AEC Innovation on Display at National Summit

AEC Innovation on Display at National Summit


July 6, 2022

Bob Scaer, PE, Gannett Fleming’s chairman and CEO, with this year’s Innovation Challenge winner David Grabowski, PEng.

Gannett Fleming’s innovative culture is a critical ingredient to delivering excellence to our clients and the communities we serve. It is on full display during the firm’s annual Innovation Summit, during which leadership names the Innovation Challenge and President’s Innovation Award winners.

“Our innovation culture is deeply rooted at Gannett Fleming, and our annual competition provides an opportunity for our employees to showcase their ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Bob Scaer, PE, chairman and CEO. “Thanks to a record number of submissions and energized employees who passionately defended their innovative ideas during our Innovation Summit, Gannett Fleming will continue to deliver the best value and build resilience in both design and construction.”

The Innovation Challenge encourages the bright minds at Gannett Fleming to conceptualize solutions for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) by leveraging the firm’s thought leadership in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.

This year’s Innovation Challenge topic was “Transforming the Human Experience,” and all employees were encouraged to submit ideas that would create positive societal change or improve communities. Gannett Fleming also recognizes employees through the President’s Innovation Award, which acknowledges initiatives that have already positively impacted the AEC industry. Winners receive a cash prize and the mentorship of Innovation Director Jamie Christensen.

“Beyond the award programs, we’ve taken innovation to the next level by hosting a new Innovation Jumpstart Program, which helps interested employees hone their ideas and collaborate across the firm,” said Christensen. “Our innovative culture deepens interdisciplinary relationships, as business groups across the firm create working groups, talk about their successes and lessons learned, and organically continue to collaborate to reach the best solutions for our clients.”

2022 Innovation Challenge Winners

A Shark Tank-style panel at the Innovation Summit selected Grab-a-Charge, developed by David Grabowski, PEng, as this year’s Innovation Challenge winner. It is an alternative solution to modernize and improve fleet management.

The challenge judges also advanced the following finalists into Gannett Fleming’s innovation incubator, the Collaborative Research and Innovation Center (CRIC):

  • Automated Tunnel Scanning by Katie Clever, PE, ENV SP, CBSI; Matt Greenholt, PE, CBSI; and Ray Stauffer, PE.
  • Drones Technology + Spatial Analytics + AI by Loujin Daher, PE, and Ohan Oumoudian.
  • Robotic Dog by James P. Murphy, CMIT, ENV SP; Brett Wagner, PE; Adam Eshleman; and Eddie Anderson, CCM, CAPM, ENV SP, LEED Green Associate.
  • Infrastructure Rating Toolset by Eric Abrams; David Runneals; and Bryan Kelley, PMP.

2022 President’s Innovation Award Winners

This year’s winner is the Stormwater Sheet Flow Collection developed by Jacqueline DeLorenzo; Caitlin Hollowell, ENV SP; and Anthony Verdi.

The collection of stormwater sheet flow presents several unique challenges. This is due to the slow nature of the flow and the shallow depth of the water – only enough to create a thin coat of sheet flow over the sample surface.

In a brainstorming session, the group devised two new ways of collecting sheet flow and attempted them experimentally a few weeks later. Both options result in faster and more efficient sheet flow sample collection by reducing the amount of prep work required before sample collection, the number of materials needed to sample, and the time spent in the field.

Want to join a team that prioritizes innovation and resilience while investing in you and the tools, training, and additional resources to produce incredible results? Explore the careers Gannett Fleming has to offer.

Bob Scaer, PE, chairman and CEO, and Jamie Christensen, innovation director.

President’s Innovation Award winners Anthony Verdi, Jacqueline DeLorenzo, and Caitlin Hollowell, ENV SP, with Paul Nowicki, PE, president and COO.

Participants and panelists of the 2022 Innovation Summit.

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