Many people in many ways serve the best interests of the construction industry. The editors of ENR have chosen the following individuals for their newsmaking achievements. One of them is selected to win ENR's highest honor, the Award of Excellence. This year's winner Kathi Littmann joins this impressive group. Congratulations to construction's best.

Rick Bell

Sherwood Boehlert

Paul E. Buco

Timothy Buresh

Denise Casalino

Helmut Cerovsek

Bryan Denby

George E. Famulare

Mamdouh Hamza

Allyn E. Kilsheimer

Eric Ko

Kathi Littmann

Jerry L. Maxwell

Douglas J. McCarron

Corbett Nichter

Jeff F. Powell

Pete K. Rahn

Robert T. Ratay

James Rossberg

Armand E. Sabitoni

Steven B. Satrom

Peter A. Thompson

Peter K. Tully

Eric S. Waterman

James White

As the last chairman of the Business Roundtable's Construction Committee, Steven B. Satrom embodied the industry's disappointment when that organization ended its construction mission. Satrom, a product supply general manager for Air Products and Chemicals Inc., was a driving force in creating the Construction Users Roundtable, a forum for large owners of construction projects to address issues of cost-effectiveness, quality, safety and work force.

In the turbulent atmosphere after the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center collapses, engineers investigating the tragedy were hampered by lack of access to key documents. Future probes should not have that problem, in large part due to House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), who led the push for the National Construction Safety Team Act. The measure puts the National Institute of Standards and Technology in charge of future building failure investigations and gives NIST-led teams authority to get data they need.

Bryan Denby, a professor in the U.K.'s Nottingham School of Chemical, Environmental and Mining Engineering, led the development of "augmented reality" computer technology that allows workers to "see" pipelines and other underground utility assets. The system overlays 3-D images of buried features on digitalized site views with special binoculars.

Like many owners of older sports facilities, officials in Allen County, Ind., wanted to modernize their 50-year-old, 7,000-seat arena and add revenue-producing sky boxes and suites. Helmut Cerovsek, Indianapolis-based senior technical advisor for HNTB Corp., devised a structural solution to reuse an existing roof at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, making possible the addition of 3,000 seats. The 1,250-ton roof was lifted into position 42 ft above the original elevation, saving about $1.5 million in construction costs on the $35-million project and $3.5 million in revenue.

The turnaround in the Los Angeles Unified School District's beleaguered school construction program was accomplished under the leadership of Kathi Littmann, deputy chief executive for new construction. After opening only 24 schools in the past 20 years, the district will have about 60 new schools and expansions under construction by April. Littmann gathered a cadre of professionals that meshed with a small army of architects, engineers and construction managers to mobilize a 20-year construction program for the district. She created and led the $3.7-billion first phase that will build 77,000 new classroom seats.
Award of Excellence Winner: Kathi Littmann. Click here for more >>

Simulex, evacuation modeling software developed by Peter A. Thompson, software development manager for Scotland's Integrated Environmental Solutions Ltd., is based on real, individual human behavior patterns as captured by digital videos of crowds emptying public spaces. It is being used to evaluate emergency egress impact of design alternatives for buildings, vehicular tunnels and subway platforms. The behavior patterns can lead to lifesaving design changes.

In his first few years as general president of the 540,000-member carpenters' union, Douglas J. McCarron vowed to shake up the status quo. He reorganized the union's regional councils, local operations and headquarters staff, creating a leaner, stronger organization. Displeasure with the leadership of the AFL-CIO led McCarron to withdraw the carpenters from the labor federation in March 2001, a move that cost the union its affiliation with the Building and Construction Trades Dept. but boosted its overall influence. The union rejoined BCTD Dec. 1 after successfully pushing for reform.

The $200-million reconstruction of Chicago's main artery was like doing open-heart surgery while the patient was running a marathon, and Denise Casalino, project manager for the city Dept. of Transportation, was head surgeon. Wacker Drive, Chicago's crumbling, congested, double-deck loop, now is a post-tensioned route using a high-performance concrete mix for durability. Casalino oversaw the project from inception in the early 1990s through funding, design, construction and successful completion.

Worried about the shrinking number of trained craftworkers, the laborers' union, in collaboration with the Cranston, R.I., public school system, developed a four-year charter high school that emphasizes construction. The project was the brainchild of Armand E. Sabitoni, general secretary-treasurer of the international union and New England regional manager. The school welcomed its first class of freshman in September. When students graduate, they may continue their education at a college or enter the union's apprenticeship program at an advanced level.

With the new federal steel-erection standard about to take effect, the industry was scrambling to produce related training materials. Eric S. Waterman, vice president of membership of NEA-The Association of Union Constructors, along with the ironworkers' union, teamed with the construction office of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop a unique partnership where ironworkers and steel erectors train OSHA compliance officials on practical aspects of the new rule in the field.

Beset by development that threatens to drain its aquifers, Tampa Bay Water has embarked upon a multiyear, $600-million capital improvement program to develop new sources of drinking water. Satisfying rural and urban constituents, General Manager Jerry L. Maxwell developed a program to meet the region's water needs. The pieces include a desalination plant, water treatment plant, 1,100-acre regional reservoir and 70 miles of large transmission lines. Maxwell melded the diverse mix using multiple engineering and contracting teams, design-build, privatization and traditional procurement.

The return of New York's World Trade Center site to functionality is due, in large part, to the commitment and management skill of Peter K. Tully, president of Tully Construction Co. Inc. He supervised Tully's role as the site's largest cleanup contractor, managing debris removal, utility restoration and infrastructure repair in record time and under budget. Tully also took on the risk-laden job of restoring shattered subway service through the site, proving the vital section could be repaired in just months. Tully also helped win liability protection for cleanup and restoration contractors.

Former New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn led the building of 750 new miles of needed highway in seven years despite limited funds and has created a model for other transportation agencies. Using private-public financing and design-build project delivery, he reduced change orders by 38.8% and obtained pavement performance guarantees that will save New Mexico $89 million in maintenance costs on one project alone over 20 years.

Using diplomacy and dynamic leadership, Timothy Buresh, director of construction for the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, successfully closed one of the nation's most influential public works projects. The $2-billion Alameda Corridor eliminated 200 grade crossings to allow freight trains to pass directly through Los Angeles from ports to railyards, improving the safety, environmental impact and efficiency of the freight system. The design-build project has inspired similar ones in other states.

Mamdouh Hamza, founder of Cairo-based Hamza Associates, designed a 1,200-meter quay wall to be built on clays and soil so unstable that engineers originally dismissed the site as impossible. The East Port Said project will serve as a crucial new trade hub in the eastern Mediterranean. Hamza devised a four-barrette-series structure supplemented by a continuous diaphragm wall of T-shaped panels that hold up in eight soil layers, producing cost savings of 25% over conventional methods.

Faced with finishing almost three miles of tunnel work on Boston's $14.6-billion Central Artery/Tunnel project and dissatisfied with existing technology, Paul E. Buco, project manager for McCourt Obayashi joint venture, led the design and construction of a new self-propelled ceiling module lifter and support system. The system enhanced worker efficiency and safety in the placement of thousands of 30,000-lb modules, saving millions of dollars on the $170-million project and reducing erection time by 40%.

The beauty of Jem One President and CEO Corbett Nichter's remote-release rigging tool is that it takes ironworkers out of harm's way when lifting steel. The device, known as the Jem Latch, eliminates release hazards associated with putting a worker in the air to detach clamps. The tool also also reduces costs by eliminating the need for manlifts, scaffolding and the use of a second crane in heavy-lifting construction.

Military engineers hit the ground in Afghanistan with TeleEngineering Operation Communications Kits whose design, development and deployment were championed by researcher Jeff F. Powell at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss. The kits contain computers, digital and video cameras and satellite communications units that create secure data and conference links between engineers at the front and experts at the Vicksburg engineering center. The kits help military engineers bring critical expertise to the battlefield.

In an unusual move, Pentagon construction officials hired structural engineer Allyn E. Kilsheimer to take the lead as construction manager on the demolition, design and rebuilding of the 400,000-sq-ft section of the Pentagon destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. A principal of Washington, D.C.-based KCE Structural Engineers, Kilsheimer led the project team to completion in only 11 months and met its goal of having the building on line a year after the attack.

Collaborating with state agencies concerned about welded seismic systems, Eric Ko, principal in the San Francisco office of Arup, brought a Japanese seismic structural system known as unbonded bracing to the U.S. for use on two projects. The system includes a coated steel cruciform mounted in a square steel tube encased in grout that permits the inner steel to elongate in tension and shorten in compression to dissipate energy. It reduces steel framing weight and foundation costs, while resisting twice as much force as moment-resisting frames.

Immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, architect Rick Bell, executive director of AIA New York, catalyzed a Who's Who of 400 individuals from 21 design and planning groups to create guiding principles for the renaissance of lower Manhattan. New York New Visions has become the de facto advisor to the state's Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which based its planning principles on NYNV's document. The pro bono coalition continues to be active by reviewing LMDC planning schemes.

Soon after Sept. 11, 2001, Turner Construction Co.'s James White assured Brookfield Financial Properties that his team could rebuild the 110-ft-tall Winter Garden atrium, smashed by the collapse of One World Trade Center, by the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. White, along with dedicated designers, contractors, workers and suppliers, devised an exterior hoist and trolley access system that allowed the team to rebuild and install the glazing system in just 4.5 months, instead of the original two years.

The reality that more structures fail during construction than after spurred structural consultant Robert T. Ratay to push development of the first load design standard for temporary and partially completed structures. More than 12 years in the writing, the design tool is intended to reduce jobsite collapses and deaths. Ratay was the prime mover and chair of the committee that developed Structural Engineering Institute/American Society of Civil Engineers 37-02.

James Rossberg, director of the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, reacted with lightening speed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to create teams of structural and fire protection engineers to assess the performance of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. His action and leadership led to last April's publication of the first document to assess behavior and failure mechanisms of the buildings in and around Ground Zero. It forms the basis of a more comprehensive $19-million WTC study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to be completed in 2004.

In a project that has been compared to changing the wheels on a moving bus, workers are performing a complete change-out of building systems and telecommunications equipment at a critical New York City call center. Verizon's building was badly damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, but George E. Famulare, Verizon's area real estate manager, has coordinated myriad complex operations that kept the 32-story center functioning, almost without interruption.