Previn & Newhof earns award for exemplary engineering achievement

By Leonard Schneider, American Council of Engineering Companies


Prein & Newhof of Grand Rapids, Mich., has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 50th annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for designing drainage and treatment system improvements at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.


ACEC is the Washington-D.C.-based business association of the engineering industry representing more than 5,000 independent engineering firms throughout the United States.


The $20 million system is designed to eliminate environmental risks from aircraft deicing operations during the winter months. Stormwater from the airport’s north detention basin has been re-routed to a new outfall at the Thornapple River, while the west apron stormwater system was reconfigured to consolidate runoff from all major existing and future aircraft deicing areas.


In addition, the treatment system enhances the quality of the natural environment with an innovative design for collecting and treating propylene glycol, and managing stormwater. The green design uses gravity, vegetated beds, and natural organisms to treat the stormwater with essentially no power consumption or residual waste.


The project is among 162 engineering achievements from throughout the nation and the world being recognized by ACEC as the year’s finest examples of engineering excellence, and eligible for additional top national honors. Judging for the awards program — known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry” — took place in February, conducted by a national 30-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia. Award criteria focuses on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.


Recognition of all award winners including top commendations — 20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement — will take place at the annual EEA Dinner and Gala, a black-tie event to be held Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.


The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,000 independent engineering firms and more than 500,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities. Founded in 1909 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 51 state and regional organizations.