Orange County Branch Newsletter

March 2015

Branch News

2015 Annual Awards Dinner

On Wednesday, February 18 2015, ASCE OC celebrated their annual awards night at the Center Club in Costa Mesa.  Over 200 people were in attendance as we honored outstanding individuals and projects for 2014.   A total of 35 awards were given out, including 21 project awards and 14 individual awards.

After the social reception from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM where attendees networked, Gary Gilbert, PE, GE, current President of the Branch, kicked off the proceedings with a welcome address and appreciation to all of our sponsors.  We had very generous support from our Annual Corporate Sponsors as well as our Event Sponsors, whose contributions and participation greatly enhanced the event. Thank you to the 2015 Event Sponsors:

Brown & Caldwell
Harris & Associates
LPA, Inc.
Thornton Tomasetti, Inc.
STV, Inc.
Hall & Foreman, a division of David Evans & Associates, Inc.
Clark Construction
Collins Collins Muir + Stewart LLP
Oldcastle Precast
Scheevel Engineering, LLC

The awards were presented by Tapas Dutta, Awards & Nomination Chair and Past President of the Branch.  He was assisted by Penny Lew, Past President of the Branch.  Our professional photographer was at hand to record each presentation.  A selection of his photographs accompanies this article.

The Branch had asked two key individual awardees to make short presentations.  Steven Marvin, this year’s winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award spoke about his life and his career as a civil engineer, which includes experiences with a certain kind of sand sculptures!  Yazdan Emrani, winner of the Civil Engineer of the Year, spoke about his career and the importance of civil engineering to society.

Steve Marvin, PE, Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Yazdan Emrani, PE, Civil Engineer of the Year Recipient

The Project of the Year award went to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) which also won the Structural Engineering Project of the Year.  Rudy Emami of the City of Anaheim, gave a PowerPoint presentation for ARTIC.

ARTIC Team, Project of the Year and Structural Engineering Project of the Year

Other highlights of the evening include the six awards which the City of Newport Beach won, including two for the Newport Beach Civic Center.  The SR-57 project won the Transportation Project of the Year, which was shared by three nominating teams.  Natalie Meeks of the City of Anaheim, who won the Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Public Sector Award, had two separate nominations.

Representatives from the City of Newport Beach accepting one of their six awards.
SR57 Team - OCTA, Caltrans, CH2MHill, HDR, Athalye and Michael Baker International accepting the Transportation Project of the Year Award.

The ASCE OC Branch congratulates all the winners and looks forward to equally outstanding nominations for 2015.

Project award winners:
Project of the Year:    Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC)
Airports & Ports Project of the Year:    Skimming the Waters of Newport Harbor
Architectural Engineering Project of the Year:    Newport Beach Civic Center.
Bikeways & Trails Project of the Year:    Coyote Creek Class I Bikeway
Bridge Project of the Year:    Sand Canyon Avenue Grade Separation
Community Improvement Project of the Year:    Balboa Boulevard Beautification
Construction Project of the Year:    Newport Force Main
Environmental Engineering Project of the Year:    Lower Santa Ana River Reach 9 Phase 2B
Flood Management Project of the Year:    Burris Pump Station Phase I
Geotechnical Project of the Year:    20 Story Office Tower & 8 Story Parking Structure @650/670 Newport Center Drive
Historical Renovation Project of the Year: Emergency Roof Stabilization, Tustin Hangar I.
Land Development Project of the Year:    Park Place
Parks & Recreation Project of the Year:    Lake Forest Sports Park
Roadway & Highway Project of the Year:    Tustin Ranch Road Extension
Small Project of the Year:    Irvine Regional Park Maintenance Building Replacement
Structural Engineering Project of the Year:    Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC)
Sustainable Engineering Project of the Year:    Newport Beach Civic Center
Transportation Project of the Year:    SR 57 Improvements
Urban Development Project of the Year:    Sunset Ridge Park
Wastewater Conveyance Project of the Year:    Santa Ana River Interceptor Relocation
Water Project of the Year:    Corona Del Mar Water Transmission Main

Individual award winners:

Civil Engineer of the Year:      Yazdan T. Emrani, PE
Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Public Sector:      Natalie A. Meeks, PE
Public Sector Engineer of Merit:     Victoria Pilko, PMP.
Outstanding Civil Engineer in Private Sector:   Byron G. Tobey, Jr., PE, QSD, LEED AP
Young Engineer of the Year:      Gidti Ludesirishoti, ENV SP
Young Engineer of Merit:      Tasha M. Kamegai-Karadi
Outstanding ASCE Faculty Advisor:      Pratanu Ghosh, PhD
Excellence in Promotion of Infrastructure:      Phil Jones, PE
Lifetime Achievement in Civil Engineering:      Steve Marvin, PE
Outstanding Engineer in Community Service:      Eric Walker
Outstanding Civil Engineer in Legislative Activities:      Kenneth H. Rosenfield, PE
Outstanding ASCE Life Member:      George A. Jurica, PE.
Outstanding Civil Engineering Student:     Victor Aguirre
President's Award:     Joshua Nelson, PE

Project of the Year

The Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC)

Located in the City of Anaheim between Honda Center and Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) is the award winning premier transportation hub in Southern California offering a unique variety of transit, dining, retail and entertainment options in one convenient location. ARTIC is an iconic hub that brings together the services of OCTA, Metrolink, Amtrak, Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART), shuttles, taxis, bikes, tour and charter buses, and other public/private transportation providers. This iconic transportation facility serves three million Orange County residents as well as more than 40 million visitors annually. 

Referred to as “…the most complicated steel structure ever attempted,” ARTIC is the first LEED Platinum Certified transit station in the world and the premier transportation hub in Southern California.  The 67,000 square foot hub, managed and leased by Lincoln Property Company, benefits residents, local businesses, commuters and visitors by offering increased mobility and convenient access to renowned attractions throughout Anaheim and Southern California. In addition to providing expanded public transportation options, ARTIC is a destination for all that offers amenities like transit oriented retail, specialty dining, Wi‐Fi and charging stations, EV (Electric vehicle) charging stations, parking, bike racks and lockers, as well as community space for the public to enjoy. ARTIC is also ‘Buy America Compliant’, meaning the building materials are proudly manufactured in the United States. The public‐private project had a combined budget of $188 million which included environmental, design, right-of-way and construction.

The City of Anaheim used Ventura Consulting Group’s From Good to World Class® approach to be effective in improving overall project quality, project safety, relationships and job satisfaction, resolution of issues and prevention of delays, and adherence to project schedule and budget.  Utilizing the From Good to World Class® partnership approach, the atmosphere is “friend helping friend.”  Resolution conflict was minimal.  Relationship building was key to the massive reduction in change order percentage, safety, and local hiring. The change order percentage for such a complicated structure could easily be 15 to 20%, and this would be considered “industry standard.”  However, we are convinced that the From Good to World Class® partnering process is the main reason the ARTIC change order percentage remains at an all‐time low of 5 to 8%.  For more information about ARTIC, visit or follow us at and

Architectural Engineering Project of the Year

Newport Beach Civic Center & Park


Bikeways & Trails Project of the Year

Coyote Creek Class I Bikeway

The two-mile Coyote Creek Class I Bikeway is located between La Mirada Boulevard and Hillsborough Drive in the cities of Buena Park, Fullerton, and La Mirada.  It is a $1.5 million cooperative project between the County of Orange, OCTA, OCFCD, Caltrans, and FHWA that is an extension of the existing bikeway to the north and one of the missing links in the 66-mile OC Loop.  The OC Loop is a vision of seamless connections throughout inland and coastal Orange County and is currently over 70% complete, with efforts underway to complete the remaining segments.

Residents are able to enjoy the recreational and transportation benefits offered by this fully-paved, signed, and striped bikeway that runs between Malvern Avenue/La Mirada Boulevard and Hillsborough Drive.  The bikeway includes ADA accessibility, direct access to Behringer Athletic Facility, and sustainable water quality features such as a vegetated swale.

Bridge Project of the Year

Sand Canyon Avenue Grade Separation

Sand Canyon Avenue is a major east/west arterial highway link for the City of Irvine. The Sand Canyon Avenue Grade Separation undercrossing project intersects the LOSSAN rail corridor between Interstate 5 and Oak Canyon/ Laguna Canyon Avenue.  The project lowers Sand Canyon Avenue under the railroad tracks and widens the roadway from four lanes to six lanes. The grade separation will relieve traffic delays and accommodate future traffic demands. The new roadway provides access for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclist to travel safely under the railroad tracks and avoid delays from crossing trains. Project improvements include: new rail bridge structure, walls, landscaped median and parkways, storm water pump station and water quality retention basin, class I and III bicycle facility, and utility corridors.

The difficulty in the design of this grade separation was the complexity of the stage construction.  The traveling distance along Sand Canyon Avenue between the LOSSAN Rail corridor and the I-5 Freeway is approximately 600 feet. The Burt Road intersection at Sand Canyon is approximately half the distance or 300 feet separation from the LOSSAN Rail Corridor and 300 feet separation from the I-5 Freeway.  Sand Canyon Avenue roadway surface would be lowered at its maximum depth of approximately 20 feet below the at-grade condition. As a requirement by the City, access had to be maintained at all times to the Old Town Business district at Burt Road. To accomplish this feat, a multi-stage construction approach was developed: combining dual shoo-fly construction, temporary shoring, detour access routes, and two phased week-end closures to facilitate rail mainline connection.  Temporary water and oil line facilities were constructed to mitigate construction of the rail shoo-fly system, and utility relocation corridors were developed to facilitate utility construction in advance of the grade separation work.

Community Improvement Project of the Year

Balboa Boulevard Beautification

The Balboa Boulevard Revitalization Project is a two-mile stretch of roadway, focused on an aggressive landscape planting scheme that would transform the aesthetically challenged street into a beautiful and pedestrian-friendly promenade.  Three million dollars of street redesign, median installations and red curb area tree planting pop-outs were all built with a minimum of traffic flow disruption.  The utilities and water-efficient irrigation infrastructure relied on horizontal drilling under the many driveways and alley ways along the street.  The results of this engineering feat are stocked with water-friendly landscaping.  An outstandingly beautiful green street has replaced a worn asphalt thoroughfare.

Construction Project of the Year

Newport Forcemain Project

The Orange County Sanitation District’s Newport Forcemain Rehabilitation (NFM) Project is a full rehabilitation using most trenchless rehabilitation methods available today of approximately 5 miles of pressure large diameter dual sanitary sewer system along Pacific Coast Highway through Newport Beach, CA. The project is major rehabilitation project of one of Orange County’s critical assets to continue the protection of public health and the environment by providing effective wastewater collection. The project is currently in construction and when completed will provide a solution for the next 50 years.
The location of the NFM pipelines are within the busy PCH right-of-way, and immediately adjacent to the Newport Harbor and Newport Back Bay waters. The consequences of failure along this system resulting in spills would be considerable, if not potentially catastrophic from economic, environmental and community impact standpoints. Its importance in operating continuously on a day-to-day basis cannot be understated.
The solution to the challenging rehabilitation project included innovative technical, non-technical and business case evaluation techniques described below to derive the best solution for all stakeholders. 
Balancing technical and non-technical elements as decision criteria.
The ultimate design solution for rehabilitation of the NFM system required the careful balancing between technical and non-technical Levels of Service when planning the ultimate renewal of the NFM system. Key decision criteria for the selection of the optimal solution for renewal of the NFM included: risk of failure; O&M requirements; hydraulic system requirements; public and worker safety; and system functional life; as well as public impact.
Using Business Case Evaluation (BCE) process to help solve technical and non-technical problems
The use of a BCE process was used to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation strategy for the NFM system to renew it for the next 50 years. Multiple BCEs were developed to help OCSD ultimately decide on approximately $4.5M in savings (NPV) to OCSD by implementing the recommendations.
Innovative considerations for a long-term solution
Several innovating design elements were built into the project in an effort to achieve long-term reliability. Requirements included considerations of pipe and fitting materials for longevity and constructability.
Existing pipe to be rehabilitated was designed using as a glass fiber/felt Cured-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) with an innovative closure design.
Use of Trenchless Rehabilitation Methods to Minimize Community Impacts
The project will require significant construction activities associated with multiple trenchless rehabilitation methods, including CIPP rehabilitation and micro- tunneling for replacement of pipe in difficult-to access locations, in addition to open cut method replacement. These methods were used to reduce the disruption to businesses, traffic, and the entire community.

Environmental Engineering Project of the Year

Lower Santa Ana River Reach 9 Phase 2B Project

The Santa Ana River Perennial Stream Restoration Project is located within a one mile long flood control channel surrounding the Green River Golf Course. Unlike many other restoration projects, this project highlights an endangered species—the Santa Ana sucker fish—in addition to facilitating riparian planting. It is highly dependent on its civil engineering design to create a natural meandering stream with special fishery features within a confined space between the golf course and Highway 91.

The natural stream features include pools, riffles, river bends, gravel beds, sandbars, terraced inverts and banks, and shading trees and stones.  Through a rigorous planning process for goal -setting, scoping, and approach definition, a concept plan was derived by the USACE consultant team (WRC Consulting Services, Inc., and San Marino Environmental Associates, Inc.) and approved by stakeholders ( U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Orange County Public Works, the Orange County Green River Golf Course, California State Parks, the California Department of Fish and Game, and other regulatory agencies).

Many talents have been drawn upon to overcome unfavorable pre-project conditions and the conflicting objectives such as structural stability for flood and erosion control versus preservation of the natural setting for the Santa Ana sucker fish and the riparian wetlands. 

A comprehensive design process was undertaken to detail survey control, grading, utility relocation, rock placement, erosion control, landscaping, irrigation, flow-diversion, construction phasing, and the other special features stated above. Detailed two-dimensional hydraulic modeling of the created channel under various flow conditions was performed to provide erosion-control guidelines and to confirm the flood control function and verify overall creek stability. 

This project component was added during the construction of the south bank protection. To reduce the reconstruction costs, design analysis, final design, and preparation of construction plans and specifications were expedited under close coordination with Harper Contracting, Inc. , Inc. USACE Construction Contractor.  Regulatory agencies participated in every phase of project, and comment resolution was timely incorporated for project approval.

The project has been successfully constructed following strategized phases for earthwork, rock placement, lateral drain placement, flow diversion, seeding and planting. A program for monitoring the performance of special design features and plant growth was developed and has been implemented following each phase of construction.

Flood Management Project of the Year

Burris Pump Station Project, Phase 1

The Burris Pump Station Project, Phase 1 is the first phase of a two-phase project to construct the Burris Pump Station, located in Burris Basin at the southern end of the Orange County Water District (OCWD) Off-River System along the Santa Ana River.  The Orange County Water District diverts Santa Ana River water into Burris Basin and uses the Burris Pump Station to move 400 Acre-Feet (AF) per day of this water to the Santiago Basins for recharge into Orange County’s groundwater aquifer.  The existing Burris Pump Station is antiquated and has reached the end of its useful life, hence the need to construct a new pump station.  However, the drought in California has made it more important than ever that OCWD keeps the existing pump station functional to continue capturing and recharging as much of the Santa Ana River water as possible.  OCWD also has the responsibility to maintain the beneficial uses that Burris Basin provides to the many aquatic species and seabirds that use the basin for habitat and nesting. 
In order to accomplish this, OCWD divided the project into two phases.  Phase 1 construction included building an earthen coffer dam around the site of the new pump station.  This work was performed after the nesting season ended, during the dry season when the water level could be lowered for construction.  Creating a coffer dam that allows construction of the new pump station while the existing Burris Pump Station remained functional was not an easy task.  The new pump station is a large structure with an overall height of 100 feet and a wet well that will be 70 feet in diameter.  The coffer dam was constructed using 130,000 cy of soil excavated from the basin and created a work area that is 2.7 acres in size and 40 feet below the basin’s high water elevation.  Burris Pump Station Project Phase 1 construction allows construction of the new pump station to proceed without disrupting seabird nesting habitat or interrupting groundwater recharge operations.

Geotechnical Project of the Year

20 Story Office Tower and 8 Story parking Structure @ 650/670 Newport Center Drive

Geotechnical Evaluation of 20 Story Office Tower and Adjacent 8 Story Parking Structure at 650/670 Newport Center Drive - The project Involved complex and unique geotechnical engineering analyses performed for the evaluation of a 20 story office tower and adjacent 8 story parking structure with 4 stories below grade and the publication of a professional peer reviewed paper which contributed knowledge and understanding to the geotechnical engineering community.  Complex geotechnical engineering analyses included: 1) shoring/tie-back design evaluation involving construction deformation and potential effects of tie-backs being drilled beneath existing structures,  2) settlement of below grade parking structure foundations considering a reduction in density and compression characteristics due to basal heave,  3) settlement analysis of a mat foundation system with variable bearing pressures for the 20 story tower and 4) geotechnical design considerations for construction sequencing due to the proximity of the tower to the below grade portion of the parking structure.  Construction monitoring was performed for both the parking structure and the mat slab.  Recorded mat slab settlements were then evaluated with 3 different settlement methods to evaluate which method was most accurate.  The results indicated the method involving the utilization correlated constrained modulus values from Cone penetrometer testing was the most accurate.  The results of the post construction study were then published in the proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Cone Penetrometer Testing in 2014.

Historical Renovation Project of the Year

Emergency Roof Stabilization, Tustin Hangar 1

While every project is unique; it’s not every day you get an opportunity to work on the world’s largest wood structure.  KBR and the Jacobs/Baker JV joined to support NAVFAC SW’s need to stabilize the 1000 foot long, 300 foot wide, and 180 foot tall WW-II blimp hangar.

In October of 2013, the north end of the topmost roof section partially collapsed creating a 50 foot by 70 foot hole in the roof.  Because the remaining structure was deemed unsafe for entry, the team needed a stabilizing solution built entirely from the outside.  Additionally, NAVFAC desired to enter the facility as soon as possible.  The design solution would require using readily available materials and construction techniques with minimal on-site labor.

The KBR/Jacobs-Baker team held a brain-storming session where numerous ideas were discussed.  Ultimately the solution was found by using remnants of the economic down-turn.  Tower cranes were suggested as a potentially quick method to erect a shoring tower.  The supporting towers are strong, large, flexible, rapidly assembled, and readily available.  We proposed use of cable rigging and helical piers to stabilize the arches and cranes towers because they could be installed just as quickly as the towers.  Virtually all of the necessary components were “off the shelf” items and could be on site in a few weeks.

KBR then turned to Mr. Crane for an outstanding rigging crew to construct the towers and rigging.  The rigging crew had experience doing ACM demolition, selective demolition while suspended from a crane, and extensive rigging experience.  KBR and Mr. Crane worked closely together to choreograph the stabilization while suspended from a 300 foot tall crane.  Each step was meticulously monitored using the latest automated surveying techniques for building stability and personnel safety.  Ultimately the project was completed with zero safety incidents and outstanding construction quality.

Land Development Project of the Year

Park Place

This needs to be finalized by our marketing department.

Parks & Recreation Project of the Year

Lake Forest Sports Park

The Lake Forest Sports Park is the premiere public sporting facility in Orange County providing top-of-the line athletic amenities in an environment that is enjoyed by all facets of the community.  The Lake Forest Sports Park is the product of numerous community workshops resulting in a facility uniquely designed to meet the needs of the community and the various user groups.  The athletic amenities include a five-field baseball complex, two soccer/lacrosse arenas synthetic turf, and over 8 acres of natural turf for multiple uses.

The 25,000 sq ft recreation building houses a two full-court basketball/volleyball gymnasium, and two wings of classrooms, lounge areas, and activity rooms.  Two clubhouses contain restrooms and concession stands.

The architectural design of the buildings responds to the needs and reflects the heritage of the community.  The craftsman-style architectural smartly utilizes stacked stone veneer accenting the shade structures, buildings, planters, seating walls, spectator areas, and entry monuments; exposed wood beams and steel roofs.  Decorative concrete block, colored porcelain tiles, and aluminum louvered sunscreens are incorporated into the recreation building design.

The former Glass Creek site has been designed into a sports park by preserving all natural systems that previously occupied the site before the park’s development with bio-retention basins and grassy vegetated swales meandering through the sports fields and parking lot.

The project incorporates sustainable design elements such as recycled water in the restroom buildings, drought tolerant and native plant material species, and selected turf grasses requiring reduced water needs.

The pedestrian experience is enhanced with a meandering dry rock creek bed, prairie-style walkway lighting, a romantic overlook stage of Saddleback Mountain and Saddleback Church, flag-stone and brass inlays integrated into the concrete walkways, and replicas of wild animals throughout the site.  With the Mediterranean influenced landscaping and strategically placed up-lighting the Lake Forest Sports Park is as spectacular at night as it is during the day.

Roadway & Highway Project of the Year

Tustin Ranch Road Extension

RBF Consulting, a Company of Michael Baker International, provided civil engineering studies and design services for the Tustin Ranch Road Extension in Tustin, CA. The Tustin Ranch Road Extension project is a critical transportation improvement providing a new roadway connection from Walnut Avenue to Warner Avenue through the former MCAS Tustin and alleviating traffic congestion on Red Hill Avenue and Jamboree Road, which run parallel. The project showcases engineering improvements, with aesthetic treatments, that combined to highlight engineering excellence with innovative sustainable solutions, such as bioswales with rock walls, Modular Wetland Systems and SmartSensor Matrix.

The City of Tustin engaged RBF Consulting to complete plans, specifications, and estimates for the new grade separation over two mainline tracks within Southern California Regional Rail Authority right-of-way, a local road, and a flood control channel for Phase II of the construction. The new bridge is part of the new Tustin Legacy development that extends Tustin Ranch Road from the current terminus at Walnut Avenue to the new development. The City of Tustin desired to keep the aesthetic feel and design features from the former MCAS Tustin base.

The project presented several engineering challenges including a bridge with an irregular span arrangement and the removal of contaminated soils. Designers and engineers successfully met the project challenges head-on and were able to complete the extension under budget by more than $2 million.

Small Project of the Year

Irvine Regional Park Maintenance Building Replacement Project

For more than 80 years, the 475-acre Irvine Regional Park has been maintained by a large crew of Orange County employees and volunteers working from an outmoded collection of dilapidated shop buildings, storage facilities and offices. Design for the new Irvine Regional Park Maintenance Building Replacement Project began in 2008 and included the demolition of the five existing maintenance facility buildings and construction of three buildings: an office building, a maintenance building, and a shop building. The site improvements included new electrical service, fire service, and bio treatment/infiltration trench WQMP. RBF Consulting, a Michael Baker International Company was contracted as the Construction Management firm for the Design-Bid-Build project. 

As its first LEED Certified building, the Irvine Regional Park Maintenance Facility represents the future of construction with the Orange County Parks system. The CM Team’s commitment to sustainability standards was demonstrated by working closely with the Design Team and Contractor’s LEED GA to incorporate construction materials, methods and practices to deliver a LEED Certified project, exceeding expectations and delivering a Certified LEED Silver project (1000009805).

Transportation Project of the Year

SR-57 Improvements

The $151 million SR-57 Improvements Project added a northbound lane along eight-miles of the freeway in Orange County between Katella Avenue in Anaheim and Lambert Road in Brea. Improvements to this stretch included the addition of one general-purpose lane, merging lanes and standard lane and shoulder widths.  An aggressive schedule was necessary to meet funding requirements and complete the project on time and within budget.

Urban Development Project of the Year

Sunset Ridge Park

This project involves constructing a new 13.7-acre park at the northwest corner of West Coast Highway and Superior Avenue in the City of Newport Beach.  Proposed active recreation amenities include one youth baseball field, two youth soccer fields, a children playground area, and a picnic area with restrooms.  Sunset Ridge Park also includes passive recreation amenities such as a memorial butterfly garden, a shaded overlook area with views of the Pacific Ocean, and meandering pedestrian walkways throughout the park.  With the exception of the turf playing fields and paved areas, the park is landscaped with primarily California native plants of the Coastal Sage Scrub vegetation community.

Water Project of the Year

Corona del Mar Water Transmission Main

The City of Newport Beach completed a preliminary design alignment analysis report in January 2001 for the Big Canyon Reservoir to Corona del Mar Water Main. The report recommended a 30-inch cement and mortar lined, taped and coated steel cylinder transmission main using the street rights-of-way of Pacific View Drive, San Miguel Drive and MacArthur Boulevard. The City also determined a similar 24-inch transmission main on Carnation Avenue from East Coast Highway to Bayside Drive would increase the reliability of the water system and improve fire flow pressure. In addition, the City relocated its Metropolitan Water District (MWD) turnout regulator structure from East Coast Highway to Dahlia Avenue out of the highway right-of-way. The new 30-inch and 24-inch pipelines provide a secondary redundant mainline, which will be a critical facility if a failure of the existing transmission system occurs.

Civil Engineer of the Year

Yazdan (Yaz) T. Emrani, P.E.,

Yazdan (Yaz) T. Emrani, P.E., is Sr. Vice President / Principal at Hall & Foreman, a division of David Evans and Associates, Inc. where he is responsible for expanding the firm’s public works, GIS, and infrastructure management services.

Mr. Emrani’s 27-year engineering career includes planning, design, and construction management of infrastructure improvements around the country. In addition to his technical work, he is dedicated to furthering the cause of infrastructure awareness, funding, and renewal, and serves as a volunteer for several professional organizations.

He served as 2013-2014 President for the ASCE Los Angeles Section. In that role, he led the Section’s leadership team as they developed and implemented programs and services that benefit the professional development of the members. 

At ASCE Orange County Branch, he helped launch the first ever comprehensive infrastructure report card for Orange County in 2002 and served as its Chair. He was the Co-Chair of the 2005 update of the Orange County Infrastructure Report Card. In 2006-2007, he was elected the ASCE Orange County Branch’s President.  During that time, Mr. Emrani was named the Co-Chair for developing a first ever California Infrastructure Report Card (CAIRC), by ASCE Region 9 Board of Governors, for which he received APWA Southern California Chapter’s President’s Award.  ASCE Region 9 also recognized his contributions by awarding him the “Outstanding Section/Branch Officer Award”. In 2011, he was tapped to resume his duties as the Co-Chair to lead the 2006 CAIRC update. This effort resulted in the 2012 CAIRC unveiled in February 2012. Mr. Emrani is Chair of ASCE Region 9’s Infrastructure Policy Committee and currently, he is leading the 2016 effort for updating of the Orange County Infrastructure Report Card.

Mr. Emrani has also been active with other professional organizations such as Water Environment Federation and its local chapter, California Water Environment Association.

He mentors the next generation of civil engineers as a member of University of California Irvine’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Affiliates, has taught a senior level class for civil engineering students at UCI, and has been an adjunct professor at UC Irvine Extension.

Mr. Emrani holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from University of Maryland at College Park.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in California, Texas, Virginia, Maryland, and Louisiana.

Mr. Emrani is involved in his local community, having volunteered with his local PTA as well as being an AYSO soccer referee. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family as well as biking, and playing tennis. Mr. Emrani and his wife, Bahar, along with their two children are long-time residents of Aliso Viejo.

Government Engineer of the Year

Natalie A. Meeks, P.E.

Natalie Meeks was appointed to the position of Director of Public Works in June 2007.  She is responsible for overseeing operations of 250 employees and a $240 million budget.
Areas of service provided by Meeks’ department include: Engineering, Transit Planning, Traffic and Transportation, Development Services, Records, Real Property, Construction Services, Financial and Administration Services, Fleet and Facility Services and Public Works Operations.  Additionally, Meeks is responsible for the development of the City’s annual five-year Capital Improvement Plan.
Currently, the Public Works department is taking the lead on major transportation projects that will provide residents and visitors greater options for traveling in and around Anaheim. 
In partnership with the Orange County Transportation Authority, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) will convert a 16-acre site into a transportation gateway and a mixed-use activity center.  ARTIC is designed as a LEED platinum facility.
ARTIC serves the greater purpose as a large transportation hub with one of its main components being the Anaheim Rapid Connection (ARC).  ARC will be a modern streetcar system that will transport commuters and travelers to Anaheim’s major destinations in the Platinum Triangle and the Anaheim Resort®.  ARC is currently in the environmental review process.
Prior to being appointed Director of Public Works, Meeks served the City of Anaheim as City Engineer, overseeing Anaheim’s Capital Improvement Program, a Traffic Management Center and the Development Services staff. 
Meeks received her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from California State University, Fullerton and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University. 
Meeks has resided in and worked for the City of Anaheim for the last 25 years.

Government Engineer of Merit

Victoria Pilko

Ms. Pilko is a Project Manager within the Engineering Division’s Project Management Office of the Orange County Sanitation District, located in California. She has more than 20 years of experience in wastewater rehabilitation. Prior to joining the Orange County Sanitation District in 2006, she worked for the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services in Minnesota.
In her more than 20 years in the Engineering industry, Ms. Pilko has contributed to the successful completion of major Civil Engineering projects including the Newport Forcemain Rehabilitation Project in Newport Beach, CA. This project uses several trenchless rehabilitation methods for the 5 miles of large diameter pressure dual sewer system along Pacific Coast Highway, contributing to the protection of public health and the environment by providing effective wastewater collection.
Other major projects in Orange County that Ms. Pilko has managed also include the Outfall Land Section and Ocean Outfall Booster Station Piping Rehabilitation. This project was recently constructed and provided for the rehabilitation of a major portion of the ocean outfall discharge piping and a major junction box and surge towers. Now complete, the system has been renewed for continuing to fulfill OCSD’s Mission of protecting public health and the environment by providing effective wastewater collection, treatment and recycling throughout Orange County.

Land Development Engineer of the Year

Byron Tobey, PE, QSD, LEEP AP

Mr. Byron Tobey has over 30 years’ experience on design, program and construction management projects in all areas of public and private infrastructure. Byron is recognized as a leader because of his ethical actions and demonstrated leadership qualities.  One key area of strength for Byron is his ability to sets goals and provides direction for achieving those goals.  Byron serves as a mentor and coach to numerous employees as well as serving as a trainer at Harris’ Leadership Academy.  Byron received his Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley in 1977 and became a licensed Civil Engineer in California also in 1977.  He is a licensed Engineer in five other states as well as a Qualified SWPPP Developer and LEED Accredited Professional.

Some of the projects Mr. Tobey has had the pleasure of working on throughout his career include:

• CA High Speed Rail Authority, High Speed Rail CP 1, Project Executive
• City of Los Angeles, On-Call Bridge Design and CM, Project Director
• City of Los Angeles, Prop. K Parks Program, Project Director.
• County of San Diego, On-Call CM Services, Project Manager
• San Diego Association of Governments, On-Call Construction Management Services, Project Director
• County of San Bernardino, On-Call Construction Management, Project Director
• City of Pico Rivera, Passons Boulevard Grade Separation, Project Director
• OCTA, East Connector Project (SR-22 to I-405), Contract Manager
• City of Los Angeles, Santa Monica Boulevard Transit Parkway Project, Program Manager
• Caltrans District 7, 8, 11, 5, 6, 9, 10, Various Highway Construction Projects, Project Director/Manager.
• OCTA, Program/Construction Management Oversight for the SR-22 Improvement Project, Project Director
• City of Newport Beach, Balboa Village Improvements, Project Director
• City of Lawndale, Hawthorne Boulevard Revitalization, Project/Program Manager

Young Engineer of the Year

Gidti Ludesirishoti

Gidti Ludesirishoti is a Project Engineer for the HDR Water Business Group in Southern California. His projects include traditional design, Engineering Services During Construction (ESDC), Design-Build and other alternative delivery projects in water and wastewater treatment. Gidti’s experience includes: design of water and wastewater treatment facilities, chemical facilities, pump stations, potable and recycled water pipeline, alternative design analyses, and water/wastewater system planning. Gidti holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, with an Emphasis in Environmental Engineering, from California State Polytechnic University Pomona. Gidti recently served as the President for the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) Orange County (OC) Younger Member Forum (YMF) and is currently the YMF Liaison to the Los Angeles Section for its 6 younger member groups.
Gidti is recognized by his peers for his advanced technical skills, having made significant contributions to advance the engineering techniques in the water/wastewater industry. Gidti was essential in leading the successful completion of the coordination of construction services for the $100M Santa Ana River Inland Empire Brine Line (IEBL) – Orange County Sanitation District (2011-2014) for which effective collaboration with several entities has been essential.  Gidti is currently leading the design of a Salt Model, as part of the Recycled Water Salt Management Plan – Irvine Ranch Water District (2013 – Present). 

Gidti has a comprehensive vision on leadership, operations, and marketing of ASCE. His successive contributions during his tenures as Community Service Chair, Secretary, Vice-President, President, and now both OC YMF Past-President and LA Section YMF Liaison are unmatched. Gidti has been making a point to effectively transfer his knowledge by developing and implementing the OC YMF University Program since his Presidency.  During his Presidency, Gidti was involved in overseeing 72 events, notably for: a local Industry Leaders Speaker Series, 2 Corazon home builds, a meal cooked for Ronald McDonald House, a PSBC, a Jog-A-Thon fundraiser for 3 local Universities, and inauguration of a mentorship program in Orange County.

Engineer of Merit

Tasha M. Kamegai-Karadi

Tasha Kamegai-Karadi has made significant contributions to the environmental engineering field since obtaining her B.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2009 and M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University in 2011.  After graduating from UC Berkeley, she worked for the Department of Defense as a Nuclear Engineer, performing engineering analysis for the Navy’s fleet of submarines stationed in Hawaii.  Additionally, she managed the design of a high purity water treatment system for reactor core cooling water in Guam.

After graduating from Stanford University, she joined Geosyntec Consultants as an Environmental Engineer in their Remediation Department.  With Geosyntec, she has contributed significantly to technical design and project management for large scale remediation projects in California.  Her projects have included assisting with design and management of a large scale groundwater extraction and treatment system for potable use, multiple vapor intrusion investigation and assessments, LNAPL conceptual site model, and groundwater monitoring.  Ms. Kamegai-Karadi is a California Registered Professional Engineer. 

In addition to her professional contributions, Ms. Kamegai-Karadi is dedicated to the advancement of women in the engineering field as an active leader in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  Currently, she is the vice president of the SWE Orange County Section and has served as the Professional Development Chair for the SWE Hawaiian Islands Section.  Additionally, Ms. Kamegai-Karadi has organized multiple outreach events for K-12 students. 

Distinguished Engineering Educator

Pratanu Ghosh

Dr. Ghosh is an assistant professor of civil engineering and ASCE Faculty Advisor at CSU Fullerton. He is cited by CSUF civil engineering students as one of the most effective instructor, motivating mentor, and outstanding researcher. He coordinated the ASCE Orange County 150th ASCE Anniversary celebration event. Under his supervision, CSUF ASCE student chapter obtained certification of commendation from ASCE Headquarter. In addition to his current role s ASCE advisor, he provides lectures for concrete canoe competition for their PSWC student competitions, reviewes annual reports for ASCE , continuously monitores students projects and participates in PSWC as well as ASCE OC branch activities. He also arranges guest speakers for ASCE general meeting to provide students exposure to industry expectation and real world engineering projects.  In addition, he arranges donation of materials and other resources from several local and national companies for student projects and competitions.

Excellence in Promotion of Infrastructure

Phil Jones, PE

Phil has been with the County of Orange for 30 years as an engineering manager, design engineer and construction inspector.  He is currently the Manager of OC Public Works’ newly formed Design Division and has been an engineering supervisor and manager for the County since 1990.  In his current position Phil oversees the design, development, public advertisement, and award of Plans, Specifications, and Estimates (PS&E) for the County’s bridge and road capital improvement programs and the Orange County Flood Control District’s (OCFCD) capital improvement program which has an annual budget averages around $50 million.  The Design Division is responsible for the development and project management of: technical studies/reports/investigations, structural and hydraulic design, and development of construction documents for bridges, arterial highways, local and regional storm drains, flood control channels, pump stations, dams and retarding basins, and miscellaneous projects.  During disasters and heavy storm activity, Phil leads staff in serving as storm patrol leaders and emergency workers.  He is a registered Civil Engineer in California, Oregon, and Arizona; and is a California certified QSD/QSP.  Over the years, Phil roles as Project Engineer, Sr. Civil Engineer and Division Manager played a major part in completing critical large flood control infrastructure projects including:  The Talbert and Huntington Beach Channel systems, reaches of Carbon Creek and Fullerton Creek; and San Juan Creek and Trabuco Creeks.

Through Phil’s expertise and perserverance, he has played major roles in completing many large flood control projects. His enthusiasm for promoting infrastructure in Orange County over the years has helped ASCE and other organizations by providing quality presentations about various challenging flood control infrastructure projects.

Outstanding Life Member

Steven R. Marvin, PE

Steve has spent his 45 year career studying the performance of over 25,000 lane miles of pavements exposed to the combined effects of cumulative wheel loading and the environment.  Unique pavement engineering challenges have included evaluating the impacts of moving large loads across southern California roadways such as the recent ‘Rock’ moved to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the decommissioned generators moved from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

He has shared his knowledge of pavement performance thru teaching specialized pavement design classes at colleges and universities throughout Southern California and a mixture of seminars, conferences and professional gatherings sponsored by the ASCE, APWA, Asphalt Pavement Association, League of California Cities and California Chip Seal Association.  He has balanced his career with family and growth of the engineering consulting firm LaBelle Marvin. 

Steve has served ASCE as President of the Orange County Branch, the Los Angeles Section and the California Society of Civil Engineers.  He served on the ASCE Committees for the National Conferences held in Anaheim and more recently in Los Angeles.  Steve also served on the ASCE National Government Affairs Committee and as Chairman of the ASCE National Technical Activities Committee.  He is presently serving as Vice President of the Southern California American Public Works Association. 

During his career he has taken time to navigate a 1932 Chevrolet from Norfolk Virginia to Spokane Washington with his wife Carla and sons Brett and Griffin, winning the Sportsman Division of the Great American Race and continues to participate in vintage automobile racing as a mechanic.  When not working as a Civil Engineer, Steve has served as President of two Rotary Clubs raising funds and working to improve the lives and health of people throughout the world. 

Outstanding Civil Engineer in Community Service

Eric Walker

Eric personally worked with each of the Student Chapters boards and individual student chapter leaders to mentor and oversee their growth.  He has been involved in attending various organized events ranging from Fundraisers at local restaurants to Engineering Career Fairs to attending the Pacific Southwest Conference.
He increased the participation of Students at YMF and branch events. After becoming the University Outreach Chair, the involvements by students outside of their chapters is higher than ever. Students are regularly a significant portion of attendees to YMF technical, social, and K-12 or Community Outreach events.
Eric and his committee organized workshops for the various Universities in Orange County to help students learn practical skills and supplemental topics not covered in the engineering curriculum. Eric teamed up with industry surveyors to visit the local campuses and teach about Surveying and the interconnectedness between the disciplines. Eric’s committee also recognized the importance of educating students about Plan Sets, as many schools do not include them in their programs. Eric facilitated meetings between Engineers and students to learn what Plan Sets are, how to read them, and how to create them.
Each year just before graduation Eric, along with other YMF members, participate in presentations at each of the Universities to encourage students to stay active and involved with YMF and ASCE beyond college. In addition to the formal presentations Eric has done a great job of getting University student out to YMF events to network and establish relationships that will help foster continued involvement after the students graduate. End of the school year events such as the Beach Day also serve as great recruiting tools. Perhaps the best recruiting tool of all has been the establishment and expansion of the Student Chapter Liaison Positions. Each year, new recent graduates are selected to serve as a link between YMF and the Chapter they just graduated from.
This past year, Eric has really taken the Student Activities Chair position to the next level. All of the YMF events can expect to have some student involvement and many of the students who have graduated have stayed involved in some capacity (some have executive board and Student Chapter Liaison positions today). His passion for the position has seen the growth not only in the students themselves, but in each of their respective chapters. Accountability for financials, activities, awards, scholarships and more are all at a level higher than the previous years. He has built a reputation for helping the student; serving as a mentor, coordinator, and friend helping the next generation of leaders grow and develop within ASCE.

President’s Award

Joshua Nelson, PE


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