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Jacobs Dives into Ports ’19

Read how we're connecting, innovating and transforming the ports and maritime industry.

The theme of ASCE’s  Ports ‘19, “Connect. Innovate. Transform.,” speaks directly to the curious and innovating minds at Jacobs and that’s the way we like it.

With global maritime trade expected to double in the coming decades, port authorities and operators are challenged to modernize operations and increase capacity. Ranked by Engineering News-Record as the No. 1 provider for port and maritime facilities, and with a legacy of delivering the world's biggest ports projects for more than a century, we know that innovation and technology play a key role in helping ports expand, modernize and meet today's logistics and supply chain demands.

Innovation and technology are what made our exploration of digital intelligence and automation with the Port of Los Angeles so exciting.

Known as America’s Port®, the  Port of Los Angeles  is one of the world’s busiest for international trade in the Western Hemisphere and has ranked as the top container port in the U.S. since 2000. Working to retain their impressive position and record-setting cargo operations, plus maximize productivity and improve operational efficiency, speed to market and reliability, the Port is undertaking a large capital improvement plan.

They engaged Jacobs to design the first automated container terminal on the U.S. West Coast. Now when cargo moves through the 135-acre TraPac automated terminal, it’s picked up by electric, driverless shuttle carriers that use an intelligent system of differential GPS, magnets, and lasers to navigate.

These massive shuttle carriers, towering four-stories-high, pick up the cargo containers and swiftly deliver them to electric stacking cranes. These cranes are equally automated to sort and stack the containers to await their next destinations, and when it’s time to load the container onto a truck or freight train, the robotic stacking cranes do the work. The TraPac terminal is one of the world’s first to use these automated shuttle carriers alongside automated stacking cranes.

Presentations and Awards
Attendees will find many exciting topics to navigate at Ports ‘19 in Pittsburgh from September 15-18. Several Jacobs’ employees will be sharing insights, including:

  • Middle Breakwater Comprehensive Condition Assessment – Claudio Fassardi.
  • Use of Physical/Numerical Modeling in Design of an Exposed Quay at Port of Ashdod – Atilla Bayram, PE and Bill Paparis, PE.
  • Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal 3 Wharf Design and Construction – Gary Ledford, PE, MASCE.
  • Installation of 48-inch Diameter Test Piles at the Port of Alaska – Don Anderson, PE, GE, DGE.
  • Environmental (Stormwater, Emissions) – Moderator Frank Davidson, PE, SE, ENV SP.
  • Wave, Mooring and Downtime Studies for Tibar Bay Port Development, East Timor – Yang Zhang, PhD, PE.
  • Port of San Francisco Seawall – Geotechnical Approach for Seismic Vulnerability Optimization – Nason McCullough, PhD, PE, GE, MASCE.
  • Seismic Analyses for San Francisco Port-Wide Risk Assessment – Nason McCullough, PhD, PE, GE, MASCE.

Jacobs’ Americas Ports & Maritime Vice President Bill Paparis will be awarded the Kenneth M. Childs Jr. Practitioner’s Award at Ports ’19, which recognizes design and construction practicing engineers with demonstrated leadership and/or achievement in harbor and coastal projects.

“Nominating Bill was an easy decision because his experience and commitment to the ports and maritime industry exemplify what the award celebrates,” says Jacobs’ Global Solutions Director for Ports & Maritime Patrick King. “Over his career, Bill has led hundreds of waterfront development and rehabilitation projects involving planning, structural inspection, rehabilitation, upgrades, cost estimating and construction management. He’s also led some of the world’s largest port infrastructure projects, working on five continents and in 16 countries and 20 U.S. states.”

If you’re interested in learning more about how Jacobs transforms intangible ideas into intelligent solutions, such as the Port of Los Angeles’ automated facility, for a more connected, sustainable world, visit

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