The Western Dredging Association 29th Annual Meeting and Texas A&M 40th Dredging Seminar were held at the Buttes Resort in Tempe Arizona on June 14 through 17.
The theme was The Importance of Dredging and 35 technical presentations on this theme were given.
Subtopics were: Dredging Research Environmental Aspects of Dredging (two sessions) Navigational Dredging Sediment Management and Treatability USACE Environmental Dredging Guidance and Dredging and Capping Case Studies.
Besides several hundred attendees from dredging companies government entities engineering and environmental firms educational institutions and others 56 vendors exhibited wares and services in the exhibition hall where meals and coffee were served.
Technical presentations were given in two traditional conference rooms and a forum-style room with tiered seating which won praise for its good visual and communication facilities.
Attendees continued their discussions after hours in an outdoor lounge overlooking the extensive swimming pool taking advantage of Arizona’s warm June evenings.
WEDA Executive Director Larry Patella was honored by two awards (see related article in this issue) in appreciation of his service to WEDA and Texas A&M. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company received the WEDA Safety Award and Peter Bowe of Ellicott Dredges was named 2009 Dredger of the Year.
The newly-instituted exhibitor awards were won by EarthTech for Most Educational and the Fox River Remediation Project for Most Attractive. The prizes for those awards are a free booth at the next WEDA conference in Puerto Rico.
The Best Paper awards were given at the end of the conference. The Dredging Contractors of America/WEDA best paper was won by Paul Schroeder for USACE Technical Guidelines for Predicting the 4R’s of Environmental Dredging. Second place was Ruud Ouwerkerk along with co-authors R. Exalto C.H.M. Kramers and P.M. Vercruijsse for Developing a New Generation of TSHD Dragheads. Third place was Julie Rosati and N.C. Kraus for Rapid Methods for Estimating Navigation Channel Shoaling.
The best student paper award sponsored by WEDA and Taylor Engineering went to D.R. Young for Laboratory Measurement of Forces on a Dredge Cutter Head. Runners-up were D. Wilson for Visualizing Pipeline Dredge Project Schedules Using 4D Animation of Objects in Google Earth and A.K. Manikantan for Laboratory Measurement of Cutter Suction Dredge Sediment Volume.
The IADC paper award was presented to Kenneth Ned Mitchell for his paper Depth Utilization Analysis for Estimating Economic Activity Supported by Dredging. This award is given at a number of conferences by the International Association of Dredging Companies to young authors. The Conference Paper Committee is asked to recommend a prizewinner whose paper makes a significant contribution to the literature on dredging and related fields. The purpose of the IADC Award is “to stimulate the promotion of new ideas and encourage younger men and women in the dredging industry”. The winner of an IADC Award receives 1000 euros and a certificate of recognition and the paper may be published in Terra et Aqua the organization’s journal.
DREDGER OF THE YEAR
Peter Bowe was named Dredger of the Year. This award is given to a person who has benefitted the WEDA organization and the dredging industry at large.
Bowe was recognized for his successful expansion of Ellicott’s manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin acquisition of small dredge manufacturers and expansion of the manufacturing facility in Baltimore. This effort resulted in expanding the dredge manufacturing capability in the United States and creation of new jobs as well as insuring that other jobs were retained for an overall positive effect on the dredging industry.
In his remarks to the group Bowe said that Ellicott would be 125 years old next year and that it had been started by people who understood the dredging industry and were committed to it. He recognized Jim Pfleuger and Marty Barnes of LWT saying “without those two guys we couldn’t have built our plant in Wisconsin.”
“We have 200 people working in the U.S. and around the world” he said.
He thanked WEDA for providing a platform where customers dredge operators and the government can share ideas and “people like us can learn from you and learn how to do a good job.”
Paul Quinn vice president of Sales for Ellicott took over the presidency of WEDA from Bill Hanson and presided over the event beginning with the award ceremony at the banquet.
GLDD RECEIVES SAFETY AWARD
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock received the WEDA Safety Award and Dave Simonelli described the company’s safety program in his presentation An Incident & Injury Free Culture: Changing the Face of Project Operations.
The award stated that the award was presented to Great Lakes “for their extraordinary efforts that resulted in a significant reduction nearing elimination of personnel injuries and equipment damage experienced by its work force on and off the job site.”
The event was adjourned with the announcement that the next annual meeting and A&M Seminar would be held in San Juan Puerto Rico on June 6 through 9 2010 at the Rio Mar Wyndham Resort and Spa.