C. H. Fenstermaker & Associate’s Underwater Acoustics Group Manager, Ken LaBry was awarded the Society of American Military Engineers’ (SAME) prestigious Technology Advancement Medal at a special awards ceremony on May 2, 2007. The ceremony was held during the SAME Joint Engineer Education and Training Conference in Philadelphia, PA. The medal is awarded to an individual who has displayed initiative in the advancement of existing engineering and related technology for the past three years and who has facilitated the acceptance and application of technology by users. The Medal recipient must have also demonstrated communication skills in technology advancement, displayed effective use of team work, generated costs savings, and proven the effectiveness of the technology.
The technology, for which Mr. LaBry was recognized, incorporates acoustic imaging and measurement methodology using specially configured scanning sonar systems. Fenstermaker employs the only mechanically steered-beam, digital, high-resolution scanning sonar units of this type in existence. The equipment, configured under the direction of Mr. LaBry and the firm’s Underwater Acoustics Group, is designed to maximize performance and resolution in shallow brown water or turbid environments. The sonar equipment is mounted onto a vessel or submerged into the water on a tripod to conduct scans.
The Fenstermaker firm performed Underwater Acoustics work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the months that followed Hurricane Katrina to identify sunken barges, ships, boats and other debris that could impede harbor traffic during recovery efforts in New Orleans. The firm also performed similar work for the Louisiana Department of Transportation (LA DOTD) during the first phase of the Twin Span rebuilding project. Fenstermaker performed the first underwater inspection of the Huey P. Long Bridge for LA DOTD as part of the Huey P. Long Widening Project, a TIMED Project. Fenstermaker’s Underwater Acoustics team findings provided an objective record of the condition of the bridge piers. The recorded sonar data and the translated image visualization served as a baseline reference of the pier and water bottom condition prior to the construction of the bridge expansion project and provided a non-subjective data set for comparison of future surveys.
Mr. LaBry and his Underwater Acoustic’s team also received the coveted Transportation Excellence Award in the category of Innovative Use of Product or Technology from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD) at the Transportation Engineering Conference held in Baton Rouge earlier this year.
In years past, other Fenstermaker employees have been recognized with the Technology Advancement Medal. In 1990, the medal was awarded to Gerard S. Satterlee, P.E., currently the Director of New Orleans operations for Fenstermaker, and in 2001 the award went to Edmond L. Dewailly, LS, CPL, Business Development and Environmental Specialist for the firm.
C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates, Inc. is a regional company providing engineering, surveying and mapping, and environmental services to federal, state and local governments, the oil and gas industry and private enterprise. Fenstermaker’s offices are located in Lafayette, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport, Louisiana and Houston, Texas.