The theme of Engineers Week this year is “Celebrate Awesome!” The week of February 17–23 highlights the important role of engineers in society and celebrates the awesome things they do every day to make the world a better place. In a large number of ASCE sections and branches, civil engineers and engineering students are taking part in a variety of outreach events. Students are engaging in competitions to build bridges using Popsicle sticks, governors and mayors will be signing Engineers Week proclamations, and much fun will be had at Engineers Week banquets. There are also activities in connection with Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. The many outreach efforts are part of an ASCE tradition to give youngsters and the general public a better understanding of engineering and of the role of engineers and to encourage precollege students to consider a career in engineering. I want to encourage all Society members to support the various Engineers Week activities organized by their sections and branches and then to contact ASCE to let us know what you did this year.
February is a time to show your love and express your admiration to those who mean the most to you. With both Valentine’s Day and Engineers Week in February, now is the perfect time to honor the civil engineer in your life by making a gift to the ASCE Foundation. Your tribute gift will greatly aid ASCE programs and will celebrate engineers everywhere. You can give to the foundation securely online or, if you prefer, mail a check made payable to the ASCE Foundation to ASCE Foundation, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 100, Reston, VA 20191. Be sure to include the contact information of the honoree or his or her family if you would like the foundation to send notification of the gift.
Here is an offer you cannot refuse: ASCE will provide a free salary report to members who participate in our Engineering Income and Salary Survey. Your free report will give you salary data for your engineering level in any region of the country. You’ll also have access to the data for an entire year as the information is updated. Obtain your free report today by updating your salary data or participating for the first time.
We announced the ASCE Bridges Photo Contest on January 14, and since then the entries have been pouring in. But there is still time to submit a bridge photo that highlights distinctive design and engineering before the competition closes, on March 31. First-, second-, and third-place prizes will be awarded for the best bridge photo, and there will also be awards for the best photos of a “green” bridge, a bridge in a small municipality [population below 100,000], and a bridge that was completed in the past two years. The best high-dynamic-range photograph will receive an award, as will the best photo from an ASCE student member. The winning photographs may be included in our 2014 Bridges calendar. Join me in celebrating bridges and the civil engineers who design them.
Mark your calendar today and make plans to attend ASCE’s 143rd Annual Civil Engineering Conference,which will be held October 10–12 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Head to Charlotte with ASCE and explore everything the Queen City has to offer. Attend panel discussions featuring industry leaders, network with engineering colleagues, and benefit from the variety of technical session being planned for this year’s conference.
You may be interested to learn that ASCE has developed a partner model program to help smaller organizations, that is, those with fewer than 50 engineers, gain access to ASCE products and services at favorable prices. ASCE’s Partners Program provides corporate membership to help organizations deliver ASCE products and services to their employees at special rates. Does your organization have more than 50 engineers? Our flagship partner model is built to deliver a program that is customized to meet the needs of your organization. For more information about these programs, contact Carol Vargas, ASCE’s director for industry relations. I encourage you to look into our Partners Program and see if it would work for your organization.
Please join me in congratulating Natalie Beckman-Ross, Ph.D., P.E., A.M.ASCE, who began her term as an ASCE congressional fellow on January 2 and will be working in the office of Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), the Senate majority leader. Beckman-Ross will be applying her expertise to environmental and energy issues. Since 1997, 17 ASCE members have served as congressional fellows and have made valuable contributions on Capitol Hill. The fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe the workings of Congress firsthand and to put one’s engineering knowledge to work in an unusual and important way. The congressional fellowship is open to any ASCE member who is a U.S. citizen. Among the factors weighed by the selection committee are possession of advanced degrees, registration as a professional engineer, involvement in ASCE activities, public policy experience, and professional experience. The deadline for applications for the 2013–14 fellows program is March 8.
If you’re not able to attend this year’s ASCE Legislative Fly-In,which will be held in Washington, D.C., March 19–21, you can still help to educate lawmakers about the importance of investing in infrastructure. You can do this by taking part in ASCE’s Fly-In@Home program and writing or calling your elected officials. You can also make plans to meet with your elected representative in Washington, D.C., during this year’s Spring District Work Period, which will run from March 23 to April 8. The 2013 Legislative Fly-In coincides with the release of ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which, it is hoped, will be a clarion call to improving our nation’s infrastructure.
Here is a great new benefit to Society members: Travel Guard is now available to provide you with protection against such unforeseen and costly travel mishaps as missed connections or lost baggage. Launched on January 1, this insurance plan is available exclusively to ASCE members and includes such additional benefits as travel medical assistance, concierge services, and identity theft coverage. Whether you travel once a month or once a year, here is an opportunity to obtain great travel protection at a great price.
Distinguished membership is a status second only to that of ASCE president, so I want to strongly encourage your participation in ASCE’s efforts to honor outstanding engineering practitioners and academics. For those of you not familiar with distinguished membership, it is an honor reserved for members of the Society who have attained the grade of member or fellow and have made significant contributions in some branch of engineering or its related arts and sciences. Nominations are due October 1.
Here is your chance to salute a teacher who inspires his or her students to pursue a career in engineering. ASCE is now sponsoring the awards in the National Engineers Week Foundation’s DiscoverE Educator Recognition Program, which highlights the contributions of educators who inspire tomorrow’s generation of engineers. The teachers eligible for the awards are those teaching grades 6 through 12. The engineering profession wants to acknowledge the contributions of educators who are helping their students discover the world of engineering. An unusual feature of this program is that engineers and engineering students (undergraduate or graduate) are part of the nomination process. Applications are due by March 8.
With the growing importance of sustainable development as a performance factor in civil engineering projects, ASCE has established the Innovation in Sustainable Civil Engineering Award to recognize a project that takes social, economic, and environmental factors into consideration in an exemplary way. We are now inviting entries for the 2013 selection cycle. The deadline is June 1.
I am very pleased to announce that myLearning, a portal that makes it possible to explore our comprehensive program catalog for continuing education and to track professional development hours, is now available to ASCE members. If you have not heard about it already, myLearning provides members with an online continuing education catalog, easy access to online courses that have been ordered, convenient online exams and testing with automated grading and immediate results, the ability to easily generate certificates of completion, an online record-keeping and transcript service that automatically logs the professional development hours and continuing education units that have been earned through ASCE courses, and much more. Already, more than 5,000 ASCE members have accessed myLearning. We are very excited about this new service and believe you will find it to be a valuable resource.
If you have not had a chance to view any of podcasts in our Insights series, let me call your attention to the latest episode, which features Terry F. Neimeyer, P.E., M.ASCE, the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of KCI Technologies, which is headquartered in Sparks, Maryland. In this episode, Neimeyer shares his unique insights and stresses the importance of giving the public a better understanding of engineering and enlisting the public’s support with regard to certain issues. He also talks about the knowledge and skills that civil engineers should possess in today’s environment. There’s something for all of us to learn in these Insights podcasts.
—PATRICK J. NATALE, P.E., F.ASCE