Many people, in many ways, serve the best interests of the construction industry. The editors of ENR have chosen the following individuals for innovations and achievements featured in the magazine in 2005 and the selection of Dwayne McAninch, CEO of McAninch Corp. and pioneer in global positioning system technology for earthmoving, as our Award of Excellence Winner. The construction industry congratulates all of these achievers. Click below to read more about Award of Excellence winner and the Award of Excellence History.

Corissa M. Anderson
Patrick A. Burns
Robert F. “Bobby” Clair
Samir Emdanat
Duane P. Gapinski
John S. Gonsalves
David Gottfried
Alain Granet
Dennis J. Hall
William P. Henry
Thomas Jee
Ron Klemencic
David J. Markey
J. Dwayne McAninch
Terry R. Murphy
Tom Røtjer
David A. Schuff
Richard D. Short
E. Sreedharan
Richard D. Thorpe
Ted Totten
Nancy R. Tuor
Charles E. Williams
Roy A. Williams
Michael Yu
Award of Excellence Winner 2005
Dwayne McAninch

Award of Excellence: History
For 40 years, Industry Gathers To Honor Construction’s Best


The unprecedented and successful steel fabrication, preassembly and lift of the 5,400-ton retractable roof of the $450-million Arizona Cardinals Stadium near Phoenix would not have happened without the expertise of veteran steel fabricator-erector David A. Schuff and the effort of Corissa M. Anderson, project engineer in Phoenix for Hunt Construction Group Inc. Schuff, co-founder of Phoenix-based Schuff Steel Co., brainstormed the lift scheme to ease erection and ensure safety. His innovative approach drove design and construction of the entire stadium. It called for preassembling the 700 x 257.5-ft steel roof on short ground shores, and jacking the truss assembly, including the travel mechanism, up 150 ft in slots in the roof’s concrete supercolumns. As “mission control” commander for the lift, Anderson coordinated and synchronized the work of more than 200 site personnel during 12-hour workdays over a one-week period. The lift, which she executed with military-like authority, depended on six months of strategic planning, well-rehearsed choreography and a carefully laid-out communications network. On Dec. 3, roof panels parted for the first time, without a hitch.


Coaxed from a planned retirement after 37 years with the South Carolina Dept. of Transportation, Robert F. “Bobby” Clair led the $630-million design-build construction of the Cooper River Bridge to an early and on-budget finish. Sporting a signature 1,546-ft-long main span, North America’s longest cable-stayed bridge handles traffic for hurricane-prone Charleston. Experts praise the complex project’s construction in just four years as an extreme feat. Clair was the “go-to” guy who won the trust of public officials, as well as the project’s diverse contracting and worker communities. His diplomatic and leadership skills produced the cohesion critical to the bridge’s successful finish in 2005. Clair is now an executive at Omaha-based HDR Inc.



The pace of upgrading security at U.S. embassies around the world dramatically increased under Charles E. Williams, director and chief operating officer of the U.S. State Dept.’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. Through discipline and accountability, the retired Corps of Engineers’ major general turned around a program that had been limping along. By implementing standard embassy designs, design-build project delivery and an industry advisory panel, Williams won congressional confidence. This year, he won funding for the largest ever embassy compound, to be built in Baghdad. The worldwide embassy program now totals $17.5 billion over 14 years. Twenty-three new and safer embassies and consulates have been completed, 40 projects are in design or construction and 14 more are in the pipeline for 2006.


If not for the foresight and meticulous planning of Roy A. Williams, aviation director at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, the facility might not have played its crucial role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as an emergency ward, military operations center and even a temporary morgue. Just two weeks after the hurricane had forced thousands of evacuees to take shelter at the airport, Williams and his team restored commercial service. His early attention to airport infrastructure, which dated back to his arrival at the facility 4.5 years earlier, was key to its success in the Katrina emergency. He prioritized airfield reconstruction, including raising its levee barrier by 6 feet, which kept the facility dry and operational.


China-born Michael Yu combined engineering training in his homeland and work experience in the U.K. to shape a template for roadbuilders now constructing China’s National Trunk Highway System. One key component is the 118-kilometer, $827-million Chongzun Expressway, which cuts through Guizhou province’s razorbacked Dalhousan Mountains. The Asian Development Bank, which is financing more than one-third of project costs, required strong and independent project management. As project director for Halcrow China’s management team, Yu established a homegrown cadre of young but capable resident engineers and ensured they were empowered to keep owner and contractor on track. He melded homegrown cultural sensitivity and western project management systems to deliver the complex job on time and on budget. With 121 bridges and 17 tunnels, this segment of China’s “interstate” is a civil engineer’s ultimate challenge. Yu’s systematic approach to quality control advances China’s goal of building a world-class highway system.


Convincing hundreds of thousands of construction specifiers, product manufacturers and end-users to accept an updated numbering system for materials, components and technologies seemed to be an almost impossible task for Charlotte, N.C., architect Dennis J. Hall. Many members of the Construction Specifications Institute knew that the existing 42-year-old MasterFormat numbering system was out of date, but they could not agree on a new structure. Volunteering to lead the reform effort, Hall’s patient but persistent advocacy for a radically different matrix produced a winning compromise standard that is now required on federal projects.


Believing there is strength in numbers, William P. Henry, as 2005 president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, led the association’s major step toward stamping out global corruption in construction. Engaging nearly 90 other industry groups around the world, ASCE created an historic charter that compels members to report bribery, fraud and kickbacks on construction projects the world over. By signing the document, individuals and groups agree to report infractions. Violations could lead to revoking a professional engineering license. In a bold gesture, Henry was the first to sign the charter. Some 100 signatories have followed. Henry, a retired executive of Schaaf & Wheeler Consulting Civil Engineers, has served as a high-profile, anti-corruption ambassador to the World Bank, Transparency International and other global lenders and advocacy groups.


In a field where technology and change are often resisted, Richard D. Short, senior geotechnical consultant for Kleinfelder Inc., constantly searches for innovation. Grappling with slope instability, he combined his own creativity and knowledge with overseas technology to invent a plate pile system that could revolutionize foundation work. Short’s system, applied at a housing development in Danville, Calif., involves plates affixed to steel poles set into stable strata beneath loose soil that transmit slide forces downward. Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley say the 1-in.-thick plates can increase the factor of safety between 20 and 50% and save significant costs. For a 10,000-sq-ft slope, plate piles cost about $50,000, compared to hundreds of thousands of dollars using more traditional methods. The new system could be an effective solution for thousands of homes at risk, many in California endangered by annual mudslides.


The pioneering and persevering work of J. Dwayne McAninch is set to revolutionize design and construction in the field. The founder and CEO of Des Moines-based McAninch Corp. has spent decades perfecting and advocating use of global positioning system technology in earthmoving, which now is gaining widespread acceptance around the world. Once shunned at jobsites due to hardware and software glitches, global positioning technology has moved light years ahead to prove that digital equipment controls can boost equipment durability and extend field efficiency by more than 30%. More contractors are adding the 21st-Century technology to their fleets, and owners are offering incentives to firms that use it. While some contractors would keep such an innovation to themselves, McAninch has sought out and eagerly shared it with his peers.


Just days after Hurricane Katrina’s floods devastated New Orleans, Col. Duane P. Gapinski, commander and district engineer of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Rock Island, Ill., district, was tapped to lead its unprecedented Task Force Unwatering mission. In an environment robbed by disaster of modern tools of analysis and communication, Gapinski never let the enormously complex task faze him as he methodically led his team in scoping out the catastrophe and strategically deploying resources across the terrain’s five drainage basins. Gapinski then pushed back the water with a choreographed sequence of levee and pump repairs that brought metropolitan New Orleans out of the flood, well ahead of initial predictions, despite the follow-on assault of Hurricane Rita.


Thanks to the zeal and initiative of John S. Gonsalves, a former residential construction supervisor, four disabled U.S. military veterans now live in new homes built to make their lives as functional as possible. Finding there were no nonprofit groups doing such work, Gonsalves quit his job in 2004 to create his own, called Homes For Our Troops. He and two assistants have now taken the cause nationwide, inspiring contractors and building materials suppliers to donate time, resources and labor to build homes for disabled vets of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Two homes are nearing completion and six more are under way, with 14 applications being reviewed.


Since pledging in 2004 to shut 7,500 MW of old coal-fired powerplants, Ontario has sought alternative sources of energy. Provincial utility Ontario Power Generation Inc. targeted its dormant 515-MW Pickering A Nuclear Unit 1 for an $825-million rehabilitation and restart. A bungled restart at another Pickering unit nearly halted the program, but Unit 1 project director Terry R. Murphy overcame the stigma, impressing officials with his clear vision and can-do attitude. Murphy pushed management changes on the site and overhauled its problem-plagued culture. As a result, he led Unit 1 to a successful restart on schedule and within budget. Murphy’s experience has helped spur new interest in nuclear energy in Ontario. Since Unit 1’s completion, another provincial operator has announced its intention to restore two other laid-up units to service.


Municipal officials in and around Los Angeles thought they would never see the $860-million first-phase of the Pasadena-to-L.A. light rail line in operation. Years of community complaints and political infighting stalled the job, until Richard D. Thorpe, chief construction capital management officer at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, became involved. Under Thorpe, the agency streamlined its contracting approaches and schedules to complete the Gold Line. He went on to coax contractors to get MTA’s 14-mile rapid busway project back on track after a six-month delay due to lawsuits. Thorpe now leads the $900-million, six-mile Gold Line light-rail extension, with tunneling now under way. Many observers credit him for transforming transit construction in Los Angeles from chronic failure into a string of ongoing successes.


E. Sreedharan deferred retirement in 1998 to become managing director of India’s Delhi Metro Rail Corp., taking charge of a $2.3-billion effort to build the first phase of New Delhi’s massive metro system. He led that challenging 66-kilometer project to a phased completion in December 2005. Sreedharan is credited with single-mindedly knocking down the many obstacles that have bedeviled other large Indian projects. This tough Indian manager cut through the country’s notorious red tape, employed global best practices and adopted safety steps not common in Indian construction. Much more than a figurehead, Sreedharan isn’t finished yet. At age 73, he plans to remain on the job for three more years to oversee completion of the next phase, leading toward what will ultimately be a 180-km transportation marvel for India.


In an industry sector known for backroom bargaining and handshake deals, David J. Markey, immediate past president of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals, challenged construction equipment manufacturers, dealers and fleet owners to reshape their ethical conduct before scandal rocks their business. Vice president of American Infrastructure and manager of its $120-million fleet, Markey unveiled a new code of ethics for the 700-member group in 2005 that many say is a first for equipment professionals. Association members have unanimously agreed to support Markey’s “preventive maintenance” checklist for business relations. While only one page, the document speaks volumes about the need for honesty and fair play among people who buy and sell billions of dollars in construction equipment each year.


The vision, fortitude and patience of Samir Emdanat, manager for advanced technologies at GHAFARI Associates LLC, allowed him to set a new benchmark in 3-D virtual design and collaborative building. His achievement on a 2.4-million-sq-ft engine assembly plant for General Motors Corp. focused on the practical problems of implementing building information modeling and sharing interoperable design data among all participants, including building trades, on the design-build team. Emdanat integrated technology into the project workflow, not just for technology’s sake, but to improve the jobsite process. He was GHAFARI’s tire kicker, lever puller and, ultimately, its orchestra conductor, as the entire team refined virtual design issues for the GM plant and resolved conflicts before work began. The facility was then “built to the model,” and delivered with remarkable speed and ease.


Ten years ago, the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s former atomic bombmaking complex at Rocky Flats, Colo., was a plutonium-laden nightmare of 800 defunct factory buildings surrounded by thousands of acres of contaminated soil, 16 miles from downtown Denver. Initial estimates predicted a 70-year, $37-billion cleanup. Those targets were later revised, but it was under the management of Kaiser-Hill LLC and particularly, its president and CEO, Nancy R. Tuor, that the task was completed in 2005 at a $7-billion cost. She assumed cleanup leadership in 2004, guiding work through its most furious period. With labor and community tensions high, Tuor implemented a new management strategy using non-traditional approaches and incentives. She fast-tracked work and won the respect of site employees and contractors, stakeholders, and regulators. Now, with most Rocky Flats acreage set to become a wildlife sanctuary, Tuor is carrying the message of safe and efficient nuclear waste cleanup to other DOE sites and to countries such as the U.K. and Russia. Both are coping with their own Cold War nuclear waste legacies.


In 1998, when officials of Norsk Hydro ASA in Oslo, Norway, dreamed about developing the huge Ormen Lange natural gas field beneath the Norwegian Sea, they knew it would require extreme engineering. Tom Røtjer, then chief of Hydro’s project technology unit, played a key role in devising a solution that places all offshore equipment on the seabed, 800 to 1,100 meters below the surface. It is operated by control lines and pipelines from a landside processing plant 120 kilometers away. Dispensing with need for an offshore platform, the facility ties into the world’s longest undersea pipeline to deliver its gas 1,200 km to the U.K. Set to go on line in 2007, it will deliver up to 20% of England’s gas supply. Now, as Ormen Lange’s development director, Røtjer for the next decade is inventing electrically powered compressors for installation on the seabed. He is getting ready for the day when Ormen Lange’s flow will need a boost to maintain its pressure stream.