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The American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida Honors the University of Miami with Two Awards for Innovation Bridge

The University of Miami (UM) was invited to the Florida Engineering Society (FES)/American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida (ACEC-FL)’s 2018 Annual Conference and received not only the Engineering Excellence Award but also the overall Grand Conceptor Award for the UM Innovation Bridge. The awards recognize the team – led by Antonio Nanni, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering – for their innovations and outstanding contributions to the design and construction of the first concrete bridge on the UM campus entirely reinforced/prestressed with composite materials instead of steel.

The bridge, which is on the Coral Gables campus, is 70 feet long and connects the campus to the athletic fields. The project provides quantifiable proof of concept of the use of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) composites in such structures. The University began construction of the bridge in November 2015; it was completed in May 2016.

ACEC-FL’s Engineering Excellence Award (EEA) competition recognizes engineering organizations for projects that demonstrate a high degree of achievement, value and ingenuity. This year, six grand and five honor awards were presented at the 2018 FES/ACEC-FL Annual Conference held on Aug. 1-4, 2018, at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. The Florida Grand Conceptor Award – chosen to honor the overall best engineering achievement from the state of Florida – was also announced at the banquet.

The judges rated projects and studies on the basis of uniqueness and innovative applications; future value to the engineering profession; perception by the public; social, economic and sustainable design considerations; complexity; and successful fulfillment of client/owners’ needs, including schedule and budget.

“The bridge is both an innovative application of composites technology and a project of value to the engineering profession,” says Nanni. “These awards recognize the ingenuity and engineering achievements of the design and construction team; it has truly been an exceptional experience.”

The University of Miami College of Engineering (UMCoE) also participated in the FES/ACEC-FL Annual Conference hosting an alumni, friends, and parents reception. During the course of the evening, an estimated 60 friends of the U joined Nanni, Assistant Professor in Practice Matthew Trussoni, and CoE Alumni Association President Rob Weaver for networking, reconnecting, and making new friends.

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