Our Global Engineering Conference 2014 in Panama City, Panama, last month was a rousing success and a wonderful world showcase of an engineering marvel. Attendees had the opportunity to meet their engineering colleagues from around the world and see the 100-year-old Panama Canal in all its glory. Our keynote speaker and honorary conference chair, Jorge L. Quijano, administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, shared with us how the authority managed the construction of one of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects – the Panama Canal Expansion. At our Industry Leaders Forum, Thomas P. Bostick, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, explained what it is like overseeing the nation’s infrastructure, and our closing keynote speaker, Grant Imahara, an engineer on Discovery’s Mythbusters, talked about how the program made science and engineering “cool.” In between, we had our popular Distinguished Lecture Series, plenty of concurrent sessions, an Engineers Without Borders-USA credit course, and a series of spectacular technical tours of the Panama Canal Expansion. Engineers like yourself , from the U.S. and around the globe, came to our annual conference and we certainly did our best to make you feel welcome and make that journey worthwhile. Next year, our ASCE annual conference will be Broadway bound and will take place in New York City, October 11-14. Stay tuned in the coming months for more information.
You told us what you want, we listened. Coming later this month will be a completely new, redesigned ASCE website that will be faster and easier to use and search. Among the new features are Technical Areas pages, where you can find information related to major civil engineering disciplines; a Group Finder, which will help you quickly locate a local Section or Branch by zip code, and Professional Development, which brings together resources and information that will help you advance your professional career, whether you are in need of PDHs or looking for a new job. The new website uses responsive design to deliver the information you need optimized for viewing any device; so whether you are in the field, on the road, or at your desk – www.ASCE.org will be there for you.
As part of our effort to offer more affordable, more accessible continuing education programs to all ASCE members, I am very pleased to report that a number of new online, on-demand courses are now available. Project delays are a constant threat to the success of any construction project. With ASCE’s newest online course, A Comprehensive Approach to the Analysis of CPM Schedules to Measure Delays on Construction Projects, you can prevent or limit the damage that delays can cause by developing the skills to identify delays before they occur, or at least before they become insurmountable. This course will teach you a single method that can be used to identify and quantify critical project delays on construction projects. Other new online courses include these: Construction Project Management; Introduction to Tunnel Design and Construction; Community Participation: Effective Stakeholder Involvement Throughout the Project Life-Cycle; Dam Rehabilitation and Levee Safety; and Access and Mobility in the 21st Century. And just as a reminder: ASCE’s online, on-demand courses can be accessed 24/7 at times that are convenient for you. Upon completion of a course, you will earn CEUs/PDHs by taking and passing an online test. And don’t forget, November is Professional Development Month. Celebrate by pursuing lifelong learning opportunities with ASCE’s continuing education courses, developed and taught by industry leaders and designed to meet the needs of civil engineering practitioners. Discover all of the opportunities for professional development .
For the past 20 years the ASCE Foundation has supported the civil engineering profession in so many ways. From funding the trusted 2013 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure to the National Concrete Canoe Competition, the Foundation has been there when we needed them most. Both myself and members of the Board of Direction has given generously this year: How about you? The ASCE Foundation supports engaging programs such as Engineers Week, the ISI Envision rating tool, ExCEEd workshops, the Failure to Act series, LEED certification on our headquarters building in Reston, Virginia, the National Steel Bridge Competition, precollege outreach, Section 100th anniversaries, and so many more. If you have given generously, I thank you. If not, why not make a donation today and together we can continue to offer great programs like these to the next generation of civil engineers.
With limited transportation dollars, investments and assets need to be managed effectively. ASCE’s new report offers policy recommendations aimed at increasing the use of Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) in making decisions. Authored jointly by ASCE and the Eno Center for Transportation, Maximizing the Value of Investment Using Life Cycle Cost Analysis finds that while industry practitioners and policymakers believe the use of LCCA is valuable, a majority lack the tools for implementation. Among the highlights of this report – which is free – readers will discover that (a) using data-driven analysis can save agencies money by improving project selection; (b) the private sector can play an important role in incorporating life-cycle cost analysis in project design and selection; and (c) there is an opportunity for the federal government to provide more incentives to tie agency performance to funding. This is exactly the kind of quality report that you expect from ASCE.
Have you ever wondered how you could help recognize the achievements of civil engineers? Recently the Louisiana Section, under the direction of E. Raymond DesOrmeaux, P.E., F.ASCE, launched a committee to consider and prepare nominations for ASCE’s 87 Society Awards, Distinguished Membership, or Fellow membership grade. What a great way to shed a national spotlight on the accomplishments of local ASCE members. If your Section has a similar program or wants to know how to launch its own committee and/or program, we are here to help. Please contact ASCE today.
Are you interested in becoming a member of one of the 5 Society-Level Committees or one of the 3 Strategic Initiative Committees? Society members in good standing are encouraged to apply for open positions on these committees. An online application for service on a Society-level committee will open on January 1, 2015, and remain open through March 15, 2015. Applications will also be used to identify candidates for service on a number of constituent committees. Approval of committee appointments is required by the Board of Direction in July, and terms will begin at the Annual Business Meeting in October. For more information, contact Patty Jones, ASCE’s director of Executive and Board Operations.
— PATRICK J. NATALE, P.E., CAE, F.ASCE