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Issue: 3 

May 2017   
Michigan Business, Government, Transportation, Engineering Groups Urge Legislature to Fix State's Infrastructure 
Infrastructure Continues to Age & Crumble - Legislature has No Plan to Fix It

Ron Brenke, Executive Director for ACEC/Michigan and ASCE MI Section, participated in a press conference on May 30 a t the Michigan Municipal League in Lansing along with other industry partners supporting the www.FixMIState.org . Ron focused on Michigan's failing infrastructure and referenced the ASCE MI Section Infrastructure Report Card. 

Speakers included:
  1. Joanna Johnson, Chair, Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council
  2. Ronald Brenke, Executive Director, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Michigan Section and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Michigan
  3. Denise Donohue, Director, County Road Association (also acting as event emcee)
  4. Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director, Michigan Municipal League
  5. Andy Johnston, Vice-President, Government and Corporate Affairs, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
  6. Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice-President, Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association and leader of the Fix MI State campaign
The group urged Michigan lawmakers to make infrastructure a priority as they head to Mackinac Island this week for the Detroit Chamber annual Mackinac Policy Conference. Despite the release of multiple reports that show Michigan's infrastructure is failing and in dire need of more investment, and the support of the public through various polls, the legislation has ignored the issue and failed to provide a plan to address the massive needs throughout the state.
Legislation Introduced Improves Quality of Designs and Reduces Project Costs
Michigan to catch up with rest of U.S. and require Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) process for hiring Design Professionals 
MI Capitol - Outside
Legislation was recently introduced (House Bills 4447-4455) that would require local government agencies to use a Qualifications-Based Selection process for procuring professional engineering, architectural or surveying services. 45 other states have passed similar legislation and are seeing the benefits in reduced construction change orders and shorter project completions.

QBS encourages innovation by the designers and provides owners an opportunity to select engineers based on qualifications, competence and past experience versus just selecting based on the lowest bid. The Federal Government has required the use of a QBS procurement process for design services on all federally funded infrastructure projects since 1972.

The bills have bi-partisan sponsorship and have been referred to the House Local Government Committee.
2017 Michigan Infrastructure Conference
Held May 18 in Grand Rapids
The 2017 Michigan Infrastructure Conference, jointly hosted by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Michigan and the Michigan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), was a successful event with over 200 attendees. Held on Thursday, May 18 at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids, the conference focused on how infrastructure can drive economic development through emerging or expanding markets, creative leadership, new technologies and unique solutions developed by practitioners, facility/infrastructure developers and owners.  

Keynote speakers included Roger Curtis, the Director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development, and Jeff Edwards, Project Executive with Rockford Construction. John Weiss, Executive Director of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council, moderated an infrastructure discussion panel that included Mary P. Palkovich (Consumers Energy), Eric DeLong (City of Grand Rapids) and Erick Kind, (MDOT).  The day also included educational breakout sessions, exhibit booths and networking opportunities. 

ACEC 2017 Emerging Leaders Program
Registration Information Available Soon  
The ACEC of Michigan Emerging Leaders Program is for individuals committed to developing their leadership abilities. This program imparts specific skills and competencies identified by top ACEC of Michigan principals as critical for leadership success. Highly interactive sessions are taught by experts in the field of business administration and people management in professional services firms.
The 2017 program will kick off in September in Lansing, with sessions focused on strategic planning and governmental affairs. Additional sessions will be held in Detroit in October, and in Grand Rapids in December. 
Registration information will be available soon on the ACEC/M website. We anticipate this class filling quickly, as the 2016 class was filled in less than two weeks. 
Michigan MATHCOUNTS Team Places at National Competition 

The Michigan MATHCOUNTS Team placed 5th   in the 2017 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition held May 14th   and 15th   at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The team is comprised of the top four finishers in the Michigan Competition: Reagan Choi, Alex Xu, Varun Rajesh, all from Boulan Park Middle School in Troy, and Jeffrey Zhang, from Hillside Middle School in Northville. The Team was coached by Mark Martin, a teacher at Boulan Park Middle School.

The team was among 224 competitors from all 50 states, plus U.S. territories and schools that serve the U.S. State and Defense departments who traveled to Orlando after earning a spot in the national competition. More than 100,000 students participated in the local and state competitions that led to this weekend's event. This year's competition was the 34th in the MATHCOUNTS Foundation's history.

Reagan Choi, a 7th grader, and Alex Xu, an 8th grader placed 5th and 6th respectively in the written competition.  Both were quarterfinalists in the Countdown Round, during which the 12 Mathletes┬« with the highest written test scores competed in head-to-head matchups for the title of 2017 National Champion. This was Alex's second consecutive appearance in the Countdown Round in three years attending the National Competition. This is Reagan's second year representing Michigan.  Mark Martin has been the coach for the Michigan Team for the past five years.

This is the ninth year that Raytheon Company has served as title sponsor of the MATHCOUNTS National Competition as part of its global commitment to science, technology, engineering and math education.

"These Mathlete competitors demonstrated a mastery and enthusiasm for the subject that is both impressive and inspiring," said Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon Chairman and CEO. "Their passion is infectious, and it gets you excited to think about the great breakthroughs they will someday achieve as the next generation of STEM innovators and professionals."

Luke Robitaille, a home-schooled 13-year-old 7th grader from Euless, Texas is the 2017 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS┬« National Champion, and Texas captured the title of First Place Team in the team competition. "Every year these outstanding students show us how far hard work, perseverance and passion can take you," said Lou DiGioia, executive director of MATHCOUNTS. "I congratulate Luke and can't wait to see what he and the 223 other national competitors go on to accomplish in the future."

Over 1,100 students state-wide compete in the 16 local chapter and state competitions sponsored by the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers.

2018 Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards

ASCE Michigan Section Presents Awards 
ASCE Michigan Section presented the following awards during the Michigan Infrastructure Conference on May 18: 
  • Franklin D. Meyers Outstanding Civil Engineer of the Year Award: Jesse B. VanDeCreek, P.E. 
  • Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement: Kevin L. Gritters, P.E.
  • Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award: Ann Arbor Wastewater Treatment Plant Facilities Renovation: City of Ann Arbor and Arcadis of Michigan, LLC
  • Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Certificate of Merit:  Roosevelt Road Reconstruction and Groundwater Collection System: City of Roosevelt Park and Prein&Newhof
  • Quality of Life Award: Goldsworth Valley Enhancement Project: Western Michigan University, Kieser & Associates, LLC, and O'Boyle, Cowell, Blalock & Associates, Inc. 
  • Quality of Life Certificate of Merit Award: Downtown Fenton Streetscape and Road Reconstruction: City of Fenton and OHM Advisors
  • Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Award: Willow Run Tri Level Bridges: MDOT Brighton TSC
ACEC Recognizes Individuals for Leadership  
During the Michigan Infrastructure Conference on May 18, ACEC recognized and honored the following individuals for their leadership and commitment to the organization
  • Michael Cooper (HED) for his leadership and dedication as the 2016-2017 ACEC/M president. 
  • Steve Pangori (Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick) for his leadership on the ACEC/M Board of Directors. 
  • Scott Emmons (OHM Advisors) for his leadership as Chairperson of the Transportation Committee. 
  • Joel Vandall (WSP) for his leadership as chairperson of the Engineering & Surveying Excellence Committee. 
  • Patrick Wingate (OHM Advisors) for his leadership as chairperson of the MDOT-ACEC Procedures & Practices Committee. 
Michigan Students Awarded ACEC Scholarships
After winning the top ACEC/Michigan scholarships in February, two Michigan engineering/surveying students went on to compete for ACEC National scholarships. Both applicants were successful and received National scholarships to help cover the costs of their education. 

Nicholas DeSimpelare received the $5,000 Professional Liability Agents Network Scholarship. DeSimpelare will earn his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Michigan State University in 2018. He has been working at Eng., Inc. since 2015 analyzing watersheds and storm water conveyance systems for deficiencies and potential improvements. He volunteers his time tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth at St. Vincent's. 

Taylor Wiegand, who received the $2,500 Small Firm Council Scholarship, will graduate in 2018 from Michigan Technological University with a master's degree in environmental engineering. Taylor interned at ACEC member firm OHM Advisors, and she also spent a semester in Oslo, Norway, on a study abroad program. 
Click here for complete details on ACEC/M Scholarships.
7th Annual Construction Science Expo Introduce Detroit Students to Engineering & Skilled Trades
Nearly 1,000 Middle and High School Students Visit Michigan Science Center

On May 16, 2017, the design and construction industry again came together to introduce Detroit middle and high school students to a career in engineering and construction. This year's event was held at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit. Over 900 students, who signed a pledge to be drug-free, were treated to a full day of hands-on exhibits designed to allow the students the opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to operate an excavator, participate in a skilled trade, or be an engineer and design a bridge or highway.

 The event is organized and financially supported by:
  • The Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan
  • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Detroit Public Schools
  • Michigan Science Center
  • Michigan's Design and Construction Coalition:
    • American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan
    • American Society of Civil Engineers Michigan Section
    • Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan
    • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324
    • Michigan Aggregates Association
    • Michigan Concrete Association
    • Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association
    • Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust Funds
A special thanks goes out to ACEC members HNTB, Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick (AEW), Testing Engineers & Consultants (TEC), OHM Advisors, SME, CDM Smith, SSI and HDR for providing people and exhibits for the Engineering portion of the program. For more information about the event, please visit the Construction Science Expo website at www.constructionscienceexpo.com.
ACEC Welcomes New Members!
ACEC is excited to welcome these new member firms: 
ACEC Social Media
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Did you know that ACEC is active on social media sites? Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and connect with us on LinkedIn to stay informed! 




2017-2018 SAVE THE DATES
Mark Your Calendar!
September 28-29, 2017: Emerging Leaders Program (First Session)
February 1, 2018: MDOT-ACEC Partnering Workshop, Lansing
March 10, 2018: Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala, Grand Rapids
March 20, 2018: AESLC Legislative Day, Lansing

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In This Issue
Infrastructure Press Conference
Legislative Update
Michigan Infrastructure Conference
ACEC Emerging Leaders Program
2018 ESE Awards
ASCE Awards
ACEC Recognizes Leadership
ACEC National Scholarships
Construction Science Expo
ACEC New Members
ACEC Social Media
Save the Dates
Engineering Center



 Engineering Center
Questions about engineering?
Please contact:


Ron Brenke, PE 

Executive Director



Shada Biabani-Kanine
Executive Director