SAM, Inc. is pleased to be a Gold Medal Winner in the 2014 ACEC Texas Engineering Excellence Awards. The firm won in the Surveying and Mapping Category for a project that involved mobile mapping of the Cascade Tunnel rail route in Washington State. SAM, Inc. provided LiDAR collection services to support an engineering analysis being performed by J.L. Patterson, Inc. for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF).
The project involved providing LiDAR-based solutions for 3D mapping of a rail tunnel that connects the east and west side of Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains. Other mapping methodologies had been attempted before, however, BNSF was interested in better results. The project required precise geospatial positioning information for the LiDAR data, but due to the lack of GPS satellite data in the tunnel an innovative method of establishing project control was developed by SAM, Inc. The alternative control method allowed for the necessary high-precision data to be collected and ultimately supported the client engineer in developing an effective solution for BNSF.
The ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards are held by the American Council of Engineering Companies to “honor and recognize outstanding achievements within the engineering community.” A panel of judges made selections in nine categories based on “uniqueness, originality, technical value to the engineering profession, complexity and how successfully the project met the needs of the client.”
SAM, Inc.’s award in the ACEC Texas competition qualifies the project for advancement to the national ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards held in early 2014. A complete list of the winning projects can be found at Texas ACEC website.