Five OCEA Finalists Chosen – OPAL Lifetime Achievement Honorees and Pankow and Michel Winners Named

September 20, 2013

ASCE has announced its five finalists for the 2014 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement award, honoring projects that best illustrate superior civil engineering skills and make significant contributions to civil engineering progress and society. The finalists are the Huey P. Long Bridge Widening Project in Jefferson Parish, La.; the I-15 Corridor Expansion Project in Utah County, Utah; the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier in New Orleans, La.; the Taizhou Bridge in Jiangsu Province, China; and the Tom Lantos Tunnels at Devil’s Slide in San Mateo County, Calif. The winner will be announced at the Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala, to be held March 20, 2014, in Arlington, Va.

The 2014 winners of the OPAL Lifetime Achievement awards, the Charles Pankow Award for Innovation and the Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research were also announced.

This year’s OPAL lifetime achievement honorees are Joseph P. Welsh, P.E., F.ASCE, for construction; Jon D. Magnusson, P.E., S.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, for design; Jeffrey S. Russell, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, for education; John R. Njord, P.E., M.ASCE, for government, and J. Richard Capka, P.E., NAC, M.ASCE, for management. The OPAL is presented annually in each of the five categories to a civil engineer who “represents a model of achievement to which future generations of engineers aspire to match or exceed.”

The Pankow Award was established to celebrate collaboration in innovative design, materials, or construction-related research and development transferred into practice in a sustainable manner. This year’s winner is the RABIT Bridge Deck Inspection Too, an automated data-driven decision tool that integrates multiple advanced nondestructive evaluation technologies to collect quality information on concrete bridge deck condition with high precision.

The RABIT Bridge Inspection Tool was developed through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, a leading transportation research center, and the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers, State University of New Jersey. The RABIT Bridge Deck Inspection Tool is a product of the FHWA’s Long-Term Bridge Performance Program, a long-term research initiative intended to develop a quantitative bridge performance database from a large representative sample of bridges around the country. CAIT is the principal investigating institution on LTBP. Other collaborators on the RABIT Bridge Deck Inspeciton Tool include Geomedia Research and Development and IDS (Ingegneria Dei Sistemi) – Italy.

Seth L. Pearlman, P.E., D.GE, M.ASCE, is the recipient of ASCE’s 2014 Michel Award, presented annually to an individual who is a recognized and acknowledged leader “of the design and construction industry, whose dedication and aggressive vision have provided cornerstones for improving the quality of people’s lives around the world through research in the design and construction industry.” The award was established in 1996 in honor of Henry L. Michel, past chairman of the board of directors of the former Civil Engineering Research Foundation.

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