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Jeff Mazanec of R.A. Smith National Honored with William J. Rheinfrank Award

by Jessica Pairrett 20. June 2017 07:12

Jeff Mazanec

Civil Engineer Receives American Public Works Association Award that Honors Service to Profession

Jeff Mazanec, project manager and senior consultant with R.A. Smith National, received the William J. Rheinfrank Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA).

The APWA Wisconsin Chapter William J. Rheinfrank Award is presented annually to recognize a person or organization who has provided a positive, far-reaching impact on public works programs, services or policies demonstrated by distinguished public service and commitment to their community and the state of Wisconsin.

Mazanec has dedicated more than 43 years to his consulting engineer career. Over that time, he has served state, county and municipal clients in Wisconsin and beyond. A professional engineer, Mazanec has been involved in all aspects of municipal, water and wastewater, water resources, transportation, solid waste and environmental engineering service projects.

Both locally and regionally, Mazanec has been a speaker on topics such as stormwater management and erosion control, permitting, and mobile applications for collecting and sharing field data. Additionally, he has held key leadership positions in several private and professional organizations within the public works and engineering industry, with a strong focus on effective communication and collaboration. He holds a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.

“Others and myself in the public works profession are fortunate to have Jeff as a friend and resource. Jeff has created far-reaching positive impacts in public works programs by providing dedicated service and outstanding support to municipalities, agencies and professional organizations. He is always willing to provide and share his extensive knowledge on stormwater utilities, MS4 permit compliance, and on public utility conveyance systems to those in the public works profession," said Sean Gehin, P.E., project engineer for the City of Wausau.

About the Award

This award is presented in memory of former APWA Wisconsin Chapter president William J. Rheinfrank. Rheinfrank held a long career with the Milwaukee Department of Public Works, serving the last 18 of his 43 years as Superintendent of Street Sanitation. Fighting the snow, his most distinguishable contribution, resulted in turning the City’s once-inadequate system into “the best department in the Midwest snow belt region.” In 1965 he published a comprehensive plan for combatting snow and continually campaigned for better equipment and training.

The Wisconsin Chapter of the APWA presented the William J. Rheinfrank Award during their spring conference held May 10–12.

Highland Manor Receives Excellence in Structural Engineering Award

by Jessica Pairrett 15. November 2016 09:18

Community Safe Room Wins Top Honor Among Projects Constructed Under $5 Million

Highland Manor Community Safe Room received a 2016 Excellence in Wisconsin Structural Engineering Award, in the projects less than $5 million in construction costs category, from the Structural Engineers Association of Wisconsin (SEA–WI).

This project challenged R.A. Smith National’s structural engineers with finding a solution for the 450 residents of the Highland Manor Mobile Home Community in Madison, Wis., who lacked safe shelter during severe weather events, such as tornadoes. Working collaboratively with precast engineers at Spancrete, the team designed a safe room meeting strict standards that resist extreme wind pressures associated with a tornado event. The design team’s creativity and teamwork in overcoming significant design challenges resulted in the largest freestanding safe room in Wisconsin that serves as a model for future shelters and safe rooms.

"The project was a successful team effort from initial design through building construction. We credit this overall successful project to excellent working relationships, cooperation and communication among all team members,” said Kim Spoden, AIA, Assemblage Architects.

In the photo (courtesy SEA–WI): David Boldt, the project’s structural engineer, explained how this award-winning project grew to become the largest freestanding safe room in Wisconsin.

Additional Information
The Highland Manor Community Safe Room represents an innovative, forward-looking approach to preventing fatalities during severe weather events. In order to qualify for $1.2 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funding, the building had to meet FEMA P-361 requirements. These design criteria are intended to provide a superior level of life safety protection against the extreme wind speeds and flying debris associated with tornados. Although FEMA’s guidelines are beyond what most engineers will need to consider for upcoming projects, the related International Code Council ICC-500 requirements may soon become mandatory in Wisconsin for certain types of common structures. This facility meets both ICC-500 and FEMA P-361 requirements, demonstrating it is possible to create a large-scale safe room in a cost-effective manner.

As a safe room, Highland Manor can hold up to 845 individuals. When not harboring community residents during severe weather, the facility functions as a park shelter and community meeting room, making it usable by residents throughout the year.

"It has allowed residents to get involved with their community by becoming volunteers on the safety team, giving many a sense of purpose in their community," said the Highland Manor Homeowners' Association.

Judging and Awards
A jury of SEA–WI professionals selected award recipients based on five general criteria, including: the structural design’s creativity; technical innovations used and their influence on the project’s design; the design’s ingenuity for efficient use of materials and labor; how unusual problems were solved by the design; and quality of execution. The Highland Manor project, led by a collaborative and forward-thinking design team, effectively fulfills each of these criteria.

SEA–WI presented the 2016 Excellence in Wisconsin Structural Engineering Awards during their fall technical conference held on Friday, November 4. Award winners made presentations highlighting the challenging aspects of their projects.

In the photo: Highland Manor residents gathered together at the grand opening of the Community Safe Room.

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