates of Rochester Hills. He helped Somat Engineering to grow regionally and to diversify its practice as Vice President. He was Chairman and President of Spalding DeDecker where he helped the firm grow fivefold in stock value and to 156 employees. Visit the ACEC/M website for Jay's complete bio

Larry Fleis, PE
The ACEC/M Felix A. Anderson Image Award was presented to Larry Fleis, PE, of Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering for his actions and contributions to enhance the image of the profession. 

Larry Fleis cofounded Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) Engineering, Inc. in 1993, together with Steve VandenBrink. He served as president of the firm until 2017. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a single Grand Rapids engineering firm to include construction management through F&V Construction (FVC) and operations of water and wastewater treatment facilities through F&V Operations and Resources Management (FVOP). Today, he serves as president and chairman of the board of directors of the parent company, F&V Companies, Inc., and president of FVC and FVOP.
Fleis has been an active member of ACEC through the years. He served as a member of the ACEC/Michigan Board of Directors for 4 years.  He served as chairman of its Rural Development taskforce, and is currently chair of the Qualifications Based Selection Coalition. Visit the ACEC/M website for Larry's complete bio

ACEC/M Awards Engineering Scholarships
$16,000 Awarded to 5 Students
2020 ACEC/M Scholarship Recipients
Each year, the ACEC/Michigan Scholarship Committee awards scholarships in order to promote the profession and to provide financial support to students pursuing careers in engineering and surveying. The scholarships are awarded to deserving college students who have completed their freshman year and are enrolled in an ABET accredited engineering or surveying program. 
They are evaluated in the following areas: work experience, extra-curricular and community activities, references, grade point average, and a written essay. Applicants must also have worked for a private engineering, architectural or surveying firm in the past 24 months.
Congratulations to the 2020 ACEC/M Scholarship winners (pictured left to right):
  • Everhett Biland, Michigan Technological University
  • Maria Carpita, Michigan Technological University
  • Alisha Stidam, Lawrence Technological University
  • Kelcey Heaney, Lawrence Technological University
  • Aaron Ustes, University of Michigan
These recipients were honored during the Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala.  Visit the ACEC/M website for complete details on the scholarship program
ACEC/M 2020 Emerging Leaders Program
Application Information Available Soon

Dates have been set and details are being finalized for the 2020 Emerging Leaders Program. Application information for this popular program will be available in May. 
The program imparts specific skills and competencies identified by top ACEC of Michigan principals as critical for leadership success. These highly interactive sessions are taught by experts in the field of business administration and people management in professional services firms. The ELP is open to ACEC member firms only. 
There will only be 20 spaces available and we anticipate the class will fill quickly. Visit the ACEC/M website to get your name on the waiting list now!  
ACEC Young Professional of the Year Award
Nominations due July 6, 2020
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 ACEC Young Professional of the Year Program.  The Young Professional of the Year Award strives to promote the accomplishments of young engineers by highlighting their engineering contributions and the resulting impact on society. The campaign is designed to enhance and improve the image of engineering by recognizing young, diverse and talented engineers, thereby portraying engineering as an exciting profession open to everyone. 
Each state organization is allowed to submit a maximum of two (2) nominees to ACEC National for award consideration. Guidelines and the nomination form are available on the ACEC website.  

The major elements of the program include but are not limited to: 
  • Nominees must be submitted by state organizations only (in this case, ACEC of Michigan).  No nominations will be accepted directly from member firms.
  • No more than two nominations shall be submitted from each state organization.
  • Nominees shall be engineers 35 years of age or younger as of December 31, 2019.
  • Nominees shall be registered Professional Engineers.
  • Two nomination supporting statements are required - one from the nominee and a second from the nominee's employer/firm.
Nominations are due electronically to the ACEC/Michigan office by July 6, 2020.  The 2020 national winners will be recognized during the Fall Conference in San Diego. 
ACEC Community Service Award
Nominations due August 3, 2020
This prestigious award recognizes Council members throughout the nation for their community service accomplishments. The award honors those who effectively impact the quality of life in their communities, and who are perceived in their communities as true leaders.
ACEC/Michigan nominations must be sent electronically to the ACEC/Michigan office by August 3, 2020. The National winners will be recognized during the Fall Conference in San Diego. 

You can review the criteria and application by using the link below.
ASCE Michigan Section Scholarships
Application Deadline is Memorial Day 2020
The Michigan Section of the ASCE encourages the advancement of the Civil Engineering profession by qualified and interested students. To that end, the ASCE Michigan Section offers financial support through two scholarships. These scholarships have been endowed through the efforts and generosity of individual Civil Engineers and leading Civil Engineering companies throughout Michigan. 
Mackinac Scholarship
Named in honor of Michigan's #1 Civil Engineering Project of the 20th Century by the ASCE Michigan Section membership in December 1999, the Mackinac Scholarship is intended to recognize a premier Civil Engineering student from Michigan. The award will be presented annually, and will consist of a two-year grant of $5,000 each year (totaling $10,000 over a two-year period) to a student entering his or her junior year at an ABET-accredited Civil Engineering program. The award considers merit, personal initiative, and financial need and encourages both participation in a student chapter of ASCE and contributions to the advancement of student engineering.
Zuidema Scholarship
Named in honor of an outstanding Past-President of the Michigan Section and the Western Michigan Branch of ASCE, the Marvin L. Zuidema Scholarship Award is presented annually to a student member of ASCE who has made a contribution to the advancement of student engineering activities. This award will consist of a one-time grant of $1,500, and considers academic performance as an indication of preparation for a future career in Civil Engineering. The Zuidema scholarship is available to either a junior or senior in an ABET-accredited Civil Engineering program.
Click here to access more detailed information and the application itself. Applications are due by Memorial Day. 
ACEC/Michigan Member Firm News
Congratulations to the following firms who are celebrating significant anniversaries this year! 
  • Michael Baker Associates - 80 years
  • Beam, Longest & Neff - 50 years
Do you have news you would like to share? Email kvanzee@acecmi.org. 
ACEC/Michigan Member Benefit
Did you know the ACEC/M website has a job board?  

EMPLOYERS: Is your company looking for good, local employees? Develop your workforce with us! ACEC/M members may post jobs at NO CHARGE. Non-members can post for a small fee. We invite you to see how easy it is to post jobs online today! 

JOB SEEKERS: Looking for a new job? A better job? Join the workforce in the area!
The  ACEC/M Job Board is the right place for what you need to know about available jobs, our fantastic local employers, and our great community!

In This Issue
ACEC Supporting Firms During Covid-19 Pandemic
ACEC/M Engineering Excellence Awards
ACEC/M Firms of the Year
ACEC/M Honors Individual Awards
ACEC/M Scholarship Awards
ACEC/M 2020 Emerging Leaders Program
ACEC Young Professional of the Year
ACEC Community Service Award
ACEC/M Member Benefit
Engineering Center



 Engineering Center
Questions about engineering?
Please contact:


Ron Brenke, PE 

Executive Director


Katy Winnett
Executive Director