ACEC Nebraska 2024 Engineering Excellence Awards


Grand Awards

CATEGORY I    Special Projects


Client: MECA Tri-Park Complex, LLC

Project: Omaha RiverFront Revitalization

For nearly 60 years, three parks in downtown Omaha emphasized leisure and open space. Unfortunately, their disjointed nature, poor access, lack of amenities, and inadequate recreational opportunities left them minimally used.

The RiverFront Revitalization Project transformed these underutilized parks into a unified, amenity-rich open space, anchored by the Missouri River creating a 72-acre, one-of-a-kind park that has unified the Omaha area.

The new design raised a former sunken lagoon; added spacious lawns and performance pavilions, play areas, a skate ribbon, an urban beach, public art and other amenities; improved multimodal transportation; expanded the trail network; reconnected entertainment districts; and restored the park’s character. The project is Nebraska’s first Envision project, verified Platinum.


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CATEGORY H    Transportation


Client: Nebraska Department of Transportation

Project: Lincoln South Beltway

With an investment of nearly $350 million, the Lincoln South Beltway project stands as Nebraska’s largest, and possibly most significant, transportation endeavor, reshaping the region’s infrastructure landscape. The project boasts features including two system interchanges, three service interchanges, the construction of
43 miles of road, 23 bridges, 11 roundabouts and the movement of over 7 million cubic yards of soil. These elements collectively modernize local transportation networks, reducing congestion and improving overall road safety. Environmental stewardship was at the core of this initiative, with thorough MS4 water treatments and the revitalization of wetlands and streams ensuring sustainable development.


Honor Awards

Studies, Research & Consulting Engineering Services

Category Winner


City of Lincoln | Water 2.0: Water Supply Development for Lincoln Water System Phase 1, Task 1

The City of Lincoln has a safe, reliable, and adequate water supply for approximately the next 25 years. However, the City understands the importance of being prepared and wants to lead its community toward a strong and resilient future. Water 2.0: Water Supply Development for Lincoln Water System Phase 1, Task 1 was created to identify, evaluate, and secure a second source of water supply to meet the projected needs of the City of Lincoln through 2075. The City went through a competitive selection process to identify a team of experts to lead this endeavor and selected the Olsson team, which included subconsultants. The project’s objectives were to identify and evaluate alternatives, build consensus among a 27-member advisory council, engage with the community to build trust, and secure the City of Lincoln’s long-term water supply.



State of Nebraska, STAR WARS Committee/Executive Board of the Legislative Council | Statewide Tourism and Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (STAR WARS)



Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission | Douglas County Justice Center


CATEGORY B – Building/Technology Systems

Alvine Engineering, IP Design Group

FNBO | First National Bank Omaha Tower Renovation

Category Winner

First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) Tower is Nebraska’s tallest structure and Omaha’s most prominent skyscraper, initially completed in 2002. Alvine Engineering provided consulting engineering services for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection infrastructure. IP Design Group provided consulting for the building’s audiovisual technology systems, electronic security systems, and acoustical consultation. FNBO was the project client who envisioned a complete paradigm shift away from the traditional office model to an accommodating space for the workplace of the future. Construction occurred during the height of the pandemic, leading to supply-chain disruptions that pitted themselves against FNBO’s ambitious construction timeline. Despite these challenges, Alvine Engineering and IP Design Group provided an expedited design integration strategy that met the timeline needs of the client. Despite the rapidly increasing cost of products and resources, Alvine Engineering and IP Design Group were able to provide cost-effective, energy-efficient, human-centric solutions that are pending platinum WELL certification with only one floor going over the client’s initial budget.

Alvine Engineering

Hines | Brickline at the Mercantile


Farris Engineering, Inc.

Central Community College | Central Community College Center for Science and Technology


Morrissey Engineering

Omaha Performing Arts | Steelhouse Omaha


Morrissey Engineering

Millard Public Schools | Millard Public Schools Buell Stadium Press Box Renovation



Springfield Platteview Community Schools (SPCS), Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture (APMA) | Springfield Elementary School New Construction


CATEGORY C – Structural Systems

Category Winner


University of Nebraska Medical Center | Wigton Heritage Center

Juxtaposed between the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s (UNMC) original hospital tower and Wittson Hall, the Wington Heritage Center serves as a catalyst for understanding, experiencing, and appreciating UNMC’s heritage and future. The steel structure and glass envelope encapsulate the space between the two existing buildings to provide a new atrium. With a limited site, several below-grade obstructions, and varying existing façade conditions, the design and construction of this facility is a testament to teamwork and problem-solving, providing UNMC a space for study, gatherings, lectures, and delegations of visitors to experience the exciting developments of UNMC’s research.


Kirkham Michael

Douglas County Engineer’s Office |
180th Street, West Dodge to West Maple Viaducts


CATEGORY F – Water, Wastewater


City of South Sioux City, NE | South Sioux City Wastewater Treatment Facility

Category Winner

The City of South Sioux City has a large industrial sector and the city needed to identify a new way of treating wastewater that provides necessary infrastructure, self-reliance and continued economic viability. HDR and the city completed a feasibility study to determine treatment options for a new direct discharge plant that serves industrial and potential domestic wastewater sources from the city. It was determined that the best alternative was covered anaerobic lagoons followed by Aerobic Granular Sludge (AGS), which is a novel treatment approach for high-strength industrial wastes and was the more economical option over other technologies. In addition to improved economics, the proposed technology was selected due to its compact footprint, energy efficiency, capacity for modular expansion to meet future growth and nutrient removal potential. The 2-million-gallon-per-day facility provides additional treatment solutions to the industry and is the first of its kind AGS to Nebraska. The facility is flexible and scalable and offers options for future nutrient removal, planned integration, and future industrial growth.



City of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities |
Water Resource Recovery Facility Solids
Dewatering Improvements


CATEGORY G – Water Resources


Merced Irrigation Urban Groundwater Sustainability Agency | MIUGSA Water Supply Evaluation, Recommendations, and Development of Principle Guidelines to Implement Groundwater Sustainability Plan C

Category Winner

California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 to help protect groundwater resources and require local agencies to develop and implement groundwater sustainability plans (GSP), leading to the creation of the Merced Irrigation-Urban Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MIUGSA). MIUGSA was created to sustainably manage groundwater over its portion of the Merced Groundwater Subbasin in compliance with SGMA’s and to reach sustainability by 2040. MIUGSA approached Olsson to utilize Olsson’s familiarity with existing groundwater management programs and recommend policies and rules that would effectively implement the Merced GSP within a comprehensive framework that promotes community-backed sustainable groundwater management. Olsson evaluated water supply and water use in the area and provided a policy recommendations report. The project was completed on schedule and within budget.


CATEGORY H    Transportation

Lamp Rynearson

SPARK/Fabric Lab | North Omaha Trail Phase I

Category Winner

The North Omaha Trail project emerged as a transformative response to the urgent need for equitable reinvestment in transportation and infrastructure within the North Omaha community. Spearheaded by Lamp Rynearson and SPARK/Fabric Lab, this visionary initiative transcended conventional engineering approaches to create a trail that is more than just functional but serves as a much-needed multimodal network. Historical sites, vibrant murals, and thoughtfully incorporated trail amenities stand as testaments to the project’s commitment to celebrating local identity.

With an eye toward sustainable development, the project incorporates solar lighting for enhanced safety, comprehensive wayfinding features, and improved accessibility. An interactive storyboard tool was created to allow stakeholders to virtually visit the trail before construction even began.


Union Pacific Railroad | Union Pacific Elkhorn River Railroad Bridge Replacement


CATEGORY I    Special Projects

Felsburg Holt & Ullevig

Nebraska Department of Transportation | NDOT Culvert Inventory & Inspection Tool

Felsburg Holt & Ullevig (FHU) proposed the NDOT Culvert Inventory & Assessment Tool project in response to challenges NDOT faced in managing culverts across the State highway system. This is an overwhelming task considering there are most likely 40,000+ culverts along Nebraska’s roadways. FHU partnered with NDOT to develop the State’s first centralized database of highway culverts providing quick access to size, type, material, condition, history, and maintenance activity. After a comprehensive study of national best practices, FHU outlined a culvert inventory and management program that included recommendations for inspection frequency, detailed a culvert component rating system, and outlined implementation costs and benefits.

FHU also developed a Culvert Inventory and Inspection GIS tool, building out the geodatabase framework, and provided it to NDOT for replication within the State GIS database. Finally, FHU provided guidance, internal testing, and training assistance for the Culvert Inventory & Inspection Tool as it was implemented within NDOT.


Merit Awards

Studies, Research & Consulting Engineering Services



Metropolitan Area Planning Agency & Sarpy County | I-80 Interchange Planning & Environmental Linkages Study


Felsburg Holt & Ullevig

City of Omaha, Blackstone BID | Farnam Street Through Blackstone Lane Reconfiguration and Pedestrian Safety Pilot Project

JEO Consulting Group

Nebraska Department of Transportation | 
Intersection Performance Evaluation – Junction U.S. Highway 81 and Nebraska Highway 91



CATEGORY C – Structural Systems


Union Bank & Trust, Co. |
Union Bank & Trust New Office Building


CATEGORY DSurveying & Mapping Technology

R.W. Engineering & Surveying, Inc.

HDR Engineering, Inc. |
Missouri River Water Resource Recovery Facility 3D Laser Scanning & Land Surveying

Category Winner

RW was tasked with completing land surveying services of the north half of the Missouri River Water Resource Recovery Facility in Omaha, Nebraska for upcoming site improvements. Due to the nature of the site and the number of tight spaces to be surveyed, the firm made the determination that utilizing scanning in conjunction with traditional land surveying methods would allow the firm to complete the job for a lower overall cost without slowing down the timeline for completion. By utilizing these new technologies, RW was able to complete the surveying objectives four weeks faster and provide ten times the amount of information to the client for designing improvements to critical infrastructure.


CATEGORY EEnvironmental


Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District | Glacier Creek Stream and Wetland Mitigation Bank

Category Winner


The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District collaborated with Benesch on an 80-acre stream and wetland bank instrument project near Big Papio Creek. This venture was in alliance with the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), which owns the neighboring Allwine Prairie.

Using historical survey data from 1856, Benesch aimed to restore the creek and wetlands to their natural state. Three tributaries of Big Papio Creek on the site were degraded due to channelization and headcutting. The team leveraged the 1856 data and stakeholder ambitions of reviving prairie streams to frame a restoration strategy. Experts assessed watershed hydrology, studied channel hydraulics and designed two-stage winding channels that overflowed into adjacent wetland pools. These raised stream profiles are safeguarded against further erosion through baffled chute drop structures. The design phase wrapped up in Spring 2021, with construction slated for Fall 2021. The Nebraska Stream Assessment Protocol was employed for stream evaluation, with annual checks planned for the next five years.


CATEGORY H    Transportation


City of Omaha | 120th Street, Stonegate Drive to Roanoke Boulevard

CATEGORY I    Special Projects


City of La Vista | Applewood Creek Trail

CATEGORY C – Structural Systems

Ehrhart Griffin & Associates

Creighton University | Creighton University Graves Hall

Category Winner

Graves Hall is the first residence hall built exclusively for first-year students on Creighton’s campus since the 1960s. The general configuration of the building includes four-person suites, each with two living spaces, two bedrooms, a shared bathroom, kitchenettes and spaces for study, socialization and recreation. Community spaces are available on the lower level for interfaith programming, student development, and wellness. Creighton University hopes the dorm will serve as a welcoming space to allow generations of Creighton students to pursue collegiate studies and follow their faith amongst the nucleus of people they live with on campus.

Individual Awards

Terry Atkins, P.E., LEED AP, Lamp Rynearson

Charles Durham Achievement Award

The American Council of Engineering Companies Nebraska (ACEC NE) proudly announces Lamp Rynearson’s Chief Operating Officer, Terry Atkins, P.E., as the recipient of the 2024 Charles Durham Achievement Award. This esteemed honor is bestowed annually upon an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the engineering practice. Terry draws inspiration from a genuine passion for engineering that significantly influences every aspect of his professional life. His dedication goes beyond personal success, as he strives to contribute to the growth and progress of the engineering community. Hoping to ensure a promising future for the field Terry consistently strives to bring not just a strong technical skillset, but a genuine passion about creating positive change and the cultivation of a lasting legacy. His philosophy centers around leading by example, embracing principles that drive progress, and inspiring others to follow suit.  

Terry is deeply committed to fostering excellence by actively engaging in mentoring and guiding emerging talents, sharing the values of innovation and dedication that he has come to appreciate. He strongly advocates for the involvement of young people in the engineering community, recognizing the crucial importance of nurturing the next generation of brilliant minds. 

Atkins has been a driving force behind transformative multi-million-dollar projects in the City of Omaha, including the Omaha Riverfront Redevelopment and Convention Center, Heartwood Preserve, Aksarben Village, and Crossroads Redevelopment. Striving for visionary leadership and strategic insights, he has played a pivotal role in steering these projects to success, contributing significantly to the city’s growth. Through dedication and expertise, Terry aims to leave a lasting impact on Omaha’s vibrant community.


Josh Wilson, P.E.,   Alvine Engineering
Josh Wilson, P.E., Alvine Engineering

Young Professional of the Year Award

Josh Wilson, P.E., an electrical engineer and project manager with Alvine Engineering, has been selected as the 2024 Young Professional of the Year by the American Council of Engineering Companies Nebraska (ACEC NE). The award recognizes accomplishments of Nebraska engineers under age 35 who have contributed to the engineering profession in the state and made a positive community impact. 

Josh graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) with a Master of Science in Architectural Engineering. Josh’s crowning achievements include critical infrastructure design work for the Omaha Airport Authority, which has been a vital piece in keeping Omaha’s Eppley Airfield a high-performing facility that continues to fuel the city’s growing economy. Josh’s architectural lighting and electrical design for the Creighton University School of Dentistry were recognized with an Award of Merit from the Illuminating Engineering Society in 2019. The electrical infrastructure also contributed to earning the 2019 Higher Education Project of the Year award from Engineering News-Record Midwest along with the American School & University Architectural Portfolio Award (Special Citation).

When Josh isn’t mentoring our firm’s young professionals or coordinating projects, he enjoys mentoring students at his alma mater: the UNL Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction. As an industry mentor, his leadership skills contributed to the student design teams’ submission to the 2016 National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Engineering Award competition. The submission received grand prize honors and was also submitted and accepted to the Architectural Engineering Institute’s 2017 National Conference. Outside of the office and the classroom, Josh is an honorary American Red Cross 6-gallon platelet donor and Council vice president at First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oakland, Nebraska. In his spare time, Josh likes to volunteer and donate through the United Way of the Midlands, Together Inc., and participates in Durham Museum events.


Bob Stubbe, P.E., Public Works Director, City of Omaha
Bob Stubbe, P.E., Public Works Director, City of Omaha

Nebraska Engineering Pillar Award

Bob Stubbe, Public Works Director for the City of Omaha, has been awarded the 2024 Nebraska Engineering Pillar Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies Nebraska (ACEC NE) for his leadership and service to the profession.

“I was very surprised and emotionally moved when the announcement was made,” said Stubbe, who has served as public works director since 2005. He previously served more than 29 years with the Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) providing gas and water service to the Omaha metro area.

Since 2008, Bob has served on the Papillion City Council. He also served on the Papillion Planning Commission for four years.

Stubbe credits passing the professional engineer’s exam as the first highlight of his career.

“From a young age I’ve had an interest in construction and I believed engineering would provide me an opportunity to pursue that interest. The engineering curriculum and the engineering profession can provide numerous career opportunities and challenges. The math, science, and technical curriculum helps develop problem-solving skills, enhances decision-making, and provides you a good framework for any career path you wish to pursue. There is a great deal of responsibility to holding a PE license which can have a major impact on your career path,” he said.

Several of Stubbe’s colleagues celebrate and acknowledge that his thoughtful, collaborative leadership has allowed the City of Omaha to grow.

During his career, Stubbe has been involved in many projects including the implementation of the CSO program (Clean Solutions Omaha), completion of the Saddle Creek High Rate Treatment Facility, the Street Preservation Program, and the Omaha Streetcar Authority which will oversee the design, implementation and operation of the streetcar. Stubbe also designed and managed the first compressed natural gas fueling facility in Omaha, designed and managed the addition to a chemical building serving the Florence Water Treatment Plant.


Clarence E. Waters Ph.D. P.E., F.AEI,
Aaron Douglas Professor of Architectural Engineering, Durham School Of Architectural Engineering 
& Construction, 
UNL College of Engineering
Clarence E. Waters, Ph.D. P.E., F.AEI,
Aaron Douglas Professor of Architectural Engineering, Durham School Of Architectural Engineering & Construction, UNL College of Engineering

Nebraska Engineering Champion Award

University of Nebraska College of Engineering professor Dr. Clarence Waters has been awarded the 2024 Nebraska Champion for Engineering Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies Nebraska (ACEC NE) for his collaboration and dedication to the association and engineering industry.

Dr. Waters is the Aaron Douglas Professor of the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction. Waters joined the UNL engineering faculty in 2000 when the architectural engineering program was introduced. He rose from associate professor to director of the AE program in 2005. In 2010, he relinquished the director’s job and became a full professor with an emphasis on work as a liaison to link industry to UNL students in the program.

Jeanne McClure, ACEC NE Executive Director, sees Dr. Waters as a key partner.

“He is a perfect example of the link needed between education and industry. Not only does he stay connected with engineering leaders and opportunities, he also stays connected with his students, as a mentor and champion, long after they’ve graduated.”

Dr. Waters has a Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering (AE) from Pennsylvania State University. His B. S. and M.S. degrees are in AE from Kansas State University. Dr. Waters served on the faculty of Kansas State University in AE from 1986 to 2000, and was the head of the Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science at KSU for four years. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Waters served for over seven years as an electrical project engineer for Professional Engineering Consultants in Wichita, Kansas.