February 2019    
MDOT/ACEC Partnering Workshop
Held January 31, 2019 at the Lansing Center
Paul Ajegba, PE, MDOT Director
Despite a Polar Vortex and State of Michigan government closure, the 2019 MDOT ACEC Partnering Workshop was a major success with over 600 registrants.

New MDOT Director Paul Ajegba, PE, kicked off the day followed by 23 concurrent sessions. The afternoon General Session included a presentation on the successful team effort to tackle the monumental flooding in Houghton and how cybersecurity and real world connectivity affect our daily lives. Other highlights: An ever expanding Innovative Technology Room, afternoon roundtables and Ice Cream Social.
For more program details and photos, visit the ACEC/M website.
MDOT/ACEC Partnership Charter Award
Presented to HNTB Michigan, Inc.

L to R: Tony Kratofil, PE, Terry Stepanski, PE, Eric Polvi, PE, Matt Simon, PE, 
Carrie Warren, PE, Dr. Audrey Andrews, Ronald Brenke, PE

On January 31, 2019, the 6th Annual MDOT/ACEC Partnership Charter Award was presented for the partnering efforts on the I-94 Modernization Project. The award was presented by MDOT's Chief Operations Officer Tony Kratofil to ACEC member firm HNTB and MDOT team members.

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.  
AESLC Legislative Day
April 17, Lansing

Design Professionals (engineers, surveyors and architects) will be holding their annual "Lobby Day" on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 in Lansing. ACEC, AIA, MSPE and MSPS are collaborating to bring their members to Lansing to meet with legislators and educate them on issues that are important to the professions.

Past Lobby Days have been extremely successful by helping legislators understand the importance of properly funding infrastructure improvements and creating a business-friendly environment in Michigan for practicing engineers, architects and surveyors.

Please plan to attend and bring a few others as we want to demonstrate the strength of our industry in Michigan. Education sessions will also be offered throughout the day for those needing continuing education credits. Legislators will listen to their constituents, so it is important that you meet with your Representative and Senator and make your voice heard.

You also have the opportunity to sponsor the luncheon which will be held at the Capitol Building. Registration and lunch sponsorship forms will be available soon on the ACEC/website.
Legislative Update
New Lien Law; Getting to know the new Legislators
Amy Trahey, Bob Rayl, Governor Whitmer, Oge Udegbunam, G. (Ram) Ramanujam
After more than 5 years of effort by the ACEC political affairs team, legislation was passed and signed by the Governor to provide protections for design professional firms who complete work on a project but are not paid. SB 465 (P.A. 367 of 2018) modifies Michigan's lien law by allowing firms providing design professional services to attach a lien to a property - even if no actual physical improvement takes place. For more information, please read the blog by attorney Fred Butters on ACEC/Michigan website.

There is great anticipation by everyone involved in preserving and improving Michigan's transportation system for the Governor's budget release on March 5. A key campaign issue was to "Fix the Damn Roads" and engineers look forward to getting to work.
ACEC members participated in five Legislative Meet & Greets in the past few months across the state to meet new and returning legislators and share issues of importance to the design professional community. Members look forward to seeing elected officials again on April 17 for the Architects-Engineers-Surveyors Legislative Day.

Michigan Infrastructure Conference - Call for Presentations
Deadline to Submit is March 18, 2019 
This growing event is hosted by ACEC of Michigan and the ASCE Michigan Section and has never been more pertinent than now given the state of our infrastructure and increasing public discontent with the lack of action. Finding new solutions, new techniques and innovative financing to preserve and improve every facet of the built environment (water-roads-buildings-energy-etc.) will come from problem solvers - a.k.a. Engineers!

Once again you have an opportunity to participate by submitting a presentation for the educational breakouts. Share your special knowledge and expertise by presenting at this event which will include a broad audience of state/local officials, owners representatives, A/E/C firms and more. The conference will be held on May 16 at The Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth and focuses on how infrastructure impacts Michigan's economy and quality of life by highlighting case studies of projects that have been launched or completed using innovative solutions and partnerships.

Six different one hour breakout sessions will be offered during the conference - and your presentation could be one of them!

Presentations are due to ACEC/Michigan by March 18, 2019. Click here for a submission form with guidelines. Don't miss your chance to network with future clients and showcase your firm's talent and abilities - submit today!

Registration information will be available on the website www.acecmi.org at the end of March.
ASCE Michigan Section Award Nominations 
Deadine is April 1, 2019 
The ASCE Michigan Section will present project and individual awards during the Michigan Infrastructure Conference on May 16, 2019, at the Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth. Project awards will include the 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 by April 1st. 
Click here to download the nomination forms and for more detailed information.
2019 ACEC National Young Professional of the Year Award 
Nominations due April 17, 2019 
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 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, 2018.
  • 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 April 17, 2019.  The 2019 national winners will be recognized during the 2019 Fall Conference in Chicago.
ASCE SW Branch/NAWIC Block Kids Building Event     
Held January 26, 2019 
Winners of the Block Kids Building Event 
ASCE's Southwestern branch and NAWIC held the annual Block Kids Building Event at Plainwell Middle School on January 26, 2019. 
Approximately 128 kindergarten through 6th grade students signed up from schools throughout Southwest Michigan. About 40 judges and volunteers assisted (many were ASCE and NAWIC members).  
The event is free and each student was provided with 100 "Lego" type building blocks and the option to choose three other items (rock, string, aluminum foil, or poster board) to incorporate into their project.  Each student was given one hour to build a structure of his or her choice.  People, plants, and animals are not allowed. Judges from the construction and engineering industry viewed each student's project and discussed it with them.  Evaluations were recorded on a point system and then turned over to record keepers who tallied the points.
All judges were local volunteers from companies within the engineering and construction community. Eight award winners (one for each grade winner K-6th, and one overall winner) received a gift cards, an ASCE dream big t-shirt and a hard hat.
ASCE Michigan Section Scholarships  
Application Deadline is Memorial Day 2019
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.

Mark your calendar!
March 2, 2019: Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala, Detroit
April 17, 2019: AESLC Legislative Day, Lansing
May 2-3, 2019:  MSPE Annual Conference, Lansing
May 16, 2019: Michigan Infrastructure Conference, Plymouth 
In This Issue
MDOT ACEC Partnering Workshop
Partnering Award
Legislative Day
Legislative Update
MI Infrastructure Conference
ASCE Awards
ACEC Young Professionals
ASCE Scholarships
Save the Dates
Engineering Center



 Engineering Center
Questions about engineering?
Please contact:


Ron Brenke, PE 

Executive Director


Katy Winnett
Executive Director