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Stream 4: Technology and Innovation 


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 Berths 142-147 Automated Backland Redevelopment at POLA 
Adrienne Federick Newbold1, Christina Sar1, Milind Desai2
1Port of Los Angeles

The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate the planning, design, construction, and operational aspects of a 100 acre automated container terminal redevelopment. The presentation will focus on the project background, overview of the automated equipment and operations, infrastructure design aspects, construction lessons learned, and operational results.


The Port of Los Angeles (POLA) recently completed the Berths 142-147 Backland Redevelopment Project. This was the first automated container terminal on the west coast of the United States consisting of nineteen fully automated stacking blocks and is one of the first terminals in the world to deploy automated shuttle carriers as horizontal transport in conjunction with automated stacking crane (ASC) blocks. The first phase (33 acre site) went fully operational in August 2014. The final phase (72 acres) was completed in February 2017. This development utilizes a state-of-the-art integration between the terminal operating system technology with terminal navigation systems (equipment operation) and Port infrastructure. 

The construction of the backland infrastructure by the general contractor and the installation of the ASCs and automation infrastructure by the equipment manufacturer were carried out in tandem. This presentation discusses the detailed evaluation, analysis, and design of key infrastructure elements including ASC foundation, sustainable stormwater management, seismic design, and pavement. This presentation also includes lessons learned during construction of Berths 142-147 Automated Backland Redevelopment based on feedback from the POLA Construction Division, Terminal Operator, Equipment Manufacturer, and General Contractor. 

Presenter Bio

Adrienne Fedrick Newbold, PE, PMP, Project Manager (Civil Engineer), Port of Los Angeles
Adrienne Fedrick Newbold, PE, PMP, has over 13 years of project management experience with the Port of Los Angeles specializing in the planning, design, construction, and operation of container terminals, transportation networks, and waterfront development.

She holds a Bachelors Degree from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA. She is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer and Project Management Professional. Adrienne was awarded the ASCE LA Outstanding Young Civil Engineer in 2013.

Adrienne is past Board Chair for the COPRI Technical Group, an active member of Women In Transportation, a student mentor, and an active engineers week outreach participant.

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Sonar imaging for underwater inspections
James Wallace1 and Robin Houlik2
1AECOM Canada Ltd.
2ASI Group

The objective of this presentation is to discuss advances in remote underwater inspection techniques and technologies. 


Aging infrastructure needs to be regularly inspected. Marine infrastructure must be inspected above and below the water level; however, water currents, boat traffic, and decaying infrastructure can make underwater inspections impractical and dangerous for divers. As part of the Trent Severn Waterway Rehabilitation, AECOM and ASI partnered in November 2016 to complete underwater inspections of the dams and marine walls at Lock 45 of the waterway. The inspections were completed using remote underwater cameras and a sonar imaging system to allow a thorough inspection to be completed without requiring divers to enter the water. AECOM and ASI will also draw on past inspections of Port Dalhousie (original northern terminus for the Welland Canal) to show how sonar imaging can accelerate the inspections by identifying critical areas to inspect by the dive team as well as identifying areas unsafe for dive inspection due to advanced deterioration of the existing structures. 

This presentation will feature a discussion regarding the advancements in sonar imaging technologies and how it can be used to enhance the investigation of marine infrastructure and make the investigation safer. Using the dam at Lock 45 and other investigations as examples, the discussion will include when and where to use sonar techniques, what type of information can be expected from sonar, how it can supplement remote camera or human diver observations, and limitations to the technology.

Presenter Bio

James Wallace, Senior Engineer, AECOM Canada Ltd.
James Wallace is a senior structural engineer and project manager at AECOM Canada Ltd. With over 15 years of experience in the structural inspection and transportation and marine infrastructure. He has been involved in projects ranging from multi-span bridges to marine piers to ferry terminals to dams and weirs. He has design experience and code familiarity with many different marine construction systems including: steel framing, mass concrete systems, heavy timber systems including timber cribs, cast-in-place reinforced concrete and pre-stressed concrete, and masonry systems. James is the manager of engineer for AECOM’s Alternative Delivery Group in Ontario and is AECOM’s Marine Infrastructure lead for Ontario. 

Robin Houlik, ROV Services, ASI Group
Robin Houlik is a Certified Technician in the ROV division at ASI Marine, and specializes in marine geophysical and hydrographic surveys, and underwater inspections utilizing advanced sonar systems and ROVs with up to 10 km tethers. Robin's experience and responsibilities include the operation and maintenance of ASI's ROV technologies to enhance their capabilities and to accommodate new or unexpected conditions. The technologies, either separately or more effectively, when combined, are used to collect information on underwater assets so that owners can plan their maintenance activities on condition-based assessments.

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Disruptive Technologies in the Container Shipping Sector
Mark Sisson, AECOM

The objective of this presentation is to describe two new technologies, Hyperloop and Autonomous ships, that have the potential to transform container shipping.


As the pace of technological innovation continues to increase, two disruptive transportation technologies threaten to shake up the world of containerized shipping. This presentation will describe the potential impacts of Hyperloop and autonomous shipping on the container industry. 

Hyperloop is a high speed “5th mode” of transportation originally envisioned by Elon Musk and being pursued commercially by Hyperloop One and other companies. It relies on magnetic levitation inside an evacuated tube for minimal air resistance. Compared with conventional truck drayage, Hyperloop offers much higher speed, reliability, zero local emissions, and no congestion of roadway networks. It has the ability to virtually shrink the distance between marine terminals and inland warehouse districts. In Los Angeles for example, the bulk of the warehouses and distribution centers are approximately 100 km from the port. On congested roadways, this journey can take half a day via truck, but a container travelling via Hyperloop could make the transit in 15 minutes. This new technology promises to open up new possibilities for inland distribution, and shrink the size of container yards required to support marine terminals. 

On the waterside, a number of industry players are working hard to make autonomous shipping a reality. Over short distances, these ships could also be electrically powered. This combination will radically reduce the cost of short haul marine transit. Without crews, the cost of domestic shipping will become much more competitive with road and truck options. Much like Hyperloop, a large part of the appeal of marine shipping is reduction of impact on congested road and rail networks. The ocean as a highway also requires no maintenance, unlike roads and rails that require continuous upkeep. Many short haul routes that are infeasible today due to cost, or environmental objections due to ship emissions, may suddenly regain appeal if costs are radically reduced and ships are emissions free. Destinations such as Portland (OR), Stockton (CA), Albany (NY), Baton Rouge (LA), and locations around the Great Lakes may suddenly spring up as reinvigorated freight hubs due to their convenient waterfront access, not for mainline mega-ships, but for automated feeders that will connect them to major ports nearby, or to other domestic destinations.

Presenter Bio

Mark Sisson, Senior Port Planner, AECOM
Mark Sisson, PE, leads AECOM’s marine analysis group. He is responsible for business development, project execution, and oversight of research and development of our simulation models. Mark has over 22 years of experience managing and executing a wide range of marine and rail terminal planning, simulation, and analysis projects. Typical projects involve supervision of field data collection, model development, and presentation of analysis results. 

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Innovative and Advanced Technology for Surveys and Structural Assessments
Steve Langendyk, Peter MacDermott and Josh Wiebe
 WF Baird Associates and Associates

The objective of this presentation is to present some examples of innovative and advanced technologies used for marine surveys and underwater structural assessments.


A variety of new technologies are providing innovative capabilities for surveying and assessing marine structures. We present a collection of recent real world applications with fast and accurate surveying with quick data turnaround on project sites across Canada including New Brunswick and Ontario and other international locations. These technologies include the use of Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) to acquire high resolution images to survey coastal structures using photogrammetric techniques to create quantifiable data. Another technology gaining use are small submersible Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROVs), allowing inspection of structures in locations previously inaccessible for either a diver or larger ROV.

Acoustic surveying of marine infrastructure continues play a role in facility management, providing a spatial overview of site conditions. While sonar has been used for decades recent advancement in instrument size, integration with motion and GNSS systems as well as deployment options has enabled its use for rapid condition assessments. The availability of real to near real-time data allows managers to have greater flexibility and efficiency when planning or assessing marine infrastructure projects.

Presenter Bio

Mr. Langendyk has over 23 years of Geomatics experience within the context of coastal consulting for the analysis and mapping of natural and built environments. Mr. Langendyk’s experiences include spatial analysis, terrain and bathymetry digital elevation model (DEM) building and analysis, UAV and remote sensing data acquisition, 3D visualization, processing large LiDAR datasets, air photo interpretation, photogrammetry, remotely sensed multi-spectral image processing, data integrity and quality assurance checks.

Mr. MacDermott is a Geomatics professional using Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems for analysis and mapping purposes. His experiences include the acquisition, processing and analysis of LiDAR (topographic\ bathymetric) and hydrographic surveys, thermal and infrared satellite image classification, airphoto interpretation, numerical modeling as well as GPS-based field work.

Mr. Wiebe is a coastal engineer with nine years of professional experience. He specializes in the numerical modelling of coastal and river systems, design of coastal structures, field and construction services, and desktop engineering analyses. His areas of interest include: river and tidal hydrodynamics, waves, ice, and aquatic habitat restoration.

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