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The 2018-2019 John G. Moffatt–Frank E. Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering Awards Presented at PORTS ‘19

Monday, October 28, 2019

2019 M-N Award

The John G. Moffatt-Frank E. Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering Award is given to a member of ASCE who has made a definitive contribution to the field of harbor and coastal engineering, and serves to recognize new ideas to expand the engineering or construction techniques available for harbor and coastal projects.


For more than 45 years, Bill Dutra, A.M.ASCE, has been a leader in the dredging and marine construction industry.  As the founder of Dutra Construction Company in 1972, and, subsequently the Dutra Group in 1982, Mr. Dutra has undertaken some of the most challenging coastal and harbor projects in the U.S.  and played a major role in shaping the San Francisco Bay-Delta as we know it today.

Bill first set himself apart as a leader in innovation and efficiency in 1972, when a major Delta levee break crippled the heart of Southern California's water delivery system and flooded a highway, hundreds of homes, and 12,000 acres of farmland. The dewatering and repair were slated to take 18 months, but Bill had the job done in just 110 days.  Other accomplishments in the Bay-Delta include developing specialized equipment for the beneficial reuse of dredge material, installing an emergency temporary salinity barrier to prevent saltwater intrusion into the Delta during the 2015 drought, and building a fleet of oceangoing barges to transport dredged material to the EPA-approved disposal site 50-miles offshore, the furthest such site in the country.

When the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused the collapse of a section of the San Francisco- Oakland Bay Bridge, Caltrans estimated it would take four months to restore this vital piece of infrastructure; Mr. Dutra had it done in 30 days.  He has also contributed significant innovation on the East Coast including on Boston's Big Dig project and the harbor deepening at the Port of Miami.


During his more than 45-year career, William J. Castle, P.E., F.ASCE, has made outstanding contributions to innovation in the constructability of port and coastal infrastructure projects. His relentless focus on value engineering has resulted in more efficient delivery of his projects thereby saving his clients time and money. 

Mr. Castle is known for thinking outside of the box while maintaining a practical simplicity in his approach that makes the job do-able.  As a certified diver, he has personally performed over 1,500 underwater inspections of bridges, piers, docks, and outfall structures.  He knows how it feels to work in these underwater conditions firsthand and therefore, constructability is always in the forefront of his design approach.

Mr. Castle's wide experience often allows him to provide unique value engineering to difficult projects where he can balance the engineering and practical side. The structural rehabilitation of Pier 68 along Delaware River was able to move forward within the budget and timeframe through Mr. Castle's VE efforts. The owner was initially unable to complete the project using the original design and budget. However, with Mr. Castle's efforts, the project was completed within the owner's budget and timeframe.  This project was recognized for the 2018 COPRI Project Excellence Award.