First Founders’ Award

10.29.2009 | HMMH |

by Nick Miller

With Mary Ellen’s encouragement, Bob, Carl and I developed the concept for a “Founders’ Award” that would be used to recognize a project and the team that made that project reflect some of the fundamental principles we had in mind when we started HMMH.  The inscription on the award says it best:

“In recognition of outstanding performance on a project that was uniquely challenging, technically innovative, and resulted in proven client satisfaction.”

Founders’ Award Plaque

As shown on the plaque, which we awarded at the HMMH Annual Meeting this month, we chose the first recipient Dave Towers and his team that conducted the “Dynamics and Noise Consultancy Services for Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation.”  This was a project Dave led in Kowloon to provide vibration isolation for a new underground link between the East Rail and West Rail lines in the center of Kowloon.  The line passes near the world famous Peninsula Hotel, other hotels, residential buildings, the science museum, and a concert hall.  The tunnel had to be constructed without causing damaging or annoying vibrations, and designed to prevent vibrations from train operations once completed.

After the tunnel was built and the vibration control treatments we had analyzed and judged to be adequate were installed, but before any trains ran on the tracks, HMMH measured transmission of vibrations from the finished tunnel into the sensitive buildings during a field trip Jason Ross called “the most difficult one in recorded history!”  The transmission data helped refine the analysis and further confirmed the adequacy of the treatments.

Recently the Environmental Project Director, Richard Kwan, met with Carl at Internoise in Ottawa and reported the line is open for service and there are no noise or vibration problems.  Richard told Carl:

“Dave impressed us greatly with his superb technical knowledge and skillful application of such.  We’re delighted that he understood the client’s objectives and requirements so well and executed his assignments in a manner that would be an envy to many professionals.  Dave is a rare combination of sterling technical expert, master diplomat and seasoned project manager.”

Dave Towers deserves credit for successfully managing a difficult project with a challenging budget.  Jason and Tim Johnson were involved in the technical work and helped Dave teach a rail noise course to the client’s staff in Hong Kong.  Doug Barrett was called upon in an emergency to drop everything and attend project review meetings in Hong Kong.  Carl was involved in negotiations and contract meetings, mostly ceremonial, in Hong Kong.

We’re delighted to have begun a tradition and hope the award will be given to special projects from now forever forward to help keep HMMH’s fundamental principles alive.