Barge Design Solutions’ Copperhill Watershed Restoration

Wins 2020 Grand Conceptor Award

The Copperhill Watershed Restoration Project in Ducktown, TN, won the 2020 “Grand Conceptor” Award signifying the year’s most outstanding engineering achievement, in the 53rd Annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA)—a national juried competition sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

Traditionally an annual black-tie dinner and awards show, the first-ever EEA Gala attracted more than 650 viewers December 1. Hosted by renowned comedian Ross Shafer, the Gala honored 203 preeminent engineering achievements from the U.S. and the world.

A panel of more than 30 built-environment professionals from throughout the nation judged each engineering entry for excellence in technical savvy, innovation and overall social impact.

Designed by Nashville, TN-based Barge Design Solutions, the Copperhill restoration was a 20-year project that transformed a 50-square-mile site—severely damaged from more than a century of logging, mining and acid production—into a lush, clean and natural wonderland where residents now enjoy hiking, fishing and swimming.

Restoration efforts included disposal of mining waste, construction of clean-water diversions, re-establishment of natural, healthy communities of aquatic insects; and construction of new contaminant-filtering wetlands. Before restoration, the contaminated site was one of only two manmade features that astronauts could see from space. The other was the Great Wall of China. Click here for Grand Conceptor Video.


Entry into the 2021 EEA competition is now closed.


2021 Virtual EEA Judging Set for February

A national panel of more than 30 buil-envirnment and industry leaders, along with experts from government and academia, will review and rank top winners during the upcoming 2021 Virtual EEA Judging, to be held February 18-20.  Award criteria will focus on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

All winners will be recognized at the upcoming 54th Engineering Excellence Awards Gala, to be held later this year.


EEA Resources


All submissions must be entered through your respective state Member Organization. Click here for a State Member Organization contact list. Click here for EEA submission deadline for each state (Excel spreadsheet).


2020 EEA

2020 Grand Conceptor Award Winner with Video

The Top 36 Engineering Excellence Award Winners

Past Grand Conceptor Award Winners

2020 National Recognition Award Winners by State


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National Recognition Awards


EEA Committee

Committee Roster

EEA Judges

EEA Judges





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