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Issue: 2 

March 2017   
Pipe Legislation Encroaches on Local Engineering Decisions
SB 157 to Benefit Single Manufacturer
MI Capitol - Outside
A nation-wide effort has been launched by the PVC Pipe Industry to introduce state legislation that would give their industry an advantage when it comes to pipe selection for water and wastewater projects.  11 states have seen legislation very similar to Senate Bill 157 that was recently introduced in Michigan - and every state has uniformly rejected the legislation.
Many Michigan Senators were misled on the intent of the legislation proposed and, to date, five state senators have removed themselves as sponsors of the bill.
Engineers, utility owners, municipalities, townships and many others testified in opposition of SB 157 during two meetings held by the Michigan Competitiveness Committee. Despite the overwhelming opposition, the Committee voted the bill out on a 4-1 party-line vote on March 22.
Engineers and communities that maintain water and wastewater systems know through experience and science that not all pipes are equal. The pipe material can have significant differences in how long they last (known as service life), durability, reliability and cost. When engineers are designing underground systems, they consider many design factors, such as what kind of soil the pipes will be in, how deep they are buried, the amount and velocity of the flow they will be carrying, and how much the pipes will cost. Engineers have professional, legal and ethical obligations for the decisions they make, and the legislation being pushed by this special interest group will put these professionals at risk.
There are currently no state laws prohibiting communities from using any pipe material they choose for their water and wastewater systems. The market is very competitive and various pipe materials are used in systems all over the state based on sound engineering decisions. SB 157 is unnecessary and seeks to provide an advantage to a single product and is not in the best interest of Michigan taxpayers.
ACEC Meets with US Senator Peters

ACEC Board Members recently met with US Senator Gary Peters to discuss infrastructure funding, energy policy, and other issues of interest to engineering companies.
L to R: Sean Kelley (The Mannik & Smith Group), Michael Weingartz (SmithGroupJJR), Jon Kramer (OHM Advisors), Senator Peters, Ron Brenke (ACEC/M), Robert Rayl (RS Engineering), Steve Gravlin (Wade Trim)
Engineers, Architects & Surveyors Converge on Lansing for Legislative Day

On March 7, design professionals from across the state drove to Lansing to meet with their legislators.  Appointments were made with more than 100 different legislators so that constituents from their districts could sit down and discuss key issues that affect engineers, architects and surveyors on a daily basis. Members of the design professions provided elected officials with information on the condition of our infrastructure and discussed qualifications-based procurement procedures. They also showed strong opposition to SB 157 (see above) that would encroach on their ability to engineer the best solutions when designing water and wastewater systems.
ACEC and ASCE have teamed up once again to offer the 2017 Michigan Infrastructure Conference on Thursday, May 18 at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids and have partnered to create an informative conference focusing 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. These groups represent Michigan engineers, developers and other professionals who have a focus and passion to create thriving Michigan communities.

This year's event includes concurrent breakout sessions and an infrastructure panel of regional experts.

The conference is designed to bring engineers, developers and government officials together to share information and showcase unique and creative ways to finance and build Michigan's infrastructure. Six (6) educational breakout sessions will be offered in the morning and afternoon as well along with an infrastructure panel of regional experts.

Exhibitors are invited to share products and services throughout the day. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Attendees are also encouraged to join in an Engineers for Beers walking pub crawl on the evening of Wednesday, May 17.

For more details and to register, click here. 
ACEC Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Winners
Projects and Individuals Honored
On March 11, (ACEC/M) honored firms for engineering and surveying excellence during the awards gala held at The Fillmore Detroit. Outstanding Michigan engineering and surveying projects from the past year, as well as engineering professionals who have significantly contributed to the profession, were honored.  The statewide competition recognizes engineering achievements that demonstrate a high degree of client satisfaction through innovative, cost-effective solutions. 
SME - Engineering Eminent Conceptor Award Winners
This year's most prestigious award - the Engineering Eminent Conceptor Award - went to SME (Plymouth) for the Jimmy John's Field project in Utica. Built over a landfill, this project created numerous challenges. Working against a firm 12-month schedule to have the field ready for Opening Day 2016, SME and the entire project team worked tirelessly to secure funding, design plans that made the site suitable for development, and construct a ballpark that would not only serve as a home for the sport, but that would revitalize a community and serve families for generations to come.  

Five firms were honored with an Engineering Honorable Conceptor Award:
  • SmithGroupJJR of Detroit for the Oakland University Engineering Center in Rochester.
  • NTH Consultants, Ltd. of Northville for the Oakland Macomb Interceptor Drain.
  • AECOM of Detroit for the M-1 Rail Streetcar project in Detroit.
  • Bergmann Associates of Lansing for the University Drive Diverging Diamond Interchange in the City of Auburn Hills.
  • DLZ Michigan, Inc. of Lansing for the I-94/Sprinkle Road interchange in Kalamazoo.
  Engineering Merit Awards were presented to the following:
  • AECOM of Grand Rapids for the M-100 over CN/GTW Railroad in the City of Potterville. 
  • CDM Smith Michigan, Inc. of Lansing for the International Bridge Toll Plaza Reconstruction in Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Hardesty & Hanover, LLC of Okemos for the Fort Street Bridge in Detroit.
  • Harley Ellis Devereaux of Southfield for the Wayne State University Integrative Biosciences Center in Detroit.
  • HNTB Michigan, Inc. of Detroit for the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan's Master Transit Plan in Detroit.
  • Johnson & Anderson, Inc. of Waterford for the Pre-Chlorinated Pipe Bursting project for the Charter Township of West Bloomfield.
  • NTH Consultants, Ltd. of Northville for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Pier in the City of Trenton.
  • Prein&Newhof of Grand Rapids for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority Drainage Improvements and Natural Treatment System project in Grand Rapids.
  • Ruby+Associates, Inc. of Bingham Farms for the Hard Rock Stadium Shade Canopy Erection Plan in Miami Gardens, Florida.
  • SmithGroupJJR of Detroit for the Lake Trust Credit Union Headquarters in the City of Brighton.
  • SmithGroupJJR of Ann Arbor for the Link Detroit project.
Two firms were honored with a Surveying Honorable Conceptor Award:
  • Fleis & VandenBrink of Grand Rapids for the Muskegon River Mapping project for the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission in Muskegon.
  • Surveying Solutions, Inc. of Standish for the Gordie Howe International Bridge Data Fusion project for the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority in Detroit.
The Board Design Award was given to AECOM for the board designed to 'tell the story' of the M1-Rail project.
For photos and  further information about the 2017 projects, please visit the ACEC/M website
Robert (Bob) C. Rabeler, PE
This year's ACEC/M Vernon B. Spalding Leadership Award was presented to Robert C. Rab eler, PE, of 
SME to honor his outstanding leadership roles in ACEC and several community organizations. 
Mr. Rabeler has been an enthusiastic member of ACEC/M since 1983. He served as President from 2003 to 2004; Treasurer from 2000 to 2002; member of the Engineering and Surveying Excellence Committee from 1996 to 1998; and member of the Leadership Development Committee from 1993 to 1995. He has made numerous presentations to and on behalf of AC EC, provided testimony to legislative committees, and participated in strategic planning sessions. Bob has heartily supported the ACEC/M scholarship program. Visit the ACEC/M for Bob's complete bio .
Philip Sanzica, PE
The ACEC/M Felix A. Anderson Image Award was presented to Ph ilip Sanzica, PE, the Oakland County Chief Deputy Water Resources Commissioner, f or his actions and contributions to enhance the image of the profession.
Phil has served as a judge for the ACEC/M Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards competition numerous times. He is a member of the City of Troy Planning Commission, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Water Environment Federation and the American Planners Association. Phil is a founding board member of Pure Oakland  Water, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that funds educational programs, scholarships and internships for students in water conservation, river, lake and stream preservation, pollution prevention and environmental protection. Visit the ACEC/M website for Phil's complete bio
MSPE Annual Conference Registration is Open 
May 4 and 5, 2017 in Ann Arbor 
The Engineering Michigan's Future conference is quickly approaching! Don't miss the MSPE Annual Conference on May 4-5, in Ann Arbor. We have a great line-up of speakers on a number of interesting topics. We will have David Behen, DTMB Director and Michigan CIO, to give us the latest on The Governor's 21st Century Infrastructure Report, and Kodi Jean Verhalen, P.E., Esq., president of NSPE to talk about NSPE's Future of the Profession Task Force. There will also be a special tour of Mcity, but space is limited so register soon!

Along with the numerous educational topics, there will also be a Vendor Showcase so you can check out all of the product and service offerings available to engineers. Networking events and our Awards Luncheon will round out the two-day event.

Engineering Michigan's Future will be held at the Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor. There is a special room rate available to conference attendees, but you need to book your room soon. The room block will only be held until April 7.

Please download the complete 
conference brochure  to get all the information. You can register online at  www.michiganspe.org  by completing the registration form and emailing to mspe@michiganspe.org or mailing to MSPE, 215 N. Walnut Street, Lansing, MI 48933.
ACEC Announces 2017 Firm of the Year at ESE Awards Gala
ROWE Professional Services Company 

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) presented the 2017 member Firm of the Year award to ROWE Professional Services Company headquartered in Flint, Michigan. The award was presented at the Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala held on March 11, 2017 at The Fillmore Detroit. This is the highest 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 ACEC/M members.

ROWE Professional Services Company (ROWE) stands out as a company that helps to advance the consulting design profession, is actively involved in the success and growth of ACEC/M, and constantly gives back to the community.

ROWE employees are heavily involved in the community through the United Way, Catholic Charities, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity and Adopt-A-Highway, among others. Staff serve in multiple leadership roles for local organizations. ROWE promotes the engineering profession by awarding scholarships, hosting dinners for graduating students and participating in STEM activities.

The firm also engages in a variety of activities to positively impact the engineering profession and ACEC/M. Jack Wheatley, PE, has served on the Board of Directors for three years, the Political Affairs Committee for seven years, and the Architects-Engineers-Surveyors Legislative Committee for six years. In 2016, he became chair of ACEC's Political Action Committee. Eric Johnston, PE, serves on the MDOT-ACEC/M Policies and Procedures Committee, its Consultant Evaluation sub-team and Negotiations Sub-team, and on the ACEC/M Transportation Committee. Other ROWE staff are involved with ACEC/M committees as well.
ASCE Scholarship Applications &
Awards Nomination Forms
The Michigan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers will again be awarding two scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year. The Mackinac Scholarship in the amount of $10,000 is awarded to a Civil Engineering student entering their junior year ($5,000 for 2 years). The Zuidema Scholarship, in the amount of $1,500, is awarded to a junior or senior student member of ASCE. Click here  for more detailed info and the application form. The deadline to submit is Memorial Day.
ASCE MI also presents project and individual awards. Project awards presented include Historic Engineering Landmark, Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement, and Quality of Life. Individual awards consist of Franklin D. Meyers Civil Engineer of the Year and Young Civil Engineer of the Year. All award submittals are due in early April and will be presented during the Michigan Infrastructure Conference on May 18.  Click here for submittal forms.
MDOT-ACEC Partnering Workshop Continues to Grow
Held February 1 at the Lansing Center

Kirk T. Steudle, PE,
MDOT Director
2017 MDOT-ACEC Partnering Workshop set another record with over 560 attendees! Kirk T. Steudle, P.E., State Transportation Director, and Evan Weiner, Chair of the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission, spoke during the opening session. John Martin, CEO and Co-Founder of GenerationsMatter, spoke on Transcendent Trends Reshaping the Future of the Transportation Industry during the general session. 

MDOT-ACEC Partnership Charter Award
Presented to IBI Group

On February 1, 2017, the 4th Annual MDOT/ACEC Partnership Charter Award was presented for the partnering efforts on the Cathedral Avenue Pedestrian Bridge over Southfield Freeway project. The award was presented by MDOT's Chief Operations Officer Mark Van Port Fleet to ACEC member firm IBI Group and to the MDOT Special Structures Unit.
This award recognizes project teams for their commitment to excellence and promoting an enhanced business partnership based on the ideals set forth in the MDOT/ACEC Partnership Charter Agreement. These ideals include mutual trust, effective communication, continuous improvement, embracing innovation, and timely issues resolution. 
L to R: Mark Van Port Fleet (MDOT), Todd Hoisington and Sam Awwa (IBI Group), Brad Wagner (MDOT), and Ron Brenke (ACEC)

ACEC Awards Scholarships
$15,000 Awarded to 5 Students
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. 
This year 19 scholarship applications were received. Out of those applicants, 5 students were chosen to receive scholarships in varying amounts. 
Congratulations to the 2017 ACEC/M Scholarship winners: 
  • Alexander Baker, Michigan Technological University
  • Leah DeSimpelare, Michigan Technological University
  • Nicholas DeSimpelare, Michigan State University
  • Alexander Sharp, Toledo University
  • Taylor Wiegand, Michigan Technological University
These recipients were honored during the Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala on March 11, 2017. 
Click here for complete details on ACEC/M Scholarships.
ACEC Welcomes New Members!
ACEC is excited to welcome these new member firms: 
MATHCOUNTS State Winners Announced

The State Competition was held at the GM Warren Tech Center on Saturday, March 11. There were 138 students representing 53 schools attending. The students and coach representing Michigan at the National competition will be:

Reagan Choi*, Boulan Park Middle School, 7th grade
Alex Xu*, Boulan Park Middle School, 8th grade
Varun Rajesh, Boulan Park Middle School, 8th grade
Jeffrey Zhang, Hillside Middle School, 8th grade
Mark Martin*, Coach, Boulan Park Middle School
* 2016 State Team Members

The 2017 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Championship will be held in Orlando, Florida May 14th and 15th. ESPN3 will once again provide live streaming of the National Countdown Round.

MATHCOUNTS is a math enrichment, coaching and competition program for middle school students. The program stimulates student interest by making math achievement as challenging, exciting, and prestigious as school sports. MATHCOUNTS used three different programs to provide fun and challenging math programs for US middle school students to increase their academic and professional opportunities.  For complete information, please use this link to access the  MATHCOUNTS.ORG  website.

ACEC Social Media
Follow Us!

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! 




Mark Your Calendar!
April 6, 2017:  ASCE NW Branch Meeting, Gaylord
April 22 - 26, 2017:  ACEC National Convention/Legislative Summit, Washington, DC 
May 18, 2017:   Michigan Infrastructure Conference , Grand Rapids
May 23, 2017:  Revenue Recognition Seminar, Southfield
May 24, 2017:  Revenue Recognition Seminar, Grand Rapids

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In This Issue
Legislative Update
Senator Gary Peters Visits ACEC/M Board
AESLC Legislative Day
Michigan Infrastructure Conference
Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards
MSPE Annual Conference
ACEC Firm of the Year
ASCE Scholarship & Award Applications
MDOT ACEC Partnering Workshop
MDOT ACEC Partnership Charter Award Winner
ACEC Awards Scholarships
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