Michael Baker Projects and Team Members Honored by ASCE in Orange County, California

February 23, 2017

Firm People and Projects Earn Recognition at Annual Award Ceremony

(L-R) Chad Harden, Anna Lantin, Arshad Rashedi, Isamar Escobar, Brad Losey, Mike Tylman, Steve Huff, Rebecca Kinney, John McCarthy, Mujahid Chandoo
The Orange County branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently recognized Michael Baker at its annual 2017 Awards Dinner. During the ceremony, two team members received individual awards for their impact on the community, while two Michael Baker-led projects were honored for engineering excellence.
Each year, ASCE-OC honors outstanding projects and people across the region that are making a difference in the civil engineering industry. This year, 20 projects and 14 individuals were recognized at the ceremony. Michael Baker’s Isamar Escobar was presented with an award for Outstanding Civil Engineer in Community Service, and Steve Huff was awarded Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Private Sector. The SR-91 Westbound Widening project was named Transportation Project of the Year, and the Baker Water Treatment Plant was awarded Water/Wastewater Treatment Project of the Year.
ASCE-OC-(Isamar)-(1).jpgIsamar Escobar (Civil Associate – Surface Water in Michael Baker’s Irvine office)
Outstanding Civil Engineer in Community Service
At Michael Baker, Isamar is involved in a variety of projects, including storm drain master plans, storm drain design, FEMA processing, sediment transport modeling, environmental documentation and two-dimensional floodplain studies. She also is dedicated to serving her community and working with local schools to promote STEM and the field of civil engineering. She has served on ASCE-OC’s K-12 Outreach Committee and as University Liaison to maintain a connection with students and younger members. Isamar also is involved with Engineers Without Borders and the Good Works and Wellness Works Committee in Michael Baker’s Irvine office.
ASCE-OC-(Steve).jpgSteve Huff (Vice President and Transportation Practice Lead – Southern California in Michael Baker’s Irvine office)
Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Private Sector
Through his 33-year career with Michael Baker, Steve has established relationships and built trust with regional transportation and civil engineering professionals and organizations. He has managed several high-profile projects throughout Southern California, including the design of major highway improvement projects and the management of complex interstate freeway projects, which have totaled over $1 billion dollars in construction costs. His engineering and design background allows Steve to efficiently coordinate multi-disciplinary teams and implement quality control procedures to ensure design compatibility with all project elements.

2015-06-16-124.JPGThe SR-91 Westbound Widening Project
Transportation Project of the Year
California State Route 91 (SR-91), located in Los Angeles, carries more than 270,000 vehicles each day and was long known as a congestion hot spot. To improve traffic flow and safety, Michael Baker partnered with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to prepare plans, specifications, and estimates for roadway, structure, traffic and drainage design of the 3.8-mile segment. Key design features included modifications to four interchanges, six bridge widenings, and nearly 1.5-miles of new sound wall, retaining, and ground anchor (tie-back) walls.

Baker_cropped.jpgBaker Water Treatment Plant Project
Water/Wastewater Treatment Project of the Year
The Baker Water Treatment Plant is a 28.1 million gallon per day (mgd) drinking water treatment plant at the site of the former Baker Filtration Plant in the City of Lake Forest. Michael Baker first partnered with the Irvine Ranch Water District in 2011 to prepare regulatory permits for the construction of the plant. The purpose of the project was to improve water reliability to areas of south Orange County, provide a reliable, local potable water supply in the event of emergency conditions or scheduled maintenance, and increase operational flexibility by creating redundancy within the raw water supply system. The Michael Baker team was later selected for another phase of the project, as the lead consultant to provide preliminary and final design services for the plant.

The team was honored with other area firms and professionals during the annual awards dinner on February 16 in Costa Mesa, California.