SAM, LLC. is pleased to be a Gold Medal Winner in the 2015 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Texas Engineering Excellence Awards. The firm won in the Surveying and Mapping Category for a project completed in partnership with Union Pacific Railroad. SAM developed an innovative approach using airborne LiDAR for the high traffic rail facility.
The Union Pacific Strang Yard is located in La Porte in Harris County, Texas and features more than 20 miles of track and 60 switches. The primary goal of the project was to determine the viability of the process for collecting existing track alignment information in enough detail and with sufficient accuracy to fully support track design tasks associated with a hump yard renovation without impacting the flow of traffic through the yard. SAM developed an innovative approach utilizing the latest aerial LiDAR sensor technology to collect top-of-rail alignment and profile data with enough horizontal and vertical accuracy to support track engineering requirements. The final deliverables provided Union Pacific with the data and information necessary to move forward with rail yard improvements. SAM’s demonstrated ability to pilot a project to add future value to rail improvements and maintenance through collaboration with Union Pacific adds significant value to the railroad industry.
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 based on “uniqueness, originality, technical value to the engineering profession, complexity and how successfully the project met the needs of the client.”
SAM’s award in the ACEC Texas competition qualifies the project for advancement to the national ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards held in April 2015. More information is available on the ACEC Texas website.