2019 IECA Annual Conference and Expo Recap | February 19-22, 2019

Post Conference Recap

The 2019 IECA Annual Conference and Expo in Denver, CO was a huge success! This year’s event brought more attendees… more exhibitors and expo hall happenings… more networking opportunities… and more relevant education topics! And a new conference mobile app was launched to help attendees access speaker presentations, create schedules, learn more about exhibitors, connect with other attendees and claim education credit. We encourage you to find your face in the crowd on our Facebook page and tag yourself. And make sure you're following us for the latest IECA news!

Preconference sessions had the best participation to date with five half day sessions that provided RCEP credit as well as PDH credit. Education again featured more intimate sessions through roundtable discussions, fireside chats and the contractor’s corner. Case study, posters and workshop sessions allowed attendees to learn about innovative solutions to real industry problems to apply to their own jobs. And, the regional track provided a local perspective of solutions to key industry problems

Keynote Highlights

Kenneth MacKenzie, PE, Executive Director for the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District presented his recommendations to “Make a Difference by Loving What You Do” in the opening keynote session. This motivational session provided attendees with recommendations on how to increase job satisfaction to make the time we spend at work worthwhile. MacKenzie specifically recommended to change workplace relationships to “craft interactions with others in ways that foster meaningfulness.” He also suggested to “develop workplace relationships, say yes to opportunities, set daily and future goals and set self-improvement goals to be the best at something valuable in your job.”

Closing keynote speaker, Janet Kieler, Director of Environmental Programs for the Denver International Airport (DIA), provided a unique perspective on erosion control challenges faced by the City and County of Denver when building DIA. As the last major international airport built in the US, that was designed to remove space constraints posed by the former airport, the land disturbance associated with the original construction was massive and largely uncontrolled given the pre-permitting era in which it was built. Kieler provided insight into erosion control practices for high-disturbed, arid environments and stabilization methods the city of Denver used to ease short- and long-term land management challenges when building the airport.

IECA Awards of Excellence Recognition

The IECA Awards of Excellence program acknowledges outstanding achievements in the erosion and sediment control industry and is a staple event at the conference. Wes Zech, Ph.D., and his previous work with Auburn University’s Erosion and Sediment Control Facility, was recognized for the Environmental Excellence Award. Claudia Chambers, CPESC, CISEC, QSP and Kym Kelley CPESC, CISEC, QSP both received the Outstanding Professional of the Year Award. And, DJ Brouwer, PE, CFM was recognized as the 2019 Sustained Contributor Recipient. Educational awards recognized Dwayne Stenlund, CPESC as the 2018 IECA Annual Conference Presenter of the Year for his session titled “Why are Inlet Protections BMPs so Difficult to Estimate and Implement Correctly?”. The 2019 Technical Paper of the Year was awarded to J. Blake Whitman, MS, Auburn University; Wesley Donald, Ph.D., CPESC and Wes Zech, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham; for their paper “Full-Scale Performance Evaluations of Innovative and Manufactured Sediment Barrier Practices.”

Poster Contest Winners

IECA poster presentations promote the exchange of scientific and technical information within our industry and are presented by students and young professionals. This year’s first place winner was Patrick McGunagle, Montana State University, who presented “The Ecological Context of Erosion Control Features, Natural Disturbance Response and Implications for the Built Environment in Forest Lands after Severe Wildfire” poster. Second place winner, Kyler Stevenson, San Diego State University, presented the “Modeling Urban Hydraulic Processes after Channel Restoration in San Diego, CA in HEC-RAS” poster. Third place winner, Tahmineh Sarabian, University of Toronto, presented the “Reliable and Cost-Effective Maintenance for PIMP” poster. 

Photo Contest Winners

Photo contest posters more than doubled from last year with 77 submissions. The first- and second-place photos were both submitted by JJ Breede. His first-place entry was titled “A Picture is Worth A Thousand… Pictures” and his second-place entry was titled “FlexaMat – Tied Concrete Block System." Look for the winners' full images in the April Environmental Connection magazine.


Expo Hall

In addition to featured more than 135 exhibitors showcasing the latest industry products/solutions, this year’s Expo Hall featured additional networking opportunities, research and a scavenger hunt. Plus, Colorado’s Blue Bear visited the Welcome to Colorful Colorado! Opening Reception and champagne toast! Videos from the Erosion Control Technology Council, Colorado Department of Transportation, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service South Dakota, Auburn University and North Carolina University provided attendees the opportunity to learn and relax in the new theater and lounge area. The Expo Hall also hosted this year’s closing lunch event featured a beer crawl with a few of Colorado’s finest artesian brews!

Save the Date for 2020!

Join us in February 23-26, 2020 in Raleigh, North Carolina! Visit ieca.org for more details about speaking and exhibiting at next year’s event.